One of the great things about working at Relativity is the investment they put towards continual training. Every year we are given a budget of $3000 to use for training. People tend to use this budget to go to a conference, like Microsoft’s Build conference. This year, instead of going to a conference, I decided to start my library of software testing related literature.

One of the things that I have been trying to focus on is to expand my general software development knowledge. I wanted to learn as much as I could, such that when it came time at work to make a decision on how to implement something, I could make the most informed decision possible. What better way than to learn from those that have spent their entire careers building up that knowledge and are willing to share.

So far, I’ve read a few “staple” books that everyone recommends, The Pragmatic Programmer, Clean Code, and a few others. All material on how to become a better developer. Not just how to develop code, but how to develop good habits in order to develop good code. While I certainly learned a lot from those books, and definitely think that every engineer should read these books, I hadn’t read any material specific to testing software. Being a Software Test Engineer, I found that to be a little backwards. I then set out to the internet to do the simplest Google search that I could; “What are the best books on software testing.” Took the list and started to read reviews.

Here is the list that I came up with:

  1. How We Test Software at Microsoft

  2. How Google Tests Software

  3. A Practitioner’s Guide to Software Test Design

  4. Specification by Example: How Successful Teams Deliver the Right Software

  5. Lessons Learned in Software Testing: A Context-Driven Approach

  6. Thinking, Fast and Slow

  7. Continuous Delivery: Reliable Software Releases through Build, Test, and Deployment Automation

  8. Continuous Integration: Improving Software Quality and Reducing Risk

  9. More Agile Testing: Learning Journeys for the Whole Team

  10. Perfect Software: And Other Illusions about Testing

  11. Testing Computer Software, 2nd Edition

  12. Beautiful Testing: Leading Professionals Reveal How They Improve Software (Theory in Practice)

  13. Software Testing: A Craftsman’s Approach, Fourth Edition

  14. Explore It!: Reduce Risk and Increase Confidence with Exploratory Testing

I put How We Test Software at Microsoft and How Google Tests Software on the top of my list for a couple of reasons.

First, in my career, I have only worked for one company. This means that I have only had insight into how one Engineering department approaches testing. I wanted to understand how the largest names in the software industry have approached testing. I will be making a post in the future to go into more specifics and details on these two books.

Second, I have been having a bit of an identity crisis as of late in current role. I have the official title of Software Engineer in Test, but I have been doing a lot of development work and manual QA work, but not a lot of work that I actually feel Software Test Engineers should be doing. In these two books, they talk about the different positions that they have and the different duties that each of them perform. It was really interesting to see how other companies view Software Test Engineers.

Last, Google and Microsoft haven’t built up their companies and engineering departments by doing things wrong. They have to be doing something right. Learning from how they operate and how they approach testing.

If any of you readers have suggestions for books you think that I missed or that you want to get reviews on, please post in the comments and I can look into getting them on my list!

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