March 2008
In This Issue
E-Learning Courses
ISTQB Certified Tester Training
Other Public Courses
2008 Course Schedule
TEST 2008 Conference
ISTQB Certification: Why you need it and how to get it
Recommended Software Testing Magazine
March "Rexisms"
First Advanced Test Analyst Course
Where Software Testing Is and Where It's Going
Rex Black Runs the Austin Marathon

Quick Links


Featured Partner 
Our featured partner this month is Impimpi.  Impimpi Technologies is a wholly owned South African company and was founded in 2007. Their core competencies include software testing and quality assurance. Within these domains they offer training, recruiting, consultation and provide quality testing solutions.


Impimpi customizes testing solutions that address our clients' individual business risks, thereby ensuring confidence in their products quality. They believe in solutions that are visible, traceable and that will measure the return on investment.


Impimpi's passion for education and people's development is visible during their course presentations. They offer a career development plan with a mentoring component to help people grow their testing careers. Their partnership with RBCS Inc. enables them to provide international accreditation to South African software testers.


E-Learning Courses

We are pleased to announce that our e-learning courses are now available. 
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
Coming soon...
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. 
*Advanced Test Analyst has been submitted to the American Software Testing Qualifications Board (ASTQB) for accreditation.
ISTQB Certified Tester Training 

April 9-11, Atlanta, GA,  Advanced Test Analyst
US$ 2,000. *

April 28-May 1, Richmond, VA, Advanced Test Manager.
US$ 2,500.

Register Today!
*The Advanced Test Analyst course uses the current set of accredited, Advanced Functional Tester Materials.
Other Public Courses
April 7-9, Austin, TX, Performance Testing Immersion Workshop.  $2,500. 
2008 June to December Courses & the New ISTQB Advanced Level Syllabus

Watch our website for the release of our June to December training schedule.  The ISTQB Advanced Syllabus takes effect in July so all ISTQB Advanced Level Certified Tester Courses will adhere to the new syllabus and will correspond with the new exam.  Please note that all Advanced Level courses will be 5 days in duration starting in July.
TEST 2008
October 13-16
New Dehli, India
Rex Black will present at TEST 2008, the first conference being organized by PureConferences in India.  Agility in testing is the theme of the conference and it will feature keynotes, tutorials, and concurrent paper sessions by renowned test professionals from around the world including the USA, UK, France, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden, Israel, and India.
Dear Reader,
We have big news this month.  RBCS is the first training provider in the world to present an Advanced Test Analyst course against the new ISTQB Advanced syllabus.  So, we'll let you know more about this major development, including an update to an article I first published back in 2006.  We had some other interesting articles and interviews published in the last few weeks, and we thought you'd like to know about them.  From e-learning to Advanced courses to marathons (again) to interviews and articles, 2008 has been very busy for us.  

Rex Black, President

ISTQB Certification:

Why you need it and how to get it

by Rex Black

[Note: This article originally appeared in Software Test and Performance magazine and Testing Experience magazine.  In honor of the groundbreaking release of the RBCS Advanced Test Analyst course, Rex Black has updated the figures and facts in this article as of March 2008.]


If you're a professional tester, test manager, quality assurance staff member, or programmer responsible for testing your own code, you have already discovered that, far from being trivial and straightforward, testing is hard.  There's a lot to know.  Unfortunately, most practitioners tend to carry out testing as if it were 1978, not 2008.  Common practices lag best practices by around 30 years.  ISTQB certification is about raising common practices to the level of best practices.

Suppose you are a tester on a project to develop a new system at your company.  Somebody e-mails you some screen prototypes with notes that describe the input and output ranges for each field, the actions taken based on particular inputs, and the possible states associated with key objects managed by the system.  Would you know how to start designing tests for such a system? ISTQB certified testers do.

Suppose you are a programmer on the same project.  You are using a newly purchased tool to help generate and execute unit tests on your code.  It reports the statement, branch, condition, and multicondition decision coverage achieved by the tests, and flags constructs that were not tested.  Would you know how to create additional tests for the uncovered constructs?  ISTQB certified testers do.

Suppose you are a test manager on this project.  After four weeks of testing, the project manager asks you, "Based on testing so far, what are the remaining risks to the quality of the system?"  Would you know how to do risk-based test status reporting?  ISTQB certified testers do.

ISTQB certified testers know how to do these things and more because they have mastered the topics laid out in one or more of the ISTQB syllabi.  They feel confident that they have mastered these topics, and can prove to others that they have, because they have passed one or more of the ISTQB recognized examinations, rigorously developed to check each examinee's abilities to recall, understand, and apply key testing concepts.

In this article, I will explain how the ISTQB certification program works.  You'll become familiar with the Foundation and Advanced syllabi, and you'll know where to find online copies of each so you can learn more.  I'll tell you how you can prepare for the exam, laying out options from self-guided self-study to attending courses.  I'll discuss the exams and what to expect when taking them. 


What is the ISTQB Program?


In a nutshell, any tester certification program worth your consideration should confirm, through objective, carefully designed examinations, your professional capabilities.  Not only does the ISTQB program do so, it is also practical and real-world focused.  We address only concepts that you can apply to your work.  We support your career path by providing levels of certification that correspond to your experience and roles.  Further, we promote and advance software testing as a profession, not merely an ancillary role on a software development team.

So far, the ISTQB program might sound like other tester certification programs you've heard of.  Here are a couple unique characteristics.  First, the ISTQB syllabi are developed by working groups composed of worldwide experts in the field of software testing, including practitioners, consultants, trainers, and academics.  Thus, at each level of the program, you are guided by the distilled wisdom of over 100 experts.  Second, while the ISTQB accredits certain training courses, there is no requirement to take expensive training or to purchase pricey study guides.  You are free to take the exam with as much or as little help as you need.

To read this article in its entirety, visit the RBCS Library page, Basic Articles, section and click on the article name.
testing experience 
Recommended Software Testing Magazine
The first version of the article "ISTQB Certification:  Why you need it and how to get it" was originally published in a new magazine, Testing Experience, dedicated to software testing and quality assurance.  Click on the link above to check out the first issue! 
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.

"Formal test design techniques are useful, but never let a test design technique get the in way of a good testing idea."

"Testing should be a lot more than just a geeky bug hunt."

"Avoid finding large numbers of trivial bugs while missing the important ones, as that feeds the negative management perception of testers as a bunch of nitpicky, beside-the-point, cost-centers."


RBCS Runs the World's First Live and E-Learning Versions of ISTQB Certified Tester Advanced Test Analyst *

We are proud to announce the launch of the of our ISTQB Certified Tester Advanced Test Analyst Course.  On March 3, 2008, we ran the first Advanced Test Analyst Course (formerly Functional Tester), in partnership with Software Education, in New Zealand. On that same day, our e-learning version of the same course was launched, with a class of over 20 enrolled.


Since 2004, over 3,500 smart test professionals worldwide have obtained ISTQB Foundation and Advanced certification with the help of RBCS training materials, both through RBCS and its international partners and licensees.  For more information on how to register for one of our courses, visit www.rbcs-us.com.

*This course has been submitted to the American Software Testing Qualifications Board (ASTQB) for accreditation.
Where Software Testing Is and Where It's Going

Rex Black, RBCS and ISTQB President, was interviewed by the IEEE recently about where software testing is and where it's going. The interview includes highlights from Google's test approach and comments by Watts HumphreysRead the interview in "Currents: trends, people, projects".

Rex Black Runs the Austin Marathon! Rex marathon
Congratulations, Rex, for running and finishing the AT&T Austin Marathon in February!  What's next?