This came out of a conversation I had today with a few other test leads. the question was, “What are the top 5 books you should read if you want my job?” My job in this case being that of a test development lead. At Microsoft that means I lead a team (or teams) of people whose job it is to write software which automatically tests the product.
- Behind Closed Doors by Johanna Rothman – One of the best books on practical management that I’ve run across. 1:1’s, managing by walking around, etc.
- The Practice of Programming by Kernighan and Pike– Similar to Code Complete but a lot more succinct. How to be a good developer. Even if you don’t develop, you have to help your team do so.
- Design Patterns by Gamma et al – Understand how to construct well factored software.
- How to Break Software by James Whittaker – The best practical guide to software testing. No egg headed notions here. Only ideas that work. I’ve heard that How We Test Software at Microsoft is a good alternative but I haven’t read it yet.
- Smart, and Gets Things Done by Joel Spolsky – How great developers think and how to recruit them. Get and retain a great team.
This is not an exhaustive list. There is a lot more to learn than what is represented in these books, but these will touch on the essentials. If you have additional suggestions, please leave them in the comments.