I have been tasked with identifying options for certification in the field of Software testing/QA and after scouring the WWW I am left scratching my head?...
Why, in a discipline that promotes the adoption of Metrics and measurable standards, is there such a lack of industry recognisable accreditation available? It appears that the only metric available for gauging a professionals standard is length of service.
I know this is not completely accurate, there is certification available. However judging by some of the posts on this subject the distinction between them is not only unclear but intangible.
Can any one help me? Being UK based, I am mainly only interested in UK recognised certification, the only type being that awarded by the ISEB. This certificate looks appealing but I find it difficult to make an informed decision when there is no choice. I am trying to write a report outlining the options available and which I think are best for my career, without diversifying the subject matter into certification in test tools or ISO and such like, I am left wondering.
I hope this post comes over with the objectivity I intended and not as a rant. Any suggestions / shared views would be welcome.
the iseb and the ISQTB are the recognised certification programmes in the UK. Most of the other certifications our Americian brethern can take have no real value in the UK market as they are not offered by training providers as they are not recognised.
I am not sure of the value of them to you as I do not know your context. I do not have them and it has not (as far as I can tell) had a negative impact on my career or value as a tester and QA.
The information regarding UK recognised programs is helpfull. The context of my question is this: I have built a role as tester/QA, for myself, over the last few years and, after relentlesly promoting the value of QA in my organisation, I have now been asked to find what accreditation would benefit both myself and my company. My investigation appears to have stopped here, the findings are a little too easy to summarise; there are only 2 options, and apparently they may soon be merged into one!
Also should I question the value of such accreditation. As you say Neil, it doesn't appear to have affected your career adversley.
And what of the wider spectrum of QA disciplines? I wonder if you can advise me then on the options and value of becoming accredited with a more specific discipline such as CMM(I)? Do the ISEB / ISQTB certs. overlap with other project/management quality issues, or do they focus on the mechanics of testing alone?
Do you have a more more 'user-friendly' name? Please don't be shy!
At the company I work for we have gone down the ISEB path and have 15 people with the ISEB Foundation Certificate in Software Testing, we have another set of people doing the course soon. This provides a recognised qualification for the staff, and allows the company to 'brag' about it in the product literature (Sorry, my cynic gene is playing up this morning).
However, it does not really teach our staff how to test, mores the pity. Doing the certificate basically consists of learning a glossary of terms (see http://www.testingstandards.co.uk for the glossary). You then have to put your 'O' level multiple choice skills to the test in the exam. Some of the questions are quite 'hard' but do not necessarily test your understanding of the subject, the examiners just seem to have taken pleasure in writing convoluted questions. Having everyone take the certificate does mean all the staff have the same understanding and testing 'vocabulary'.
Having looked at the syllabus for the Practitioner certificate I doubt anyone here will be doing it any time soon, as it looks very time consuming, not to say expensive, to study for.
I have seen job adverts that do specify ISEB as a 'requirement'. Whether this means that the companies who ask for this actually get any candidates with the certificates, I couldn't say. We certainly wouldn't put it in any job advert as a requirement.
Hi Zoe, thanks for the reply! You may call me Paul [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]
Since I orginaly began this thread I have been pre-occupied with project work but have since found the time to complete my investigation. Apparently the ISEB / ISQTB is the only, ergo - the best, qualification available to me.
I am now trying to decide on a training provider that offers the ISEB exam on the back of a more rounded training course. I feel that I/my org can gain a lot from some formal classes on the subject or at least gleam some ideas from other quality / test professionals.
Any suggestions on training providers would be very welcome. Zoe, Who is your preferred training provider?
there are a couple in the UK I am happy to recommend as the people who teach the class have been expert practioneers in their time.
Testing Solution Group, who have Isobel Evans as one of their Trainers offer an excellent course, either direct or via a number of partner companies.
Grove Consultants, also do an excellent course, which is often run by Mark Fewster, Clive Bates or Lloyd Roden all who have indepth experience in testing and training and each bring unique and insightful perspectives into the teaching exercises from their own experience.