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2009 Issue #3

If you don't have time to test everything, how do you still keep customers happy? In this issue of ISTQB Certification News, we hear from a digital design engineer lead for Expedia about the importance of risk-based testing.

Articles in this issue:

Certification Drives Products to the Front of the Pack
Advanced Level Exams Now Available Electronically
Become a Fan of ASTQB on Facebook
Win a Free Kindle: Take the 1-Minute Survey
Congratulations to Our First Kindle Winner!
Tell the World About Your Achievement
Certification Training/Exams Coming to an Area Near You


Certification Drives Products
to the Front of the Pack


"Awesome" is the word Avinash Sharma uses to describe ISTQB certification. A digital design engineer lead for Expedia, Sharma was introduced to ISTQB about a year and half ago by his company's training manager.

"The test leadership here looked at things we needed to do to improve in our testing organization," explains Sharma. "One of the things we realized was that we needed to improve our overall skill level and to get better at incorporating standardized testing processes. Being a part of ISTQB, reading the materials they have to offer, has really opened our eyes to the possibilities of test processes such as risk-based testing and knowing more about standard practices in the industry worldwide."

Sharma says all of his testers went through the certification process and took the basic certification exam. Sharma went one step further and became qualified with the ISTQB Certified Tester, Advanced Level (CTAL). "I was pretty impressed with the material included in the advanced level, so I decided to pursue that qualification as well," he explains.

The result is nothing short of "awesome", according to Sharma. "ISTQB has allowed me to understand more of why we do certain things in testing, but it has also showed me why some of the things I was doing were inefficient or irrational. And, ISTQB certification has shown me industry best practices, which have definitely improved the testing process here at Expedia."

Sharma, who has been with Expedia for five years, has two major responsibilities. One is managing his team of testers. The other is to contribute directly to the individual testing responsibilities.

As a university computer science undergraduate he was introduced to software testing at a job fair. "I talked with a test lead manager who gave me a good rundown of what testing involved," remembers Sharma. "So, I looked at my skills, and they appeared to be a really good match for the job they were offering."

During his internship with the company, Sharma discovered that testing requires someone "who really understands software, who loves diagnosing and debugging issues in software, who likes messing around software, which I used to a lot of in my free time." He is also someone who likes to write code, so the opportunity seemed perfect for him.

When he was ready for a full-time job, Expedia offered him the chance to become a tester with the company. "I was fortunate to join a pretty organized test team," says Sharma.

Asked to describe his favorite aspect of testing, Sharma says that from a core testing point of view, the challenge of finding bugs in the product is key, but that he also enjoys thinking like a developer sometimes, or thinking like a product manager, or a customer. "Looking at software from several, different points of view is something I find fascinating," he explains.

In addition, he says, testing involves software estimation, which is intriguing to him. "Because there is always pressure to ship new products with as many new features as possible, we live in a world that is very fast-paced," he says. "With that challenge, we have to decide how we are going to define quality and determine what amount of quality will be acceptable in the marketplace because you can't test everything and you can't find all the bugs all the time. So, determining the risk areas that need to be addressed from all the stakeholders point of view is what I enjoy about the management aspect of testing."

In the past, says Sharma, testing was viewed as a second-class role because it always came after development. "But in this day and age, testing a new product is as important as developing it to make sure it does what it is supposed to because you don't get a second chance in the world these days.

"Testers today are expected to write solid code. They work hand in hand with developers and project managers using various methods from adaptive to predictive. As such, I believe certification of people involved with the testing process is critical to a company's survival. If you are not certified, you can't compete."


Advanced Level Exams Now Available Electronically


ASTQB's Advanced Level exams are now available electronically at our test centers around the globe! The Advanced Level certification is the perfect way to set yourself apart in this challenging economy. And thanks to the new electronic version, it's easier than ever to find an exam location near you. Learn more about the electronic exams at http://www.astqb.org/register-for-exams/electronic.php


Become a Fan of ASTQB on Facebook


Join the dozens of ASTQB fans on Facebook and become part of the ASTQB tester community. You are just a click away from special ASTQB announcements, previews and giveaways: http://www.facebook.com/pages/ASTQB-ISTQB-in-the-US/119329946198


Win a Free Kindle:
Take the 1-Minute Survey


Here is your chance to win a free Kindle! Simply take the 1-minute "Certified Tester Survey": http://www.astqb.org/survey/survey.php?sid=D241B3

Feel free to share this link with other ISTQB certified testers via Twitter, email, Facebook, or even old-fashioned mail.


Congratulations to
Our First Kindle Winner!


Congratulations to Shilpy Gupta who won the drawing for the free Kindle at the ASTQB software tester certification booth at StarWest! This was just one of the many events and venues through which ASTQB is spreading the word about the importance and value of your ISTQB certification.

ASTQB volunteer Vice President Joe Gance, CTFL, left, and Executive Director, Lois Kostroski, right, speak with testers at StarWest about the value of ISTQB certification.

Tell the World About Your Achievement


The more information you share about your certification, the more valuable it will become. So when you achieve ISTQB Certification, tell the world. Right now, add a link to the ASTQB website, http://www.astqb.org, from your personal website, company websites, blog, Facebook page, MySpace page, LinkedIn information, and email signature.


Certification Training/Exams Coming to an Area Near You


If you would like to receive notification when ISTQB Certification training and exams are in your area, simply enter your request at: http://www.astqb.org/general/newsletter.php

Below is a list of scheduled public ISTQB certification exams. Details are available at the ASQTB website at http://www.astqb.org or by contacting the ASTQB office at info@astqb.org.

November 13, 2009 (Friday)
McLean, VA

November 18, 2009 (Wednesday)
Tampa, FL

December 3, 2009 (Thursday)
Phoenix, AZ

December 4, 2009 (Friday)
Atlanta, GA



What Would You Like to Learn About?
As always, we welcome your feedback and criticism. Let us know what we can do to help make you and your company better at software testing at info@astqb.org.

About ISTQB Certification News
ISTQB Certification News is a free software testing newsletter from ASTQB providing news, analysis, and interviews for the software tester community. Feel free to forward to colleagues or ask them to subscribe at: <http://www.astqb.org/general/newsletter.php>

Non-profit, non-commercial publications and Web sites may reprint or link to articles if full credit is given. Publication, product, and company names may be registered trademarks of their companies.

Copyright 2008 American Software Testing Qualifications Board, Inc. (ASTQB) 12000 N. Dale Mabry Hwy., Suite 110 Tampa, FL 33618 USA Phone 813.319.0890 Fax 813.968.3597 info@astqb.org www.astqb.org

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