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Wednesday, 23 May 2007

Books, Papers, Forums

Reading, it's a fantastic thing. But how many people actually do it? Other than blog trawling I mean.

I ask because folks always seem surprised I have a number of Software Testing, QA and general Management books on my shelf. Around 30 at the last count. How many have I read? Maybe half cover to cover. I have also half read many papers and articles on the interweb too.

That's just the thing, so few people read and read. Read books, blogs, other web sites, papers, discussion documents, thesis, dissertations. When was the last time you went over to Google Groups or SQA Forums and did some reading and replying? Is it a worry to expose your possible ignorance? If you go to those forums you'll see I'm comfortable exposing myself to strangers.

I wonder if it's the same with buying technical books? The possibility of not understanding and making yourself feel stupid or the sense that, God it's boring. But there's a couple of good news items here.

Firstly, if most people in our profession aren't reading then it wont take much effort to read yourself above them. A few concerted reading sessions and you'll be steps ahead of most folks.

Secondly, even if you have a hard drive full of things you'll read later (or finish reading, along with a bookshelf of half or never opened books, well at least you're building a reference library for when you need them.

If you'd like to see some of my collection then wander over to the Books section of the website. I'll be adding more there as I write my reviews. That's to make sure I read them, well it's worth a try.

Mark Crowther the Librarian