Software Testing Certifications

Certification is now a mainstream feature of software tester careers. Even if the International Software Testing Qualifications Board (ISTQB) seems to be the main certification body in the software testing world with a representation in more than 70 countries, other software testing organizations offers both a community for sharing knowledge and opportunities to be a certified software tester.

This article lists software testing and software quality assurance certifications currently available from different professional organizations. There could be sometimes a thin line between providing genuine training and the mere “selling” of a certificate that should enhance employability. Do your own due diligence before starting a certification program, exploring what value it has for you, how it is recognized by companies in your area of the world and what is the level of competence of your trainers.

International Software Testing Qualifications Board (ISTQB)

Founded in 2002, the ISTQB is a non-profit organization for the software testing profession. It considers itself as a world leader in software testing certification, operating in more than 70 countries through national boards. According to the ISTQB, the number of certifications has doubled between March 2009 and December 2011. More than 200.000 ISTQB certificates have been issued worldwide so far. ISTQB is represented by 47 local boards, like the American Software Testing Qualifications Board (ASTQB) or the UK Testing Board (UKTB), which cover 71 countries. It has more than 180 accredited training providers.

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International Institute of Software Testing (IIST)

The International Institute of Software Testing (IIST) was founded in 1999 and is a provider of education-based certifications. It offers different software testing certifications: Certified Software Test Professional with three levels (Associate, Practitioner, Master), Certified Software Test Automation Specialist, Certified Software Quality Manager, Certified Test Manager. Each certification is based on a well defined Body of Knowledge (BOK) approved by its Advisory Board. To achieve these certifications, a candidate must attend a number of instructor-lead courses and pass a test for each course. Tests in education-based certifications are not multiple choice or true/false type of tests. The advisory board thinks that this model is vastly superior to certifications that are based on passing an exam and do not require a rigorous course of study.

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International Software Quality Institute (iSQI GmbH)

The iSQI “Certified” program includes internationally recognized standards for Requirements Engineering, Software Test, Secure Software Engineering, Software Architecture, etc. Besides the ISTQB certification, the iSQI provides two specific software testing certifications.

Certified Agile Tester is dedicated to software testers in agile projects. As the key to success in agile projects relies heavily on individuals able to collaborate and self-manage. The “Certified Agile Tester” training will teach you how to understand the principles behind the agile approach to software development, differentiate between the testing role in agile projects compared with the role of testers in non-agile projects, positively contribute as an agile team member focused on testing, appreciate the challenges and difficulties associated with the non-testing activities performed in an agile team

The Quality Assurance Management Professional (QAMP) certificate demonstrates a broad understanding of software quality assurance management. It is directed at quality assurance managers, because they require competence in the entire development process. In addition to a broad theoretical knowledge, it attests the practical knowledge and project experience of the certified employee. Upon completion of all three certificates and proof of the two-year practical experience, the participant will be certified as iSQI Quality Assurance Management Professional.

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QAI Global Institute (QGI)

The QAI is a global development and consulting organization addressing the education needs of information technology organizations. The QAI Global Institute (QGI) provides training, career programs, exam preparatory training and certification for both individuals and organizations. The QAI offers six certifications for software testers and software quality managers: Certified Associate in Software Quality (CASQ), Certified Software Quality Analyst (CSQA), Certified Manager of Software Quality (CMSQ), Certified Associate in Software Testing (CAST), Certified Software Tester (CSTE), Certified Manager of Software Testing (CMST).

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