Software Testing Standards: Promoting Quality or Restricting Competition?

James Christie argues that software testing standards are produced by bodies with a commercial interest in seeing them adopted. He analyses the economic forces behind the creation of standards. They should be viewed as optional methods that companies can buy or reject as they see fit. Selling them as standards distorts the market by creating the impression amongst senior managers, lawyers and regulators that there is no valid, responsible alternative.

James Christie explains why the auditors and compliance professions are not lined up on the side of the standards lobby. His audit experience allows him to expose the case for standards as a spurious appeal to non-existent authority. Testers must speak out following the website fiasco. This debate is not an academic contest between rival schools of thought. It is a commercial struggle and this talk provides compelling arguments against standards. Free and fair competition is at stake. Testing standards could put a massive restriction on our ability to trade and compete. This is serious business!

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