April 2014



Welcome to RBCS, Inc.


Dear Reader,


Welcome to our Spring 2014 newsletter.  We've got a good collection of stuff for you below, which I'll briefly introduce here.   


As you might know, I've spent the last year leading an ISTQB working group to develop an Agile Tester Foundation Extension syllabus.  The syllabus is in final edits now, with the beta version having been distributed to accredited training providers.  Our course is ready to be submitted to the ASTQB for accreditation upon formal release of the 2014 ISTQB Foundation Level Extension Agile Tester Syllabus.  The first presentation comes next month.


We celebrate the fifth anniversary of our free monthly webinar sessions.  There have been over 30,000 registrations to these webinars, and the reason is clear: unlike many free webinars, which are infomercials for some product or service, RBCS webinars are practical, fact-based presentations, drawn from my work as a consultant, author, and trainer.  In the coming three months, you can learn new tips for interviewing testers, as well as enjoying a two-session series on testing best--and worst--practices.      


Do you use risk-based testing as part of your overall test strategy?  If so, you'll want to read my article below.  It'll give you some heuristics for selecting appropriate test techniques to cover a quality risk, based on the level of risk associated with it.   


Finally, I want to mention our segment that celebrates a personal achievement for a talented woman from Serbia, the first ISTQB Certified Advanced Level Test Manager in that country. Congratulations, Ivana, on your hard work and excellent achievement.  We're proud to serve the Southeast European region through our partner Masterfield Training.  I hope to meet a number of our stakeholders there when I give my keynote at the upcoming SEETEST conference in Bucharest, Romania, in September 2014. 




Rex Black, President


AgileISTQB Virtual Foundation Level Extension Agile Tester Course

May 27-29

12:00 noon - 3:30 pm CDT

US$ 750

ISTQB Virtual Foundation Level Extension Agile Tester course, created by Rex Black, past President of the International Software Testing Qualifications Board (ISTQB), past President of the American Software Testing Qualifications Board (ASTQB), Chair of the ISTQB Agile Tester Working Group, and co-author of the ISTQB Foundation Level Extension Agile Tester Syllabus, is ideal for testers and test teams preparing for certification.

This hands-on course provides testers and test managers with an understanding of the fundamentals of testing on agile projects. Rex Black addresses how agile software development projects are organized, and the various types of agile development practices in common use. He covers how agile development differs from traditional approaches, how to position testers in an agile organization, fundamental agile testing principles, practices, and processes, and the skills you'll need to excel in an agile environment. You'll learn ways to estimate and organize testing within agile projects, and the application of black-box test techniques, exploratory testing, and risk-based testing on agile projects. You'll also gain a basic understanding of the important testing and test-related tools commonly used on agile projects. This course is designed to be useful, informative, and fun.
The objectives of the course are as follows: 

  • Collaborate in an agile team, being familiar with agile principles and practices
  • Adapt existing testing experience, knowledge, and best practices to agile projects
  • Support the agile team in planning test-related activities
  • Apply relevant test methods and techniques
  • Assist in test automation
  • Help business stakeholders define understandable and testable user stories and acceptance criteria
  • Collaborate and share information with other team members
  • Work effectively within an agile team and environment 

Attendees attend the virtual classroom via GoToWebinar. Sessions start at 12 noon Central and end at 3:30 pm Central to provide convenient access to attendees anywhere in the American hemisphere. Sessions are recorded and made available to attendees within 48 hours. Purchase of the course tuition includes: 

  • Instructor-led consecutive three-day 3 ½ hours per day virtual course
  • A set of approximately 200 PowerPoint slides covering the topics to be addressed
  • A mock exam to provide a review of the Foundation Level exam
  • Agile Tester Foundation Sample Exam Questions embedded throughout course
  • Exercise solutions
  • A mock exam to assess readiness for the ISTQB Foundation Level Extension Agile Tester exam
  • Project source documents for course exercises
  • Course completion certificate (often used for employer reimbursement)


There are no pre-qualifications to attend this course. However, current ISTQB rules read that ISTQB Foundation Extension Agile Tester Certification candidates must hold the ISTQB Certified Tester Foundation Level Certification.  


This course follows the ISTQB Foundation Level Extension Agile Tester Syllabus 2014, and will be submitted for accreditation to an ISTQB-recognized National Board upon formal release of the ISTQB Foundation Level Extension Agile Tester Syllabus 2014.



 MatchingMatching Test Techniques to the Extent of Testing

written by Rex Black  

In the Pragmatic Risk Analysis and Management process described in books such as Managing the Testing Process, Pragmatic Software Testing, and Advanced Software Testing: Volume 2, I define the following extents of testing, in decreasing order of thoroughness:

  • Extensive
  • Broad
  • Cursory
  • Opportunity
  • Report bugs only
  • None

Risk based testing does not prescribe specific test design techniques to mitigate quality risks based on the level of risk, as the selection of test design technique for a given risk item is subject to many factors. These factors include the suspected defects (what Boris Beizer called the "bug hypothesis"), the technology of the system under test, and so forth. However, risk based testing does give guidance in terms of the level of test design, implementation, and execution effort to expend, and that does influence the selection of test design techniques. This sidebar provides heuristic guides to help test managers and engineers select appropriate test techniques based on the extent of testing indicated for a risk item by the quality risk analysis process. These guides apply to testing during system and system integration testing by independent test teams.


According to the quality risk analysis process template, for risks rated to receive this extent of testing, the tester should "run a large number of tests that are both broad and deep, exercising combinations and variations of interesting conditions." Because combinational testing is specified, testers should select test design techniques that generate test values to cover combinations. These techniques are either: (a) domain analysis or decision tables; or, b) classification trees, pairwise testing, or orthogonal arrays. The techniques in option (a) are appropriate where the mode of interaction between factors is understood (e.g., rules determining output values). The techniques in option (b) are appropriate where the mode of interaction between factors is not understood or indeed interaction should not occur (e.g., configuration compatibility). For each technique selected, the strongest coverage criteria should be applied; e.g., all columns in a decision table, including the application of boundary value analysis and equivalence partitioning on the conditions in the decision table. The use of these combinational techniques guarantees deep coverage.

In addition, testers should ensure that, for all relevant inputs or factors, tests cover all equivalence partitions and, if applicable, boundary values. This contributes to broad coverage.

Testers should plan to augment the test values with values selected using experience-based and defect-based techniques. This augmentation can occur during the design and implementation of tests or alternatively during test execution. This augmentation can be used to broaden test coverage, to deepen test coverage, or both.

If available, use cases should be tested, and the tester should cover all normal and exception paths.

If available, the tester should use state transition diagrams. Complete state/transition coverage is required, 1-switch (or higher) coverage is recommended, and, in the case of safety-related risk items, state transition table coverage is also recommended.

In some cases-e.g., safety critical risks, risks related to key features, etc.-the tester may elect to use code coverage measurements for risks assigned this extent of coverage, and to apply white box test design techniques to fill any code coverage gaps detected by such measures.

As a general rule of thumb, around 50% of the total test design, implementation, and execution effort should be spent addressing the risk items assigned this extent of testing. 


Visit our articles page to read this article in its entirety.




 SerbiaCongratulations to an RBCS Licensee Client for Becoming the First Certified Tester Advanced Level Test Manager in Serbia  







Congratulations to Ivana Jovanovic-Radojicic! Upon receiving her certification from the South East Europe Testing Board (SEETB), Jovanovic-Radojicic was informed that she is the first Certified Tester Advanced Level Test Manager in Serbia.  As a study resource, Jovanovic-Radojicic exclusively relied on the RBCS ISTQB Certified Tester Advanced Level Test Manager e-learning course which she purchased from our valued licensee, Masterfield Training.


Regarding using the e-learning as her only study resource, Jovanovic-Radojicic says, "Exam is passed from the first, only materials for preparation were from this training. From this, you can count on its quality and sufficiency. Tests that are provided after each topic with results checked can prove level of understanding or suggest which parts are needed to repeat or improve. Separate module is provided with final Mock exam in same way as real one, objectively measuring possibility of exam success. If one follows suggestions, success chances are very high."


For questions regarding our worldwide licensee program or any of our products, contact us!



webinars Complimentary Webinars


Did you miss the complimentary webinar,"Testers of 2015 and Beyond?" on March 13, 2014?  Check out what you missed!



 2014 03 13 13 00 Testers of 2015 and Beyond



Webinar attendees are automatically entered into a drawing to win their choice of one of our green e-learning courses.  Visit our training page to see the complete webinar schedule, or just look on this email, sign up for a webinar, show up at whichever webinar session is most convenient, and--who knows--you might be the lucky winner of some valuable free training.   Either way, you're sure to learn something. 


Congratulations Emma Howard, an attendee of the March webinar, and Mary Jordan, an attendee of the April webinar, for being selected as winners of an e-learning course.


Register now for our next complimentary webinar, "Interviewing Testers," on May 29 or May 30, 2014.





Green Tip    

recycle globe 

Opt for non-toxic or plant-based cleaning products. They work just as well as your average cleaning product but are safer for your family and better for the environment. No need to spend lots of money on fancy cleaners. Plain, unassuming baking soda is non-toxic and can be mixed with a little water to clean tubs, sinks and other surfaces. All for less than a dollar! 


Tip provided by our partner Green Mountain Energy.

Newsletter Issue 39



In This Issue

ISTQB Virtual Foundation Level Extension Agile Tester Course

Matching Test Techniques to the Extent of Testing

First CTAL-TM in Serbia

Complimentary Webinars



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May 29, 2014


May 30, 2014


June 17, 2014


July 14, 2014


August 26, 2014


September 9, 2014


October 1, 2014


November 11, 2014


December 3, 2014



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ISTQB Advanced Test Analyst  

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US$ 999

ISTQB Advanced Technical Test Analyst

(compatible for 2012 syllabus)

US$ 999 


ISTQB Advanced Test Manager 

(accredited to 2012 syllabus by ASTQB January 2014) 



Earn 32.5 PDUs for this course  

US$ 999

ISTQB Advanced Level - FULL

(compatible for 2012 syllabus) 

US$ 2,697


Requirements Engineering Foundation 




(an IREB, IIBA and IBAQB exam preparation course)

  Earn 18 CDUs for this course

US$ 799


Managing the Testing Process

US$ 499


Assessing Your Test Team 

US$ 499

Pragmatic Software Testing 

US$ 449
Risk Based Testing 

US$ 449


Software Test Estimation 

 US$ 499



  ISTQB Certified Tester Virtual Boot Camps



Earn 22.5 PDUs

US$ 449 


October 2-3, 2014

12 noon to 3:30 pm CDT


 (based on materials accredited to the 2012 syllabus)


Earn 32.5 PDUs

US$ 599


June 2-3, 2014

12 noon to 3:30 pm CDT


September 10-11, 2014

12 noon to 3:30 pm CDT


December 1-2, 2014

12 noon to 3:30 pm CST


ISTQB Advanced Level Test Analyst Boot Camp

(updated for 2012 syllabus)

US$ 599


May 2, 2014

11am to 5pm CDT 


August 27-28, 2014

12 noon to 3:30 pm CDT


November 12-13, 2014

12 noon to 3:30 pm CST



Non-Certification Virtual Workshops  


US$ 199


Contact RBCS to schedule


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Contact RBCS to schedule



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ISTQB Test Engineering Foundation Level


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Requirements Engineering Foundation Level


Managing the Testing Process 



coursesCertification Public Courses

Test Engineering Foundation Level 


 Earn 22.5 PDUs for this course

US$ 2,000



June 2-5, 2014

Las Vegas, Nevada


June 16-19, 2014

Kansas City, Missouri



Advanced Test Manager

(accredited to 2012 syllabus by ASTQB December 2012)


 Earn 32.5 PDUs for this course  

US$ 2,650


June 16-20, 2014

Phoenix, Arizona


August 18-22, 2014

San Antonio, Texas


(accredited to 2012 syllabus by ASTQB December 2012)

US$ 2,250



May 19-22, 2014

McLean, Virginia


May 26-29, 2014

Toronto, Canada



Advanced Technical Test Analyst 


(accredited to 2012 syllabus by ASTQB January 2013)  

US$ 2,250


 Contact RBCS to schedule





(an IREB, IIBA and IBAQB exam preparation course)

Earn 18 CDUs for this course

US$ 2,500


Contact RBCS to schedule





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