November 2009
In This Issue
Free Webinars
E-Learning Courses
Free Preview of E-Learning Course
ISTQB Certified Tester Courses
Other Public Courses
Green Tip
Advanced Software Test Design Techniques State Diagrams, State Tables, and Switch Coverage
RBCS Digital Library & Podcast
Meet Sunny Broam
How to Assure Quality in Your Data Center
Free ISTQB Exam Vouchers
November "Rexisms"
Free Half Day Workshops

Quick Links
Free Webinars
Test Reporting for Impact
November 23, 2009

Achieving Realistic, Truthful, Actionable Schedules
December 17, 2009
Five Hard-Won Lessons in Performance, Load and Reliability Testing
January 13, 2010 
Risk-Based Testing:  What It Is and How You Can Benefit
February 9, 2010
Code Coverage Metrics and How to Use Them
March 4, 2010
 E-Learning Courses 
ISTQB Test Engineering Foundation 
US$ 899
ISTQB Advanced Test Analyst
US$ 999
ISTQB Advanced Test Manager
US$ 999   
Managing the Testing Process 
US$ 499
Software Test Estimation
US$ 499
Assessing Your Test Team
US$ 499
Pragmatic Software Testing
[Coming Soon!] 
US$ 449
Each course includes three months of on-line access, notesets and text books where applicable, 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 e-learning course without obligation and for free,
click here to access it.
ISTQB Certified Tester
Public Courses
Test Engineering Foundation Level  
December 1-4, 2009
Atlanta, GA
January 25-28, 2010
San Diego, CA
March 8-11, 2010
McLean, VA
April 26-29, 2010
Chicago, IL
June 21-24, 2010
Seattle, WA

Advanced Test Manager
February 8-12, 2010
Baltimore, MD
April 12-16, 2010
Tampa, FL

May 10-14, 2010
Toronto, Canada
June 7-11, 2010
Los Angeles, CA

Advanced Test Analyst 
February 22-26, 2010
Phoenix, AZ
April 12-16, 2010
Toronto, Canada
May 3-7, 2010
Bethesda, MD
May 17-21, 2010
San Francisco, CA
Other Public Courses 
Managing the Testing Process 
May 31- June 2, 2010
New York Area
Requirements Engineering Foundation  
April 19-21, 2010   
San Francisco, CA

Green Tip 
recycle globe
Idling 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,
We have another grab-bag of good information and great values for you.  You can read an excerpt from my book Advanced Software Testing: Volume 1 that relates to state-based testing.  I've also penned a brief article on how to assure quality in your data center for eWeek.  While some professional testers will find this information obvious, you can share this with your managers who need better insight into what you do.
If you're interested in ISTQB certification, we are continuing our great deal on free exam vouchers for our e-learning customers.  More and more of our e-learning includes not only web based training, but also podcasts.  Study while you exercise, while you drive, while you work in your garden or yard, or any time you have free time.
Speaking of web based and podcast based resources, we now have a digital library on our website.  We are on iTunes, too.  Of course, we are continuing our monthly series of free webinars.  You can attend these webinars live or listen to recorded webinars on our digital library.  All of these resources are available for free.
Enjoy the newsletter, and the new free resources.
Rex Black, President
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Become a fan of RBCS on Facebook and follow RBCS on Twitter to network with other testers, and to receive up to the minute event schedules, news, and exclusive offers and discounts.
Advanced Software Test Design Techniques State Diagrams, State Tables, and Switch Coverage
by Rex Black 
The following is an excerpt from my recently-published book, Advanced Software Testing: Volume 1.  This is a book for test analysts and test engineers.  It is especially useful for ISTQB Advanced Test Analyst certificate candidates, but contains detailed discussions of test design techniques that any tester can­ and should ­use.  In this second article in a series of excerpts, I discuss the powerful test techniques of state transition diagrams, state transition tables, and switch coverage.

At the start of this series, I said we would cover three techniques that would prove useful for testing business logic, often more useful than equivalence partitioning and boundary value analysis.  We covered decision tables, which are best in transactional testing situations.  In the next article, we'll cover use cases, where preconditions and postconditions help to insulate one workflow from the previous workflow and the next workflow.

In this article, we look at state-based testing.  State-based testing is ideal when we have sequences of events that occur and conditions that apply to those events, and the proper handling of a particular event/condition situation depends on the events and conditions that have occurred in the past.  In some cases, the sequences of events can be potentially infinite, which of course exceeds our testing capabilities, but we want to have a test design technique that allows us to handle arbitrarily-long sequences of events.
This article was originally published in Testing Experience Magazine.  Subscribe today! View this article in its entirety on our articles page.
RBCS Software Testing Resources Expands to include a Digital Library and Podcast Subscriptions
We are very happy to debut our digital library and our podcast subscriptions.  Visit our digital library to access recorded webinars and videos on topics ranging from Agile Testing Challenges to the ISTQB Advanced Syllabus.
Subscribe to the RBCS podcast and  stay current on important topics in software testing - on your iPod. Subscribe to the RBCS podcast and, about twice a month, you'll learn something new and interesting. Rex will share important lessons learned from RBCS' consulting, training, and outsourcing engagements. Listen while exercising, going for a walk, shopping, or driving, and become a more informed software tester. 
Sunny Meet Sunny Broam  
In October, Debbie "Sunny" Broam" joined the RBCS team as a Sales Account Manager.  Sunny began her technology career with 14 years of telecommunications experience as a Corporate Sales and Marketing Representative for AT&T Wireless.  She was AT&T's National Sales Manager for two years running based on her work on all her Corporate and National Accounts.  She has taken courses in business and marketing from Oklahoma State University.  Sunny has achieved numerous awards for outstanding sales and achievement including setting several new bench marks for the local markets and regional markets for sales. 

Sunny is well known among her business colleagues for her amazing attitude and friendly demeanor.  There are few doors that Sunny can walk into and not find a familiar face.  Companies have trusted her for years with their accounts because she knows how to get the job done in the most efficient, professional manner.  We are happy to have her on board! Email Sunny at Sunny_Broam@RBCS-US.com.
How to Assure Quality in Your Data Center 
Rex Black is a contributing author for eWEEK Knowledge Center.  His recent article, "How to Assure Quality in Your Data Center," is posted on the eWeekknowledge Center web site. You can find it in the Knowledge Center or directly at http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Data-Storage/How-to-Assure-Quality-in-Your-Data-Center/.
RBCS Includes Free Exam Vouchers with Purchase of Any ISTQB Certified Tester E-Learning Course 
The American Software Testing Qualifications Board (ASTQB) partners with Kryterion to provide proctored electronic exams for the Foundation Level and Advanced Level ISTQB software tester certifications.  On October 7, 2009 we announced that they debuted the electronic Advanced Level exam! 
In acknowledgment of this much anticipated event, for a limited time, purchase an Advanced Level Test Manager, Advanced Level Test Analyst or a Foundation Level E-learning course and receive a free voucher for an electronic exam.  This is a $200 value for the Advanced Level exam and a $250 value for the Foundation Level exam.
To purchase your e-learning course visit RBCS Testing Resources Marketplace, call us at +1 (830) 438-4830 or email us at info@rbcs-us.com.  Your voucher will be emailed to you within 72 hours of purchase.

Offer eligible for courses purchased from RBCS-US only.
November "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.  
  • "In the days immediately before test execution, double-check and triple-check that everything is ready to go.  Few things are more embarrassing to a test manager than being dead in the water on the first day of planned test execution."
  • "Sad to say, many software managers manage holiday parties more quantitatively than they manage the quality of their software deliveries."
  • "Here's an estimation worst-practice to avoid:  Accept dates that you like without questioning them, but scrutinize dates that you don't like and criticize those who provide such dates.  This worst-practice is guaranteed to result in low-ball estimates that will blow up in everyone's face towards the end of the project."
Free Half Day Workshops 
The Australian and New Zealand Testing Board (ANZTB) are proud to offer you a free half day workshop featuring Rex Black.  There are two opportunities to attend the workshop: 
  • Sydney, Australia, Tuesday, December 8, 2009, 1.30pm to 4.30pm.  Drinks 4.30pm to 5.30pm
  • Melbourne, Australia, Wednesday, December 9, 2009,  1.30pm to 4.30pm.  Drinks 4.30pm to 5.30pm 
Rex's presentation will address risk based testing.  Not all risks are equal and there are a number of ways to assess the level of risk. During all test activities, test teams allocate effort to each quality risk item based on the level of risk. Test managers control significant project risks. Test managers and test analysts report test results and project status in terms of residual risks.
So, how can we identify risks, assess their level, implement appropriate controls, and report test results based on risk? This workshop will show attendees how to do so. We'll look at quality risks and quality risk categories. We'll talk about how to identify risk items and assess their level of risk. We'll look at how risk based testing adapts to various software development lifecycle models, how project risks can affect testing, and metrics we can use during risk-based testing. The concepts are illustrated with examples and case studies.
This opportunity is part of ANZTB's ongoing program of events to enhance the knowledge and careers of software testers in Australia and New Zealand. 
Register today! Space is limited!