software testing books

Top Software Testing Books Every Tester Should Read

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Software testing, like any other field, requires constant learning and keeping up with the changing trends and events taking place in the testing world. One way to keep abreast of these trends is to read software testing books.

In this modern era, several learning resources are available online, making it convenient for individuals to learn and gain mastery in a specific field. Online courses, YouTube videos, blogs, articles, podcasts, etc., are available in plenty. Though these resources are just a few clicks away, you may indeed need a hard copy to learn and revise concepts. Hence, books are a great place to start learning with. 

This article has compiled a list of the top 10 software testing books every tester should read. These books are recommended for both freshers and experienced software testing professionals. 

So, let’s explore!

10 Best Software Testing Books for Beginners and Professionals

The following list of books helps individuals learn different software testing concepts, gain hands-on experience, and prepare for software testing certification. 

1. Foundations of Software Testing ISTQB Certification (4th Edition)

Testing books - Foundations of Software Testing ISTQB Certification

This book is an essential guide to software testing and the ISTQB certification exam. This book is structured with the ISTQB foundation-level course. The latest edition of the book, the 4th edition, is completely revised in accordance with the changes to the 2018 ISTQB Foundation Syllabus. 

The book takes a practical, hands-on approach, allowing you to gain in-depth knowledge of software testing fundamentals. At the end of each chapter, you will find sample questions to help you implement the knowledge you gain while reading the chapter. 

Dorothy Graham, Rex Black, and Erik van Veenendaal are the authors of the book, who themselves are the creators of the ISTQB syllabus. 

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2. Software Testing Practice: Test Management: A Study Guide for the Certified Tester Exam ISTQB Advanced Level (1st Edition)

Software Testing Practice – Test Management – A Study Guide for the Certified Tester Exam ISTQB Advanced Level

Intended for experienced software testers, this book covers all significant issues professional testers encounter with state-of-art test management. It is particularly useful for test managers or someone who wants to move up the ladder and become a test manager. This book is a definitive guide if you aim to clear the ISTQB’s advanced-level Certified Tester Examination. 

Besides test managers, software developers, project managers, team leaders, and quality managers can benefit from this book, as it thoroughly covers the risk-oriented test management approach. 

The book highlights best practices in the software testing landscape and provides in-depth insights into tasks, roles, and responsibilities. In addition, it covers many concepts, including the test process, test tools, software testing life cycle (STLC), test policy, test planning, incident management, risk management, and risk-based testing. 

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3. Lessons Learned in Software Testing: A Context-Driven Approach (1st Edition)

Lessons Learned in Software Testing: A Context-Driven Approach

This book is a collection of decades of software testing experiences from authors. The authors, Cem Kaner, James Bach, and Bret Pettichord, are industry-leading software testers and penned their wisdom and years of experience in this book. 

As the name suggests, the book is based on the ‘context-driven approach’ to testing, a testing approach popularized by James Bach. The whole book is in the form of lessons containing the usual pitfalls to avoid during testing. In addition, it contains tips and tricks to employ while testing different types of projects.

Moreover, the book helps you absorb the knowledge required to accelerate the critical phases of the software development life cycle by eliminating extensive trial and error. You can find 200 lessons describing various concepts, including test design, test management, test strategies, and bug reporting.

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4. Exploratory Software Testing: Tips, Tricks, Tours, And Techniques To Guide Test Design (1st Edition)

Exploratory Software Testing: Tips, Tricks, Tours, And Techniques To Guide Test Design

Penned by a software testing expert, James Whittaker, this book explores the real causes of serious and hidden software bugs. It introduces you to exploratory testing, a type of testing in which no test cases are created in advance. It helps you detect and fix bugs in software products. 

You can also learn about innovative, repeatable, highly effective manual testing processes. The author has explained a hybrid strategy to inject exploratory testing into traditional scripted testing. 

Furthermore, the book covers cutting-edge, robust techniques used by professional testers to ship software, in addition to their experiences with these techniques and the obtained results. It is an ideal exploratory testing guide for testers, QA specialists, developers, program managers, and architects. 

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5. The Art of Software Testing (3rd Edition)

Software Testing: Principles and Practices

The Art of Software Testing is a perfect guide for individuals if their software development is pretty critical. The book provides a comprehensive description of time-proven software testing strategies.  

Glenford J. Myers, Corey Sandler, and Tom Badgett are the authors of this book. They have taken a straightforward and easy-to-digest approach to explain the application of software testing strategies and principles to today’s modern topics, such as

  • Collaborative programming and testing. 
  • Testing of iPhones, iPads, Android devices, and other mobile phones. 
  • Testing of internet applications. 

The book is ideal for both students wishing to hone their testing expertise and an IT manager who supervises the development team. 

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6. Software Testing: A Craftsman’s Approach (4th Edition)

Software Testing: A Craftsman's Approach 4th edition

Software Testing: A Craftsman’s Approach by Paul C. Jorgensen covers model-based testing for both white-box or structural and black-box or specification-based test design techniques

The fourth edition is completely revised, and it applies the mathematics content to its previous editions, explaining white-box and black-box testing. Also, it introduces readers to an innovative approach that combines the Swim Lane concept from the Unified Modeling Language (UML) with Event-Driven Petri Nets from the previous editions. This approach enables model-based testing. 

Furthermore, the book explains model-based development and conducting testing in model-based development environments. It also covers topics like testing in an Agile environment, test-driven development, all-pairs testing, and the four contexts of software testing. 

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7. A Practitioner’s Guide to Software Test Design (Illustrated Edition)

A Practitioner’s Guide to Software Test Design

A Practitioner’s Guide to Software Test Design By Lee Copeland covers the different types of testing and test design techniques. Its numerous case studies and real-life examples will help you understand the different intricacies of testing with a practical approach. It is a useful handbook for developers, QA professionals, test engineers, and requirements and system analysts. 

The book helps you make a decision about the best test case design, detect defects within less time and with fewer resources, and create optimal strategies to reduce the likelihood of errors. It equips you with the knowledge required to estimate the cost, time, and effort for good and effective testing. 

If you are a software testing professional looking to hone your skills or a college-going individual wishing to step into the software testing field, this book is an excellent resource. It covers various traditional techniques, including decision tables, state transition diagrams, equivalence partitioning, boundary value analysis, and new techniques, such as pairwise, exploratory, and use case testing. 

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8. How to Break Web Software: Functional and Security Testing of Web Applications and Web Services (1st Edition)

How to Break Web Software: Functional and Security Testing of Web Applications and Web Services

This book is particularly dedicated to the security testing of any web-based software.  Mike Andrews and James A. Whittaker have addressed different types of web software vulnerabilities while helping you master multiple security testing tools and techniques. 

With their wisdom and years of experience, they have revealed the areas to look for potential threats, ways of rigorously testing them, and mitigating the identified risks. 

The book is a comprehensive guide to security testing and covers the following: 

  • Client vulnerabilities
  • State-based attacks
  • Attacks on user-provided inputs
  • Language and technology-based attacks
  • Server attacks
  • Web services attacks
  • Cryptography and privacy

If you are a developer, QA specialist, tester, or IT manager, it is a must-read book. 

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9. Agile Testing: A Practical Guide for Testers and Agile Teams (1st Edition)

Agile Testing: A Practical Guide for Testers and Agile Teams

Lisa Crispin and Janet Gregory penned this book, who are industry-recognized, highly experienced agile testing practitioners and consultants. They have introduced readers to agile testing and the role of testers in it with real-world examples from agile teams. In addition, they educate you on how to leverage agile testing quadrants for identifying the type of testing, who should do it, and what tools can be helpful. 

Further, the book highlights how testers consider agile software development iteration. Finally, it covers the seven critical factors for successful agile testing.  

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10. Buddha in Testing: Finding Peace in Chaos

Buddha in Testing: Finding Peace in Chaos

It is a book by Pradeep Soundarajan, suited for both beginners as well as experienced QA professionals. This book will help you with answers to the different challenges faced during testing. Through this book, the author has compiled his thoughts and perspective on the testing process that will help readers advance in their careers.

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This completes our list of top software testing books for beginners and experienced professionals. We recommend you read at least two to three books from the above list to dive deep into the ocean of the vast software testing landscape. Well, the above list is not exhaustive. But, the books mentioned are great resources and definitive guides for entry-level and experienced testers and QA professionals. 

If you feel we have missed any popular software testing book, please let us know in the comments section.

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