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How to be one up on the rest of the testing community and How to choose the best certification

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How to be one up on the rest of the testing community? How to choose the best certification?

Do you wonder why some testers are happy in their testing & QA jobs while some are not?

Aren't you curious to know why some of them simply love their jobs and can work all the time while you may be dragging your body to wake up every morning for going to work?

You might be thinking that their enthusiasm is artificial while in their heart they are like you who just wait for 6 p.m. everyday. Certainly everyone has own ups and downs; while you feel that their ups are far exceeding your downs in your job and that is why they are smiling every day.

Let us see part of their secret for being happy with their QA job

It is a fact that very few of us have the luxury to choose the type of jobs that will perfectly fit us. Certainly we donít want to be like the ignorant majority. No one will look after our career better that what we can. We need to improve our employability.

face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif">Now how to begin?

What we can do is to write down our own road map suiting our tastes & aptitude. We need to jot down some short term, medium & long term career goals. Source of motivation to progress in our career can be a voice from within or from parents, friends, peers or even from the boss. We may come across many achievements on our way to the final goal, wherein every achievement acts like a building block for the next one.

Step-1: Create a career Plan: List out different available options & zero down the final choice on few recognized options to suit your own needs as well as that of your organization. Remember that our career progress plan must be well established and transferable & must be of global recognition, since we may have to come across many employers with varied requirements.

Step-2: Acquire Certification:
Well-recognized certifications help us in enhancing our skills, professional competence & confidence. In addition that it helps us in fetching interview calls from respectable employers.

Good certifications have salient advantages like:

# We get an opportunity to learn from the experience of others.

# We get accustomed to the use of standard frameworks & common terminology.

# We begin to understand various models & acquire ability to twist them to suit our needs.

# We acquire transferable skills

# Our credibility gets a boost.

Understand the type of available certifications: Generally there are two types of certifications available viz. 1) Testing Tool Based & 2) Role Based.

1) Testing Tool Based certifications as described in the following figure.

2) Role Based certifications as described in the following figure.

Thus today the testing community has a wide variety of certifications to choose from. Sometimes it becomes quite cumbersome to differentiate among the available choices. Thus the aspirants choose out of many resembling options based upon their gut feeling which usually gets influenced by personal recommendations from friends, peers or even from the boss & most important factor being the value for the money spent.

Career Roadmap for our journey from "Tester" to a "Specialist":

A typical career path for migration from the role of a "Tester" leading to a "Specialist" via prestigious streams like ISTQB & ISEB having growing international presence are described below. Certifications like QAI, IIST & ASQ are largely popular in US market. Great choice is available among lot many certifications for you to decide.

Concluding Tips:

1) To be happy in your testing job with excellent productivity and great enthusiasm; choose a route of certification which suits your taste & requirements rather than not doing anything at all.

2) Whichever certification you opt for, prepare for it thoroughly to eliminate even the remotest probability of any failure.

3) Remember the most important aspect of any certification being that, "True value of learning lies in its application in actual practice; else the entire exercise shall remain a mere fairy tale."

4) With enough learning to hold the rifle, you can start bluffing the enemy now. The loading of bullets and firing of rifle can begin once you get certified. Till then have fun in bluffing the enemy.

Best of Luck !!!

Many More Articles on Career Building in Testing 

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Comments :


# 1 Reena Bhargawa on 2009-10-18 05:38:21
this site is quite good. But this article is quite a bit motivationg. Can you plz. post some info. on basic comparisons withing different types of certifications / comparative merits of these. Thanx

# 2 Sushil Kumar on 2009-10-18 05:40:05
education article. Good yaar. keep going

# 3 sonu on 2009-10-19 16:06:21
hi i want to prepare for certification but in confusion bcoz of several inst in market like ISTQB, QAI, IIST & ASQ etc..
can anyone plz help me for which exam i should give so that i will get the most value

# 4 Yvette Francino on 2009-10-24 13:48:12
Educational article. I'm currently unemployed and trying to determine the best way to supplement my education. Thank you for this informative post!

# 5 Rob Lambert on 2009-10-25 14:56:23

Interesting post. But do you not believe testing is about more than just certification? Do you not think someone can be a test consultant without holding all of the certification on the planet for testing?

Do you believe that in holding all of the certifications available for a tester that that person should instantly become a test manager or test consultant? Even if they lack the basic commercial awareness and communication skills needed to fulfill the role?

It is dangerous to map out career paths against certification and only consider the big vendor tools. There are many many testing professional doing just fine without certifications.

It might be prudent to balance this post with a realistic view of what testing is. It is a human craft involving critical thinking, outstanding communication skills, commercial awareness, logical thinking and decisions based on experience. All of which are incredibly difficult to test for and are certainly not something any certification can clearly quantify.

For those new to testing this post is simply giving off the message that testing progress is based solely on certification and in reality, this is simply not true.


# 6 yogindernath on 2009-10-29 07:14:44
Hi Rob Lambert,

Good to see you on comments box after a long time.

I agree that Test certifications are not the ultimate benchmark for a tester's caliber. But you will agree that any prestigious certification like ISTQB / CSTE / IBM RFT or HP QTP certainly acts like a feather in ones cap & improves the capabilities of the individual to a great extent & this fact can't be denied absolutely.

Truely on the other side of the coin, there are renowned & great testers without who did not bother to get any certification & they got such an acclaim by virtue of their great experience of many years. Thus this aspect we need to leave it on to the individual testers who want to push their career the way they feel comfortable - through certification or by experience.


# 7 remo on 2010-02-22 13:08:18
it is very good blog for learning testing

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