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2010 Issue #2

How do you bring testers up to speed quickly and create consistent quality across your organization? In this issue of ISTQB Certification News, we learn how one IT consulting and outsourcing services provider has managed these challenges of rapid growth.

Articles in this issue:

Managing rapid growth in testing consulting and outsourcing
Survey of certified ISTQB software testers indicates that 92% find certification helps demonstrate professional competency
Win an Apple iPad: Test manager survey
News and offers from ASTQB accredited course providers
Certification training/exams coming to an area near you


Managing rapid growth in testing consulting and outsourcing


Editor's Note: How does ISTQB software testing fit into the testing consulting and outsourcing business? In a series of questions and answers with ISTQB Certification News (ICN), AshLea Millsap of Xpanxion, LLC gave her perspective on how her company is managing the challenges of rapid growth with the help of certification.

ICN: What are the testing challenges your organization faces?

Millsap: As Xpanxion evolves and grows at a rapid pace, we experience both successes and challenges. How we have leveraged our testing challenges is what sets us apart from others. One of the challenges we have had involves consistency in our testing approach as it relates to our individual testers, project teams, and clients. ISTQB has provided a foundation that allows us to provide consistency by training testers on the latest quality assurance testing processes and terminology.

Another challenge we have encountered and created a solution for, involves bringing new testers up to speed quickly. ISTQB has aided in our training process, in that we require all new Xpanxion employees be ISTQB certified testers. We provide a number of materials to help new employees study and retain the ISTQB curriculum. Additionally, because of our in-depth training process, we are able to demonstrate to our clients that new quality assurance testers can be just as effective as peers with more years of experience.

ICN: What led you to consider certification?

Millsap: Xpanxion chose to implement the requirement of certification because of our desire to create a consistent and sophisticated training program that included a globally recognized foundation level certification. Our desire is to equip all employees with tools to enable them to achieve a high level of success within their careers. We feel the retention of the certification material and the certification itself is powerful in that it increases the depth of knowledge and provides a sense of employee confidence in their daily work.

ICN: Why did you choose ISTQB certification?

Millsap: After extensive research on several quality assurance testing certifications, we found ISTQB to be the best option. We evaluated the curriculum and its contents, global presence, and the industry acceptance of the certification. The fact that ISTQB is globally recognized as the most valuable and prestigious certification led us to reviewing its curriculum and ultimately the decision to implement it within our Nebraska operations.

ICN: How has this helped your organization?

Millsap: ISTQB has proved to be a successful tool in our training process and throughout our company for several reasons:

1) Since our implementation of the certification requirement in late 2009, 60% of our Quality Assurance Analysts (our official job title for testers) are now ISTQB certified. While the 60% number is encouraging, our goal is to have 100% of our QA Analysts certified in the coming months.

2) ISTQB has become a core part of Xpanxion's training program.

3) By confirming our resources are ISTQB certified, our clients can instantly know our resources, regardless of background or level of experience, have been trained on Quality Assurance standards and best practices, and have had to pass a vigorous test to demonstrate mastery of the material.

4) Many of our clients use different terminology, so with ISTQB as a foundation for all employees, we are able to achieve a high level of consistency in the area of verbal QA communication and the understanding of QA practices.

5) ISTQB has helped us achieve consistency, because all of our employees review the same materials when they start with us regardless of experience level. All new testers and experienced testers are exposed to a sophisticated Xpanxion training program that includes ISTQB certification preparation and ultimately the certification itself.

6) With many of our employees now certified, there is growing interest in taking the certification to the next level of Advanced ISTQB Certification.

If you have questions about Xpanxion, you may contact AshLea at amillsap@xpanxion.com or learn more about Xpanxion at www.xpanxion.com.


Survey of certified ISTQB software testers indicates that 92% find certification helps demonstrate professional competency


92% of ISTQB certified software testers feel that certification helps to demonstrate professional competency. An equal percentage also feel that certification aids in gaining professional recognition. The results come from a survey of 219 certified software testers by the American Software Testing Qualifications Board (ASTQB).

"ISTQB software tester certification is designed to demonstrate that a tester has the knowledge and skills needed for their everyday software testing challenges. This practical nature may be the reason testers feel that certification helps them demonstrate their professional competency," said Patricia McQuaid, President of the non-profit U.S. board for ISTQB software tester certification, ASTQB.

"We're pleased that ISTQB certified testers also find that certification helps them to gain professional recognition," continued McQuaid. "We believe that stems directly from the credibility of ISTQB certification, as it was developed by more than 100 global software testing experts, is offered in 47 countries, and is the world's most popular software tester certification." Additional survey results may be found at the ASTQB Facebook page.


Win an Apple iPad: Test Manager Survey


We have a special survey for test managers, and one of the lucky participants in our test manager survey will win an entry level wi-fi Apple iPad. If you are a test manager, simply take the survey by July 16th and it could be you! Feel free to share this survey URL with other test managers.


News and Offers from ASTQB Accredited Course Providers


ALP International: Summer Promotion - Register 3 people for the July 19-21 class and all 3 get exams for free! Click here to sign up: ALPI.

ProtoTest: Summer Special - we will pay for your ASTQB Exam! For course details go to here. Mention this ad when you register for the July 20-22 course.

RBCS, Inc: RBCS announces availability of its Advanced Technical Test Analyst course, developed in strict accordance with the ISTQB Advanced Syllabus and Advanced Accreditation Rules, on 7/1/2010.


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 here.

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.

July 28, 2010
Columbia, MD

August 19, 2010
San Francisco, CA

August 26, 2010
Hilton Garden Inn - San Jose/Milpitas
30 Ranch Dr.
Milpitas, CA 95035

August 26, 2010
Holiday Inn Boston - Sumerville
30 Washington St.
Somerville, MA 02143

September 2, 2010
Charlotte, NC

September 15, 2010
Crowne Plaza Washington National Airport
1480 Crystal Dr.
Arlington, VA 22202

September 16, 2010
Holiday Inn Minneapolis Metrodome
1500 Washington Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55454

September 16, 2010
Hampton Inn Salt Lake City Downtown
425 South 300 West
Salt Lake City, UT 84101

September 23, 2010
Philadelphia, PA

September 23, 2010
St. Louis, MO

September 28, 2010
Hilton San Diego Bayfront
1 Park Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92101

September 30, 2010
Indianapolis, IN

October 7, 2010
Baltimore, MD

October 14, 2010
Hilton Garden Inn Raleigh Triangle Town Center
6412 Capital Blvd.
Raleigh, NC 27616

October 14, 2010
Omaha, NE

October 20, 2010
Doubletree Hotel San Francisco Airport
835 Airport Blvd.
Burlingame, CA 94010

October 21, 2010
Courtyard Atlanta Glenridge/Perimeter Center
5601 Peachtree-Dunwoody Rd.
Atlanta, GA 30342

October 21, 2010
Pittsburgh, PA

October 28, 2010
Austin, TX

November 4, 2010
Bethesda Hilton Garden Inn
7301 Waverly St.
Bethesda, MD 20814

November 4, 2010
Palm Bay/Melbourne, FL

November 4, 2010
Boston, MA

November 10, 2010
Hilton Tampa Airport Westshore
2225 N. Lois Ave.
Tampa, FL 33607

November 18, 2010
Sunnyvale, CA

November 10, 2010
Hilton Garden Inn Old Town Scottsdale
7324 E. Indian School Rd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85251


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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