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Presentation to Software Quality New Zealand. Tester Certification. Background. I managed a Software Quality Assurance team for a large UK development team in the telecom industry In 2001 my QA team was expanded from 5 to 9 testers with people being moved from the support team to mine

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slide2

Background

  • I managed a Software Quality Assurance team for a large UK development team in the telecom industry
  • In 2001 my QA team was expanded from 5 to 9 testers with people being moved from the support team to mine
  • These new people, although having subject matter expertise and good problem solving experience, had never received any training in testing
slide3

Choosing Certification

  • I needed to find a way to integrate these people into my team as well as up skill them.
  • I looked at what training was available in UK at the time and only ISEB had a recognised certification
  • In the next few slides I will talk about the benefits my team and I gained by going through a formal testing certification program.
slide4

What is Certification?

  • Recognized by international bodies
  • Provides a learning path for further certifications
  • Demonstrates a level of knowledge necessary for a person to be a professional software tester
slide5

Employer Benefits

  • Clarifies definitions of activities, capabilities and responsibilities
  • Improves job and career path descriptions as well as hiring and promotion criteria
  • Clarifies required knowledge and training needs
  • Attracts skilled testers
  • Promotes more cost-effective practice
  • Helps build trust in potential clients
slide6

Tester Benefits

  • Improves the image of testers
  • Increases professionalism, credibility, and respect
  • Improves communication and coordination with others
  • Facilitates training, professional growth, achievement and recognition
  • Provides evidence of interest, knowledge, and accomplishments
slide7

Test Manager Benefits

  • Demonstrates team capability
  • Builds trust in team
  • Team has same understanding of process
  • Allows for delegation
slide8

End User Benefits

  • More reliable products from more effective testing
  • Helps find vendors who have a commitment to quality
  • Ensures common terms are standardised so users and vendors have a reference point.
slide9

Perceived Risks

  • Lose of Staff
    • Ensure that your staff are content
    • Develop personal development plans
  • Which is worse? Trained staff that leave or untrained staff that stay!
  • Slows innovation (People don’t try to solve the problem in a better way)
    • Encourage self learning
    • Ensure staff have access to resources like StickyMinds
slide10

In Conclusion – Culture?

  • Certification must be part of a strategy to develop an effective team; it should not be the strategy
  • Certification must add value to all stakeholders; Employers, Testers, and End Users
  • A framework must be in place to analyse suggested improvements and a plan created to implement improvements.