At the Agile Testing Days 2010: Alternatives to Certifications, Part 2

This post appeared fist at on 18. Oct. 2010.
Since I’ll take that site down, I relocate it.

At the Agile Testing Days: Alternatives to Certifications, Part 2

In At the Agile Testing Days: Alternatives to Certifications I explained my view on some of the possibilities that were discussed at in a session of the “Open Space” at the Agile Testing Days. (Also see Elisabeth Hendrickson’s summary of this session).
This time I’ll list and comment the other mentioned ideas.

One of the question we’re dealing with is still: What are ways to demonstrate your testing knowledge other than certificates? As in the previous post I’ll discuss suggestions made in this session.

“Create a Portfolio of Work”

The idea is to demonstrate you care about your craft and demonstrate your work. However you’re likely limited in what you are allowed to report: As far as defect reports are concerned many companies will not allow to publish lists of defects you found.
To work around this, how about Participation in open source projects as mentioned in the previous post? This information can be shared.

Stack Overflow

Stack Overflow is “a collaboratively edited question and answer site for programmers – regardless of platform or language. It’s 100% free, no registration required.”1. Read the About on the site.

Like participating in Open Source projects, Stack Overflow allows you to demonstrate problem solving (and finding) skills. A drawback I see, is the level of detail in the questions as well as the answers. Even though users rate each other, thus creating some level of reputation, it can be too hard to understand for non-technical people as hiring managers and project agents.

BBST Course through AST

Black Box Software Testing (BBST) is a four weeks (approx. 12 hours per week) course offered by the Association for Software Testing.
Compared to the 4 days for the training and exam of the ISTQB foundation, the course offers a greater technical depth and more practical work.

We Vouch For

We vouch for is expired at the time of this writing, see this tweet by Brian Marick. It was meant to, well, vouch for others. In case you like to resurrect it, here’s “Brian Marick’s “: tweet about where to find the source code.

Social Networks like Linked In, Xing

These social networks which are targeted at business anyway can help finding a new contract or job. Both of them allow users to accept (or ignore) requests to connect to another user, creating (sub) networks of users who trust each other2.

Other ideas mentioned

“Degrees” were also mentioned in this session. Since I don’t know whether this is about a specific (university) degree in testing or testing as a main sub topic in, say, computer science or software engineering, so I can’t elaborate about this.

The “Miagi-Do School of Testing” was also mentioned and Markus Gärtner (@mgaertne on Twitter) referred to it in his presentation at the Agile Testing Days. Since there’s no “official web site” for Miagi-Do, finding the place is part of the challenge3.

“Create Open Source Online Courses for ISTQB” ins’t actually suggesting an alternative to the ISTQB certification — however, it was mentioned in the brainstorming. Providing open source (or creative commons) material and courses requires some funding, though.

“Testipedia” was another topic noted on the stickies, yet little is easily found on the web (apart from, well testipedia, but that probably wasn’t the subject).

1 Citing

2 …enough to link their profiles to each other. Whether or not this measures a level of trust reasonably or even indicates the experience or knowledge in a certain field is another question.

3 according to a black-belt Miagi-Do tester.

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