Books for testers – my recommendations.

Book stairs at palace of culture in SofiaIn Mot Slack channel there is a new club dedicated to bloggers. The idea is to self-motivate for writing blog posts. A theme is selected, and then we prepare some articles on this subject. The first theme is „Tips for testers.”

So why I’ve decided to Write about Books for Testers?

Because my tip is:

Read wide, read often.

To create functional tests, you need to have good ideas. And the more materials you have to use the easier it is to think something new.

Books For Testers

So what should you read?- the list is long. I am going to help you presenting my selection (And few videos) that are worthwhile to read.


Exploratory Software Testing: Tips, Tricks, Tours, and Techniques to Guide Test Design by James Whitaker
James may have changed his view on testing, and thinking it is dead but his book is still excellent entry point for learning about Exploratory Testing.

Software Testing as a Martial Art - book cover
Software Testing as a Martial Art

Software Testing as a Martial Art by David Greenlees – I think it is a good book for beginners. I’ve written more about it in the article here.


Mob Programming Guidebook by Maaret Pyhäjärvi. She has so many useful materials which are worth sharing. And yet I am completely utterly incapable of pronouncing (or even writing ) her name correctly. Fortunately, in case of a blog post, I can proof check if I wrote it correctly 🙂
Back to a topic year ago during Seetest 2017, Maaret introduced me to the concept of Mob Programming. Since then I’ve used this technique a few times, and It is a handy Tool, and Her book Explains well how to use it.

Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship by Robert C. Martin- I’ve have written the review of this book you can read it here.

Both books bellow is an excellent way to learn how to deal with poor code.
Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code by Martin Flower

Working Effectively with Legacy Code by Michael Feathers

Clean Architecture: A Craftsman’s Guide to Software Structure and Design -a good book to start your way into thinking on code from perceptive of architecture. It won’t give you practical tips but it will grant you basic theoretical knowledge needed.  You can read my review here.

C# course on Microsoft Virtual Academy:

A guide to object-oriented practices
C# Fundamentals for absolute beginners


How Google Tests Software – another entry by James Whitaker. There is one thing that reader should be aware reading it in 2018. This book is six years old and going by at least some of the Whittaker blog posts – Google is no longer testing like that. But still, it is an important position to read for people that want to introduce automation to their companies. Mainly, in 2012 Whitaker already foreshadowed changes that are happening in testing right now.

Developer Testing: Building Quality into Software – this book is directed more toward Developers. It gives an invaluable overview of what you can do and how on each level of the testing pyramid.

Automating and Testing a REST API by Alan Richardson- This position could be as well in Testing; Alan is doing an excellent presentation of his test process. This book is more like example testing session than an abstract explanation of the process.

Pluralsight courses

Both courses are little old but still worthwhile.
Automated Testing Framework Selenium

Selenium Course


Even if you are not working in a DevOps environment, You should be aware of it. Cause it is changing how testing is done.

I won’t be original here. Those books are practically DevOps essentials:The The Phoenix Project – A book that introduces DevOps in a very simple way – by telling a story. A story of a project that is in a dire situation and how it was saved. This book is a great story to read, even without its teaching aspects. My review.

Beyond the Phoenix Project – A auxiliary materials to Phonix Project it is a podcast where book authors go in-depth discussion concepts introduced in the book.

The DevOps Handbook – Another book by same authors, this is as the name suggests a handbook. Its goal is to help you to get into DevOps providing the necessary information. I personally prefer Phoneix Project, but this book is also useful in the form of manual, ergo not from reading from cover to cover but only the chapters that you need right now. This is the reason I would recommend it in „written form”.

Accelerate – As Phoenix is an introduction, the handbook is manual a and the accelerate is the science behind it all. This is a book for people like me, sceptics that need proof that something works, an analysis backed up with data. My review.

A Practical Guide to Testing in DevOps – I think the title says it all. I read it two years ago when I haven’t yet great understanding of DevOps, and even then it was an important book for me. Today while I am rereading it after finishing above books. I am starting to think this book may be as important for Testers in DevOps Era as Agile Testing was for Testers in Agile Era.

Soft Skills:

Brief: Make a Bigger Impact by Saying Less – by Joseph McCormack. is a delightful book about how to Present and share information briefly and concisely. We testers have to communicate and expelling things, so we need to know how to do it well. I have only two issues with the book: Author is speaking a lot about the concepts but not enough how to implement them. It is enhanced by another problem. It feels like the author is spending too much time promoting his consulting and his courses. But despite this two flows I am rereading this book every 2-3 years.

Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus: The Classic Guide to Understanding the Opposite Sex By John Gray.
Ok, what the hell is a book about man and women relationships doing on the list of books for materials for self-development? Because we work in diverse environments. And as much as we like to say we are the same, we are not there are differences some cultural some biological. And we need to have at least basic understanding of them. That why lots of companies have the cultural training to help you learn how to work with people from different parts of the world. This book will help you to improve your ability to work in that environment. And I am not saying only with opposite gender, but also same gender. Hell, it helped me understand sources of few of my behaviours.

Harry Potter and methods of Rationality by Eliezer Yudkowsky- I know what you are thinking “Ok You were able to explain Venus and Mars. But there is no way for you to justify Harry Potter fanfic on this list!” Well, kid strap on cause you are going for a Ride.
Eliezer Yudkowski is scientists who among other thing is promoting Rationality. This Fanfic (which has more pages then first four tomes of Harry Potter) is a part of that project. Marek Puchalski gave the best explanation of this book – “This is one of the rare Books that actually will teach you how to think” and I whole hardly agree. Eliezer did Create the balance between comedy, drama, and education.

Especially Education. For example, all scientific terms and research quoted by the characters are accurate.

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
I had dilemma should I put this book in Soft skill all testing skill? It is the massive book about psychology how our mind works, why is taking shortcuts and how to be at least conscious of them.
It helps with thinking about what to test.
For me this book had one strong side effect on me: It made me convinced that one day AI will replace us. Since we are biological machines with software that is hackable.

Career Growth

standout book cover

Standout by Ben Kelly – Guide explaining how to plan your career future and how to properly “sell ourselves ” on interviews. Mostly useful for beginners.

Promote Yourself: The New Rules for Career Success by Dan Schawbel – I am still reading this position I will write a review when I am done, but for now, I see enough useful tips to recommend it

That is all!

There is old saying who is standing still is moving backwards. We all need to improve to stay relevant. Read often read wide, and also don’t forget to read stuff you don’t agree with. (And then try to explain why you don’t agree)

And What do you think what books would you recommend to me and other testers?

Also If you want to read more test inspiration, you can check more my articles here.

Disclaimer I have taken this moment this article an opportunity to try Amazon Affiliate program. So if you buy using the links to Amazon, I will probably get some money.  


I have disabled the affiliate program. Links still have referrals but I am am no longer part of the program.

Edit 09-III-2019

I have added an updated list with Clean Architecture.
Edit  11-XI-2019
I’ve added DevOps Section.

Ten post ma 2 komentarzy

  1. Mike

    One I’ve been reading for a bit of fun is Humans v Computers.
    It’s not a technical manual or anything, but a collection of fun stories where computational logic and human creativity have a head on crash and we all learn a thing or two.

    Good fun easy read, but I think it’s a worthwhile read for someone getting into testing as it highlights how things don’t always go as planned

    1. admin

      I’ve read this one too! I love all Goiko books.
      I will admit I forgot about this book while I was preparing the list otherwise it would be there!

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