With warmer temperatures and long summer days ahead, many are planning their next beach day: cool breeze, salty air, and of course, the perfect beach read. Though some of us might reach for a relaxing novel, many will be diving into the latest in the field of quality engineering. They’re building their test automation skills, learning to lead quality teams, and discovering best practices to integrate quality into Agile and DevOps. 

In the spirit of continuous improvement, our team shared their best summer reads for quality engineering: 

For the QA Manager: 

The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever

Michael Bungay Stanier draws on years of experience training managers from around the globe in practical, everyday coaching skills in his essential guide. He unpacks seven essential coaching questions to demonstrate how by saying less and asking more you can develop coaching methods that produce great results. Every QA manager - or aspiring manager - can benefit from these lessons to help your team thrive. 

Software Development Failures

It has been estimated that one-third of software development projects fail or are abandoned outright because of cost overruns, delays, and reduced functionality. In this in-depth analysis, Kweku Ewusi-Mensah offers an empirically grounded study that suggests why these failures happen and how they can be avoided. As QA takes on a larger role in software development, understanding the organizational factors that contribute to failure is crucial to navigating the future of software quality. 

For the Rising Star: 

How to Change: The Science of Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be

Looking to supercharge your quality career? Set the stage with positive habits and strategies to achieve your goals. Drawing on Wharton Professor and Choiceology podcast host Katy Milkman's original research and the work of her dozens of world-renowned scientific collaborators, How to Change shares an innovative new approach that will help you change or encourage change in others. Through case studies, engaging stories, and examples from cutting-edge research, this book illustrates how to identify and overcome the barriers that regularly stand in the way of change.

How Google Tests Software

It’s hard to imagine a more successful software company than Google. The technology behemoth continues to set the standard innovation and lead the pack in quality. In this behind-the-scenes look, two top Google experts reveal exactly how Google tests software and explain best practices that apply to teams of any size, including how to analyze risk and plan tests, think like real users, implement exploratory, black box, white box, and acceptance testing, get usable feedback and choose the right tools.

For the Deep Diver:

UI Testing with Puppeteer: Implement end-to-end testing and browser automation using JavaScript and Node.js

For those looking to start or expand their test automation skills, this guide by Puppeteer expert (and newly minted mabler!) Dario Kondratiuk will take you on a pragmatic journey. Using real-world use cases, Dario explains the foundations of browser automation, the basics of end-to-end testing and how to create reliable tests. As you progress through the chapters, the focus shifts to more advanced browser automation topics such as executing JavaScript code inside the browser. By the end of the book, you’ll be able to make the most of Puppeteer’s API and be able to apply it in your real-world projects.

Continuous Delivery Blueprint: Software change management for enterprises in the era of cloud, microservices, DevOps, and automation

DevOps, CI/CD, cloud, microservices...the world of software is changing fast. This book is a comprehensive guide to building a robust and efficient change management process at scale. It focuses on improving organizational structure, architecture, process, and technology to achieve a fast, high-quality delivery without sacrificing control and transparency. The book describes the executable policy approach to continuous delivery, making it an engaging and informative read for QA leaders looking to reshape quality in the new paradigm of software development. 

For the Customer Advocate: UX Fundamentals for Non-UX Professionals: User Experience Principles for Managers, Writers, Designers, and Developers

As QA shifts to QE and moves into a customer advocacy role throughout the SDLC, understanding UX design is a major advantage for testers. Walking the fine line between informative and fun, you’ll learn the foundations of UX design through stories: poisonous blowfish, Russian playwrights, tiny angels, Texas sharpshooters, and wilderness wildfires all make an appearance. From Chinese rail workers to UFOs, you’ll cover a lot of territory, because the experiences that surround you are as broad and varied as every age, culture, and occupation.

UX for Lean Startups: Faster, Smarter User Experience Research and Design

Quality teams are used to operating at maximum efficiency. But as their role grows and evolves, they need new ways to incorporate UX ideas into their quality strategy. With this practical, hands-on book, you'll learn how to do it faster and smarter using Lean UX techniques. UX expert Laura Klein shows you what it takes to gather valuable input from customers, build something they'll truly love, and reduce the time it takes to get your product to market. 

For the Agile Enthusiast: 

Agile Testing: A Practical Guide for Testers and Agile Teams

The establishment of Agile development as the new norm is both an enormous challenge and opportunity for quality teams. In Agile Testing, experienced Agile testing practitioners and consultants, Lisa Crispin and Janet Gregory define Agile testing and illustrate the tester’s role with examples from real Agile teams. They teach you how to use the Agile testing quadrants to identify what testing is needed, who should do it, and what tools might help. The book chronicles an Agile software development iteration from the viewpoint of a tester and explains the seven key success factors of Agile testing.

What’s On Your Summer Reading List?

Whether you’re hitting the beach, visiting friends and family, or planning a staycation, summer is the time to explore the world of software development, career growth, and quality engineering through a wide range of books written by industry-leading experts. Share your summer reading list with us on Twitter or LinkedIn and see what other QA professionals are learning this year.