In late February I wrote Part 1 of this Blog series (on the merits or otherwise of Tester Certification) and thought it timely to present Part 2 – given the (often heated) debate that is currently playing out on Twitter. The main protagonists currently are the Context-Driven School and a leading member of the ISTQB fraternity.
I’ve been watching this debate for what seems an eternity, but in reality it is probably just a few weeks and what has amazed me to date is the passion and drive that both camps are bringing to the debate. As I said in Part 1, there are currently over 200,000 ISTQB-certified testing professionals (of which I am one) worldwide and therefore this is not a trivial debate. I also said in Part 1 that this topic needed serious debate and that the various ISTQB Testing Boards should be more transparent – given the enormous amounts of money we are talking about with respect to Training Course and Exam fees. Remember, the ISTQB is a not-for-profit organisation, BUT (and it’s a big BUT) the Training organisations aren’t. Having said that, they have all invested there own hard-earned $$$ into their own ventures.
So, where are we today with the Twitter debate? Rex Black is certainly under enormous pressure from the Context-Driven guys to provide more transparency regarding many aspects of the ISTQB Certification program and the latest Ads (put out by said organisation) have not helped his cause – frankly, their claims (in the Ad) are not testable and therefore easily open to derision…
I am trying to stay neutral in this debate (by not entering into any of the various conversations) in order that I may provide an unbiased commentary. With this in mind, I’d have to say that it looks like Rex is currently being hung out to dry by the rest of the ISTQB community, as he appears to be (almost single-handedly) defending their ground. Where are the defenders of the ISTQB faith? Where are the passionate professional testers who have multiple ISTQB certifications? I admire Rex enormously for taking this position, even though I don’t necessarily agree with many of his arguments. I also admire Keith, Michael, James and Paul for the dogged pursuit of clarity and transparency.
In pure software testing terms, the Twitter debate did not begin with a great deal of clarity (the scope was a bit unclear and I’m not even sure if I saw the original requirements stated) and the conversations do tend to meander a bit – I guess you could say it’s an Exploratory Debate!!
In the context within which I started my own (internal) debate this past few weeks has been fantastic as a lot of the work I intended to undertake myself is playing out in real time on Twitter every day. If you’re not currently on Twitter and following all of the main protagonists (I am) you are missing what I consider to be one of the seminal discussions regarding our profession. This is exactly what I hoped to find when I subscribed to Twitter just 9 months ago. This debate is not going away anytime soon and if you are interested in it (and any professional tester should be) you need to get onto Twitter and follow the unfolding of a truly intriguing debate.
As I said earlier, I’m not taking sides (especially given my standing as an independent thinker) but …. more next time
Dateline: Friday May 3, Melbourne