ISTQB examinations: why and how you should do it


Tanya Grigorkevich passed the ISTQB examination and shared her experiences.

What is ISTQB

International Software Testing Qualifications Board (ISTQB) — is an international organization that certifies professionals in the field of Quality Assurance. Currently, it is the most authoritative certification system. More information can be found at their web site.

Here are some common job titles and positions that often require ISTQB Foundation Level certification:

  • Software Tester

  • Quality Assurance Tester

  • Test Analyst

  • Automation Tester

  • Performance Tester

  • Test Engineer

  • Software Test Coordinator

  • Test Consultant

  • Junior QA Engineer

Why you should do it

There are numerous articles on the internet that present facts and opinions for and against certification. I would like to focus on the three most important factors that prompted me to do it.

Worldwide recognition

One of the important reasons for obtaining a certificate is that my higher education is not related to IT. In addition, my Belarusian engineering diploma is unfortunately recognized only in 18 countries in the world. The ISTQB certification is recognized in more than 120 countries worldwide, including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, India, Australia, Brazil, China, Japan, and South Africa.

Proof of competence 

There are many companies that require their software testers to have an ISTQB Foundation Level certificate. Having an ISTQB certificate can demonstrate to employers that a software tester has the necessary knowledge and skills in software testing. Companies that require ISTQB Foundation Level certification include Accenture, IBM, Capgemini, and Deloitte. When job hunting, this increases your chances, options, and opportunities.

Skills development

When you prepare for the exam, you go through a lot of theory and apply it to practice. And this leads to the thought of how and where you can improve the quality of your work. My goal was not just to pass or just receive a certificate. My goal was to really confirm, update, and improve my knowledge in the field of testing.

How to prepare 

I started with simply reading the syllabus and solving tests, but it didn't really help me. So I came up with a slightly different approach. I started reading the syllabus not just in order, but in the way the testing process usually goes. Some people may not like this approach because they have to jump around the syllabus pages. But I recommend just drawing diagrams and connections between types and approaches, where and at what stage they are used. Then it will become clear where this theory intersects and where it is not necessary to mix everything up.

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