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Future Skills of Software Testers

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How do you build a tester skills programme that matches the requirements of the software industry? Paul will describe how he is helping a consortium of software companies at the moment to build a tester skills programme designed to meet the current and future needs of their testing community.

Paul is now working to facilitate requirements gathering workshops to identify the skills areas that needed to be supported in what was then titled a ‘Future Skills Programme’ for testers and to build a pilot class to bootstrap the program. The first workshop was in November 2018. The initial discussions captured a range of challenges for testers in the IT Community and built up an inventory of skills required to support beginner, practitioner and mentor levels to address these challenges. By March 2019, the skills selected for the Foundation level were identified and work started on building online content for a pilot training course. The plan is to complement existing certification schemes by focusing on thinking skills rather than offering procedure and documentation-driven approaches. The Tester Skills Program encourages and helps testers to think for themselves.

Key Takeaways:

    • Change in our industry means testing and tester skills need to change too
    • Current training in the form of certification and other courses are not enough
    • We need a comprehensive demand-led tester learning and development program, not three day certifications
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Paul Gerrard

Paul Gerrard is a consultant, teacher, author, webmaster, programmer, tester, conference speaker, rowing coach and publisher. He has conducted consulting assignments in all aspects of software testing and quality assurance, specialising in test assurance. He has presented keynote talks and tutorials at testing conferences across Europe, the USA, Australia, South Africa and occasionally won awards for them.

Educated at the universities of Oxford and Imperial College London, he is a Principal of Gerrard Consulting Limited, the host of the Assurance Leadership Forum and a business coach for Enterprising Macclesfield. He was the Programme Chair for the 2014 EuroSTAR conference in Dublin and for several other conferences in the last decade.

In 2010 he won the EuroSTAR Testing Excellence Award and in 2013 he won the inaugural TESTA Lifetime Achievement Award. He won the ISTQB Testing Excellence Award in 2018. He’s currently working with an Irish government agency to create a future skills framework for software testers. Twitter: @paul_gerrard

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