I’ve seen a LOT of people asking about this recently. The majority asking about ISTQB. Is it worth it? Who has done it? Are there other ones that are better? I’d love to be able to point those people to a single forum discussion about it each time but it seems the talk about it happens on so many different mediums it can be difficult to get it all together.
A discussion in the general channel on the MoT slack prompted me to get off my ass and aim for a single link to send these people.
Martin Hynie posted a link to a recent tweet by Angie Jones which I found to be an interesting read. Martin also said on slack “I have found that the discussion regarding certification far too often involves hard and definitive answers/guidance. Often it is baked in reflections on ones own career. But we all are starting from a different place.” I think covering all the places we start from is going to be a difficult one but hopefully on here some of us can give some personal and general guidance.
I’ve personally started ISTQB online and I got bored quite quickly with the content. That was my personal feeling, I don’t want to take away from people who have found it useful! If you did find it useful I’d be interested to hear how it was useful to you, why you chose it and do you still find yourself using what you learned from it today?
I went in search of another certification. My motivation for this was I had fallen into testing and been fumbling around in the dark as the only tester for the company for a while. I knew I was in dangerous territory. I felt like I was missing some fundamentals. I was also concerned that I wasn’t approaching testing with the right mindset. I thought I was missing things that people who’d had training would not have missed. BBST foundations was recommended to me so I began to research it. The content was freely available online but I wouldn’t receive the certification. So early in my career I felt it made sense to do the certification to help me. Mine was through the Association for Software Testing so it was on the more affordable end of the scale for me (I paid for it myself).
Afterwards I found I changed my approach to testing significantly. I wouldn’t say I was finding more bugs but I was stressing somewhat less than before. I was assessing high risk areas in the application, explaining to people why I felt they were high risk and how I thought we should test them. I made the personal decision to write less test cases and instead a form of checklisting after it. This wasn’t advised in the certification but it had changed my thinking on priorities. “Are 100 superbly written test cases that took days to craft better than spending one of those days writing checklists and the other days actually testing the application?”
As a lone tester it was also interesting to interact with testers from around the world on group assignments and I still speak to some of those almost a year on from it.
My personal feeling is that yes BBST was worth it for me, if I could go back I wouldn’t change my decision.
So what about you? Have you taken a testing certification? If you did, what one did you take? Do you still find yourself applying what you learned from the certification to your work today? Linking back to the discussion in general: do you think you need a testing certification to prove yourself in a job interview?
Also has anyone taken ISEB? I know it’s out there but not heard many who have done it.