Testing Standards and Certifications — Do We Need Them?

Fiona Charles leads a discussion on Testing Standards including ISO 29119 and Certifications. She asks whether or not the software testing industry need them or not? With contributions from many guests and other software testers, this proved to be a lively and engaging debate around the topic. This event was held as part of the EuroSTAR Online Software Testing Summit in September 2014. EuroSTAR_Online_Signature_Button_V1




Fiona Charles, Quality Intelligence, Canada

Fiona Charles_12-04-11 (95x100)Fiona Charles teaches IT practitioners project skills “beyond process”-hands-on practical skills essential to thrive and excel on any kind of software project. An expert test consultant and manager, she has been in the thick of the action through 30+ years of challenging projects across the business spectrum on both sides of the Atlantic. Throughout her career, Fiona has advocated, designed, implemented and taught pragmatic and humane practices to deliver software worth having. Fiona’s articles and blog posts appear frequently, and she conducts experiential workshops at international conferences, and in-house for clients. In 2011, Fiona conducted an experiential tutorial on “Delivering Difficult Messages” at the EuroSTAR conference. Contact Fiona via her website www.quality-intelligence.com, and follow her on twitter @FionaCCharles.

About the Author


Hi everybody! I am part of the marketing team here at TESTHuddle and I look after content generation. I am a big rugby fan and love to watch Munster and Ireland matches. I have a beagler (beagle/king charles cavalier cross) pup called Nelson. I look forward to interacting with you guys!
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27 Responses to “Testing Standards and Certifications — Do We Need Them?”

  1. Hi Fionna,

    I just don’t think having a driverslicence makes you a good driver. Same goes for working with a standard, it doesn’t make you a good tester. working with a mentor, like explained in the talk of Michael Larsen & Harrison C. Lovell at CAST 2014 – “Coyote Teaching – (A new take on the) art of mentorship” will be more helpfull.

    And investing in mentorship as a “standard” is more usefull than “deathpapers with words”…

  2. My problem with the standard is the name ‘Standard’. As another guideline, who cares, but as a standard there is the expectation that you must adhere to it.

    Standards do not work in testing as there is no one size fits all.

    One of the key aspects of testing is that testers are continually looking for a new way to perform tasks and find issues and improvements, whether it’s in the subject of the test or the way we test. Any standard is outdated by the time it is published

  3. Rainer Deußen

    I could imagine that standards are important in areas with high security requirements, e.g. aviation industry. My feeling is also that certificates are very welcomed by clients. I found it quite helpful to study for ISTQB Foundation Level and Advanced Level. In my opinion all of this has it’s value somewhere, but it might not fit to all situations where testing is a topic. I have seen projects which used ISO 9126 to create test maps. These were used to clarify what should be tested and what is out of scope.

  4. With testing being a social occupation this means you can’t act today like you did yesterday. You learn today and use that tomorrow. And it’s not only that you learn from the software, but you also learn from talking around the coffee machine, reading the news, listen to discussions of colleagues, talking to friends and just life your life as it passes by every day, all days. So why do we need a standard for testing if you learn new things every day and context is different everyday, all days.

  5. Adina Radulescu

    In my opinion, a tester could be good and better if he knows a little bit of more thinks: programming, devops, the doamin ha is testing.
    The better tester you are, the more capabilities you should have and gain and you will get more creative! what do you think? Again I’ve already have my opinion but would like to hear yours

    • Adina,

      I think as a tester I’m curious to learn new things every day and looks at the different context everyday, all days.It’s all about filling your toolbox to do a my job in the best related to the context. That means reading, talking, listening, doing, learning.


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