Hi there, I wondered if anyone can recommend or advise on the different types of QA Certification there are in the UK, and those that potential employers will take note of. I'm currently thinking of moving from Videogame QA (4 years experience of testing and management) and I have had a brief stint as a web/software tester using winrunner.
Obviously I need to make my CV as attractive as possible, any certification is going to assist, so hopefully someone can advise me [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]
The standard UK pair are the Foundation and Practitioner from the BCS via ISEB (link: http://www1.bcs.org.uk/homepages/463/ ). Many people have the Foundation exam, few have the Practitioner. Some outspoken testers have raised valid concerns with the syllabus - passing either exam doesn't mean you're a good tester, but you'll at least share a vocabulary and some core concepts. As written exams, these pay more attention to your knowledge of syllabus and standards than your skills and experience. You can take these exams publicly for a fee - you don't have to pay for a course beforehand.
Many training providers offer courses that culminate in the exams. Some training companies offer further/different certification based on their own standards. These assessments are typically based on your performance during a training course - the assessment is better, but you'll have to be take the course to get it. QBIT have a three-level 'Putting Theory into Practice' certification (link: http://www.qbit-testing.co.uk/ ). You can also go on a range of courses for various tools - at the higher levels, you'll be able to gain certification.
Employers may take note of these qualifications, but I'd be concerned if any employer saw the absence of a certificate as a reason to not consider someone for a post. Getting this through to recruitment agencies is difficult, and consequently I'm often concerned.
Most formal assessments are based on lessons learned / common practice from a relatively limited set of businesses - to my knowledge, the games industry hasn't been involved in the construction of the standards or the syllabuses. You may have a lot of experience that may not be directly assessed by these exams - but you may also have good approaches that haven't been considered.
My advice - read the syllabus of any qualification and see if it applies both to your knowledge and to the requirements of potential employers.
Disclaimer - I'm involved in setting and assessing both the ISEB and QBIT assessments mentioned above!
I have been involved in testing web apps and the like for over seven years and the traditional ISEB "V" model just doesnt cut it with highly iterative development cycles.
I was very concernd last year to here from agents ove r and over that they would not put me forward for roles unless I had an ISEB certificate... I think agencies are understanding the situation better now.
I would love to see a QA course that wents though some of the RAD or eXtrem methods of development not just the twenty year old "V" or waterfall methods... Development has moved on and testing needs to follow
There are companies that offer training in ISEB, Exploratory and RAD approaches to testing, feel free to get in touch with me if you would like further information as posting it here would be an advert (not allowed in most newsgroups).