October 2013
Welcome to RBCS, Inc.


Dear Reader,

Wow.  2013 is almost over.  I can hardly believe it's gone this fast, and maybe you feel the same way.  As we start to wind up the year, we have in this newsletter, a combination of looking back and looking forward.


As mentioned below, our webinar program continues to be a great success.  We have the occasional technical glitch--often associated with the fact that I could be delivering the webinar from just about anywhere in the world--but our listeners continue to give us good feedback on the value of these events.  The monthly webinars will continue in 2014 (and beyond), and they will continue to be free, and they will continue to support PMI PDUs where appropriate.


Speaking of PDUs, this newsletter delivers a well-deserved personal thanks to those who make that possible: our PDU reviewers.  These folks jump through various hoops to make sure that everyone enjoys the benefits of PDUs for most of our webinars.  If you have ever claimed a PDU for an RBCS webinar, you have these folks to thank for their efforts.


I spent a wonderful few days in Moscow a little over a year ago.  What a beautiful city.  Just a few months ago, I was interviewed by a Russian software testing magazine.  That was lots of fun, and the interview is found below.   


If you are looking to hire a software tester, or to be hired as a software tester, then we have a suggestion: www.astqb.org.  See below.


Finally, we also include some details on what's coming in 2014.  Big stuff.  Expert Level Certification.  Agile Tester Certification.  Consulting, training, and outsourcing services, as always.  Let us know if there's anything we can do for you in what remains of 2013, or in 2014. 







Rex Black, President




PMI A Big Thanks to Our PMI® PMI
As many of our clients and webinar attendees know, we have several courses and many complimentary webinars in which attendees can claim project development units (PDUs) for the Project Management Institute (PMI®).  What many people may not know is what is involved in making these courses "PMI ready". 
In addition to the hours put in by our paid staff, to whom we are eternally grateful every day, in developing the courses and webinars, editing them, posting them on our website, sending the invitations and much more, we have a select group of volunteers that make it all possible.
We would like to formally and publicly thank our PMI Project Management Professional (PMP) reviewers for reviewing our select courses and webinars to make sure that they meet the PMBOK 5th edition. Thank you for doing this on your own valuable time. 
Thank you Bill Mays, Rex Price, Michael Lindhorst, Vickie Sasser, Linda Thorn and Murali Guthula.  We appreciate every minute spent.


interview Interview with Rex Black in the August 2013 "Tester's Life" Magazine 



 Rex Black[This is an excerpt from an interview with Rex Black in the August 2013 issue of "Tester's Life"]
TL: Do you remember the first bug you have found?
RB: It's just too many bugs ago. I find bugs all the time, even when I'm not looking for them!

TL: Which bug you have found was the funniest?
RB: My favorite recently was a bug on a package for a router which said "provides high qaulity of service". Of all the words to misspell...

TL: Please, tell us about the most comical moment at work
RB: I was sitting in a chair, one of those kinds that tilt backward, and having an argument with a vendor about their invoice to the test lab I was working for. They had overbilled us, and I was explaining why. Suddenly, the chair broke and I fell straight backward. I found myself still in the seat, laying on my back, in astronaut position, with the phone still to my ear. I realized how silly that must have looked from outside, so I decided to continue the conversation later.

TL: In your experience what was the maximum ratio of testers to programmers and which ratio was in average?
RB: I don't find these ratios very useful. I think discussing them is counter-productive and leads testers away from more rational ways to talk about test estimation.

TL: What do you think is better - when different iterations have been tested by the same person or by different ones?
RB: If we're talking about Agile projects, then what seems to work best is having testers assigned to Agile sprint teams for a long term, rather than rotated on and off on each iteration. The continuity of the tester on each team is valuable.

TL: Who is better and why: "I-can-do-everything" engineer or professional in some specific area?
RB: I think this depends on the product being tested, and the organization's needs. In some cases, we find our clients needing specialized test teams, while in others a more generalized team makes more sense. Specialization can be based on the business problem being solved, by the technology, or by the testing skills required. Many teams actually have a little of both: a generalized test team with specialists providing expertise in particular areas. I discussed this topic at length in my book, *Managing the Testing Process, 3e*.

TL: Do you have a pool of experienced QA engineers who you know and call to take part in the projects when needed or do you create a team from scratch every time?
RB: We have a team of people that we use on our projects, but I will also pull in people as needed, too.

TL: Do you work with freelancers / outsource? Have you run into any problems and how have you overcome them?
RB: Outsource testing does pose a number of challenges for both the test team and the outsource testing service providers. I've done a couple webinars on this topic, too, which can also be found in the RBCS Digital Library.

TL: What would you advise to do in order not to work round the clock on a project?
RB: First, decide not to. It took me about 25 years to learn how to do that, and I'm still learning. Then, once you decide to work reasonable hours, be clear-eyed and totally objective in your decisions about what not to work on.

TL: What was and is the most complicated for you in team communication?
RB: Communicating the value of testing to senior and executive management is a major challenge for test managers. Communicating bad news about the product being tested to fellow project stakeholders and participants is also a major challenge for many test managers.

TL: How do you explain to management that QA is indeed important, should be seriously taken into account and paid required attention to? Can you please share some examples from your experience?
RB: There are a couple main dimensions to achieving relevance. One is a matter of defining the objectives, and metrics for success, as discussed above. Another is a matter of defining the return on the testing investment, which is often done via cost of quality. I have done a couple webinars on these topics, and you can find the recorded versions of those webinars on the RBCS Digital Library.
To read this interview in its entirety in English, visit our articles page.  To see the original source article in its entirety in Russian visit www.testers-life.ru.  



schedule2014What's the Forecast for 2014? 


We receive regular inquiries regarding the 2014 public training schedule.  The RBCS team is busy putting together the schedule right now!  We expect it to be released and posted to our training page by November 15, 2013.  If you have a request for a certain class in a specific city, contact us!  We regularly schedule classes at our clients' requests.
With increasing frequency we receive inquiries regarding ISTQB Expert Level Certification.  Rest assured, we will have courses available in 2014.  Let us know if you would like to be on a contact list to be notified when the courses are released.

You might have heard that the ISTQB is working on a new Foundation Agile Module.  You heard right.  And Rex is the chair of that effort.  We will have courses available for this certification as soon as the ASTQB has exams available.
If you are interested in a private onsite training course or consulting such as a quality assessment, test assessment or jump start, we are already booking for 2014!  Email us or call us at +1 (830) 438-4830 for more information.



ASTQB Job Posting PageASTQB






The ASTQB now has a job posting page!  At RBCS, we are often asked about resources for certified testers that are seeking employment or for employers that are seeking certified testers.  The ASTQB now offers, in our opinion, the most reputable job bank resource for certified testers. 


If you are looking for a job, you may submit your resume or search for a job.  Only certified testers can take advantage of this opportunity and a login is required.


If you have a job opening and would like to hire a certified tester, you may submit your job listing or search the resumes that have been posted by ASTQB certified testers.  This is available to all companies and no login is required.


View or post software testing jobs today!


webinars Complimentary Webinars
Did you miss the complimentary webinar September 27, 2013 "The Myths of Pairwise Testing"? Check out what you missed!
 Myths of Pairwise Testing 092713
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 Ken Leonard, an attendee of the September webinar, for being selected as the winner of an e-learning course.
Register now for our next complimentary webinar "Why Testing as a Career" on November 5, 2013.

talking People are Talking about RBCS 




"I must say that you guys at RBCS are really a great bunch...customer service aside, you truly come across to just be doing the right thing for your customers just as you yourselves would want to be treated. I hope Rex recognizes all you guys do because I think it's great!"


-Doug Palmer
Sr. Engineer, Software Test

Fluid Systems
Baxter Healthcare Corporation



"Great class. Most interesting class ever. Instructor had great stories related to subject."


-Anonymous attendee of a recent private onsite delivery of the ISTQB Test Engineering Foundation Level course.
RBCS consistently delivers relevant testing topics, insightful content, and yet they are all done through free webinars and every seminar is delivered personally by the Testing and QA Guru Rex himself. I would attend every session if all possible.  Thank you for the generosity for sharing the knowledge, Rex.   
-Vicky Chen
QA Manager, Royal Bank of Canada
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Newsletter Issue 36
In This Issue
Thanks to PMI Reviewers
Interview with Rex Black
What's Next in 2014
ASTQB Job Postings
Complimentary Webinars
People are Talking about RBCS
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Complimentary Webinars


Earn 1.5 PDUs for select webinars. Attendance of the live webinar is required to earn PDUs.
Why Testing as a Career
November 5, 2013
January 8, 2014
February 11, 2014

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 

(compatible for 2012 syllabus)

US$ 999 


ISTQB Advanced Test Manager 

(compatible for 2012 syllabus)  



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


 US$ 499  


  ISTQB Certified Tester Virtual Boot Camps

Earn 22.5 PDUs
US$ 449


October 25, 2013

11 am to 5 pm CDT


January 7, 2014

11 am to 5 pm CST

 (updated for 2012 syllabus)
Earn 32.5 PDUs
US$ 599


December 10, 2013

11 am to 5 pm CST  

(updated for 2012 syllabus)
US$ 599


November 6, 2013

11 am to 5 pm CST


February 12, 2014

11 am to 5 pm CST 


Non-Certification Virtual Workshops  

Earn 3 PDUs for attendance of these workshops  


US$ 199
Contact RBCS to schedule
US$ 199
Contact RBCS to schedule


 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


October 28-31, 2013

San Antonio, TX


December 9-12, 2013 Toronto, Canada


January 27-30, 2013

Austin, Texas



Advanced Test Manager

(accredited to 2012 syllabus by ASTQB December 2012)


 Earn 32.5 PDUs for this course  

US$ 2,650


December 2-6, 2013
Newark, NJ

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

December 2-5, 2013

San Antonio, TX


December 9-12, 2013

McLean, VA



Advanced Technical Test Analyst 


(accredited to 2012 syllabus by ASTQB January 2013)  

US$ 2,250


November 18-20, 2013

McLean, VA




(an IREB, IIBA and IBAQB exam preparation course)

Earn 18 CDUs for this course

US$ 2,500


Contact RBCS to schedule




phone: +1 (830) 438-4830

email:  info@rbcs-us.com

website:  www.rbcs-us.com

This email was sent to rex_black@rexblackconsulting.com by info@rbcs-us.com |  
RBCS, Inc | 31520 Beck Road | Bulverde | TX | 78163