On January 2016, ISTQB® has publicly announced its new product portfolio, that constitutes a considerable evolution in ISTQB® go-to-market strategy.
The product portfolio architecture has been evolved on the basis of several market studies as well as the outcomes of the ISTQB® Effectiveness Survey.
Its main goals are to:
- Maintain the mission and vision of ISTQB® and keep the high quality of deliverables that has marked the success of the scheme world-wide
- Maintain the focus on software testing
- Maintain the validity of certifications already obtained
- Extend the coverage of ISTQB® certifications to additional specific topics
- Make the scheme more modular
- Make it easier for professionals to obtain the specific certifications they are interested in
- Provide an overall framework in which existing as well as future modules will fit in a coherent way
The Architecture of the new ISTQB® Product Portfolio
The new ISTQB® product portfolio follows a Matrix approach characterized by
- Levels, that identify progressively increasing LOs
- Streams, that identify clusters of certification modules:
Core, Agile and Specialist Streams
ISTQB® streams focus on:
- Core – these modules correspond to the “historical” ISTQB® certifications and so they:
- Cover software testing topic in a breadth- first, broad, horizontal way,
- Are valid for any technology/ methodology/ application domain
- Allow for a common understanding
- Agile – these modules address testing practices specifically for the Agile SDLC
ISTQB® recognizes the importance of Agile practices that have become a de facto standard in many contexts; taking also into account the outstanding success of the Agile Tester Foundation certification module, ISTQB® has decided to single out an ad-hoc separate Stream, on which significant investments have been planned in order to complement the existing module with new Advanced modules, covering both organizational and technical specificities of testing in Agile contexts
- Specialist – these modules are new in the ISTQB® product portfolio and address specific topics in a vertical way, meaning that:
- They are built using a drill down / deep-dive approach
- They can address specific quality characteristics (e.g.: Usability; Security; Performance; etc.)
- They can address technologies that involve specific test approaches (e.g.: model based testing; mobile testing; etc.)
- They can also be related to specific test activities (e.g.: test automation; test metrics management; etc.)
- They can also cluster testing know-how for application domains that deserve or require a specific approach (e.g.: automotive; pharma & medical devices; gambling; etc.)
- Specialist modules are potentially numberless; ISTQB® has defined an initial set of Specialist modules(see the ISTQB® Product Portfolio) on the basis of the outcomes of its surveys; additional Specialist modules will be defined in future on the basis of market needs, emerging technologies and new paradigms in software development
In any stream, there may be modules that heavily rely on the content of the Core Foundation; for this reason they can be additional referred as “Extensions”.
Pre-conditions among certifications
Pre-conditions relate to certification exams and provide a natural progression through the ISTQB® Scheme which helps people pick the right certificate and informs them about what they need to know.
The ISTQB® Core Foundation is a pre-condition for any other certification.
Additional rules for ISTQB® pre-conditions are summarized in the following:
- Foundation Core shall be required for Advanced Level Core
- Foundation Core is the default pre-requisite for Foundation Level Specialist certifications unless differently stated in the specific module; as of date, all Foundation Level Specialist certifications require Foundation Core as a pre-requisite
- Any Advanced Level Specialist or Expert Level Specialist module which is linked to a lower level Specialist module shall require certification at the lower level.
- Expert Level modules shall require certification at the corresponding Advanced Level .
- Any Advanced Level Specialist module which is not linked to a lower level Specialist module shall require the Foundations Core as a pre-condition.
Such rules are depicted from a graphical point of view in the ISTQB® Product Portfolio map
ISTQB® Product Portfolio