Rapid Software Testing – Reading Recommendations

14 Aug

Having just completed Rapid Software Testing twice in two weeks with James Bach, I’m feeling motivated and inspired to continue learning.

Here’s a list of books recommended by James during the course. These will enhance your skills and change the way you look at testing.


The first book may be the most important, and the most difficult to read. I’m still getting through my copy. The content is excellent, and there’s a lot to take in.
The next 4 books are real page-turners, explaining important and complex information is a way that’s enjoyable to read.
I haven’t yet read the last book on this list.

An Introduction to General Systems Thinking by Gerald Weinberg
Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
Tacit and Explicit Knowledge by Harry Collins
Lessons Learned in Software Testing: A Context-Driven Approach by Cem Kaner, James Bach, Bret Pettichord
The Secrets of Consulting: A Guide to Giving and Getting Advice Successfully by Gerald Weinberg
Discussion of the Method: Conducting the Engineer’s Approach to Problem Solving by Billy Koen

If you’ve already read these books, I’m interested to hear your thoughts. For example, what was the biggest takeaway you got from each book, and how has that helped you with software testing?


Posted by on August 14, 2015 in Learning, Software Testing


Tags: , , , ,

7 responses to “Rapid Software Testing – Reading Recommendations

  1. John Stevenson (@steveo1967)

    August 14, 2015 at 10:31 AM

    Hi kim great reading list here is the book you was looking for typo in surname k not c


    • Kim Engel

      August 14, 2015 at 10:48 AM

      Nice one, thanks John. I’ve updated the post with this information


  2. Mel Brindisi

    September 5, 2015 at 5:41 AM

    Satisfice Inc. These books are useful sources if you want to learn more about the underpinnings of the rapid approach to software testing.


  3. ralu82

    September 20, 2015 at 12:29 AM

    To know s. th. about ‘how people think’ which failures they do when they think and to know about the psyhologie of all about it I can recomment 2 books from Rolf Dobelly: “Die Kuns des klaren Denkens” and “Die Kunst des klugen handelns”. Written as books Normally books for managment people but I think also creat for “thinking testers” like us. -> see Rolf Dobelli’s home page here:


  4. ralu82

    September 20, 2015 at 12:42 AM

    ‘Lessons learned in software testing’ is for me ‘The holy bible of software testing’. With this book I learned very much (and I’m still do) about how software testing will be done in realy a daily business and about the people me as tester (or test manager, test team lead, etc. ) need’s to work with and how! This books makes fun to read again and again because of it’s small ‘lessons’ and every time I read in it, it motivates me being a manual tester and encourages me to go on with my work I do for manual and automated testing (automated checking 🙂 to help myself doing better. testing at all
    Oh and sorry for my typos in my first comment.
    “Written as books Normally books for management”…. must be “Written as books for managment people” and “I think also creat…” must be “I think also great….”


  5. Kat Karena

    September 20, 2015 at 12:27 PM

    I’ve been reading Tacit and Explicit Knowledge by Harry Collins and An Introduction to General Systems Thinking by Gerald Weinberg at the same time. I’ve got a few books by Jerry Weinberg now, he’s a delight to read. I usually read a chapter at a time and then think about them…then wander back and read some more. So I’m reading these two books and Weinberg’s “Are your lights on?” at the same time. (I love my kindle)

    I LOVED the rapid software testing course, I took away a lot, I found real joy in these books, I wasn’t aware that there these kind of topics around.

    I agree “Lessons Learned in Software Testing: A Context-Driven Approach by Cem Kaner, James Bach, Bret Pettichord” I think is the “Bible” of software testing and a must have.

    I can’t give a review yet, mainly because I’m really too time poor to do them justice. But they are must reads. absolutely


  6. Thomas Ponnet

    October 17, 2015 at 1:56 AM

    Hi Kim,
    I read

    An Introduction to General Systems Thinking
    I found this the hardest to follow but it opened my eyes like no other. After reading it the second time I felt my view on the world change, not just for testing. All of a sudden I saw previously (to my eyes) hidden systems everywhere I looked, be it school stuff for my son, payment systems for a sports club, etc. Very useful but I interspersed chapters with other, easier going books to let things settle.

    Tacit and Explicit Knowledge
    This is an eye opener when it comes to team communication or just communication full stop and understanding what we know and how to pass it on Also, where and why we have communication problems and useful ways to get around them. Spawned a couple of new ideas with regard to working in a team.

    Lessons Learned in Software Testing
    This is a book which, as other people have suggested, is a must read. It helped me a lot to question my own believes and taught me a lot when starting out quite a few years ago now. Some of the IEEE stuff is now probably outdated (I hope!) but still very useful.

    The Secrets of Consulting
    Probably my favourite book of these four. It’s easy to read but way deep with many. many useful quotes. Although I never worked as a freelance Consultant this is the one where I probably got most testing ideas out of. As a Tester I’m consulted by other project team members and all lessons in this book still hold true in this situation.

    I hope that was useful,




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