Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Book/Reading suggestions ...

Few days ago - a tester friend of mine approached with a request to suggest him for some books to read. I responded him with a small list that on the face of it - looked unlikely for a software tester.
I thought I would share the list with you folks ...

Here is it is 
This book introduces the idea of "systems thinking" and To a tester - I think it is most important to know and engage in general systems thinking as we engage in solving problems.

2. Surely You're Joking Mr. Feynman by Ralph Leighton and others

Richard Feynman is hero of testers in my opinion. This nobel prize winning American physicist lived life of a curious child all his life exploring  the world and never turned away from learning new things. He questioned things around him like a true tester. The encounters described in this book by him explain what it means to be a curious thinker. Although he openly hated philosophy and made fun of philosophers - we can forgive him for the enthusiasm he showed and examples he left through his life to demonstrate a human's thrust for knowledge and learning.

You can see his interview that he gave for horizon BBC "Fun to imagine" - look up in youtube.

3. Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell - This is not a book for testers in direct sense but a fascinating book that illustrates systems thinking that Jerry's book (as indicated above #1). This is one book that read from start to end. Each chapter is illustration of how to look at information that is publicly available and create a whole new interpretation of it.
Other books from same author that are worth reading are - "Tipping Point", "What the dog saw", "Turning point (this is a science book).

4. God Particle by Leon Lederman

This is again not a testing book - not a systems thinking book not a book about software. It is about amazing journey of science of understanding building blocks of our universe. I liked the narration of how to express and articulate heavy scientific stuff through metaphors and examples so that even a 7th grader can understand. What this has to do with testing ? Understanding tough subject and explaining in easy language - something that tester do all the time - find tough bugs and demystify them for our stakeholders including developers.

4. "How to think about science" - A CBC series of 14 interviews with scientists, philosophers, Writers - about emerging form of science. If we reckon testing as multidisciplinary - Look no beyond this. Download the series of interviews (mp3) and listen/absorb. These interviews left a long lasting impression on me about how think about an intellectual pursuit like science or software development or testing.


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