The value of the ISTQB certificates

I want to add something to the ongoing bash to hit on the ISTQB (Keith Klain’s petition and the “discussion” between Rex Black(RBCS), Keith Klein, James Bach and more on Twitter), that does not fit in the 140 characters of Twitter.

To start with, I have an ISEB foundation certificate from 2004, and the ISTQB Advanced Level Test Manager from 2005. As James Bach wrote a couple of month ago, it’s OK to be certified, if you don’t take it too serious. And that’s what is true for me.

Because I realized too late that only taking the course is teaching you nothing as a tester. But! There is a but. But you get an overview of a small portion what is out there in the world of testing. And from there you have to improve yourself and BE a good tester. So the certificate is just a piece of paper stating that you have taken the course and you were able to answer a couple of questions.
I have forgotten most of the stuff, because I was not able to use it all and frequently. And I did not take the initiative to learn on my own, starting with the sources provided in the course material.

Currently RBCS is promoting/congratulating a guy via Facebook and Twitter that he is now certified for the full advanced level. No offense to the guy, I don’t know you. But I know a couple of guys with full advanced level certification, because my former company had some locations were they pushed the people to take the courses, because the company was also certified training provider for ISTQB (cheap in-house training). The exam was the official one, so no bonus there, they earned their full advanced level, whatever it’s worth. But I worked with some of the guys, and I would not let them test notepad without intense monitoring.

To come to the end, I finally took the initiative to learn on my own, improve my skills and add to the community. But my certificates didn’t help with that.
It’s a shame that those certificates are important to find a job.

For those of you, who are still reading, I would assume you are keeping yourself up-to-date. No matter if you are certified or not.
We have to go out there and reach those who don’t participate in self-training, no matter if they are certified or not.

Patrick

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