The best book on software testing

I remember the first time I read a book about testing. It was pretty eye-opening, and I remember it making me change or rethink many of my thoughts on testing.

Then I read another book, and those thoughts changed. Then I read another book, and I had more new thoughts and more importantly, began to form my own opinions. Over the years, I have discovered favorites - books that I recommend often, but I have come to the conclusion that the best learning experience comes from reading a variety of books on the subject (I suppose this is true for most subjects). It's not that the existing books are weak, or that none quite hit the mark. I have just found that knowledge of a combination of approaches expands the testing mind exponentially over a a knowledge of a single approach.

There are those in the industry, even those who have written books on testing, who say that there are no good books on software testing. I certainly don't agree with this notion, but  I am thinking more and more that if you want to learn more about testing from books that you have to read more than one. I think it's too easy to head in the wrong direction with only one point of view as reference.

I have recently started giving the following advice in my senior tester course at Microsoft.

If you are only going to read one book on software testing...don't bother.

Perhaps I'm just an angry old man, but this makes complete sense to me.

Comments (4)
  1. Peter Ritchie says:

    Good advice.

  2. Mubbashir says:

    I really realistic advice. I just wonder  which books do you refer to read?

    I would love to hear form you as you really have a different opinion then the most(at least to the most people i read 0:-) )

  3. You know what is the saddest part of it: it is when you start reading a lot of testing related books and then you can figure out  that the author hasn’t been in a real project.

  4. Adam Goucher says:

    This seems like a good forum for this rant. As someone who sees one or two testing books a month, one thing I am really coming to dislike is the cultism or bandwagonism in authors. By this I mean certain books you know are going to be worshipping at the alter of Martin Fowler or Rex Black or whomever. Come up with your own takes on ideas folks (not that I’m not guilty of this to some degree in my own writing, but so far, none of it is sitting in a bookstore).

    Oh, and the ‘wrong direction’ is entirely subjective on your context. I’ve a CMMi defender in the past and anti-Agile, but now am pseudo-agile. All based on the experiences and projects I am involved in at the moment.


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