What non testing book are you reading (or have read) that influence your testing?

It’s interesting to see what inspires us as testers, in this case, books. So what non-testing books are you reading that influence your testing?

Here are some of the answers so far:

From LinkedIn
“The Book of Why: The New Science of Cause and Effect” - Pieter Withaar

“Really enjoyed reading ‘Blood, Sweat, and Pixels’ by Jason Schrier, a lot interesting production and development lessons from various levels and I worked on one of the games covered.” - Kevin Smale

A few that come immediately to mind as influencing my thoughts and practices: “Overcomplicated”, “The Landscape of History”, “The Glass Cage”, “Surpassing Wonder”, “The Half-Life of Facts”, “Lost in Math”, “Houston, We Have a Narrative”, “The Logic of Failure”, “Antifragile”, “The Most Human Human”. “The Shape of Inner Space”, “The Death of Expertise”, “Finding God in the Waves”, “But What If We’re Wrong”, “Thinking, Fast and Slow”, “Black Box Thinking”, “Ubiquity”. - Jeff Nyman

" I highly recommend The Age of Surge by Brad Murphy. This taught me some very valuable insight about how code isn’t the only thing we need to know how to measure and test properly." - Sean Davis

“Black box thinking by Matthew Syed” Oleg Pantsjoha

“The Black Swan (Taleb’s), An Introduction to General Systems Thinking (Jerry Weinberg), and How to Lie with Statistics (Darrel Huff).” - João Farias

““Checklist Manifesto” by Atul Gawande.” - Linda Paustian

“The Courage to Lead by Brian Stanfield remains one I go back to over and over again. Asking how comprehensive is your model? How do I create structure and processes that allow and encourage people to express their care for quality across the organization? Etc” - Nate Custer

" “The Lean Startup” by Eric Ries changed my thinking around quality" - Ryan Quellhorst

“Writing Solid Code by Steve McGuire. When I started out testing it was from a business usage position. Then when I started working more closely with developers, I felt the need to understand what good coding practice was like. At the time, Microsoft Visual Basic was on the rise, and this book described how to write code to meet business processes. There’s probably newer books to explain newer methods. I’d be interested to see what others used to get their testing head in the developers game.” - Iain Macmillan

“Forensics and Criminology” - Gemma P

“Accelerate: The Science of Lean Software and DevOps.” - Julio Eliseo Valls Martinez

So what are your books?

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The entire Perry Mason series by Erle Stanley Gardner has kept this testing brain exercised!


A Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi
A Time of Gifts, Between the Woods and the Water, The Broken Road, all by Patrick Leigh Fermor
The Culture novels of Iain M. Banks

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I’ve not read any of the series, although I do enjoy a good detective novel/murder mystery!

I find them to be exactly that! What I also enjoy is Mason’s style of pointed questions, reflection on challenges, and passion to get at the truth. It reminds me of what I might do to find bugs!


Blood Music by Greg Bear - One line in there about failures being sacred.

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I’ve been dipping into a book called “Zen Guitar” by Philip Toshido Sudo which belongs to the dev who sits next to me at work, a lot of the advice in there about how to approach practising and playing guitar is just as applicable to coding and testing.


The Art of war (Sun Tzu)- It’s a great tatical book and strategic book.

The Prince ( Niccolò Machiavelli) - Just a great book on people and behaviour

Influence (Robert Cialdini) - same as the above


Thanks. I’m going to look that book up

It might be childish but Agatha Christie’s books. You fall in love with playing detective and then you gravitate towards being a modern detective - a QA.


As a well known online retailer might say, if you like The Art of War, you might like one of my favourites, Miyamoto Musashi’s A Book of Five Rings - it has a similar theme of strategy and tactics, but on a more personal level.

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I think there’s a deeper truth behind Saša’s post. Enjoying any sort of story with a ‘puzzle’ in it - a detective story, a mystery, or some of the older sorts of science fiction - stories where the focus is “why does this species behave this way?”, “how do we survive on this planet?” or “how do we get ourselves out of this situation?” and where the solutions depend on the accurate application of rational thinking within a framework of defined physical laws - is perhaps an indicator of the sort of mindset that indicates someone who will be an effective tester.

Yeaaah, what he said. Probably… I don’t know I am too shallow for this but it seems accurate enough.

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig I found very interesting before testing but after audit. Its a quest for quality which resonated with me and a part about a mechanic conducting a scientific experiment by pressing the horn to test a hypothesis of a flat battery (or something close its been a long time) really stuck with me. I think deep down its why when I test a new form the first thing I do is submit, if active, to see what happens. Shhh, the relationship of those things works in my head :slight_smile:

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I should add that Hello World: How to be Human in the Age of the Machine by Hannah Fry is awesome. It walks a fine line between technicality and humanity, and gives a balanced view on the pedestal we’ve put AI/Machine Learning on, and its human-based flaws as well as the super amazing things we can do with it. I can’t recommend it enough.

Thank you I will add it my list of books I will read.