If you were to survey the bookshelves of software testers around the globe, you’d likely see all kinds of QA-related manuals, tutorials, and dictionaries.

But here’s the thing.

No two bookshelves will ever be exactly the same. After all, each one of us has different tastes and needs. Plus, there’s a lot of turnover since resources become obsolete and need to be replaced.

But as you survey shelf after shelf, there are certain books that will likely crop up repeatedly. That’s because despite the speed with which new best practices, methodologies, and even programming languages evolve, some principles remain unchanged. And if you entered the world of software testing at any time in the last 20 years, there’s a good chance you have at least one of the books down below:

That these authors all eventually became gurus in the software testing community is no accident. They were able to distill complex subjects into digestible ideas. And they did it so well that these books still live on as “go-to” references to this day.

But even though these books truly are evergreen, they don’t provide a complete picture of the challenges that software testing newbies might face today. Even if the core testing principles are eternal, the educational requirements and job market continue to evolve at such a rapid pace. Moreover, these tomes are hefty, making for very “heavy reading” for those just starting out.

So we wanted to draft up a slightly different list – one that would be far more accessible for novices who are coming to the field today, with no prior knowledge and no time/will to learn testing before they start working.
Not that we would recommend this is the best way to go about your testing career (or any career), but sometimes there’s no other way. You need to jump to the water and then learn to swim. We’ll try to help you not to drown :-)

Of course this isn’t a replacement list. After a while in the field, you should get back to these books and actually read them. That’s important.

Also, we realize that in just a few years, some or all of the following titles will be outdated. And we’ll need to select other, newer books to help orient those who are just starting out in 2020, 2025, and beyond.

But for now, the titles below are highly relevant for our purpose here. And equally important, they’re very accessible – and especially for you, the total newbie.

Software Testing Books for The Lazy Newbie

Here’s an unordered list of books every aspiring tester should add to his or her shelf. We’re talking here about those who want to try a quick-and-dirty start, without a long studying journey. Those who need to start testing, and then learn all about it…

Recommendation #1
You need a job to gain experience. And you need experience to land a job. Problem.
You could fake it till you make it. But a better approach is to simply not be caught off guard during the job interview. And for this, we recommend reading Software Testing Interview Questions You’ll Most Likely Be Asked by Vibrant Publishers (2017).

Recommendation #2
Not sure how to build your testing career? Not sure if software testing is the right field for you? There’s no need to learn it for years. Instead, learn from the experiences of others by reading Software Testing Career Package by Vijay Shinde and Debasis Pradhan (2013).

Recommendation #3
OK, you’ve passed the interview (and still not sure how you made it…) and you planned your next career moves. Now, you actually need to do some work and test. So, if you’re ready to delve a tiny bit deeper into more advanced topics, and understand what do you need to know in order to perform your job, we recommend Software Testing: Essential Skills for First Time Testers by Umer W. Ghazali (2014).

Recommendation #4
Want to brush up on basic terminology and develop a deeper understanding of what software testing involves? Try Software Testing: 100+ Testing Approaches by Hariprasath P (2017).

Anyway – that’s our list.

At least for now.

Are there any relevant titles that should absolutely go on this list?

Is there a go-to resource that you can’t live without?

If so, please share in the comments down below.