Can anyone recommend some good resources (books, perhaps) to dive into the theory of testing?

(I don't mean "what is a test plan", but more on the level of "use these techniques to make your tests robust" or the like).

  • Having posted my answer I noticed you tagged your question with 'automated testing' - why? Do you want to know about testing or automation - or both? Commented Oct 10, 2014 at 19:10
  • @PhilKirkham Thanks for your excellent answer! Unfortunately, at least one tag is mandatory, so I chose that.
    – Marcin
    Commented Oct 10, 2014 at 22:14
  • I would turn this question into a community wiki, as there cannot be "the best" answer for this kind of questions.
    – dzieciou
    Commented Oct 11, 2014 at 12:44
  • @dzieciou I would if I knew how. I hit edit, and there's no option to do that.
    – Marcin
    Commented Oct 12, 2014 at 18:54

6 Answers 6


Practitioners Guide to S/W test design by Lee Copeland

Systematic S/W Testing by Rick Craig

These got me started off learning techniques Then start reading stuff by Cem Kaner, James Bach, Jerry Weinberg....


Becoming a software testing expert by James Bach

Testing computer software by Cem Kaner, Jack Falk & Hung Quoc Nguyen

Lateral thinking by Edward de Bono

Lessons learned in software testing by James Bach

Perfect software and other illusions of software testing by Jerry Weinberg


Free online resources could be found on http://www.testingeducation.org/BBST/

Start with foundations and do all the readings.


As Karlo mentions (I'll explain a little more) the Black Box Software Testing (BBST) courses are the most in-depth courses I've ever taken (or seen). They are university-level courses so they contain a TON of information from a wide-variety of sources. Take a look at this diagram explaining the emphasis for each of the BBST courses:

enter image description here

Testing Knowledge, learning skills and testing skills are the main emphasis for 4 available courses. The courses are:

  • BBST: Foundations
  • BBST: Bug Advocacy
  • BBST: Test Design
  • BBST: Domain Testing

BBST Foundations is the first course. The materials are available online here free for the first 3 courses. Then next course (domain testing) is proprietary so you'll have to find someone who teaches them. There's also a workbook for BBST Foundations on Amazon and there's at least one review (mine) on the workbook.

The classes are a great way to get an introduction to testing theory because they gradually introduce you to concepts and then provide you with even more (20+) references that you'll be able to use to gain more information, including half a dozen or so book recommendations. The Association for Software Testing runs regular classes for their members.

Cem Kaner's publication list on his website has hundreds of references related to software testing that I suggest you skim. Also skim the BBST website.

If you want more resources than this, just ask. =)


A good online (and free) class is Udacity's Software Testing course. It covers a lot of theory.

  • Udacity's course covers some theory but it's more geared towards glass-box testing (which can be useful). Commented Oct 26, 2014 at 22:00

A great place to read through testing theory is the Software Testing Club and the Ministry of Testing. I read their content all the time and it always answers a question or gets me to think differently about certain testing scenarios.


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