I was recently asked “What are the best career advancement steps for someone who is a junior to intermediate QA professional?”
If you want your career to move into programming, study programming.
If you want your career to move into management, read everything by Jerry Weinberg.
If you want to be the best tester in the world, read everything by Jerry Weinberg.
If you want to do what I do, read Weinberg.
On second thought, read Weinberg if you want to be a programmer, too.
I can say a lot more, but I’m not sure how much more I can say that is as valuable per word. Most of my work, anyway, is some variation or elaboration of Jerry’s ideas, and he in turn credits his teachers, such as Bateson, Boulding, and Satir. I think the future of the testing craft lies in the humanism and general systems approach these pioneers represent.