Skip to main content

Software Testing Certification

Professional certification is a hot topic. While professions are getting more and more specialised and rivalry is not only on the employee level, but HRs and recruiters also, who’re competing in hiring best professionals, it takes even more to promote yourself and prove your value and knowledge.
On the other hand, professional certification is a business, and while exams are paid, certifications centres takes profit from number of people attending. There’s also no certification trend lately, saying that in professions like software development, certificates don’t prove ones value, because they don’t show experience, ability to learn and wide knowledge.

Are professional certifications worth taking in software development world? The answer is – it depends, obviously. Let’s consider this question from few characters (fictional), being in different state of their careers and coming from different background.

Peter – 0 years of experience, student 

Although Peter is a college freshman with no professional experience, he wants to become a junior tester. He has some basic knowledge of scripting and software testing generals, but has no luck in finding his first job so far. The biggest obstacle is lack of recruiters attention – who would want to hire first year college student without any experience? – explains Peter.

Here we have quite obvious, pro-certification situation. The most popular testing certification is ISTQB, with it’s entry level – ISTQB foundation level. Syllabus covers very basics of testing concepts. There’s a common controversy whether it proves actual skills or just few quotes learn by heart, but lets put that aside and look from employer perspective. Owning certification tells our future employer few things:
  • we treat this profession seriously, investing time and money to develop ourselves
  • despite lack of experience, with some entry level certification we have (or should have) skills and knowledge foundations in our profession
Summing-up, foundation level certificates can be the best way to kick-off our starting career and to stand out from the crowd to our first job.


Anna – 16 years of experience, expert test engineer 

Anna’s been software tester since the very beginning of her career. She’s been doing automation mainly, but manual testing and team management is nothing new for her. Anna felt a little stuck in the middle lately. She’s not developing herself as fast as she used to few years ago. Although her career is advancing, she isn’t really progressing in software testing craft. Anna consider attempting software testing certification. This is new for her, because until now, all her knowledge bas been day-by-day experience. She even feels like missing something, watching those younger folks with testing diplomas.

I bet you’ve been in Anna’s shoes a few times. Bottom line is there’s nothing more valuable than real experience. You can learn fancy rules of team management, you can name all different phases of test process, but then you’d be challenged by budget, time schedule, team maturity and so on. I’m not saying that certification is bad or it doesn’t teach you anything – what I mean is nothing can beat experience. According to learning curve, as more experienced you are, the harder is to get new knowledge, but isn’t it an essence of craftsmanship? Skills and knowledge are gained through hard work, dedication and experience.

Jan – 8 years of experience, software testing consultant 

Although Jan has 8 years of professional experience, it isn’t real determinant. He runs his own business, hiring small team of testers, aiming mainly for contracting companies for outsourced testing. When competitions for outsourced services are being made, besides factors like price, time, service quality etc, there’re often formal requirements like possession of suitable certification.

This is obviously pro-certification situation. It’s not dictated mostly by need to acquiring new knowledge and skills, but from practical, business approach. What’s more, even when there’re no formal requirements for certification, having one can be significant advantage in contract competitions.

Summary 

There’s lots of controversy over software testing certification. In my personal opinion, most important factor in software tester value is experience and business/technical knowledge (depending on role). When it comes to agility, continuous delivery and modern software engineering process, pure software craftsmanship and personal abilities are more valuable than principles and guidelines. I’m not discarding certification though, cause as I described above – it can be important factor as an advantage point.

Popular posts from this blog

Test Automation: Good, Bad and Ugly

The modern approach to software quality and software development life cycle requires that business guys, developers and testers understand that the long manual test phase, although often still necessary, must be reduced to a minimum and replaced by test automation. Working in continuous delivery and continuous integration environment requires us to create automated tests that run on demand, checking our application integration and it’s core functionality correctness. However, there are still many problems with designing and writing automated tests, resulting in their costly maintenance or abandonment in favour of a return to manual processes.
In this article I will focus on describing common good practices of test automation. This post is more than an overview than complete reference guide. Broader aspects, such as the Page Object pattern or Page Factory will be described in detail in a separate article on this blog. Although most practices apply for every types of automated tests, thi…

REST-Assured framework overview

In modern software development, REST services becomes most popular choice for implementing distributed and scalable web application. They are light and easy to maintain, which results in faster and more effective implementation and system integration.
I recommend you also my other posts about REST-Assured and building microservice’s test automation frameworks: REST-Assured: going deeperBuilding microservices testing framework
With the increase popularity of RESTful services, there is a need for fast and lightweight tool for REST webservices testing automation. One of the most popular choice is Rest-Assured framework from Jayway. It introduces simplicity of testing web services from dynamic languages like groovy or ruby to java. In this post we will get our hands dirty and write automatic test in Rest-Assured framework.
In order to create complete implementation of automated tests in Rest-Assured framework, we need to write our code against some example API. We’ll use standalone Wiremock m…

REST-Assured: going deeper

In my previous post I described the basic REST-Assured usage – the lightweight framework for testing RESTful services. Despite the fact that described range of functionalities would be enough in most cases,REST-Assured has a lot more to offer. In this post I would like to bring some more advanced examples of the framework usage.



I recommend you also my other posts about REST-Assured and building microservice’s test automation frameworks:

REST-Assured – framework overviewBuilding microservices testing framework
Object Mapping Sending request’s body as string is easy and straightforward, but it can be inconvenient in the case of more complex operations on request / response properties. Proven solution for this is a good-known serialization of request/response body to objects. REST-Assured supports object mapping to (and from) JSON and XML. For JSON you need either to have Jackson or Gson in your classpath and for XML you need JAXB. Here is an example of request object serialization using J…