The New ISTQB Advanced Syllabus: what does it deliver?

What does “Advanced” mean? And what does the new ISTQB Advanced Syllabus say about students who are successful?

In previous versions of the syllabus, and indeed in many certification syllabi, you will find a long list of detailed “technical” Learning Objectives. But these do not always provide statements of what the successful candidates are capable of doing in the workplace.

“Advanced” can mean different things to different people, and I have been involved in many discussions with ISTQB stakeholders in trying to define what is meant by this level in the scheme. So when we went about creating the 2012 version of the ISTQB Advanced Level syllabus, I thought it was important to start with some statements about what we were trying to say about a candidate who had reached this level.

In fact, this can be thought of as defining high level requirements for the syllabus and building top down rather “bottom up”, based around the existing Learning Objectives.

Business Outcomes

We called these requirements “Business Outcomes” i.e. What does this say about the person and their likely capability to contribute to the business in terms of the knowledge and skills that are being certified.

This was a major step forward in the production of the syllabus since it gave us the ability to focus on the scope of the syllabus from an outcome-based perspective. If we wanted to express something in terms of a Business Outcome, we had to be sure that we had enough coverage and at the right level in terms of what was being assessed in the syllabus. This had a big impact on the scope of the syllabus. Some people’s views about what “Advanced” meant to them could not be accommodated, simply because there was not enough scope to include everything that would be needed to justify a particular Business Outcome.

Justifiable and Verifiable Statements

This approach enabled us to build a strong, verifiable product. Each Business Outcome is traceable to a number of Learning Objectives that support the Outcome statement. The Syllabus contains supporting information for the Learning Objectives, which themselves are the measurable statements assessed by the exam.

Clearer Scoping

Another key feature of the use of Business Outcomes is to allow clearer scoping between the different levels in the ISTQB scheme. Viewed in this way, “Advanced” fits neatly between Foundation and Expert, avoiding duplication and providing clear outcome-based statements about those achieving each specific certificate. So, with the 2012 ISTQB Advanced Level Syllabus, when someone passes the exam we can confidently say that they meet the Business Outcomes listed for the certificate – or to coin a product marketing phrase, they can do “exactly what it says on the tin”!

You can see all the Business Outcomes for the three new Advanced Certificates in this downloadable ISTQB Advanced Level Overview. This document also provides a good outline of the new syllabus and its structure.

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The writer, Mike Smith, is Chairman of LearnTesting as well as Chairman of ALWG at ISTQB.

ISTQB® would like to welcome ALTEN Italia to its Partner program!

ALTEN Italia has joined the program at the Platinum partnership level. See here. For more information about the Partner program click here.

ISTQB® General Assembly will be held in Budapest on 31 October 2014

The ISTQB® General Assembly will be held in Budapest, Hungary, on 31 October 2014. The meeting will be preceded by working group meetings as well as an international conference.

ISTQB® would like to welcome Shanghai Taorui Information Technology Co., Ltd. to its Partner program!

Shanghai Taorui Information Technology Co., Ltd. has joined the program at the Gold partnership level. See here. For more information about the Partner program click here 

Add an RSS feed to the ISTQB® website

To keep up-to-date with ISTQB news, add an RSS feed to our website via this URL 

ISTQB® would like to welcome Reale Mutua Assicurazioni to its Partner program!

Reale Mutua Assicurazioni has joined the program at the Gold partnership level. See here. For more information about the Partner program visit here.

FISTB TESTING ASSEMBLY 2013: BRINGING NEW WAYS OF THINKING TO TESTING

The Finnish Software Testing Board's second annual Testing Assembly will be held on Thursday 22 August 2013 at the Helsinki Radisson Blue Royal Hotel.

The theme of the Assembly is "Bringing New Ways of Thinking Into Testing".

Although the call for speakers is closed, we are looking for Assembly partners

The Assembly is for free for Finnish Software Testing Board members, ISTQB®/ISEB-certificate holders and TestausOSY/FAST-members.

For others, the participation fee is just 100€ and there is a special rate for Finnish Information Processing Association members.

During the Assembly you will have the opportunity to take the Foundation Level certification exam at half price (only 93€, including VAT). The exam will take place at 10am and it runs for 1 hour and 15 minutes. The number of places is limited.

Breakfast, morning coffee, lunch and afternoon coffee, are offered so please let us know about possible allergies.

For the program and full details, visit: http://testingassembly.fistb.fi

Chapter 6 in Advanced Level Syllabus 2012 - Test Analyst: Defect Management

Test Analysts evaluate the behavior of the system in terms of business and user needs, e.g., would the user know what to do when faced with this message or behavior. By comparing the actual with the expect result, the Test Analyst determines if the system is behaving correctly. Learn more and download the Syllabus here.

The ISTQB® would like to welcome EXCO to its Partner program!

One of the ISTQB® partners with the Silver partnership level is EXCO. See more information about the company here and about the Partner program here 

The ISTQB® would like to ask for your feedback by completing our 10 minute survey

If you would like to provide us with feedback on how ISTQB® certification has worked for you or your staff, please complete our 10-minute survey (around 20 questions) which will be open until 30 September 2013.

Two versions are available:

  1. Practitioners' Survey (for test practitioners who hold at least an ISTQB® Foundation certificate)
  2. Managers' Survey (for managers of software testing teams).

Please see more information and answer the survey here. Your opinion is important for us.

The ISTQB® would like to welcome Testerzy to its Partner program!

One of the ISTQB® partners with the Silver partnership level is Testerzy. See more information about the company here and about the Partner program here 

Test Analysts deal everyday with test tools, tell us about your experiences and how to use tools efficiently

Test tools can greatly improve the efficiency and accuracy of the test effort, but only if the proper tools are implemented in the proper way. Tell us about your experiences and leave your comment under this topic.

The ISTQB® would like to welcome WOJCIECH PAJĄK to its Partner program!

One of the ISTQB® partners with the Gold partnership level is WOJCIECH PAJĄK. See more information about the company here and about the Partner program here

Proposal submission for 2013 ISTQB® International Software Testing Excellence Award is now open!

The ISTQB® International Software Testing Excellence Award is an annual prize, given for outstanding contribution to the preservation, innovation or research in the field of software quality. Everyone can submit a proposal for a potential winner of the ISTQB® International Software Testing Excellence Award, nominating private individuals, institutions, companies or organizations. Submit your nomination here!

Chapter 7 in Advanced Level Syllabus 2012 - Test Analyst: Test Tools

Much of a Test Analyst’s job requires the effective use of tools. Knowing which tools to use, and when, can increase the Test Analyst’s efficiency and can help to provide better testing coverage in the time allowed. Learn more and download the Syllabus here 

The ISTQB® would like to welcome Knowit, Norway to its Partner program!

One of the ISTQB® partners with the Gold partnership level is Knowit, Norway. See more information about the company here and about the Partner program here 

Chris Carter from Australia is the new president of ISTQB®!

ISTQB®, the International Software Testing Qualifications Board, has chosen Mr. Chris Carter, founder of Planit Australia and a respected figure in software testing internationally, to be its new elected president for 2013-2014.

Representatives from over 40 national testing boards cooperate in ISTQB® to set the global standard for the training and certification of software testers worldwide. More than 280,000 professional have already been certified according to the ISTQB® Certified Tester Foundation and Advanced Level standard.

The general assembly meeting of ISTQB® was held in Toronto, Canada on Friday 12th of April 2013. During this meeting elections for the new Executive Board for ISTQB® were conducted.

As a Board Member of the ISTQB® and ANZTB, Chris Carter has been a major driver in advancing the Australian and New Zealand testing. More in ISTQB® elections: The former President Mr. Yaron Tzubery from the Israeli Testing Board was elected as Vice President. Mitko Mitev from the South East European Testing Board (SEETB) was re-elected as Treasurer and Eric RIOU du COSQUER, from the French Testing Board was re-elected as Secretary.

The ISTQB® General Assembly thanks Mr. Yaron Tsubery for his work and wishes the new ISTQB® President Chris Carter and other Executives good luck in the next two years of their terms.

More information about ISTQB® working rules and management structure can be found here  

The ISTQB® would like to welcome EGL to its Partner program!

One of the ISTQB® partners with the Gold partnership level is EGL. See more information about the company here and about the Partner program here 

Chapter 5 in Advanced Level Syllabus 2012 - Test Analyst: Reviews

A successful review process requires planning, participation and follow-up. Test Analysts must be active participants in the review process, providing their unique views. They should have formal review training to better understand their respective roles in any review process. Learn more and download the Syllabus here  

The ISTQB® would like to welcome Dalisys to its Partner program!

One of the ISTQB® partners with the Gold partnership level is Dalisys. See more information about the company here and about the Partner program here 

ISTQB® partner network strengthens!

ISTQB® formalized partnerships through its partner programs with more than 20 companies in various countries. Partners range from small entities that got the Silver Level to bigger companies that achieved the Gold or Platinum Level. See more details here 

E-book versions of ISTQB® Syllabi are available now!

ISTQB® in co-operation with ASTQB makes available the E-book version of the ISTQB® Syllabi, in EPub and Kindle (just Foundation Level) format. You can download these e-books here 

Test Managers deal everyday with communication issues, tell us about your experiences and how to solve them

Test Managers communicate with a wide audience, including users, project team members,management, external testing groups and customers. Communication must be effective for the target audience. Tell us about your experiences and leave your comment under this topic.

Chapter 4 in Advanced Level Syllabus 2012 - Test Analyst: Testing Software Quality Characteristics

The Test Analyst should concentrate on the software quality characteristics of functionality and usability. Accessibility testing should also be conducted by the Test Analyst. Although it is not listed as a sub-characteristic, accessibility is often considered to be part of usability testing. Testing for the other quality characteristics is usually considered to be the responsibility of the Technical Test Analyst. 
While this allocation of work may vary in different organizations, it is the one that is followed in these ISTQB® syllabi. Learn more and download the Syllabus here 

Chapter 3 in Advanced Level Syllabus 2012 - Test Analyst: Test Techniques

The test design techniques considered in this chapter are divided into the following categories:

  • Specification-based (or behavior-based or black box)
  • Defect-based
  • Experience-based

These techniques are complementary and may be used as appropriate for any given test activity, regardless of which level of testing is being performed. Learn more and download the Syllabus here 

We'll be happy if you'll join in the ISTQB® Conference Network

All these events, held on a yearly basis, have to:

  • Be focused on Testing and Quality
  • Be organized or recognized by an ISTQB® Member Board or by ISTQB® Marketing Working Group

Recognition is based on the certain criteria.If you are a conference organizer and you would like to join the ISTQB® Conference Network, contact us at info@istqb.com. See more information on our web site 

Chapter 2 in Advanced Level Syllabus 2012 - Test Analyst: Responsibilities for the Test Analyst

Product risks, defects, tests, and coverage can be and often are measured and reported in specific ways during the project or operation by the Test Analyst. Confidence, though measurable through surveys, is usually reported subjectively. Gathering the information needed to support these metrics is part of the Test Analyst’s daily work. Learn more and download the Syllabus here

Chapter 1 in Advanced Level Syllabus 2012 - Test Analyst: Testing Process

The long-term lifecycle approach to testing should be considered and defined as part of the testing strategy. The moment of involvement for the Test Analyst is different for the various lifecycles and the amount of involvement, time required, information available and expectations can be quite varied as well. Because the testing processes do not occur in isolation, the Test Analyst must be aware of the points where information may be supplied to the other related organizational areas. Learn more and download the Syllabus here

Chapter 7 in Advanced Level Syllabus 2012 - Test Manager: People Skills – Team Composition

Successful Test Managers recruit, hire and maintain teams with the proper mix of skills. Skills requirements may change over time, so in addition to hiring the right people in the first place, providing adequate training and growth opportunities are important in order to retain the test team and maintain it at a level of peak performance. In addition to the skills of the team, the Test Manager must also maintain a set of skills that will allow effective functioning in a high pressure, fast-paced environment.
Learn more and download the Syllabus here

Chapter 6 in Advanced Level Syllabus 2012 - Test Manager: Selecting test tools

There are a variety of different issues that a Test Manager must consider when selecting test tools. Test tools are a long-term investment, likely extending over many iterations of a single project, and/or applicable to many projects. A Test Manager must consider a prospective tool from several different viewpoints.
Learn more and download the Syllabus here

Take full advantage of our Partner Program web site!

Boost your business and take advantage of the ISTQB® Partner Program web site. You can use it in many ways:

  • FIND YOUR NEAREST PARTNER: Use our detailed search form to find your nearest partner.
  • CALCULATE YOUR LEVEL: The Eligibility Grid will calculate your ISTQB® Partner Program level, based on the number of certifications in your organisation
  • BECOME A PARTNER: Download the ISTQB® Partner Program Slides and Information Sheet, where you can find all the information about the program, and the Application Form!
  • RENEW YOUR PARTNERSHIP: Find out about the process for renewing your Partnership and how to change your Partnership level.

See more 

ISTQB® Recognized Mobile App

ISTQB® created the "ISTQB® Recognized Mobile App" in order to promote those applications that are based on ISTQB® referenced information. Any person or entity can apply to have an ISTQB® recognized App and the app will be reviewed by the ISTQB® that will check the certain criteria. Read more about the criteria and other details here.

ISTQB® General Assemby meetings in 2013

ISTQB® operates through a General Assembly, an Executive Committee and a number of Working Groups (WGs). ISTQB® constitution defines that the General Assembly (GA) has the power to approve the objectives and activities of the association; as such, it is the most important body of ISTQB®. The GA ensuring a democratic and transparent approach that is a hallmark of the ISTQB®. Next ISTQB® GA meetings will respect the "rotation" across the various continents and are planned as follows:

  • 12th April, 2013: Toronto, Canada
  • 23rd August, 2013: Helsinki, Finland
  • November, 2013: Lisbon, Portugal

Chapter 5 in Advanced Level Syllabus 2012 - Test Manager: Improving the Testing Process

Testing often accounts for a major part of the total project costs. However, only limited attention is given to the test process in the various software process improvement models. Process improvements are relevant to the software development process as well as to the testing process. Learning from one's own mistakes makes it possible to improve the process that organizations are using to develop and test software. Learn more and download the Syllabus here.

Chapter 4.3 in Advanced Level Syllabus 2012 - Test Manager: Defect Report Information

When a defect is detected (as part of static testing), or a failure is observed (as part of dynamic testing), data should be gathered by the person(s) involved and included in the defect report. This information should suffice for three purposes: 1. Management of the report through the defect lifecycle 2. Assessment of project status, especially in terms of product quality, and test progress 3. Assessment of process capability (as discussed in Section 4.4) Learn more and download the Syllabus here.

Chapter 4 in Advanced Level Syllabus 2012 - Test Manager: Defect Management

An organization's defect management process and the tool used to manage this work are of critical importance not only to the test team but to all teams involved in the development of software. Defects may be introduced at any point in the software development lifecycle and in any software-related work product. Therefore, each phase of the software development lifecycle should include activities to detect and remove potential defects. Learn more and download the Syllabus here.

The Winner of 2012 "ISTQB® International Software Testing Excellence Award" Dorothy Graham was awarded in London

ISTQB® awarded Dorothy for her notable contributions to the improvement of software quality and software testing. The ceremony was held on December 2012 in London with the presence of Marketing Working Group Chair, ISTQB® President and UKTB President. See the picture below and read more about the Award here.

 

graham ceremony

Taking shape! Career paths for testing (and how ISTQB® provides this career path)

Career paths for testers is a hot topic. As the demand for skills steadily increases, companies are looking for ways to get testing staff with top skills. As we all know, these skills don't just grow on trees; they have to be built up over time. Having a defined career path for testers to follow is a great way to encourage the development of these top testing skills. The International Software Testing Qualifications Board (ISTQB®) provides this career path. Read the blog here.

Chapter 3 in Advanced Level Syllabus 2012 - Test Manager: Reviews

Since reviews are a form of static testing, Test Managers may be responsible for their overall success, particularly in respect of testware products. In the wider context of software projects, however, this responsibility should be a matter of organizational policy. Given the possible widespread application of formal reviews across many disciplines, both before and within software projects, the responsible party may be a Test Manager, or a Quality Assurance Manager, or a trained Review Coordinator. Learn more and download the Syllabus here.

Chapter 2 in Advanced Level Syllabus 2012 - Test Manager: Test Management

A central responsibility of a manager is to secure and utilize resources (people, software, hardware, infrastructure, etc.) to carry out value-adding processes. For software and IT managers, the processes are often part of a project or a program aimed at delivering software or a system for internal or external use. Learn more and download the Syllabus here.

Chapter 1 in Advanced Level Syllabus 2012 - Test Manager: Testing process

For each test level, test planning starts at the initiation of the test process for that level and continues
throughout the project until the completion of closure activities for that level. It involves the
identification of the activities and resources required to meet the mission and objectives identified in
the test strategy. See more about planning and other phases and download the Syllabus here.

Use Eligibility Grid For calculating your Partner Program Level!

The Program comprises four levels of partnerships (Silver, Gold, Platinum and Global) and the partnership level of an organisation is determined through the number of certification points it has accumulated. The Eligibility Grid will calculate your ISTQB® Partner Program level, based on the number of certifications in your organisation.
Try it here

The new 2012 ISTQB® Advanced Level consists an overview plus 3 different documents

The release consists of an overview document plus 3 separate, distinct syllabi for Advanced Test Manager, Advanced Test Analyst and Advanced Technical Test Analyst. An overview of the main changes in the 2012 version compared with the 2007 version can be found in the news document published in May 2012 regarding the new 2012 ISTQB® Advanced Level at www.istqb.org.

Read the Press Release here.

Who can become a Partner?

Organisations may be eligible to become ISTQB® Partners if they have employees or external consultants working for them who provided services for more than 70% of their time and have passed ISTQB® certification exams. This applies equally to training providers. See more here

ISTQB® community wishes you Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

The release of the 2012 Advanced Level product represents a major milestone

Mike Smith, Chair of the ISTQB® Advanced Level Working Group (ALWG), says "the release of the 2012 Advanced Level product represents a major milestone, and is the culmination of a lot of hard work by many people across the world over the past 2 years. Business Outcomes are now the driver for the 2012 Advanced Level Syllabi. These provide clearly defined statements about the capabilities of anyone achieving Advanced Level Certification, enabling employers to match the profile of certified testers to their business requirements. These statements are verified by examinable Learning Objectives which are traceable to the Business Outcomes. Further to this, the careful scoping of Advanced between Foundation and Expert Levels in the ISTQB® scheme, enables businesses and testing professionals to map out career development paths".

Read the Press Release here

What are the benefits of the ISTQB® Partner Program?

The major benefits of the ISTQB® Partner Program include e.g. permission to use the ISTQB® Partnership Program logo (and other permitted marketing material) on organisation's website.
See more benefits here

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