What 3 testing books would you recommend to a tester?

We asked on Twitter “What 3 testing books would you recommend to a tester?” Here are some of the replies - maybe a few to add to your reading list?

  • The Testability Book by Ash Winter and Rob Meaney is shaping up very nicely!
  • The Phoenix Project
  • Agile Testing - Lisa Crispin/Janet Gregory
  • Explore It! - Elisabeth Hendrickson
  • Perfect Software, And Other Illusions about Testing - Jerry Weinberg
  • “Designing Delivery” by Jeff Sussna.
  • Thinking, Fast and Slow
  • 50 Quick Ideas to Improve Your Tests
  • Writing Great Specifications: Using Specification By Example and Gherkin
  • How Google Tests Software
  • Antifragile by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  • Test Design by Dr Cem Kaner
  • Dear Evil Tester
  • Lessons Learned in Software Testing
  • More agile testing by Lisa Crispin & Janet Gregory
  • A Practical Guide to Testing in DevOps by Katrina Clokie
  • Art of Deception
  • Art of Intrusion
  • Ghost in the Wires
  • “Ignorance: How it drives science” by Stuart Firestein
  • “Lateral Thinking” by Edward De Bono
  • “Influence: The psychology of persuasion” by Robert Cialdini
  • Perfect Software - And Other Illusions About Testing
  • How to test by Mike Talks
  • Thinking in Systems - a primer (meadows)
  • “The Invisible Gorilla” by Christopher Chabris/Daniel Simons
  • “The Design of Everyday Things” by Donald A. Norman
  • “How to Read a Book” by Mortimer Adler
  • “Perfect Software: and other illusions about Testing” by Gerald Weinberg
  • An Introduction to General Systems Thinking, Gerald M.Weinberg
  • Exploratory Software Testing, James A. Whittaker
  • Lessons Learned in Software Testing: A Context-Driven Approach, Bret Pettichord, Cem Kaner, James bach
  • Pragmatic Software Testing: Becoming an Effective and Efficient Test Professional
  • Don’t Make Me Think
  • “Hands-On Mobile App Testing” by Daniel Knott
  • Beautiful Testing
  • Pragmatic programmer by Andrew Hunt and David Thomas.
  • “A practitioner’s guide to software test design” by Lee Copeland
  • Thank you for arguing
  • Patterns of enterprise application architecture
  • Agile testing a practical guide for testers and agile teams

Have you any more to add to the list?


Evil by Design https://evilbydesign.info/

The Efficiency-Thoroughness Trade-Off recommended to me by @ns1


The following 2 books are on my wishlist:

  • Exploratory Software Testing, James A. Whittaker
  • Lessons Learned in Software Testing: A Context-Driven Approach, Bret Pettichord, Cem Kaner, James Bach

I’d also suggest these 2 to add to the main list:

  • Mind Map Mastery: The Complete Guide to Learning and Using the Most Powerful Thinking Tony Buzan
  • Thinkertoys: A Handbook of Creative-Thinking Techniques Michael Michalko

So @danashby put together an awesome Trello board packed with books and resources to checkout. I’ve shared the link below:



Thanks for sharing the link @mwinteringham!

@ Everyone Else - If you sign up to the trello board, please also feel free to add your own book recommendations for everyone else too! :slight_smile:


It’s nice to see a list of recommended books but It would be even better to hear why people are recommending specific books and what value it brought to them in practice. As a relatively new tester, there is a wealth of information out there and I just don’t know what to focus on.


Hello @pwong!

Good question! The answers may be as diverse as the list. People new to testing may benefit from books by other testers (e.g., authors such as Crispin, Kaner, Hendrickson, et al). People who have been in testing for a while may venture into books that focus on the experience of testing (e.g., authors such as Chabris/Simons, Weinberg, Kahneman, et al).

Perhaps you might choose one or two from this spectrum to determine what else you want to read; perhaps you may see yourself in at a certain point in your career and make a selection. Regardless of how you choose, I encourage you to take a reading journey!



For me, I found The Efficiency-Thoroughness Trade-Off to be really useful in giving a mindset of how deep to test and how to define “enough”.

Evil by Design really helped me to advocate for users. E.g. is a customer likely to return to our site if they feel that they have been tricked into spending money or giving personal details? Probably not


Thanks @heather_reid the moderator, that’s two on my list I can initially look into and focus on. Looked on goodreads and The Efficiency-Thoroughness Trade-Off is only 150 pages which is nice and short. I will definitely get back to you if I put any of that into practice. Defining ‘enough’ is definitely important to save time in testing.


I recommended the Lessons Learned in Software Testing: A Context-Driven Approach (Bret Pettichord, Cem Kaner, James Bach) book for the reasons below:

  • It is written for folks who have been in software testing for a while, which is the case with me
  • There is little hand-holding, i.e. the book is low on fluff, it’s about as terse a book as you can read, but in a good way, i.e. it is all the more readable and powerful because of it
  • It is written by authors who are vastly experienced in software testing and it is literally the collected wisdom of their experiences
  • It has a wide spread of knowledge, not specific to any one aspect of software testing, so it’ll give me ideas on stuff that despite me being in software testing for a while I may not have come across so much, e.g. test strategy and growing the team
1 Like

I found this one the best for beginners.

The Little Black Book on Test design - Rikard Edgren

this book is short and condensed insights on Test design.


Harry Collins - Tacit and explicit knowledge
Erin Meyer - The culture map
Donald Reinertsen - Product Development Flow


“Leading Quality: How Great Leaders Deliver High-Quality Software and Accelerate Growth”
by Ronald Cummings-John and Owais Peer
I feel like this is a book that everybody in the software industry should read at some point in their career