November 30, 2011

Top 5 Books About Testing and Quality Assurance

Just a few books from my bookshelf

A while back, I posted a list of Testing and QA books I have on my bookshelf.

A few folks commented that the list was good, but too long.  They wanted to know a short list of books I would recommend.  It's tough, because there are so many good ones worth reading. But for those who want to start with just a few, here goes. In no particular order:

Lessons Learned in Software Testing by Cem Kaner, James Bach, and Bret Pettichord
In this book, the authors present almost 300 "lessons" covering a wide variety of testing topics that should be of interest to any testing professional. In addition to reading and enjoying it personally, I also use it in group discussions with my test team to help us explore what we do, why we do it, and how we might do it better. copyrightjoestrazzere

How We Test Software at Microsoft by Alan Page, Ken Johnston, and Bj Rollison
This book provides a terrific mix of insight into testing at Microsoft, along with in-depth explanations of practical test processes. While not all of the solutions will apply to everyone (unless you happen to work at a company with over 9,000 testers), everyone will learn something.

Perfect Software: And Other Illusions about Testing by Gerald M. Weinberg
Perfect Software is a high-level look at some of the "big picture questions" about testing, such as: Why do we have to bother testing? Do we have to test everything? What makes testing so hard? Is perfect software possible? Why can't we just accept a few bugs?  
It's a small book (under 200 pages), and a quick read.  
If you are looking for a "how to" book, you should look elsewhere. If you are looking for a "why" (and sometimes "why not") book, this might be for you.

The Art of Software Testing by Glenford J. Myers
This was the first book on software testing I ever read.  Some of it is outdated, but much of it still stands up.  You may find it hard to get hold of a copy at a reasonable price, but if you do - it will be worth a read.

High Performance Web Sites: Essential Knowledge for Front-End Engineers by Steve Souders
In High Performance Web Sites: Essential Knowledge for Front-End Engineers Steve Souders explains that at least 80 percent of the time it takes to display a web page happens after the HTML document has been downloaded, and describes the importance of the techniques in this book.  
The book is a quick read containing some good hints and tips. Many are fairly easily investigated and implemented in most companies.  
Overall, an interesting book, particularly for those tasked with testing websites that could benefit from a performance improvement.

So there you have it.  Have you read any of these? Agree or disagree with the list? Can you recommend a book that should have been here, but isn't?

This article originally appeared in my blog: All Things Quality
My name is Joe Strazzere and I'm currently a Director of Quality Assurance.
I like to lead, to test, and occasionally to write about leading and testing.
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  1. Hey Joe - I have not read the Souders book (perhaps I will though). The others? Oh, yeah. Good stuff.

  2. Thanks, Pete.

    If you are interested in performance, "High Performance Web Sites" is worth reading.

  3. Stian DanielsenDecember 02, 2011

    Hi there Joe, thanks for the post!

    I followed your advice and bought Lessons Learned a while back. Haven't read it all yet, but it's a really good and valuable book that I'll be referring to many times. Thanks for the tip :)

    By the way, The art of Software Testing has a new edition that came out last month - got this one too and have already learned some good stuff from it:

    Have a good one, buddy :)

  4. Thanks, Stian.

    Wow, that's one expensive 3rd Edition!