December 12, 2011

Book: Lessons Learned in Software Testing

Lessons Learned in Software Testing
by Cem Kaner, James Bach and Bret Pettichord

I'm often asked to recommend a good book about software testing. Sometimes I'm even asked what I think is the best book about software testing. I usually hesitate to ever say "best", since I believe the best for me may not necessarily be the best for you. But if I had to pick just one book that I think would prove to be the most valuable across the widest range of readers, it would be Lessons Learned in Software Testing by Cem Kaner, James Bach, and Bret Pettichord.

Lessons Learned is a terrific compilation of 293 "lessons" - short, real-world, easily-readable treatments of a range of topics relevant to new and seasoned testers, developers, managers, and executives. These lessons, culled from the experiences of the authors, are arranged in chapters addressing everyday topics you might face: copyrightjoestrazzere
  • The Role of the Tester
  • Thinking Like a Tester
  • Testing Techniques
  • Bug Advocacy
  • Automating Testing
  • Documenting Testing
  • Interacting with Programmers
  • Managing the Testing Project
  • Managing the Testing Group
  • Your Career in Software Testing
  • Planning the Testing Strategy

Of all the testing books I have on my bookshelf, this is the one I find myself coming back to time after time.

I've even gone as far as purchasing a copy of this book for each member of my Test Team, and using it in group discussions. We find ourselves disagreeing about some of the points made in the book (as you will too), but we have found that virtually all of the lessons lead to a lively discussion about software, testing, and our profession. Books that are this thought-provoking are rare.

I'm convinced that every software tester who reads this book will find at least a few gems that are particularly relevant for their individual situation. And I believe that most folks will find most of the book extremely valuable.

If you get a chance to read Lessons Learned in Software Testing, do so, then let me know what you think.  And if you've already read it, do you agree with my assessment?

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. Joe,

    Your review is spot on. I'm a testing-book junkie, but this is the one I keep rereading.

    Plus, the first lesson: "You are the headlights of the project" is nothing short of inspirational.


  2. Thanks for the comment, Iain!

  3. Hi Joe,

    Loved this book. Learn something everytime I read this book. A timeless classic!!!

  4. Joe,

    What reading material would you recommend as a step-by-step introduction including tools? I just cleared the CTFL and would like to "get my hands dirty" with the theory I learned thus far.