Monday, 16 January 2012

There's Always A Book

So in my last post I'd got my book list ordered and under control.

Then I went on Twitter and noticed that people were self-publishing some very interesting books using Leanpub

First to catch my eye was The Leprechauns of Software Engineering
How folklore turns into fact and what to do about it.

Downloaded the free preview and was hooked - the book looks closely at some of the “ground truths” of software engineering - such as the “software crisis”, the 10x variability in performance, the cone of uncertainty - and looks at the source and the evidence behind these ideas.
Eagerly awaiting the rest of this book and it's already got me thinking about what testing leprechauns there are...

This was soon followed by Elisabeth Hendrickson( @testobsessed ) tweeting about whether there would be interest in her doing a book. Happily myself and many others said 'yes' so a few days later her book There's Always a Duck was out. ( read how she did it here )

Her blog was one of the first I found when I got into testing so it was a real pleasure to re-read the articles again. Not that it was simply a re-print, she had updated many of the posts. Now I have them readily to hand to dip into whenever I want.

It was also great to see a namecheck for Atomic Object in the article about her accepting the Gordon Pask award in the section of the book on Community

All of which reminded me of Ajay Balamurgadas and the 2 books he had written. Order placed and 2 books of a testers experience and tips available to be read.

Cost of the books ? A few dollars each.
Thoughts and experiences contained within them ? Invaluable

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Reviewing the book list

There was an interesting post from the prolific TESTHEAD about Reviewing his bookself - spending 15 minutes a day every day going through his library and doing a Reference Review.

Seems like a good idea, small problem at the moment is that currently I'm still in the US and my library is back in the UK. It's definitely a good idea for me to sort through and decide which books I'll need to pack and which I can get rid of.

In the meantime I did a mini-review of my current reading list:

Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
After reading some great reviews and tweets about this book I ordered it. Currently 1/3 of the way through it and really enjoying it. I can see this leading to some useful blog posts and discussions and thoughts so keeping this close to the front of the queue

Poke the Box by Seth Godin
Free book from a giveway by Matt Heusser. Very small book so should be able to read it in a couple of hours. Should also help with giving 2012 a kickstart so expecting to have read and posted a review in the next week.

Captain James Cook - a biography.
Thought it would be good to read about some real life explorers and see if any lessons could be taken from them for use in testing. It's an interesting book anyway so will be used as my leisure reading.

The Cucumber Book
Now that I'm looking at actual projects that use it I'll be reading this closely over the next month.

Technical Blogging
My blogging was hit-and-miss last year and I'd like it to be more focused. I also now have a company blog that I'd like to write for. Had a quick flick through the book and it seems to have some good ideas. Will dip into this book over the next few weeks.

Build Awesome Command Line Applications in Ruby
Still building up my Ruby knowledge so I'll put this on the back-burner for the moment.

Gamestorming: A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers, and Changemakers
Got this after a great review from Rob Lambert. Seems to have some interesting ideas in it but i think it could be more useful when I've moved to the US and am interacting daily with the rest of the company. Putting to the back of the pile.

The RSpec Book: Behaviour Driven Development with RSpec, Cucumber, and Friends
As with the Cucumber book, now I'm looking at real projects and code I can see the use for this. Will read it along with the Cucumber book

The Leader's Guide to Radical Management: Reinventing the Workplace for the 21st Century - Steve Denning
Halfway through this but as I seem to be working for a company who seem to be already following a lot of the thoughts in it then I'll put it towards the back of the pile.

Myths of Innovation by Scott Berkun
This seems like it will be a great read but not a priority at the moment. Putting it at the back of the pile.

That was easy - dont think sorting out my full library will be as simple...

Halfway through writing this blog though I noticed this discussion on the STC, "Tacit and Explicit Knowledge" by Harry Collins seems like a book I really should be reading...
As does Qualitative Data Analysis A.User-friendly Guide for Social Scientists by Ian Dey which John Stevenson refers to in the comments to that post.
Doh, only January 4 and any resolutions of keeping my Amazon Wish List under control are disapearing...