winds down and we all get back to work, welcome to the August
newsletter. I hope you are coming back energized and ready for
If you follow
@RBCS (our business Twitter handle) or @LaikaTestDog (my personal
Twitter handle), you've noticed that some testers are challenging an
upcoming standard, ISO 29119. While the rigid, thoughtless
application of standards can be harmful--and yes I've seen that
happen once or twice--I've found that almost all our clients have the
wisdom to tailor their use of the standards appropriately. Join the
discussion on our Twitter feeds and share your thoughts.
We were hard
at work earlier this year, creating our Foundation Level Extension
Agile Tester course. Upon formal release of the syllabus, we
submitted our course for accreditation, and we're happy to say it
passed with flying colors. In addition, to qualify as an instructor,
I took the Foundation Level Extension Agile Tester exam, which I'm
proud to say I passed with a perfect score.
Are you going
to STPCON? So am I. I'm doing a special workshop there on
interviewing testers. Bring your resume and be ready for a hands-on
experience. Or, if you want to talk business, come see me at the RBCS
booth, as we are also sponsoring.
yet another book project over the summer: the Second Edition of Advanced Software Testing:
Volume 2. This is the book for test managers, now updated
for the latest ISTQB Advanced Test Manager syllabus. Updates on the
other two volumes are coming over the next year.
our monthly free webinar series continues this summer and fall.
Set aside 90 minutes of your time for some free education, and often
some free PDUs if you need them. If you already are a regular
attendee, tell a friend or colleague about them. We have room for
The RBCS ISTQB
Foundation Level Extension Agile Tester Course Accredited by the
and register today for the virtual
course September 2-4, 2014!
In July the American Software Test Qualifications
Board (ASTQB) accredited the RBCS ISTQB Foundation Level Extension
Agile Tester course. This course follows the ISTQB Foundation
Level Extension Agile Tester Syllabus 2014 and is currently available
through RBCS in two formats, live and virtual. There is
also an exam preparation guide available for certificate seekers
with limited time and budget. The e-learning format is
currently under production.
The exam, administered by the ASTQB or proctored at a
Kryterion Testing Center, is available for $150 per
person. RBCS will assist in coordinating exam
administration. Individuals sitting for the exam are required
by the ISTQB to be ISTQB Foundation Level certified.
However, there are no prerequisites to attend the course.
to schedule a private onsite delivery of the two-day ISTQB Foundation
Level Extension Agile Tester course at your organization or a
private virtual delivery of the course.
Virtual Course Delivery (3 day, 3 1/2 hour per day)
Public Course (2 day)
Exam Preparation Guide (self-guided)
Our Price: $750
Our Price: $1,500
Our Price: $150
Testing Within an Organization
written by Rex Black
Back in the early days of computing, there was no such
specific, separately identifiable activity known as
"testing." Developers debugged their code, and that was
usually intertwined with some unit testing task. That didn't work. My
first job was as a programmer, and where I worked, this was exactly
how we approached quality assurance. It was a quality disaster.
This approach by itself still doesn't work. It does
not work for those throwback, Neanderthal organizations that rely on
this approach entirely. It does not work for those cutting-edge
companies that think some fancy language or process or tool has
solved the software quality problem at last. It does not work for
anyone, unless we define "work" as "shift most costs
of poor quality onto end users who are too stupid to know better or
trapped in a monopolistic market without any real choice." And
those organizations that rely on stupid users or a monopoly position
had better hope they are right.
With the widespread advent of independent test teams
in the late 1980s and early 1990s, we saw improvements. I was working
in an independent test lab in the late 1980s and as a test manager in
the early 1990s, and we made great strides. However, we also saw the
emergence of a new dysfunction, the "hurl it over the wall to
the test guys and hold them responsible for delivered quality"
mistake. Every now and then, we work with organizations that still
suffer from this problem.
Let's be clear. When quality matters-and shouldn't it
always-everyone must play a role. Good testing involves a series of
quality assurance filters. Each team in the organization typically
participates in and owns one or more of these filters.
Some of these filters, especially high-level testing
like system test and acceptance test, work best with a high level of
independence. Some of these filters, especially low-level testing
like unit testing, work best with less independence. Let's survey the
degrees of independence so you understand your options.
Self-testing occurs when the developers test their own
code. There is no independence here, of course. The author bias
problem is significant, and the developers-even if given enough time
to do unit testing-often miss the important bugs because they
determine that the code works as they intended. Of course, that might
not match the actual requirements. The advantages are that the
developers can fix any defects they find quite quickly and, being
quite technical, understand the software being tested.
Buddy testing occurs when developers test each other's
code but not their own. Pair programming, which is a practice in some
agile techniques, is a special form of this, where development of
code, continuous code review, and development and execution of unit
tests by a team of two programmers evolves the code. While the author
bias problem is not so acute here, when two people work closely
together, it's hard to say there is much independence between the
developer and the tester. In addition, there tend to be few if any
usable defect metrics captured in this situation without careful
cultivation of the proper mindset because when peers test each
other's code, they might not want to report defects. Finally, since
the average programmer has little training or formal experience with
testing, the mindset is usually focused on positive tests. Once
again, the advantages include a quick repair of defects and good
tester understanding of the software being tested.
Having the tester or testers inside of development
occurs when a development team includes one or more testers and these
testers are not part of an independent team. This is rather popular
these days because many proponents of agile methodologies advocate
this approach. There is nothing wrong with it as part of a larger
quality assurance process, but by itself it can be dangerous. The
main problem is editing and self-editing.
Self-editing means that the tester does not report-or
reports only informally to the developer-problems they find, leaving
no official trail in a bug tracking system. This is the equivalent of
an organization tearing out its eyes and flying blind with respect to
quality. Defect metrics are necessary to any balanced, meaningful
picture of quality. In addition, an organization that doesn't study
its mistakes is unable to learn from them.
Even if the tester does report bugs, editing can
happen. The development manager or project manager does not allow the
tester to release a clear, balanced, complete set of test results to
the broader set of stakeholders. Furthermore, since the development
manager or project manager is often focused on short-term goals like
getting the product released on time and on budget, the entire
mission for the testers is likely to be verifying adherence to
requirements. Finally, it is often the case in these arrangements
that the tester tasks are assigned to junior developers or factotums
of some sort or another, along with a number of other
responsibilities. Therefore, the testing is often done hurriedly and
without any particular professionalism.
All those disadvantages enumerated, I do see value in
having one or more testers-whose permanent positions are inside an
independent test team and who are true professional testers-assigned
to act as testing resources within development teams. In this role
they can create good test cases, build automated test harnesses,
create continuous integration build-and-smoke-test facilities, and
the like. We have played this role for clients in the past, with
great success. However, this too is often not sufficient by itself.
Visit our articles page to
read this article in its entirety.
November 2 - November 6, 2014
where test leadership, management and strategy converge. The hottest
topics in the industry are covered including agile testing,
performance testing, test automation, mobile application testing, and
test team leadership and management. Attending this conference will
help you meet your professional career goals and give you the
opportunity to improve your software testing techniques; find the
latest tools; discover emerging trends; develop new or improve
existing processes; network and gather with other high-level
professionals; and gain industry insight.
The RBCS boot camp lineup is revamped and full length
virtual classes are added
You asked for
it and you got it. In the past, our certification boot camps,
when offered virtually, were offered in one day. Listening to
the feedback of our clients, our boot camp classes have been split
into two days. In addition, we are adding virtual course
delivery of our regular, full length courses, to our schedule.
A timely example of this kind of virtual course is the ISTQB Virtual
Foundation Level Extension Agile Tester course (see the special offer
for this course in this newsletter).
ISTQB Virtual Test Engineering Foundation Level Boot
Our Price: $449
ISTQB Virtual Advanced Level Test Analyst Boot Camp
Our Price: $599
ISTQB Virtual Advanced Level Test Manager Boot Camp
Our Price: $599
ISTQB Virtual Foundation Level Extension Agile
Tester Full Length Course
Our Price: $750
boot camps or any of our full length courses can be delivered
virtually to organizations, on request. Visit the RBCS training page for a full lineup
of RBCS off-the-shelf courseware. Contact us at +1 (866)
438-4830 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and for pricing
on private virtual course delivery.
you miss the complimentary webinar, "Testing Best and Worst
Practices Part 2" on July 14, 2014? Check out what you
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.
Reynolds, an attendee of the July webinar, for being
selected as the winner of an e-learning course.
Register now for our
next complimentary webinar, "Strategies of Testing, Not
Schools", September 4 or 5, 2014.
up blue bins in the break room and by employees' desks for recyclable
materials such as glass, plastic, aluminum, mixed paper and hazardous
materials. If you don't have a pick-up service, ask employees to sign
up and volunteer to take the materials to a local recycling center
1.5 PDUs for select webinars. Attendance of the live webinar
is required to earn PDUs.
22.5 PDUs for this course
Test Engineering Foundation en Español
Gana 22.5 PDU al
término de este curso
Test Engineering Foundation Level E-Learning,
Advanced Test Analyst
(compatible for 2012 syllabus)
Advanced Technical Test Analyst
ISTQB Certified Tester Virtual Boot Camps
(based on materials accredited to the 2012
September 8-9, 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)
August 28-29, 2014
12 noon to 3:30 pm CDT
November 13-14, 2014
12 noon to 3:30 pm CST
Certification Public Courses
Earn 22.5 PDUs for this course
September 15-18, 2014
San Antonio, TX
November 11-14, 2014
December 1-4, 2014
Extension Agile Tester
(accredited by ASTQB July 2014)
September 8-9, 2014
September 10-11, 2014
October 15-16, 2014
San Diego, California
Advanced Test Manager
(accredited to 2012 syllabus by ASTQB December 2012)
32.5 PDUs for this course
September 29 - October 3, 2014
November 17-21, 2014
December 8-12, 2014 Atlanta, Georgia
to 2012 syllabus by ASTQB December 2012)
October 6-9, 2014
October 27-30, 2014
November 3-6, 2014 Charlotte, North Carolina
Advanced Technical Test
(accredited to 2012 syllabus by ASTQB January
October 14-16, 2014
(an IREB, IIBA and IBAQB exam preparation course)
Earn 18 CDUs for this course