5 Books for QA Engineers

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In the rapidly evolving landscape of software development, Quality Assurance (QA) engineers stand as the vanguards of product excellence. Their meticulous attention to detail and relentless pursuit of perfection play an instrumental role in ensuring that software applications are not just functional, but also reliable, user-friendly, and bug-free. To excel in this dynamic field, QA engineers must continually update their skills, broaden their horizons, and stay abreast of the latest industry trends and methodologies.

One of the most effective ways to achieve this is through reading. Books offer a wealth of knowledge, insights, and best practices distilled from the experiences of seasoned professionals and thought leaders in the QA community.

In this article, we will explore five must-read books for QA engineers. These books cover a range of topics, from fundamental principles and testing techniques to automation, agile methodologies, and quality culture. Each book has been carefully selected for its relevance, depth of content, and potential to empower QA engineers to elevate their craft and make a meaningful impact in their organizations. So, grab a cup of coffee, settle into your favorite reading nook, and let’s explore these invaluable resources that promise to enrich your professional journey in quality assurance.

Books For QA Engineers

1 – Testing Computer Software, by Cem Kaner, Hung Q. Nguyen, Jack Falk

This book is a real classic that should be read by specialists, starting at the junior level. It differs from other books for QA engineers primarily in its attachment to the conditions of the real world, using the example of well-known Silicon Valley development companies

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The authors thoroughly consider a wide range of issues, from the organization of the quality assurance process to the actual testing of documentation, code, projects, etc. If you are new to software testing or have some experience but no formal training, this book will provide you with the right tools to approach software testing and will also give you insights that could take you years to learn on your own.

This book does not discuss the testing techniques used in agile development approaches. Also, it may be difficult to focus on what the writers are attempting to express without being sidetracked or shut down by outmoded examples. But, putting that aside, it’s an excellent book for QA engineers.

2 – Testing Computer Software, by Lee Copeland

One of the greatest books for QA engineers that can be very useful for specialist at various levels. It only covers design of tests and does not consider issues of planning and organization of the testing processes. However, in this book for QA engineers you can find both new methods and in-depth description of already known ones. For example, Testing Computer Software describes sevend approaches to testing using the “black box” method and several “white box” methods. There is nothing superfluous here, only useful and practical examples with tables and diagrams, a clear description of techniques and additional tips. At the end of the book there´s a section with conclusions and list of other author´s works on the topic that can also useful. I recommend it if you want to prepare to obtain a professional certification.

In my opinion, this book gives the best account of pairwise testing that I have found, with or without using orthogonal arrays. Besides being detailed, it includes examples to make it clear. The test coverage that can be achieved with well-chosen pairwise test cases seems too good to be true. According to the author, some tester prudence should be used to supplement the technique if necessary.

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3 – How Google Tests Software, by James Whittaker, Jason Arbon, Jeff Carollo

Oriented more toward senior engineers, this book will show how the best of the best QA specialists conduct their testing. The book gives an overview of the approach Google takes to testing software, followed by chapters dedicated to the two test engineering roles at Google, which are the Software Engineer in Test (SET) and Test Engineer (TE) roles. Throughout the book, there are sections and interviews with many other Google employees, with the final chapter being dedicated to some of the thoughts on the direction of testing at Google.

Note that just because something works well at Google doesn’t necessarily mean that it will work well at some other company making some other type of product. Even Google could have made some different choices for some of their testing solutions and been equally successful.

4 – Lessons Learned in Software Testing, by Cem Kaner, James Bach, Bret Pettichord

This is one of my favorite books for QA engineers. It’s a fabulous collection of tips, hints, and techniques for both the new and the experienced person working in a software test department. It covers obvious areas like testing techniques, automated testing (the material about what automated testing can’t do is very high-grade), documenting testing, and managing a test project.

The book starts with the role of a tester. The next chapter relates to how to think as a tester and provides interesting references in completely different knowledge areas that may help testers improve. Another chapter covers different testing techniques, bugs in the writing, and test automation. There are also chapters that relate to working with others.

5 – Agile Testing: A Practical Guide for Testers and Agile Teams, by Lisa Crispin and Janet Gregory

This book talks about using Agile testing quadrants to figure out what testing is required, who can perform the testing, and what tools can aid in it. Here are some key insights you could learn from this book for QA engineers:

  • How to get testers engaged in agile development
  • Where testers and QA managers fit on an agile team
  • What to look for when hiring an agile tester
  • How to transition from a traditional cycle to agile development
  • How to complete testing activities in short iterations
  • How to use tests to successfully guide development
  • How to overcome barriers to test automation
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The world of Quality Assurance is vast, intricate, and ever-evolving, making continuous learning and self-improvement imperative for QA engineers. The five books for QA engineers highlighted in this article serve as indispensable guides, offering a treasure trove of knowledge, insights, and practical advice to help QA professionals navigate the complexities of their roles with confidence and competence.

From mastering the fundamentals of testing and understanding the nuances of automation to embracing agile methodologies and fostering a culture of quality, these books cover a broad spectrum of topics that are essential for success in today’s competitive landscape. They not only provide valuable technical know-how but also inspire critical thinking, encourage innovation, and promote a proactive approach to quality assurance.

As you embark on your journey to becoming a top-notch QA engineer or strive to take your existing skills to new heights, remember that learning is a lifelong process. Embrace the wisdom contained within these books, apply the principles and techniques they advocate, and never stop seeking opportunities to grow, adapt, and excel in your field.

If you found these books for QA engineers helpful, you can also take a look at this list of tech leadership books or these data science books that will help you increase your knowledge in different areas to grow as a professional.

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