Software testing courses, which one?

Hi all,

I have the opportunity to go on a course of my choosing and my employer will pay for it. I have the ISTQB Foundation certification. I’m looking to move into a more senior role so on the face of it, going for the Advanced or Test manager certification would make sense. The thing is I don’t think I’m fully bought into this ISTQB stuff and from reading some of the posts on here I’m not alone.

Without going on a rant, I’m not really keen on going on a course just to put it on my LinkedIn profile. I want to learn things I can actually use.

What would you guys do? Should I just take the money and go on a course I’m not fully bought in to? Feels like a wasted opportunity if I don’t take advantage of the fact my company are willing to give me a budget towards training. Are there any other good alternative software testing courses out there people would recommend?

Thanks for any advice


Hello @joeh and Welcome!

I favor the Black Box Software Testing courses found here. In my opinion, each course had immediate and practical applicability to my testing work. Bug Advocacy was my favorite.



“I want to learn things I can actually use.” - I feel this as the essence of your post.
What do you think when you say ‘things’ ?
What do you feel are your weaknesses?
In what context do you want to use those things?
Do you want to become senior in testing, grow inside in a company, in a business domain or technical domain?
What kind of tester are you(tester type/profile)?
Do you want to work and develop your strengths?

Software testing requires way too many ‘things’ to be good at. And you can’t excel in all of them. You have to pick what you want to be very good at.
So in case you’re unsure, have some reflection and be more precise with your career goals.

In case general skill and practice in software testing is the aim, I recommend as well the BBST ones. You can do all 3 for about half the price of an ISTQB training.
For ISTQB you stay in a class with someone that presents some slides for ~18 hours.

In BBST you have for each class to spend about 80-120 hours of study and practice work. You have a lead teacher and 3 assistants that can help you. And you get to collaborate with up to 20 other students and assess their work and them to assess yours as well.
Most people do the 3 courses in 2-4 years as they are pretty intensive.


Thanks you very much for the replies guys.

I’ve never heard of the Black Box Software Testing courses. The website looks a bit 90s but I’ll certainly have a look.

I think there’s two types.

  1. Skills/knowledge that I’ve identified that could help me in my current or future roles.
  2. Skills/knowledge that I don’t even know exist that could help me in my current or future roles.

The first one is easier to target but the 2nd one is more difficult.

Thanks for the links I’ve got some reading to do!

Obviously completely dependant on what it is you want to learn about but 2 courses I can think of that have good reputations are Rapid Software Testing (RST - by Michael Bolton & James Bach and Automation in Testing (AiT - by Richard Bradshaw and Mark Winteringham.
I have been on RST and would definitely recommend it, only issue will be finding a time when a public version is being run near you.
Not been on AiT but heard nothing but good hings about it and seems to run in the days before each of the TestBashes so should be on some where later this year that you could get to.

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I second RST. Definitely worth attending.

Hi @joeh,

I know both courses recommend, the RST and the AiT course. We had the RST course by Michael Bolton in our company last year. It had been the “Rapid Software Testing Explored” Course. When you want to get more practical stuff, then I think the “Rapid Software Testing Applied” would be more helpful. I’m actually looking for colleagues in me team who want to attend.

The second one - “Automation in testing” I can absolutley recommend. It gives you a very good overview and idea what to considered, when you want to automate stuff (not only tests :slight_smile:). I attend the first version of the course two years ago at Testbash Brighton.

When you want to get a overvew based on videos I think “” could be a good coice.

Hope my ideas are helpful.

Wow thanks for the replies everyone!

I actually attened the Automation in Testing course in Manchester last year and really enjoyed it. I’ve reccommended it to a few people.
I’ve been to one of Michael’s talks before and enjoyed that so I’ll look into the Rapid software testing courses as well.

I have been on the AiT course and found parts of interesting too - the general advice stuff is useful. I’d just caution that even with the prep material available, without a good grounding in web based stuff it was a little opaque in parts.