I like to engage in good healthy discussion. I don’t mind taking a contrary position or having an argument. I want my friends and colleagues to challenge me. It helps me learn and think in different ways. I’m not a zealot about it. I’m okay with people being wrong on the internet, but every now and again there is the invitation for dialogue that I find difficult to pass up. It can be tough though when the person who has requested said dialogue is reluctant to engage.
I had just such an experience recently over on UTest’s blog where Rex Black of ISTQB fame was interviewed for ‘Testing the Limits’. Mr Black was hopeful of conversation between himself and readers of the UTest blog. Being a reader and having a number of questions I was happy to oblige.
Unfortunately the dialogue has, at least thus far, not been what I was hoping for. Now I don’t want to be unfair. Mr Black is a busy man. He did go into quite some detail on a number of the questions I asked. He indicated his lack of time a number of times during his replies. I had a number of other questions and made several statements though that I was hoping would prompt further dialogue. I’d like to think he will at some point he will take a well earned breather and spare a few minutes to come back and continue.
He was kind enough to point me in the direction of their psychographic analysts. I did put in an a request to them for more information, but have thus far received no response. Should that change, I will be sure to amend this paragraph. (Mr. Black, if you are reading this, perhaps you would be so kind as to have a word on my behalf and have them forward the relevant materials)
In the event that the conversation moves over here, let me list the areas where I would like to continue discussion:
What do you think the value is (to the certificate holder) of a certificate that pretty much anyone can achieve after a multiple choice exam that involves no practical examination of testing?
Would the testing industry not be better served by an examination process that rigorously tests the candidate’s ability to apply in pratice the theory and techniques they have learned, even if such a process was time consuming, difficult and did not scale well?
Wouldn’t the ISTQB serve the industry better by helping busineses realise that excellent testing is difficult to do well and that not everyone is cut out to be a professional tester?
There were a couple of other questions that I was waiting to ask. I wanted to get the current set squared away before I continued, but since I am not sure when this discussion will continue, let me state them here.
You say that ISTQB’s competitors have obvious commercial interests. Is the ISTQB a not-for-profit organisation? If that is the case, what happens with the $100 or so that examinees pay for their certification. 160,000 x $100 is not a small sum of money, even over 10 years.
I should say that these last couple of questions are not only for Mr. Black, but are open to anyone from the ISTQB who can authoratively answer them.
Once again, I’d like to invite you to read through this PDF, at least slides 8 to 14, but the rest is very worthwhile also. There are questions and assertions there that I think you really need to answer, for the sake of your credibility if nothing else.
The floor is yours.