August 5, 2014 at 8:52 am #3170@daraghmOnly available when logged in
This is a common debate that arises all the time in the software testing world. Please cast your vote in the poll and explain your arguments for or against certification in in the forum below..
I look forward to hearing what you guys have to say. 🙂August 5, 2014 at 12:35 pm #3210@sranjanOnly available when logged in
Certification is always helps to prove that you have knowledge whether it is in testing or development. Certification agencies like ISTQB should involve not only theoretical but also practical scenarios in examination that i guess ISTQB is doing.
I have passed ISTQB Foundation level exam and currently preparing for Advance level Test Manager exam. I have testing experience of 7 years in train system domain.August 5, 2014 at 12:53 pm #3211@steveanOnly available when logged in
I say yes. But that should be qualified. Certification must be maintained in todays Software Testing world. Whilst I find the ISTQB Foundation to be a good ‘Foundation’ that gets testers using the same language, beyond that I have found it to be outdated and not much use.
As for certification ‘proving’ that someone knows something. I disagree. It shows that someone could answer some questions at the time of the exam in the way the examiner wanted them answered. However like an MOT on a car it is only valid for the time of the exam. I have interviewed many testers who have the ISTQB certification at various levels and cannot describe the V-Model, or state the difference between Verification and Validation (according to ISTQB).
I personally stopped at the ISTQB foundation exam and won’t take that further. I have the books for reference, but can’t apply enough of the syllabus to real life to make the ISTQB advanced valid: and I have not been able to get time or finance to attend other more useful courses such as the Rapid Testing course.
For getting started in Testing I would not knock anyone for having a basic certificate, that shows the candidates desire to enter into testing and understand it. But for more senior roles I don’t bother. looking for it. It’s almost a red flag. And I’ve seen interviewers take up the challenge and grill certified engineers more for the same role, because of the implied claims they make by presenting a certificate.
If you are already in the industry, attend webinars, workshops, conferences, follow blogs and other social media sources; contribute and write your own. This is a better education and more up to date and relevant than a certification that was taken 10 years ago.August 6, 2014 at 12:05 pm #3222@ronpOnly available when logged in
I believe the answer is yes. There are number of testing terms out there that are not necessarily intuitive. Speaking of the CTAL-TM exam, I thought some of the (potentially) correct answers were somewhat subjective.August 13, 2014 at 7:26 pm #3362@sjwatsonukOnly available when logged in
I think the problem is that in the industry we do not all have confidence that gaining ISTQB is actually worthwhile. I took it as ISEB 10 years ago, and struggled to pass the exam as I had to forget what I do day by day, and think of what the examiner wanted me to say. Others who have sat the exam more recently have said the same – and that causes me a problem. What is the point of taking an expensive course and exam which gives you a certificate, which you then promptly ignore half of what you have learned?.
It is not as simple as being able to say that all uncertified testers are bad and all certified testers are good. It is often the other way round. We have not sent a tester on an ISTQB course since 2008 and we have recruited brilliant testers.
When recruiting, I dont even look for certification – I look for experience, attitude, the approach to testing, working experience of Agile (does ISTQB cover Agile in detail?) – estimating, stand-up’s, retrospectives, demos etc.
If I was in a corner and forced to answer ‘yes’ or ‘no, then my answer would be ‘no’, testers should not bother. Testers would be far better (at this point in time) in honing their experience and gaining the skills employers are looking for. As an example, what is the point of a certificate if the tester cannot write simple automated tests. I’d rather C# than an ISTQB cert.
The position may change in the future. At the moment we have what is supposed to be an industry standard ISTQB course based on an idealised ‘ivory tower’ view of what a group of individuals think the world of testing should be like. If they listened to feedback and changed the course to become more relevant to how companies actually worked, then the question of certification would become relevant. Until then, the certification body and the real world are poles apart.
Actually it is a shame, and a missed opportunity to create a worldwide certificate that people aspire to achieve, and which employers can insist upon, knowing that the holder has a good level of relevant and up to date testing knowledge.August 13, 2014 at 9:43 pm #3363@neilOnly available when logged in
I voted No, but I hold several certifications, so I should probably justify myself!
I feel like we need to unpick the hidden assumptions behind the question.
- Are certifications the best way for testers to learn new skills?
- Are certified testers better than uncertified testers?
- As a company/recruiter, is it beneficial to hire certified testers?
- As a jobseeker, does holding a certification help me to stand out from the crowd?
I believe the short answer to all of the above is “No” (and could give first-hand evidence of all of them).
Most theory-based certifications (particularly those which rely on a multiple-choice exam as the only measurement of success) can, at best, only hope to establish a common vocabulary among those who’ve studied the certificate. They tend to be highly prescriptive, declaring that “right” and “wrong” test approaches are black and white, promoting a narrowing of viewpoints which is, frankly, dangerous to our craft. With this in mind, I agree with much of what Steve and Stephen are saying above.
The common Catch-22 that I hear is “But my current/potential employer demands that I hold a particular certification”. If this is the case, I encourage you to ask them why. Oftentimes, it’s an edict that’s been passed down through the testing generations, and the best answer you’ll get is “Just because”. Do you want to work for a company which requires you to hold an arbitrary piece of paper without being able to explain why? – that’s up to you.
ISTQB is a common target of these gripes, and yet (like a lot of well-known industry colleagues who often “confess” this during conferences) I hold more than one of their certifications. Both were gained in the early years of my career, at a time when I did believe that they were the best way that I could improve my testing ability. So, gaining such certifications does seem to have some correlation to advancing your career, so it would be wrong for me to say that certifications can’t add value.
Tester can gain certifications, and they can help, but should they? “Should” suggests that there is a compelling argument in favour of it, and I don’t think that’s the case – there are better ways to raise your testing ability. I echo Stephen’s conclusion, and also point you towards Rob Lambert’s eBook, “Remaining relevant and employable in a changing world”, which gives further great advice on this: https://leanpub.com/remainingrelevantAugust 22, 2014 at 11:31 am #3580@daraghmOnly available when logged in
So far the poll results show that 57% of people believe that testers should get certified.
I understand that certifications are a great way for a new/junior tester to demonstrate that they have a strong understanding of software testing which can ultimately land them a job. Fantastic, but what else can it do for you? Does a certification teach you new testing skills that other non-certified will not be able to learn by themselves or from their colleagues?
Would you agree with Stephen that “If you are already in the industry, attend webinars, workshops, conferences, follow blogs and other social media sources; contribute and write your own. This is a better education and more up to date and relevant than a certification that was taken 10 years ago”.August 24, 2014 at 8:54 am #3599@ahossainOnly available when logged in
I totally agree with Stephen’s point. If you are just starting your career, then having a certificate might help you to land in the job and understand the testing related basic terms quickly. However, no way you can judge a tester based on the certificate he or she possesses. People will learn a lot more from the mentor or colleagues and by facing real scenarios inside the job, and from many resources out there on the web outside the job. I have checked out resources you need for ISTQB exam and didn’t feel interested at all to take the exam. For some companies, this is a mandatory requirement to apply for the job. I find it silly! They are basically missing out a large pull of testers who are not certified, but are tremendously skilled testers.
This area has a lot of scope of improvement. If the standard changes and resources get updated with time, it will be great to have a certification that will actually help individuals and will add some real value to enhance the skill sets of a tester.December 17, 2016 at 1:24 pm #14686@archanaOnly available when logged in
Do you want to work for a company which requires you to hold an arbitrary piece of paper without being able to explain why? – that’s up to you.
I agree. Certifications is good to have but should not be considered as a mandatory criteria for hiring or evaluating a tester.February 21, 2017 at 2:18 pm #15469@bygonesOnly available when logged in
Tester can gain certifications, and they can help, but should they? “Should” suggests that there is a compelling argument in favour of it, and I don’t think that’s the case – there are better ways to raise your testing ability
I completely agree with this defintion. Should is the wrong term here, as it implies a mandatory thing. I just started with the ISTQB certification and have to say that it does NOT improve my daily testing work in the sense that I’m now a more experience and better tester. Though it helps me in discussing and understanding the way I might approach testing. It gives me a more safe feeling when manoeuvring the field.
Personally I have not seen a company that requires a certification as part of the mandatory skill set. But most of them have it is “Nice to have”, which (if it is really like that) I think is ok.
So I recommend everyone to take these certifications, but not for the reason of getting easier job, but to improve their understanding of the topicFebruary 21, 2017 at 10:22 pm #15473@kasperOnly available when logged in
Unfortunately in the Netherlands certification is more or less mandatory if you are working in a consultancy role.
The last couple of years I have become certified TMap and TMap Advanced (equivalence of ISTQB foundation and advanced) without as much as glancing at a book.
The exams are so ridiculously simple that anybody and their grandmother will pass if they do bother to look inside the books.
Most of my career I have held no (testing) certification but I did become Test Practice Leader for a company with 90k employees.
So in the Netherlands you probably must get certified to be able to work – that is however the opposite of what it ‘should’ be given the current quality of the curriculum and exams.
Hmm, I just realized I am responding to a topic from 2014…
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