Software testing is the bedrock of the software development industry. It is one of the oldest domains in Information technology and has proved to be a fruitful and stable career path over the decades. However, until recently there were only a few conventional paths to become a software tester. And in most cases a software engineering degree or on the job training was must to climb the ladder. However, with the advent of online training and certifications, it has become much easier for anyone, even absolute freshers with no coding background, to become a software tester. The most reputed and recognized testing certification in the world is the ISTQB Certification.
ISTQB or “International Software Testing Qualifications Board” was officially founded as an International Testing Qualifications Board in Edinburgh in November 2002. The board offers internationally recognized certifications for new and experienced software testers. A certificate holder of ISTQB is commonly called an ‘ISTQB Certified Tester.’ ISTB offers two levels of certification – the foundational CTFL for beginners and the advanced CTAL for those who hold the foundational certification.
Types of ISTQB certification
ISTQB conducts two levels of certification: foundational and advanced. Let us look at the details of both these levels
1. ISTQB Foundation CTFL
This is the beginner level exam conducted by ISTQB. No coding or testing experience is required to take this examination. However, it is recommended to complete atleast 6 months as a professional tester before taking up this exam. The examination is 60 minutes long and contain 40 questions. Candidates who pass by scoring 65% or above in the exam is awarded the ‘ISTQB Certified tester’ certificate.
2. ISTQB Advanced CTAL
The advanced level certification is for those who have already passed te foundational level exam. This level contains three sub exams, namely Technical Test Analyst, Test Analyst, Test Manager, which are all separate papers. The total number of questions all papers combined is 65, the test duration is 180 minutes and the pass percentage is 65%. Candidates must pass in all three of these papers to receive ‘Advanced Level’ certification.
Importance of ISTQB Certification to employees
An ISTQB Certification is the best bet for those who wish to either begin their career in software testing or transition into it. There are several benefits for employees upon getting certified by ISTQB. Some of them include:
1. Worldwide acceptance
As an ISTQB certified tester, your testing skills are considered recognised in any country, and in multiple industries.
2. Better knowledge
No matter how many years of experience you have as a software tester, you will always learn some new tools and skills as part of the certification process. As the world of software is evolving new and improved testing practices and technologies are getting developed as well.
3. Wide range of job opportunities
Software testing domain has always been an evergreen job provider.Testers are required by almost all industries that rely heavily on software for their day to day activities. Moreover, nowadays there is an increasing demand for automated testers.
4. High pay
Employment surveys show that testers with a recognized certification earn 40% more salary on average compared to those without any credentials.
5. More visibility
If you are a beginner with little to no experience in testing, a valid certification is the only way to let a potential employer know about your testing skills. Even if you are an experienced tester, an ISTQB certificate will definitely embellish your resume and make you stand out.
Importance of ISTQB Certification to employers
By far organizations that employ ISTQB certified professionals have reaped significant benefits in terms of business and quality. As a result, more and more businesses are either hiring certified employees or training ther existing employees to become certified.Certified professionals support the organization in several ways. Let us lok at the biggest advantages for companies in employing ISTQB certified testers.
1. Reduce software defects, bugs, and coding errors
Studies and surveys have shown that a holistic approach to defect prevention, pre-test defect removal, and formal testing involving a team of certified personnel can prevent 99% defects and also lower costs and shorten schedules. At the same time, untrained amateur developers could seldom prevent more than 35% defects through any form of testing in the same studies. Hence, qualified testers are valuable and necessary assets for any organisations.
2. High return on Investment and savings
In 2012, Knight Capital – a US stock broking firm – lost 460 million dollars in 45 minutes because of a software bug! Even after disregarding this catastrophe, the estimated cost incurred due to a post-production software defect (software bug / programming error) of $4,000 on average. If the certification helps a tester prevent even one extra bug at one point during their career, the return on investment for providing them with certification would exceed 1500%. The importance of qualified testers are so high that the expense for a valuable certification is peanuts compared to the savings that can be made from preventing bugs.
3. Tests practical, everyday use from the software
ISTQB software tester certification test focuses on the everyday practical applications of software testing that are generally ignored by testers and other technical staff, who follows only some standard conventional testing procedures. This eliminates the need to find and eliminate programming errors on a daily basis.
4. Increased productivity through efficienct team communication
Test managers across the world can testify that by using the glossary of software testing terms and ISTQB Certification body of knowledge, better communication and greater efficiency has been established among and across teams. This helps in prevention and quick resolution of issues in software.
5. Increase in reputation and customer satisfaction
88% of all developers report the first time they are even aware of a software bug or error is after a user reports them. What is worse? In 26% of the cases, users report these software bugs publicly via social media, which is very bad fo the company’s reputation. Studies show that even a single negative review can drive away as much as 22% of your existing customers. Hence, Certifications from ISTQB help you reduce risks, cuts costs and protect your reputation by imparting sound testing principles and effective defect identification strategies.