March 2009
In This Issue
E-Learning Courses
Free Preview of E-Learning Course
ISTQB Certified Tester Training
Other Public Courses
Green Tip
A Case Study in Successful Risk-Based Testing at CA
Training Options
Change in ISTQB Advanced Level Prequalifications
March "Rexisms"
Beautiful Testing
ISTQB Advanced Test Manager in Japan

Quick Links
E-Learning Courses 
ISTQB Test Engineering Foundation 
US$ 999
ISTQB Advanced Test Analyst
US$ 999
Managing the Testing Process 
US$ 999
Software Test Estimation
US$ 499
Assessing Your Test Team
US$ 499
ISTQB Advanced Test Manager
US$ 999  
Each course includes three months of on-line access, notesets, exercises and either sample exam questions (for ISTQB course) 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 course without obligation and for free, click here to access it.
ISTQB Certified Tester
March 23-26, 2009
McLean, VA
Test Engineering Foundation Level 
April 20-24, 2009
Toronto, Canada
ISTQB Advanced Test Manager
May 4-8, 2009
McLean, VA
ISTQB Advanced Test Analyst

May 11-15, 2009
San Diego, CA
ISTQB Advanced Test Manager

June 15-18, 2009
Washington DC
Test Engineering Foundation Level 

Other Public Courses
April 15-17
San Francisco, CA
Requirements Engineering Foundation
May 12-14, 2009
San Francisco, CA
Managing the Testing Process
 Green Tip

recycle globe
Next time you're at the grocery store, pay attention to how much packaging all of the food comes in. You can reduce your household waste by purchasing items that have minimal packaging, buying the largest size of an item you can reasonably use, and buying in bulk.  

Tip provided by our partner BeGreen www.BeGreennow.com.   
Dear Reader,
In a recent newsletter, I extoled the value of risk-based testing for those of us looking to improve our efficiency--and who isn't these days?  In this newsletter, you'll get a chance to read a case study of how RBCS helped a very important client, CA, implement risk-based testing at one of their facilities.  CA continues to impress me with their commitment to quality, and this case study gives you an idea why.  It will also show you how easily and quickly you can get started on risk-based testing.
In addition to our consulting work with our clients, we also continue to see our ISTQB training courses--along with other training courses--succeed around the world.  I'm currently in Australia kicking off our Advanced Test Manager course here.  I was recently in Japan, China, and New Zealand delivering Advanced ISTQB courses, as you'll see below.  We also have an important new course offering, our Requirements Engineering Foundation course, which teaches best practices in requirements while preparing you for the IREB, IIBA, and QAMP certifications.
As regular readers know, RBCS has a strong commitment to improving the testing community and the broader world we all live in.  Our contributions to the ISTQB program are part of that commitment. This month we can also announce a charity writing project, my contribution of a chapter for Beautiful Testing.  All profits from this book will help prevent mosquito-borne illness in the developing world.  In addition, you can participate in a valuable effort to gather information about testing through the University of Memphis.  Finally, we have some ideas about how to reduce your ecological footprint through smarter--and more economical--food shopping. 

Rex Black, President
A Case Study in Successful Risk-Based Testing at CA
by Rex Black, Peter Nash and Ken Young 
     This article presents a case study of a risk-based testing pilot project at CA, the world's leading independent IT management software company. The development team chosen for this pilot is responsible for a widely-used mainframe software product called CA SYSVIEWÆ Performance Management, an intuitive tool for proactive management and real-time monitoring of z/OS environments. By analyzing a vast array of performance metrics, CA SYSVIEW can help organizations identify and resolve problems quickly.
     Companies are highly dependent on the reliability of their mainframe systems. If the mainframe doesn't run, the company stops. Mainframe workloads also are growing considerably as companies' businesses grow and as they continually seek to leverage data and applications in new ways. At the same time, these companies are losing their experienced mainframe workforce, largely to retirement. This makes the quality of their mainframe management tools even more important to them.
     CA piloted risk-based testing as part of our larger effort to ensure the quality of the solutions we deliver. The pilot consisted of six main activities:

… Training key stakeholders on risk-based testing
… Holding a quality risk analysis session
… Analyzing and refining the quality risk analysis
… Aligning the testing with the quality risks
… Guiding the testing based on risks
… Assessing benefits and lessons

This article addresses each of these areas - as well as some of the broader issues associated with risk-based testing. Visit our site or Better Software to read the article in its entirety.
super guy 
Can't Find a Public Training Course in Your Area?  Never fear!  RBCS is Here! 
Have you been looking for a publicly held training class in your area but you don't see it on our schedule?  You have options!  The public training courses are just one way you can take our training courses.  Some of the other modalities are:
  • e-learning
  • blended e-learning (traditional online course with instructor interaction) 
  • private onsite course delivery at your business

Visit our training page for a complete course listing.   Contact us at info@rbcs-us.com or call +1 (830) 438-4830 for pricing. 

Good News for Our ISTQB Certified Tester Advanced Level Candidates
Like many of our clients, you might have an interest in getting ISTQB Advanced certified. In the past, though, too many people were scared off or just put off by the pre-qualification process. The background checks, the college transcripts, all that paperwork. Well, now you don't need that any more. Just send the ASTQB a copy of your resume showing three or more years pertinent work experience, a signed one-page application, and the $100 fee and you're ready for your first Advanced exam. Click here for more details.
Remember, the prequalification process may have gotten easier but the exam is as challenging as it always has been.  Ask us how we help you prepare even before you set foot into a training course! 
March "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.  
  • "When doing risk-based testing, worry more about getting the exact right participants involved than you do about whether you are carrying out the quality risk analysis technique exactly right."
  • "When testing on Agile projects, distinguish between the challenges that are inherent in Agile methodologies from those challenges that arise from the improper implementation of Agile methodologies.  The former challenges arise from too little tailoring of the chosen Agile methodology, while the latter challenges arise from too much tailoring."
 Testing Practices Survey 
The Systems Testing Excellence Program at the FedEx Institute of Technology of the University of Memphis is undertaking a national survey of software development and testing organizations on research focusing on improving industry best practices. We would like to request your assistance in completing a survey that will require about 20 minutes of your time.

Please note that you will not be asked for your identity or that of your organization in completing this survey. Note that your responses will be kept completely confidential and there will not be a way for us to link your responses back to you or your organization in the data collected.
We ask that you only start when you are sure that you have about 20 minutes of uninterrupted time to complete the survey. You can start by clicking on the following link when you are ready: 

Call +1 (901) 634-0707 or email step@memphis.edu if you have questions before participating.

Beautiful Testing
Rex Black has agreed to contribute on a new book published by published by O'Reilly Media tentatively titled Beautiful Testing. Rex is one of many talented authors contributing to this anthology of chapters concerning software testing and thoughts on how it can be beautiful.
In lieu of payment, total author royalties will be paid to the Nothing but Nets charity organization.  By providing mosquito nets in regions with rampant mosquito-borne illness, Nothing but Nets can and will save lives.  We are proud to contribute to such a worthy endeavor.
Rex in Japan 
RBCS Brings ISTQB Advanced Test Manager to Japan
A number of students from a worldwide consumer products company converged on Japan in February to take part in an ISTQB Advanced Test Manager course, the first of its kind in Japan.  Rex Black personally delivered the course.  As you can see above, where Rex is debriefing participants on their exercise solutions, this course is a hands-on, highly interactive experience.  Rex would like to thank the students--and the three hardworking translators who kept up with Rex's energetic delivery--for making this course a success.