ISTQB foundation testing certificate

Dear reader,

It so happened that I took a test for the ISTQB foundation level testing certificate today. I don’t know if I’ve passed yet, but I have some mixed feelings about the test. Googling it down after taking the test I found this blog post by James Bach that had some interesting points about the ISTQB as well as other testing certificates.

The test had 40 questions and 1 hour to complete them. On the certificate course, followed by the exam, we were warned of the test being guileful because of the word-play incorporated in it. James Bach had similar comments to say about it. Although I might not agree with everything he says in the blog post, unfortunately I must share Mr. Bach’s take on the test being too concentrated on semantics. Don’t get me wrong, I love semantics and linguistics (especially when it concerns the Germanic language tree), but this test might just put too much weight on that side instead of actually testing how well one knows the subject of testing. Maybe half of the questions were arranged so that additional time had to be spent just to try to understand the question correctly, but the other half consisted of relevant and not deliberately messed up questions. We were also warned of questions with double negatives (e.g. “I do not disagree”) but I don’t think I spotted any (might be my mistake, though). Nevertheless, I think the certificate training course was spot on for the foundation level — i.e. “[..]aimed at anyone involved in software testing”, as stated on the ISTQB website. It gives a good outline for the basic concepts, testing techniques, test planning and tools.

Taking the test soon? Even though I don’t know if I passed yet, I thought I’d share a couple of things you might want to consider when preparing for the test:

  • Memorize the terminology, but also understand the underlying concepts because the test might use a bit stirred up terminology
  • Go through the first answering round quickly and then go back to questions you have marked difficult, this way you’ll ensure you have answered something to all 40Q’s
  • Be alert when reading the questions. Look for double negatives and fully understand the question before answering it
  • It helps to have even a bit of coding background. If you don’t, at least understand this much about flowcharts:

Back from Frankfurt

Dear reader,

FrankfurtI spent the last week on a work trip in Frankfurt, Germany in which I, along with two other people, trained MOSS 2007 and general web content principles to our Area Office web staff.
The training was far from being free of problems, so I thought I’d post a couple of the issues here for food of thought if your company is going through similar trainings:

  • First of all, make sure your MOSS server has the best CPU on the market and as much memory as possible. Ours clearly didn’t, which resulted in that when 20 people tried to log in and create or edit pages, the server just crashed and had to be rebooted. Note to self: the Microsoft recommendations are not enough.
  • With Japanese keyboard the Telerik RAD editor did not accept any keys in some circumstances.
  • On some occasions the link and image wizard tools in Telerik editor did not work. Initially I thought this was only on an XP + IE 6 combinations, but later on we found that IE 7 had similar problems as well.

Apart from these, the training was succesful and I was particularly glad that I for once had a slot in which to train the very basic web principles. I mean really basic, but absolutely fundamental stuff, such as image size and resolution in web use, search engine optimization with text content, how to use tables, etc. Gladly, after the training, we also had a few hours to spend in Frankfurt city as well.

Back from the ADO.NET & XML course

Dear reader,

Yesterday was the last of the three days I spent studying ADO.NET & XML at FC Sovelto. The subject was interesting but I must say I found the three days in this subject way too little. The teaching was really fast-paced so you had to really be on your toes and pay attention. The most inspiring part for me was everything concerning XML, which perhaps doesn’t surprise people who know me. Ever since I learnt this markup language, I’ve been of the opinion that anything containing those three letters must be absolutely wonderful, perfectly working and cool.

Being three days away from work of course demanded its toll, and yesterday I had to stay awake for a long time answering to all the unread / unanswered work e-mails. Luckily today I’m able to enjoy the weekend.

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