June 2010
In This Issue
Free Webinars
E-Learning Courses
Free Preview of E-Learning Course
ISTQB Certified Tester Courses
Other Public Courses
Green Tip
A Few Thoughts on Test Data
A New ISTQB Website
Visit the RBCS Blog
June "Rexisms"
A Call for "Isms"
Softec 2010
RBCS Sponsors Little League Teams

Quick Links
Free Webinars
Test Organization Options
July 1, 2010
Advanced Software Testing:  Use Cases
August 3, 2010
 E-Learning Courses 
Assessing Your Test Team
US$ 499 
ISTQB Test Engineering Foundation 
Earn 22.5 PDUs for this course
 US$ 899
ISTQB Advanced Test Analyst
US$ 999 
ISTQB Advanced Test Manager    
PMI Earn 31 PDUs  for this course
 US$ 999 
Managing the Testing Process 
US$ 499
Pragmatic Software Testing
US$ 449
Requirements Engineering Foundation  
US$ 799
Risk Based Testing
US$ 449
Software Test Estimation
US$ 499
Each course includes three months of on-line access, notesets and text books where applicable, exercises and either sample exam questions (for ISTQB courses) or knowledge-check questions (for other courses). ISTQB courses are written against the latest ISTQB Foundation and Advanced syllabi released in 2007.  Prices shown are for asynchronous courses (pure e-learning).  Blended courses (with a facilitator) and custom training packages are also available. 
Preview the Foundation Level E-Learning Course for Free
 If you would like to try the first two chapters of our Test Engineering Foundation e-learning course for free and without obligation click here to access it.
ISTQB Certified Tester
Public Courses 
Test Engineering Foundation Level  
PMIEarn 22.5 PDUs for this course
July 19-22, 2010
Washington DC
August 16-19,
San Francisco, CA
September 13-16,
Toronto, Canada
November 1-4,
Boston, MA
Advanced Test Manager 
PMIEarn 32.5 PDUs for this course 
August 9-13, 2010
Toronto, Canada
September 13-17,
Atlanta, GA
November 1-5,
Seattle, WA
December 6-10,
Silver Spring, MD
Advanced Test Analyst
September 27-October 1,
San Diego, CA
October 11-15,
McLean, VA
November 15-19,
Austin, TX
November 29-December 3, Toronto, Canada
Other Public Courses 
Managing the Testing Process 
November 29 - December 1,
Atlanta, GA
Requirements Engineering Foundation  
November 15-17,
San Francisco, CA
Green Tip 
recycle globeIdling
gets you 0 miles per gallon. The best way to warm up a vehicle is to drive it. No more than 30 seconds of idling on winter days is needed. Anything more simply wastes fuel and increases emissions.

Tip provided by our partner BeGreen www.BeGreennow.com.   

Dear Reader,
Welcome to our first newsletter of the (northern hemisphere) summer.  I hope the first half of 2010 has treated you well.
We have some thoughts on test data to share with you as the featured article.  If you're working on a project that requires sophisticated test data, this might provide some additional considerations for you.
After years of thinking about an RBCS blog, we've finally launched one.  It's a fact-focused spot, and lately I've spent a lot of time on risk based testing, test metrics, and best practices.  Take a look, and leave a comment.  We've provided more information and an excerpt below.  I look forward to seeing your comments there.  We also want you to speak up in other ways, as you'll see later in the newsletter.
Have you been to Malaysia?  I have, quite a few times, and I always enjoy it.  I'm going back for another SOFTEC conference.  You can learn more about that conference in the letter.
In addition to this newsletter, RBCS offers a number of other free new media venues for keeping up wth us and our partners, getting valuable discounts on RBCS products and services, and finding useful information about testing.  We've got an overview of those venues here.
I hope you enjoy your summer--and our June newsletter.
Rex Black, President
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A Few Thoughts on Test Data 
by Rex Black 
This article is excerpted from Chapter 3 of Rex Black's popular 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.

View this article in its entirety on our articles page.  
ISTQB logo The ISTQB Has a New Website 
Recently the International Software Testing Qualifications Board (ISTQB) revealed their new and improved website.  Check it out at www.istqb.org.   
Visit the RBCS Blog!  
We are happy to announce the debut of the RBCS blog!  For informative installments and an opportunity to comment and interact with the online software testing community, visit our blog page today!
Check out this excerpt from a recent blog posting from the May 27, 2010 blog posting, Software Test Coverage Dimensions: Measures of confidence:
"While not every coverage dimension applies to all systems, you should consider the following:
Risk coverage: One or more tests (depending on the level of risk) for each quality risk item identified during quality risk analysis.  You can only have confidence that the residual level of quality risk is acceptable if you test the risks. The percentage of risks with passing tests measures the residual level of risk.
Requirements coverage:  One or more tests for each requirements specification element.  You can only have confidence that the system will "conform to requirements as specified" (to use Crosby's definition of quality) if you test the requirements. The percentage of requirements with passing tests measures the extent to which the system conforms.
Design coverage: One or more tests for each design specification element.  You can only have confidence that the design is effective if you test the design. The percentage of design elements with passing tests measures design effectivity.
Environment coverage: Appropriate environment-sensitive tests run in each supported environment.  You can only have confidence that the system is "fit for use" (to use Juran's definition of quality) if you test the supported environments.  The percentage of environments with passing tests measures environment support.
Use case, user profile, and/or user story coverage:  Proper test cases for each use case, user profile, and/or user story.  Again, you can only have confidence that the system is "fit for use" if you test the way the user will use the system.  The percentage of use cases, user profiles, and/or user stories with passing tests measures user readiness."
Read the complete blog on our blog page!
June "Rexisms"
Some of you may have heard Rex's sayings over the years. We decided to coin them "Rexisms" for your reading pleasure. So here they are to ponder - some useful aphorisms to help you plan, prepare, perform, and perfect your testing activities, compiled from over a quarter-century of software and systems engineering experience.   
  • Non-functional quality characteristics, such as performance, reliability, and usability, are almost invisible in most software products--until they are missing or bad.
  • Measuring processes against realistic goals for effectiveness and efficiency is good.  Using those measurements to evaluate people is bad.
  • When I see software engineers trying to make software development easy by magical silver-bullet fixes, I'm reminded of H.L. Mencken's classic quote, "There is always an easy solution to every human problem--neat, plausible, and wrong."
 A Call for "Isms"
Have you heard something useful in the test lab recently that you want to share? Is there a priceless tid bit, quote or saying regarding software testing that you would like to publish in our newsletter along side a "Rexism"?  If so, please send it to info@rbcs-us.com along with your full name and contact information.  "Isms" will be reviewed and chosen by Rex and  the staff at RBCS, Inc.  "Isms"  selected to be published will appear in an upcoming newsletter and be posted on our facebook and twitter pages
Softec2010 SOFTEC 2010
 July 19-21, 2010
SOFTEC is organized by the Malaysian Software Testing Board and is supported by the Government of Malaysia through the Ministry of Science, Technology & Innovations, the Economic Planning Unit, Prime Minister's Department and Standards and Industrial Research Institute of Malaysia (SIRIM) Berhad.
SOFTEC2010 brings together speakers who are industry experts and influential academician who are authorities in software testing. IT professionals, academia, students and business managers will gain knowledge, insights and shared experiences at SOFTEC2010.  For more information, visit http://www.mstb.org/softec2010
  RBCS Sponsors Little League Teams
RBCS, Inc was the proud sponsor of two Bulverde Little League Teams for the 2010 season.  The coach pitch team, Chix with Stix and the minors team, Firestix, did a great job.  Play ball girls!