July 2008
In This Issue
E-Learning Courses
Free Preview of E-Learning Course
ISTQB Certified Tester Training
Other Public Courses
devLINK 2008
Measuring Defect Potentials and Defect Removal Efficiency
July "Rexisms"
RBCS Adds a New Course
Advanced Level Test Analyst Course Accredited by ASTQB
Advanced Software Testing Books Coming Soon
RBCS Sponsors 3rd Annual AST Conference
RBCS Principals Fund UCLA Scholarship

Quick Links
Featured Partner 

 Software Productivity Research LLC, founded in 1984 by Capers Jones, develops and markets SPR KnowledgePLANĈ, an industry-leading parametric software project estimation tool. SPR provides a broad range of consulting and performance benchmarking assessment services and training programs. With SPR's guidance, organizations improve their software development practice through knowledge-driven diagnosis, tools, and management.

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 Training 

July 22-25
San Francisco, CA
Test Engineering Foundation

July 28-August 1
Toronto, Canada
Advanced Test Analyst
September 2-5, 2008
Austin, TX
Test Engineering Foundation
September 8-12
Ottawa, Canada
Advanced Test Analyst
September  22-26
Las Vegas, NV
Advanced Test Analyst
September 29-October 3
NYC Area, New York
Advanced Test Manager
Other Public Courses
September 22-24
Denver, CO
Performance Testing Immersion Workshop
October 21-23
Austin, TX
Performance Testing Immersion Workshop

Rex Black will be a keynote speaker at devLINK 2008, presenting "Stranger in a Strange Land: The IT Professional in the Outsourced Project".
Dear Reader,
Welcome to the July newsletter.  In this newsletter, we initiate a new series that we're excited about: guest featured articles.  Approximately every other newsletter will feature an article from a fellow testing, quality, or software engineering expert, illustrating some key idea that we find very important at RBCS.
To inaugurate this series, we're proud to have an article from Capers Jones.  Capers is Chief Scientist Emeritus of Software Productivity Research (SPR), an author of numerous useful books on software metrics (including testing and quality metrics) and software engineering,  and a pioneer in the fields of software estimation and software sizing (in particular with function points). 
I have relied on Capers' metrics for benchmarking on a number of engagements.  We're very pleased to offer you access to the fine article that Capers has provided, which will give you a number of useful ideas and useful metrics to consider as you assess the state of quality and testing in your organization.
Speaking of SPR, RBCS and SPR have joined forces to offer a unique set of assessment packages for their clients.  One such service involves a joint assessment with RBCS and SPR consultants where we benchmark the organization's testing and quality capabilities against SPR's industry-leading database of metrics from thousands of projects.  Another such service involves a joint assessment where RBCS consultants augment the SPR team to provide thorough analysis of the testing aspects of the organization's capabilities.  These services will allow assessed organizations to gain tremendous insight into their testing and quality capabilities in relation to industry practices. 
For those of you looking to learn new ways to move defect discovery and removal upstream in your projects, we're proud to offer a new class on technical inspections from Professor Paul Jorgensen.  You'll find more details on this class below, including links to public course dates and the outline.
In addition, we have a few ISTQB-related announcements to make in this newsletter.  From Advanced course accreditation to Advanced books to Advanced e-learning, there's interesting news for those of you moving to the Advanced level of ISTQB certification.   Finally, we have some news about two interesting conferences, the devLINK conference in Nashville, where I'll be speaking, and the CAST conference in Toronto, which RBCS is sponsoring.  Assuming my keynote goes well at devLINK, I can always say that, for one moment at least, I was very popular in the cultural capital of country music!  The few of you who have been unfortunate enough to hear me sing know what an improbable event that is.
So, as you can see we at RBCS have been busy the last couple months.  It shows in the volume of information in this newsletter.  We hope you find it informative and useful.
Rex Black, President
Measuring Defect Potentials
And Defect Removal Efficiency

by Capers Jones, Founder and Chief Scientist Emeritus
Software Productivity Research, LLC

There are two measures that have a strong influence on the outcomes of software projects: 1) Defect potentials; 2) Defect removal efficiency.

The term "defect potentials" refers to the total quantity of bugs or defects that will be found in five software artifacts: requirements, design, code, documents, and "bad fixes" or secondary defects.

The term defect removal efficiency refers to the percentage of total defects found and removed before software applications are delivered to customers.

As of 2008 the U.S. average for defect potentials is about 5 defects per function points. The U.S. average for defect removal efficiency is only about 85%. The U.S. average for delivered defects is about 0.75 defects per function point.

Software project costs and schedules decline for projects whose cumulative defect removal efficiency level is approximately 95%. Achieving 95% removal efficiency requires a combination of formal inspections and formal testing. Testing alone is insufficient for optimal defect removal efficiency.

Cautions are given against measuring quality using either "cost per defect" or "defects per KLOC' because both metrics violate standard economics and yield incorrect results.
To see this article in its entirety, visit our library.  To learn more about Software Productivity Research, LLC, read our "Featured Partner" article in this newsletter.

July "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.
  • "Two axioms of management are:  What gets measured gets done, and what gets valued get funded.  So, it's important to remember that testing delivers value that we can--and should--measure."
  • "One key, but often overlooked, benefit of risk-based testing is test prioritization.  Remember, without prioritization, nothing is a priority."
  • "Contrary to the management cliche, there is such a thing as a dumb question. Any question that a person asks in a meeting, which is answered in background material provided before the meeting, is not only a dumb question, it is a rude question."
RBCS Adds a New Course: 
Industrial-Strength Technical Inspections
This course was developed by and is taught by Paul Jorgensen.  It provides software developers, testers, software project managers, and software quality assurance professionals with the essential ideas, processes, tools and skills they need in order to implement and conduct an effective software review process. This hands-on course uses a combination of lectures and exercises to cover the basic forms of software technical reviews, with an emphasis on technical inspections. The course is based on an extremely mature industrial software review process, refined by two decades of university teaching and research. In addition to the basics, the course presents various subtle checks and balances, only discovered through long industrial practice. The review process is presented, both through theory and a hands-on exercise, based on a sample software development artifact-a Use Case description of an ATM system. The example material includes all the items essential to a thorough technical inspection: the customer requirements, a Use Case standard, a Use Case review checklist, the actual Use Case document, review forms, and a sample review report outline.
Watch our course schedule for a fall 2008 public offering of this course.  Contact us at info@rbcs-us.com to schedule "Industrial-Strength Technical Inspections" at your organization.  Don't forget to take a look at a complete course outline or to check out our entire list of course offerings.

First Advanced Level Test Analyst and Advanced Level Test Manager Courses Accredited by the ASTQB
We are proud to announce the accreditation of our new ISTQB Advanced Test Analyst and Advanced Test Manager courses by the ASTQB, based on the new Advanced syllabus.  These are the first Advanced Level courses under the new syllabus to be accredited by the ASTQB.  We offer these courses both in instructor-led and e-learning formats. 
 Advanced Software Testing: Volume 1 and  Advanced Software Testing: Volume 2 are coming soon! 
 RBCS President Rex Black is currently editing the final text of Advanced Software Testing: Volume 1, which will cover the ISTQB Advanced Syllabus from the Advanced Test Analyst perspective. It includes a complete discussion of those sections of syllabus pertinent for test analysts, a comprehensive set of exercises with fully worked-out solutions, extensive examples from actual projects, and a large set of sample exam questions. It should be available by mid-August if not earlier. 
Once finished with that book, Rex will turn his attention to Advanced Software Testing: Volume 2, which will cover the ISTQB Advanced Syllabus from the Advanced Test Manager perspective.  It will include the same level of materials as Volume 1, and should be available no later than mid-October.
 RBCS Sponsors the 3rd Annual AST Conference
July 14-26, 2008
Toronto, Canada 
The Association for Software Testing is pleased to announce CAST 2008, to be held July 14-16 in Toronto, Canada, a city which features enormous diversity in culture, businesses, educational institutions, and the arts. Toronto is the perfect location for a conference on this year's theme: "Beyond the Boundaries: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Software Testing."   
With keynote addresses by Jerry Weinberg, Cem Kaner, Rob Sabourin, & Brian Fisher; tutorials by Scott Barber, Hung Nguyen, Julian Harty, & Jerry Weinberg; and plenty of exciting sessions and events on the program, CAST is the conference no career software tester wants to miss. 
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Register today and receive a 10% discount.  Enter Discount Code: trebcns
RBCS Principals Fund Annual UCLA Scholarship 
As some of you may remember, that summer between high school and college can be a very exciting but stressful time. For some highly gifted individuals, that stress is compounded by the worry of how to finance a college education.  We are happy to announce that RBCS principals, Rex Black and Laurel Becker, are continuing their commitment to higher education by, once again, sponsoring a UCLA Alumni Scholarship.  The 2008 scholarship recipient will be chosen in the coming months.