Favorite reads so far – edition 1

Hi all,

I came up with the idea to list my books which help me to grow in my job as a passionate tester. I hope I can inspire you to also have a look in at least one of them ;-)!

So here they are:

section 1: basics in software testing:

Book 1:

Basiswissen Softwaretest: Aus- und Weiterbildung zum Certified Tester – Foundation Level nach ISTQB-Standard (A. Spillner, T. Linz)

This was a book I read to prepare me for the exam to take ‚ISTQB Certified Tester foundation level‘. It conains description’s and general knowledge about the big topic ’software testing‘. And for exactly this information it’s still an interessting book. Examples: Which kind of test types are out there? What is regression testing? What is test management? And so on…

Today I keep this book as a reference book – only for a ‚keyword search book‘ in software testing like ‚Regression testing‘, Sanity Check‘, ‚Test script‘, ‚Test Plan‘, etc…. That’s all and that’s for this reason good enough.

The question is: Why should people who decide to start a carrer in ’software testing‘ take a ‚Testing Certification like ‚ISTQB Certified Tester‘? I can not answer this question. But in general I must say: The exam of the ‚ISTQB Certified Tester‘ exam contains only multiple choice questions. And this is s. th. everone can answer with some learning e. g. with this book. But doe’s that help you or your company to become or get a good tester? I don’t know. ISTQB doesn’t provide good testers directly after they pass their exam! Good testers are good because they doing good jobs! And this is not a mutliple choice test….

I recommend allways to concider also the following for your decission: The people behind the ‚ISTQB Certifcation for software testing‘  (http://www.istqb.org/) and it’s country specific boards (departemends which support the ISTQB) like the German Testing boards ( http://www.german-testing-board.info/) for is a ‚factory school of testing‘ (What is this? See e. g. Bret Petticord’s presentation about the 4 schools of testing (4 schools of testing). So what does that mean in general to ‚join‘ a school? Joining a school will educate (or at least influence) you as a student with the people’s beliefs behind that shool! And of course: They want your money (or the money of your company) that you can to take the exam!

All in all I must say the book’s content is good enough to start diving into software testing – scratching on the water surface of this business! But what about the daily business aspect on a software tester’s job? No chance! Unfortunately (I think not only my opition): It doesn’t fit in today’s world of software testing. But of course – it depend’s.

But sometimes I wonder me for example about: Who defines what a ‚regression test‘ is? The ISTQB people? I think modern testing can neighter be putted in one drawer nor any people have the right to do defiitions about ‚What the testing is and how it should be done’…..Because in my opinion this is simple not possible (in a daily business).

book 2:

Lessons learned in software testing – a context driven approach (Caner, Bach, Pettichord)

After one or two year’s in my job as a software tester I had the feeling and need to find out different way’s and sources about how doing a better testing job. Through recommondations from other software testing bloggs and inspired by the ‚context driven community‘ (http://context-driven-testing.com/)  I found this book.

Until know I won’t be sorry that I bought it. The book contains so called lessons which describe realy important knowledge a tester, automation engineer and also a test manager must have in his daily business! And this makes the difference to the first book I showed above.

This book is lying on my desc at my workplace. It’s s. th. like the ‚bible of software testing‘ for me! It’s a very valuable book about software testing. Why is is so valueable? The autors of this book have worked themselves long times as software testers and so they write realy ‚from testers for testers‘.

For me every lesson is it worth to read it again and again! And every time I do reading a lesson, it motivates me again and again! By the way it can also be choosen as a good reference book for software testing aspects.

I guess: When you like the dogmas of the context driven testing school (http://context-driven-testing.com/) you will also like this book.

section 2: further topics which I find are helpfull in software testing:

book 3:

The invisible Gorilla (Chabris, Simons)

During an internal training on the job I visited (it was comprehension course of a ‚Rapid Software Testing Course‘ (see here: RST) ‚The monkey business illusion‘ was one small funny topic we had discussed there. If you don’t know it, check here – realy amazing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGQmdoK_ZfY

The autors of the book ‚The invisible Gorrila‘ are the same which produced the video above. And I was motivated enough to read their book.

The invisible Gorilla (http://www.theinvisiblegorilla.com/ ) is a nice book which show’s aspects of people’s thinking and their failures they do when their brain deceives them. I think: Reading this book will sharpen your sences you need for doing a better software testing job. What I mean is this questioning a tester has to do in his job. Examples: Is this a bug? Realy? What when looking here? And so on and so on. This book helped me to build knowlege about ascing better questions and looking more at the right things at the System unter Test that are needet. A realy interessing and funny book to read.

books 4 and 5:

Die Kunst des klaren Denkens


Die Kunst des klugen Handelns 

are two books written by Rolf Dobelly (http://www.dobelli.com/?lang=de). I can also recommend here to read them to build knowledge about ‚how people think‘ and ‚which kind of failures they do‘ and of course: how to avaid them. It’s easy to read and therefore not only for e. g. managers. Both books screen these aspects. I think both books are also availlable in English.

These books helps me in my carreer as a software tester to build knowledge about ‚how people‘ act and think – a very important aspect, because software testers have to serve many clients in the job!

book 6:

Schnelles Denken, Langsames Denken (D. Kahnemann)

At the moment I’m reading a further book (German title: Schnelles Denken, Langsames Denken by Daniel Kahnemann). This book is about how humen beings think and the pychologie behind that. Why was it importent to me to start reading it? Because I think, psychologie has allways (or sometimes) something to do with testing, doesn’t it?

This book is interessing to learn how people think and make decissions. Daniel Kahnemann wrote down here some of his experiments and the results he did as a psychologist. He writes about two systems every humen beeing has (system 1: fast thinking) and system 2: slow thinking). As a bestseller this book is allways availlable in englisch (Title: Thinking fast and slow).

What are your feedbacks about these books? What books can you recomment? And which might be interessting for testers (test engineers, test automation engineers)?


Published by:


Hi folks! My name is Ralf and I'm living in Germany. I'm a software tester. And I'm doing this job by passion. My ultimate ambition is always to find bugs in software. And there are so many ways to do that... In my opinion, testing is more then checking, if an exepected result will come true when the necessary premisses exists... Testing has always something to do with: exploring the SUT, usability, requirements, asking the right questions, asking them to the right people, metrics, models, your own mind, and, and, and... So testing has his own spirit. If you like to know more, I'd like to invite you to follow my blog: thespiritoftesting.wordpress.com KR, Ralf

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