RBCS Covid-19 response: Until further notice, all public training classes will be run virtually. Remote proctored certification exams are available (view details).

Podcast Episodes

The RBCS podcast allows you to stay current on important topics in software testing and training. Subscribe for the RBCS software testing podcast and, about twice a month, you'll learn something new and interesting. Rex will share important lessons learned from RBCS' consulting, training, and expert services engagements. Listen while exercising, going for a walk, shopping, or driving, and become a more informed software tester.

Subscribe by iTunes or RSS

One Key Idea: ISTQB Agile Program

Length: 0h 22m 26s
Download (25.7 MB)


Agile methods have become widespread over the last 20 years, but it’s taken a while for testing to catch up.  However, Agile testing best practices have emerged, and the ISTQB Agile Working Group has taken on the task of capturing those for you.  In this brief webinar, Rex Black, Chair of the ISTQB Agile Working Group, will explain where the program has been, where it is now, and how it is evolving to support Agile testers in their careers. In twenty minutes or less, you’ll learn how the ISTQB Agile syllabi can help you advance your career as an Agile tester.

Stupid Metrics Tricks and How To Avoid Them

Length: 1h 1m 48s
Download (70.7 MB)


If you have been in software engineering for a while—or in fact just in the working world in general for a while—you’ve probably seen someone do something stupid with metrics. Such mistakes raise a whole bunch of interesting questions. What are the most common metrics mistakes? Why are they mistakes? Why do people make these mistakes? Are you making these mistakes? Why use metrics at all, when there are so many mistakes? In this talk, Rex will give real-world examples of these mistakes, explain the management and economic theories behind metrics, and help you find ways to implement metrics that aren’t stupid.

Webinar: One Key Idea: Decision Tables 6/26/17

Length: 0h 19m 51s
Download (22.7 MB)


In our inaugural One Key Idea session, we looked at how use pairwise testing to examine combinations of inputs, configuration values, types of data, and the like. This is a great technique when the interaction between these factors is unpredictable. However, in some cases, specific business rules govern these interactions. How can we model these business rules and use that model to develop a reasonable set of tests? Simple: decision tables. In this One Key Idea session, Rex will explain the basics of this fundamental technique.  In twenty minutes or less, you’ll learn how to create and use these straightforward, table-based representations of business logic in your daily work.

Webinar: Enterprise Challenges of Test Data 5/16/17

Length: 0h 53m 46s
Download (60.1 MB)


If you are testing a simple mobile app, you may find it relatively easy to find representative test data. However, what if you are testing enterprise scale applications? In the enterprise data center, one hundred or more applications of various sizes, complexity, and criticality co-exist, operating on various data repositories, in some cases shared data repositories. In some cases, disparate data repositories hold related data, and the ability to test integration across applications that access these data sets is critical.  In this keynote speech, Rex Black will talk about the challenges facing his clients as they deal with these testing problems. You’ll go away with a better understanding of the nature of the challenges, as well as ideas on how to handle them, grounded in lessons Rex has learned in over 30 years of software engineering and testing.

One Key Idea: Code Coverage Demonstrated with gcov

Length: 0h 29m 40s
Download (61.8 MB)


One important way to test software is based on the way it’s supposed to work, verifying conformance to specified behavior from user stories and requirements, and validating that the software solves the users’ and customers’ problems.  This is often called black-box testing. However, another way to test software is based on the way it’s built, which is the complementary concept of white-box testing. We measure completeness of black-box testing through coverage of requirements, user stories, risks, personas, and more, and we measure completeness of white-box through code coverage. In this One Key Idea session, Rex will explain the meat-and-potatoes of code coverage, statement coverage and branch coverage, and demonstrate these concepts with a free tool, gcov. Technical and non-technical testers alike will walk away with a clearer understanding of this critical concept.

Fully Leveraging Agile Test Automation

Length: 1h 30m 0s
Download (101 MB)


Archimedes once wrote, “Give me a place to stand, and a lever long enough, and I will move the world.” In Agile, the place to stand is testing, and the lever is test automation. Are you using all the leverage that lever gives you? Most organizations are missing some tricks, and not getting the full value of test automation. In this webinar, Rex will survey all the different ways you can—and should—take advantage of test automation as an Agile tester. The best news: Many of these forms of automation involve tools that won’t cost you a dime! Spend some time learning about some high-ROI, proven best practices to reduce failure costs and increase quality.

One Key Idea: Pairwise Testing Using ACTS 2/16/17

Length: 0h 38m 45s
Download (46 B)


If you’ve been testing for any length of time, you know that the number of possible test cases is enormous if you try to test all possible combinations of inputs, configuration values, types of data, and so forth. It’s like the mythical monster, the many-headed Hydra, which would sprout two or more new heads for each head that was cut off. Two simple approaches to dealing with combinatorial explosions such as this are equivalence partitioning and boundary value analysis, but those techniques don’t check for interactions between factors. A reasonable, manageable way to test combinations is called pairwise testing, but to do it you’ll need a tool.  In this inaugural One Key Idea session, Rex will demonstrate the use of a free tool, ACTS, built by the US NIST and available for download worldwide. We can’t promise to turn you into Hercules, but you will definitely walk away able to slay the combinatorial Hydra.

Webinar: The Psychopolitics of Test Management 1/11/17

Length: 1h 21m 33s
Download (97 B)


While much of testing and test management involves rational decision-making, measuring quality and providing testing services to the team, there are realms of the test manager’s job where psychology meets politics to form psychopolitics.   In this webinar, drawn from three decades of industry experience and materials in his best-selling book Managing the Testing Process, 3rd edition, Rex will discuss how psychology and politics can collide to make the test manager’s job…interesting. Join in the discussion after the initial presentation with your own questions and stories about testing psychology, testing politics, and plain ol’ psycho-politics!

Webinar - Agile Testing in the Real World (Update)

Length: 0h 41m 37s
Download (96.1 MB)


A majority of software development organizations have adopted Agile methods, but testing in Agile projects remains a major challenge. However, some of these organizations have found practical ways to integrating testing into Agile lifecycles.  In this webinar, Rex will address challenges and opportunities associated with Agile, different ways of adapting Agile lifecycles and the testing within those lifecycles, and how Agile differs from traditional lifecycles.  We’ll examine tools and metrics for Agile projects.  We’ll address whether Agile can be used for outsourced projects.  We’ll look at different options for organizing test teams on Agile projects, and why only some of these options can work.  Rex will offer his thoughts on Agile and quality, and what skills and personalities work best in Agile projects. In this updated free webinar, Rex will discuss these points and more, giving you a better shot at Agile testing success.

Webinar: Can Your Mobile Device Save Your Life? 11/10/16

Length: 1h 20m 51s
Download (97 B)


At first, mobile phones were limited, clunky, dumb luxuries. Now, almost half of the world’s population carries in their pockets or purses more computing power than was involved in the Apollo program that landed men on the moon—and safely brought every one of them home. But a smart phone is not just a computer. What are the implications of always carrying a computer that is also a two-way radio and a GPS location device? Does it make you safer, or put you at risk? How is the ubiquity of mobile technologies changing the world? What are the intersections between mobile technologies, crime, fraud, privacy, security, and encryption? What are the testing and quality implications of this modern, mobile world? Join Rex for some thoughts, case studies, and suggestions about the exciting and sometimes scary world mobile technologies are bringing to us.

Copyright ® 2022 Rex Black Consulting Services.
All Rights Reserved.

PMI is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

View Rex Black Consulting Services Inc. profile on Ariba Discovery