Become Certified Book Reading Tester

There are two type of testers; those who read and those who don’t. If you are reading this blog, I’m happy that you belong to the former and you have a 100% chance to improve yourself as a Tester.

The problem with knowledge is that as you know more, you realize that you know less. That realization forces you to know more from people who might know that you don’t know. That knowledge can be either gained by meeting those persons and if you don’t have that luxury, you can always read what they’ve written.

Thus began my journey as a tester and it is going on by reading more books. That is why when in the recent TOP (Testers of Pakistan) Meetup, I suggested testers to read at least one book this year as one of the main strategies to improve as a tester. Since then I have received some questions on what books testers should be reading and here come some suggestions.

Essentially a tester should be reading three type of books: 1) Books about software testing, 2) Books about the technology/domain they are working and 3) Any book that help them flourish their soft skills. As you can imagine that second category is very generic and it totally depends on the context. The context also changes with a new job or new role. Similarly third category also varies person to person, so as which characteristics one wish to shine/develop. So my take today is primarily on what testing books a tester should be reading.

And I have an offer. If you are based in Pakistan and have read / will read any of the following book and do in-person / on-call conversation with me about them, KnowlegeTester will issue the following “Certified Book Reading Tester” certificate to you. Yes, I mean it to make it sound good for you and me.


With all this long background (“Tamheed e Toolani” in Urdu), here are top three books that I suggest:

  1. Testing Computer Software by Cem Kaner, Jack Falk and Hung Q. Nguyen

When I started my first job as a Tester, my manager gave me this book in the first week and asked to read till chapter 7. So did I and learnt a great deal about basic software testing concepts. It also introduced me to Cem Kaner and his work which really helped me grow as a tester.


  1. Lessons learned in Software Testing by Cem Kaner and James Bach

Then when I started to work with my manager in the US, I was recommended to read this book – one lesson a time. And ever since I keep referring to this book on different subjects and always find some wisdom. For example a lesson in early chapters that relates software testers as headlights of the car (and not the brakes) helped me lot with defining the scope of my work. It also introduced me to the context driven testing and works of James Bach and Michael Bolton which always give some new and refreshing ideas to the testing world.


  1. Agile Testing by Lisa Crispin and Janet Gregory

This book was discovered by me as part of our transition to Agile world and the struggle we’re having. I was hooked by the terms “Technology facing tests” vs. “Business facing tests” and used Agile Testing Quadrants, Automation testing pyramid and other models given in this book a thousand time in my discussion with testers and engineering teams. Though there is a newer book on the subject that I’m slowly reading but the first one is that every tester needs if they are part of a team that is building software in today’s changing world.

Do you recommend other books to the amazing “ready to learn” testers?


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12 responses to “Become Certified Book Reading Tester”

  1. Raza Ul Haq Akif says :

    Good deal for readers 🙂


  2. sidrakaukab says :

    ” The problem with knowledge is that as you know more, you realize that you know less. ”

    You just talked my heart out.


  3. Amandeep Singh says :

    Nice idea, Majd. I hope people will get inspired by the content here and start reading more. I would be interested to know how the testing community responds to the Certificate that you offer 🙂

    It would be really interesting to know how many have you issued so far, if you don’t mind answering that question…



    • majd says :

      Thanks Aman! The effort has just started so let’s see how many get the certificates. The certificate part is just the fun and the real part is to get Testers reading (more) books.


  4. Joe DeMeyer says :

    Hello Majd!

    What a great idea! I’m not in Pakistan but I would like to recommend “Specification By Example”! I’d heard of this book a few years ago but only recently read it. It helped me understand how to create better automation, and create requirements that have clarity among a group of people.


    Liked by 1 person

  5. jahanzab says :

    Can you upload the pdf versions of these? It would be a great help. Thanks!


  6. Gaurav Khurana says :

    “The problem with knowledge is that as you know more, you realize that you know less. ” “software testers as headlights of the car (and not the brakes)”- well said


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