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The ISTQB Advanced Syllabus: Guiding the Way to Better Testing

by Rex Black
Intermediate level

Summary: The International Software Testing Qualification Board (ISTQB) has already effected profound change in the software testing field, with almost 100,000 people having attained Foundation certification.  But a Foundation certification is just that: only a Foundation.  With the release of the new Advanced syllabus in October 2007, the ISTQB has expanded and improved the next rung on the ladder of test professionalism.  In this tutorial, you can talk to Rex Black, President of the ISTQB, about how the ISTQB Advanced syllabus can guide you, your testing colleagues, and your organization toward better testing, reduced risk, and higher quality.

Abstract: The International Software Testing Qualification Board (ISTQB) has already effected profound change in the software testing field.  The rate of that change is rapidly accelerating, too.  It took six years from the initial ISEB Foundation program launch to reach 30,000 Foundation certificate holders by May 2006, but, only two years later, as of May 2008, that number had tripled, with about 90,000 people having attained Foundation certification.

However, a Foundation certification is just that: only a Foundation.  The ISTQB supports a strong and growing career ladder for test professionals.  The ISTQB designed the Foundation program for those entering the testing field, while the Advanced and Expert programs support the test analyst or test manager as she enters more senior and more specialized stages of her career.

With the release of the new Advanced syllabus in October 2007, the ISTQB has expanded and improved the next rung on the ladder of test professionalism.  Indeed, it has defined three specific testing roles, each with its own specific skills and abilities:

The test manager:  defines the testing goals and strategies; plans and tracks the tasks; organizes the necessary testing activities; select, acquire and assign adequate resources; forms, organizes and leads testing teams; and, communicates results and findings between the testing team other stakeholders.

The test analyst: applies the test strategy to business-related test requirements; analyzes the system in terms of functional quality expectations; evaluates the system requirements; prepares and executes the tests and reports their results; gathers and provides the data to support evaluations; and, implements the tools and techniques to achieve the defined testing goals.

The test analyst: applies the test strategy to technical test requirements; analyze the internal structure of the system in terms of functional and non-functional quality; evaluates the system in terms of technical quality attributes;   prepares and executes the tests and reports their results; gathers and provides the data to support evaluations; and, implements the tools and techniques to achieve the defined testing goals.

In this tutorial, you can talk to Rex Black, President of the ISTQB, about how the ISTQB Advanced syllabus can guide you, your testing colleagues, and your organization toward better testing, reduced risk, and higher quality.  He will provide a detailed review of the entire syllabus, from the perspective of each of the three major testing roles, with a special focus on how that provides value for your organization.

Rex BlackPresenter Bio: With a quarter-century of systems engineering experience, Rex Black is President of RBCS (www.rbcs-us.com), which delivers worldwide consulting, outsourcing and training services for software and hardware testing. Rex’s popular first book, Managing the Testing Process, has sold over 30,000 copies, including Japanese, Chinese, and Indian editions. His three other books, Critical Testing Processes, Foundations of Software Testing,and Pragmatic Software Testing, have also sold tens of thousands of copies, including Hebrew, Indian, Chinese, Japanese and Russian editions. He has written over thirty articles, presented hundreds of papers and seminars, and given about forty keynote speeches. Rex is the President of the International Software Testing Qualifications Board.