Jun 25, 2011 Career Tips
If you want to enhance your software testing career or if you want to simply become a more effective and efficient software tester, you should consider earning one or more ISTQB certifications. Not only do these certifications teach you the nuts and bolts of software testing methods and techniques, but they can truly help you stand out from the crowd when you are looking for a new job.
ISTQB refers to the International Software Testing Qualifications Board, and the boards mission is to provide a level playing field for anyone wishing to be a software tester. The organization publishes an official examination syllabus, the concepts of which must be learned and understood in order to pass the exam. You can obtain a copy of the exam syllabi online.
Generally, certification candidates will prepare for their exam by attending an instructor-led course, studying a text book, or acquiring a distance learning solution. It is also helpful to work on some real world testing scenarios to see the theory put into practical use. In fact, for some testers who are more hands on, having the actual experience will lead them towards a path of successfully understanding what the position entails and how it will benefit them in the future.
It is very important to take steps in order to be ready for the exam. Since the test is drafted by experts in the real world, it will be challenging if you are not adequately prepared. Once prepared, you will then book your exam (and hopefully pass). In order to book the exam, you must either go through the local ISTQB board in your home country or reach out to third party providers to book the testing on your behalf.
The first certification that can be earned is the ISTQB Foundation, followed by the 3 modules of the ISTQB Advanced level, each of which has its own exam. The 3 Advanced-level modules are Test Manager, Test Analyst and Technical Test Analyst. Students can also optionally earn their ISEB Intermediate certification, which can serve as a bridge between the Foundation level and the more difficult Advanced level. The ISTQB is also working on an Expert level certification; however this has not yet been made available to the general public.
The Foundation level is geared toward anyone in the software testing arena. This level represents a starting point, and thus there are no prerequisites to taking the Foundation exam. After you pass the Foundation exam, you will then be able to move on to the more challenging opportunity of the Advanced level. Those wishing to achieve this level must demonstrate practical knowledge, in addition to already holding their ISTQB Foundation certification.
The bottom line is that software is ever changing, and those who want to make software better by testing it will have to work hard as well as understand the various software testing techniques, philosophies, and best practices out there. And this is exactly where earning one or more of your ISTQB certifications can come into play. Good luck and happy testing!
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