February 2013
Welcome to RBCS, Inc.


Dear Reader ,

Welcome to our first newsletter of 2013. I hope your year is off to a great start, as is ours here at RBCS.


In this newsletter, I have some quick thoughts for you on the use of production data for testing. Many of our clients need large amounts of realistic data for their testing, and what better source than their production data. However, challenges exist. This short article should help you clarify your thinking about how you can use production data successfully.


After the new ISTQB 2012 Advanced syllabi were beta released last summer, I spent a lot of last year working on updates to our live ISTQB Advanced courses. Well, all that hard work has paid off. All of our live courses are updated and accredited. More news below.


If you're excited about taking some live training from us this year, well, we're excited to have you there. Our schedule for public, live training is posted on our website, and you can see it here, too.


Our successful webinar series continues in 2013. We have the next six months worked out, and you can find the schedule here. Register today so you don't miss any of these great, free training opportunities, many of which include PDUs for those of you with PMI certifications and continuing-education requirements.


A good question to ask yourself for 2013 is, "Where do I stand in terms of my testing and quality assurance processes?" If you've wondered about this before, and are looking for an answer, we have a way to help you. We can do an assessment of your test processes, or of your larger quality assurance processes, usually in the space of a week, with our final report arriving two or three weeks later. More details about that process is found below.


Finally, people have been saying nice things about RBCS and our courses lately. Check out some of the comments below


I hope you enjoy the newsletter, and continue to enjoy a great 2013.







Rex Black, President


challengesChallenges of Testing with Production Data 

By Rex Black
This article is excerpted from Chapter 3 of Rex Black's book Managing the Testing Process, 3e.

A number of RBCS clients find that obtaining good test data poses many challenges. For any large-scale system, testers usually cannot create sufficient and sufficiently diverse test data by hand; i.e., one record at a time. While data-generation tools exist and can create almost unlimited amounts of data, the data so generated often do not exhibit the same diversity and distribution of values as production data. For these reasons, many of our clients consider production data ideal for testing, particularly for systems where large sets of records have accumulated over years of use with various revisions of the systems currently in use, and systems previously in use.

However, to use production data, we must preserve privacy. Production data often contains personal data about individuals which must be handled securely. However, requiring secure data handling during testing activities imposes undesirable inefficiencies and constraints. Therefore, many organizations want to anonymize (scramble) the production data prior to using it for testing.

This anonymization process leads to the next set of challenges, though. The anonymization process must occur securely, in the sense that it is not reversible should the data fall into the wrong hands. For example, simply substituting the next digit or the next letter in sequence would be obvious to anyone - ­it doesn't take long to deduce that "Kpio Cspxo" is actually "John Brown"­ - which makes the de-anonymization process trivial. 
To read this article in its entirety, visit our articles page.

advanced RBCS' ISTQB Advanced Level Courses Accredited to the 2012 Syllabi and on Public Delivery Schedule



Look no further!  RBCS has all three Advanced Level courses accredited to the 2012 syllabi and on the public delivery schedule!   Courses can also be delivered onsite at your organization.  See the public delivery schedule on this newsletter or visit our training page today!


ATA Live
Test Analyst
ATM Live
Test Manager
Technical Test Analyst


Register for any public course in 2012 by March 31, 2013 and receive a 10% discount on tuition.  Click on your preferred course above for more information and to register.  Enter code FEBNEWSADV in the promotion code field in your cart and your discount will be reflected on your final receipt.  


All individuals sitting for an Advanced Level exam are required to prequalify with the ASTQB to sit for the exam.


blogHave You Visited the RBCS Blog Lately?
02-18-2013 21:56:07 PM
I received an interesting tweet from Shoshanah Gil, which then lead to the following e-mail: Hello, I wanted to respond to your Twitter reply regarding my first attempt at using PRAM (Twitter post Feb 18, 2013 6:58am) in more detail. The real success of this testing efforts will of course be measured once the software is out in [...]
10-26-2012 08:09:24 AM
I had an interesting question from a reader, Stas Milev: Hi Rex I hope you are well. I wanted to ask you a question about test estimation. I am sure you have been asked many of these before but the one I have is not really about the estimation techniques themselves (such as usage of historical data, [...]
webinars Complimentary Webinars
Did you miss the complimentary January Webinar, "The New ISTQB Advanced Syllabi"?  Check out what you missed!
ISTQB New Advanced Syllabi 
The New ISTQB Advanced Syllabi
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 Paul Schwartz, an attendee of the January webinar and Bob Rappold, an attendee of the December webinar, for being selected as the winners of an e-learning course!
Register now for our next complimentary webinar "Agile Testing in the Real World" on February 26, 2013.

assessment RBCS Test Assessments and Quality Assessments 



For almost two decades, RBCS has offered consulting, training and outsourcing services.Two of our most popular consulting services, and ones that have been most requested in 2013, are Test Assessments and Quality Assessments.


Test Assessments: Following Rex Black's professionally-acclaimed book, Critical Testing Processes, we examine the twelve critical testing processes for effectiveness and efficiency, including defect detection and return on investment metrics. The assessment report will also list specific, prioritized recommendations, your roadmap for future test process improvement. A typical assessment engagement involves about one week on-site by our software testing consulting experts, plus one week of off-site analysis and report preparation. Find out more about how our Test Assessment service can help you.


Quality Assessments: We evaluate and make recommendations for the best overall approach to achieve quality on your projects. Be confident in the quality of your deliverables throughout the process, from requirements, design and code reviews to unit, integration, system, and acceptance testing. Our software consultants also compare financial and project timelines of your current practices against the industry's best practices. A typical assessment engagement involves about one week on-site, plus one week of off-site analysis and report preparation. Find out more about how our Quality Assessment service can help you.

Contact us if you have any questions about this process, the pricing or the finished deliverable.



talking People are Talking about RBCS 



"It was very handy for doing sample tests and looking stuff up before the exam."


-Grant Horner, e-learning course attendee



"Really liked some of the hands-on exercises. Items on interviewing and doing a skill inventory on the employees were great. Great information on doing analysis on different types of metrics for process improvement."


-Anonymous Attendee of the first run of the ISTQB Advanced Level Test Manager course accredited to the 2012 syllabus



"This course raised my awareness of testing techniques that we use currently - providing a better understanding of them - I learned new techniques and more efficient ways to apply techniques already in use. Overall a very practical course."


- Anonymous attendee of a recent onsite delivery of the ISTQB Foundation Level course



Green Tip    
recycle globe 
Bring reusable food and drink containers to work rather than disposable varieties. Packing a lunch is a great way to save money, eat healthier, and cut down on the packaging materials that typically come with take-out or frozen meals.
Tip provided by our partner Green Mountain Energy.
Newsletter Issue 33
In This Issue
Challenges of Testing with Production Data
Advanced Level Courses Accredited
Have You Visited the RBCS Blog Lately?
Webinar Video
People are Talking about RBCS
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Complimentary Webinars


Earn 1.5 PDUs for these webinars. Attendance of the live webinar is required to earn PDUs.



February 26, 2013
March 12, 2013 
April 16, 2013 
May 23, 2013

E-Learning Courses   



Earn 22.5 PDUs for this course
US$ 899



ISTQB Test Engineering Foundation en Español 


 Gana 22.5 PDU al término de este curso

 US$ 899


ISTQB Test Engineering Foundation Level E-Learning,




???????22.5 PDU

US$ 899



ISTQB Advanced Test Analyst  

(compatible for 2012 syllabus)

US$ 999

ISTQB Advanced Technical Test Analyst 

US$ 999  


ISTQB Advanced Test Manager 

(compatible for 2012 syllabus)  



Earn 32.5 PDUs for this course  

US$ 999

ISTQB Advanced Level - FULL  

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


 US$ 499  


  ISTQB Certified Tester Virtual Boot Camps

Earn 22.5 PDUs
US$ 449


April 17, 2013
11am-5pm CDT
 (updated for 2012 syllabus)
Earn 32.5 PDUs
US$ 599
May 22, 2013
11am-5pm CDT
(updated for 2012 syllabus)
US$ 599
March 13, 2013
11am-5pm CDT

Non-Certification Virtual Workshops  

Earn 3 PDUs for attendance of these workshops

new star  

Testing Metrics

US$ 199


February 28, 2013

1pm-4pm CST


US$ 199
May 21, 2013
1pm-4pm CDT


 Preview an E-Learning Course 

View a sample of an e-learning course without obligation


ISTQB Test Engineering Foundation level


ISTQB Advanced Technical Test Analyst


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



April 15-18, 2013 

Toronto, Canada


April 22-25, 2013

Phoenix, AZ


June 3-6, 2013 

San Francisco, CA


new starAdvanced Test Manager

(Accredited to 2012 syllabus by ASTQB December 2012)


 Earn 32.5 PDUs for this course  

US$ 2,650


March 18-22, 2013
Phoenix, AZ


April 22-26, 2013
McLean, VA
May 13-17, 2013
Newark, NJ

(Accredited to 2012 syllabus by ASTQB December 2012)
US$ 2,250

March 4-7, 2013

San Francisco, CA


May 6-9, 2013

Detroit, MI


new starAdvanced Technical Test Analyst 
(Accredited to 2012 syllabus by ASTQB January 2013)  
US$ 2,250 


April 1-3, 2013

Irvine, CA





(an IREB, IIBA and IBAQB exam preparation course)

Earn 18 CDUs for this course

US$ 2,500


Dates TBD

Other Public Courses   

Managing the Testing Process 

US$ 2,500


Dates TBD

phone: +1 (830) 438-4830

email:  info@rbcs-us.com

website:  www.rbcs-us.com

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RBCS, Inc | 31520 Beck Road | Bulverde | TX | 78163