September 2009
In This Issue
Free Webinars
E-Learning Courses
Free Preview of E-Learning Course
ISTQB Certified Tester Courses
Other Public Courses
Testing Experience Tutorials
Green Tip
Advanced Software Test Design Techniques, Decision Tables and Cause-Effect Graphs
RBCS Library
Requirements Engineering Foundation
ASTQB Resources
September "Rexisms"
ST&P Conference

Quick Links
Free Webinars
The Future of Test Management 
October 8, 2009
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
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
Test Engineering Foundation Level     
December 1-4, 2009
Atlanta, GA
Advanced Test Manager  
November 9-13, 2009
 Toronto, Canada
November 9-13, 2009
 McLean, VA

Advanced Test Analyst   
November 2-6, 2009
Dallas, TX 
The 2010 schedule will be posted on on our training page soon! 
Other Public Courses 
Requirements Engineering Foundation   
   October 27-29, 2009 
 Seattle, WA
The 2010 schedule will be posted on our training page soon!   

Tutorials Hosted by Testing Experience
Managing the Testing Process
by Rex Black
December 2-4, 2009  Berlin, Germany

Software Test Estimation
by Rex Black
December 7-9, 2009 Berlin, Germany

Software Test Estimation 
by Rex Black
December 10-11, 2009 Berlin, Germany
For more information and to register, visit Testing Experience.
Green Tip 
recycle globe
ENERGY STAR computers and monitors save energy only when the power management features are activated, so make sure power management is activated on your computer. 

Tip provided by our partner BeGreen www.BeGreennow.com.   
Dear Reader,
This month's issue is dedicated to the hard-core professional tester.  You've got an article on the use of advanced software test design techniques, the first in a series of three.  You've now got full access to the RBCS Basic and Advanced Library, no passwords or licenses required.  You've got information about a wide variety of course offerings, around the world and via the Web.  You've got a discount code for the Software Test and Performance Conference coming in October, which is truly one of my favorite conferences organized by a great bunch of people.  For those interested in certification, we have links to free practice questions from the ASTQB and information about our requirements engineering course for IREB, IIBA, and QAMP candidates. And, of course, the newsletter regular features about RBCS and what we're up to. 

I hope you find it an enjoyable read.
Rex Black, President 
fb icon
twitter icon
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, Decision Tables and Cause-Effect Graphs 
by Rex Black 
The following article 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 first article in a series of excerpts, I start by discussing the related concepts of decision tables and cause-effect graphs.

Equivalence partitioning and boundary value analysis are very useful techniques.  They are especially useful when testing input field validation at the user interface.  However, lots of testing that we do as test analysts involves testing the business logic that sits underneath the user interface.  We can use boundary values and equivalence partitioning on business logic, too, but three additional techniques, decision tables, use cases, and state-based testing, will often prove handier and more powerful techniques. 

In this article, we start with decision tables. Conceptually, decision tables express the rules that govern handling of transactional situations.  By their simple, concise structure, decision tables make it easy for us to design tests for those rules, usually at least one test per rule....
This article was originally published in Testing Experience Magazine.  Subscribe today! View this article in its entirety on our articles page.
Visit the RBCS Library for Your Software Testinghttp://www.rbcs-us.com/software-testing-resources/library Resources
RBCS has always maintained an online library of resources available your use.  Over the years, though the library has grown to include Webinars and podcasts as well as slides and articles, it has become less known than our popular training courses and consulting services. 
This month we would like to re-introduce you to the numerous resources that we use for our own projects.  There are articles, papers, and presentations that explain concepts ranging from test design and test automation, to test planning and test results reporting. Helpful templates, case studies, Webinars and examples are used to illustrate key techniques for test engineers and test managers.
Feel free to browse and stay as long as you like, free of charge! Click here to check it out!  Use of these materials is subject to copyright laws and our terms of use.
Requirements Engineering Course Earns Credit Toward CBAP and QAMP Certification 
The RBCS Requirements Engineering Foundation course is accredited by both the International Requirements Engineering Board (IREB) and the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA).  This means that by taking this one course, you can accomplish four things: 
  • learn how to apply best practices in requirements engineering to your work, making you a more effective and efficient tester, developer, or business analyst;
  • prepare for the IREB Foundation exam;
  • prepare for the IIBA Certified Business Analyst Professional exam; and,
  • position yourself, together with ISTQB Foundation and ISTQB Advanced Test Manager, to obtain QAMP certification.

This course is offered publicly and, like all of our courses, is also available for private onsite delivery.  For more information on this course, for pricing and to find out how it fits into your master training plan  contact us today via email at info@rbcs-us.com or call +1 (830) 438-4830.

Helpful ASTQB Resources 
As part of our commitment to ISTQB Certification we like to keep you informed of relevant policy changes and helpful resources.  Please note that this information can change and up to the minute information can be found through your National Board. 
In their newsletter this month, the ASTQB reminded us of the sample exam questions available on their website.  Two sets of sample questions are posted for study purposes. Check out Sample Foundation Level Question Set # 1 and Sample Foundation Level Question Set # 2.
While neither set of sample questions is a "true" exam, built perfectly to ISTQB guidelines, each will give the potential examinee an opportunity to test syllabus and glossary knowledge. Each set contains 40 questions, so it can be used as well as a time test for the real 60-minute 40-question exam.

Contact the ASTQB directly at +1 (813) 319-0890 or visit their website at www.astqb.org should you have any questions regarding the sample exam questions or to sign up for their newsletter.
September "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.  
  • "Keep in mind that, no matter how much you test, you can't test your applications for compatibility and interoperability with other applications that haven't been developed yet.  Some quality risks cannot be mitigated through testing."
  • "A modest proposal:  Before anyone is allowed to propose any new lifecycle model, any new tool, any new programming language, any new architecture, or any change whatsoever to the way we build software, they should be required to prove that they have read and understand Fred Brooks' classic essay, 'No Silver Bullets'."

Every once in a while there is something that we hear that is not a "Rexism" and but we like to pass it along.  While attending and speaking at the NDIA Software Testing Training event in Reston, VA this month, Rex heard the FAA Software Audit Team Motto:

  •  "We're not happy until you're not happy." 
Software Test & Performance Conference
October 19-23, Cambridge, MA 
Rex Black will be a featured speaker at the Software Test & Performance Conference the premier conference for software test and QA professionals. STPCon 2009 will be held at the Hyatt Regency in Cambridge, Massachusetts, October 19-23, 2009.
Specifically, Rex will be presenting the following:
  • A one-day workshop on Risk-Based Testing
  • A talk on Agile Testing Challenges
  • A talk on Six Surprising Findings from Test Assessments

STPCon 2009 will focus on five key areas:

  • Agile
  • Performance 
  • Test Automation 
  • Test Management 
  • FutureTest™ -  the latest tools and technologies

To register, visit http://www.stpcon.com today!  Enter code STPSP150 and save $150!