Letter to CSTE CandidateDear CSTE Candidate:Thank you for your interest in the Certified Software Tester (CSTE) Program. I...
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Table of ContentsIntroduction to the CSTE Program                                 ...........................................
G U I D E    T O    C S T E    2 0 0 6    C B O KSkill Category 1Software Testing Principles and Concepts ...................
T A B L E        O F     C O N T E N T S          Management’s Philosophy and Operating Style ...............................
G U I D E    T O    C S T E   2 0 0 6   C B O KSkill Category 4Test Planning                                              ...
T A B L E        O F     C O N T E N T S           When is Testing Complete?                                .................
G U I D E    T O    C S T E    2 0 0 6   C B O K            Roles and Responsibilities                               ........
T A B L E        O F     C O N T E N T S          Internal Auditor’s Internal Control Responsibilities ......................
G U I D E   T O   C S T E   2 0 0 6   C B O KAppendix AVocabulary                                      ......................
Introduction to theCSTE ProgramT      he Certified Software Tester (CSTE) program was developed by leading software testin...
G U I D E   T O   C S T E   2 0 0 6   C B O KSoftware Certification OverviewSoftware Certification is recognized worldwide...
I N T R O D U C T I O N   T O   T H E   C S T E   P R O G R A MOne or more of these certifications is frequently a prerequ...
G U I D E   T O   C S T E   2 0 0 6   C B O KValue Provided to the ProfessionSoftware testing is often viewed as a softwar...
I N T R O D U C T I O N   T O   T H E   C S T E   P R O G R A M           Thirteen percent (13%) received an immediate ave...
G U I D E   T O    C S T E   2 0 0 6   C B O K    CSTE recertification: 1) employees initiate improvement; 2) testing prac...
I N T R O D U C T I O N   T O   T H E   C S T E   P R O G R A MMeeting the CSTE QualificationsTo become certified as a Cer...
G U I D E   T O   C S T E   2 0 0 6   C B O K    Successful candidates must be able to execute suitable testing principles...
I N T R O D U C T I O N   T O   T H E   C S T E   P R O G R A M   Competition – The ability to demonstrate mastery of mult...
G U I D E   T O   C S T E   2 0 0 6   C B O KProfessional Code of ConductSoftware Certifications certificate holders shall...
I N T R O D U C T I O N   T O   T H E   C S T E   P R O G R A MGrounds for DecertificationRevocation of a certification, o...
G U I D E   T O   C S T E   2 0 0 6   C B O KSubmitting the Initial ApplicationA completed Certification Candidacy Applica...
I N T R O D U C T I O N   T O   T H E   C S T E   P R O G R A Mbeen paid. See www.softwarecertifications.org for applicati...
G U I D E   T O   C S T E   2 0 0 6   C B O KCandidates for certification must pass a four-part written examination in ord...
I N T R O D U C T I O N   T O   T H E   C S T E   P R O G R A M   Be sure to arrive at the examination early. See “Arrivin...
G U I D E   T O   C S T E   2 0 0 6   C B O KReceiving the Confirmation LetterEach candidate should receive an Confirmatio...
I N T R O D U C T I O N   T O   T H E   C S T E   P R O G R A MYou should develop an annual plan to improve your personal ...
G U I D E   T O   C S T E   2 0 0 6   C B O KWhat is the Certification Competency Emphasis?    CSTE              Demonstra...
I N T R O D U C T I O N   T O   T H E     C S T E   P R O G R A M                     Staff Competency                    ...
G U I D E   T O   C S T E   2 0 0 6   C B O K                                                20
Preparing for the CSTEExaminationT       he CSTE examination is designed to evaluate your knowledge of the principles and ...
G U I D E   T O   C S T E   2 0 0 6   C B O KMany human resource organizations use the CSTE CBOK as the basis for writing ...
P R E P A R I N G   F O R   T H E   C S T E   E X A M I N A T I O N       Not Competent – “None”       Either you do not u...
G U I D E   T O   C S T E   2 0 0 6   C B O KCalculate Your CSTE CBOK Competency RatingFollow these steps to calculate you...
P R E P A R I N G   F O R   T H E   C S T E   E X A M I N A T I O N     Using this product does not constitute, nor imply,...
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2006 cste cbok (1)

  1. 1. Letter to CSTE CandidateDear CSTE Candidate:Thank you for your interest in the Certified Software Tester (CSTE) Program. I am sure youalready know the CSTE designation is quickly becoming the standard for IT software testingprofessionals around the world. Many companies are requiring certification for hiring oradvancement. There have been over 27,000 IT professionals worldwide that have sought ourprofessional certifications.The CSTE Certification Board updates the CSTE Common Body of Knowledge (CBOK)approximately every three years. You can be assured that if you become competent in thismaterial, you will be well prepared for today’s software testing challenges. If you have extensiveexperience in software testing within IT, the examination should not be difficult for you. If yourexperience is minimal, or is limited to only certain areas of test management, you should seekadditional study material beyond those recommended in this guide.The CSTE certification examination is based upon the skill categories identified in the 2006CSTE CBOK Outline. As such, this guide to the CBOK was designed for you to use as materialin preparation for the CSTE exam. The examination presumes that you have had broad exposureto testing practices. It is expected that you have reviewed and read current literature available onsoftware testing and quality. I urge you to read this guide carefully.The guide to the 2006 CSTE Common Body of Knowledge has been released after careful reviewby software testing professionals and editors. As an organization based upon quality principalsand theories, we welcome any feedback from you regarding content and structure. Please feelfree to email your comments and suggestions to certify@softwarecertifications.org.Best wishes in preparing for, and taking, the examination. For additional information regardingthe 2006 CSTE CBOK, the CSTE Designation, or this program, please visit our Web site atwww.softwarecertifications.org.We also encourage you to become a part of the IT Quality community by visiting the QualityAssurance Institute Web site at www.qaiworldwide.org.Sincerely,William E. Perry, CSTE, CSQACEOQuality Assurance Institute
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  3. 3. Table of ContentsIntroduction to the CSTE Program .............................................................. 1 Software Certification Overview .............................................................................. 2 Program History ...................................................................... 3 Why Become Certified? ...................................................................... 3 Benefits of Becoming a CSTE ...................................................................... 3 Meeting the CSTE Qualifications .............................................................................. 7 Prerequisites for Candidacy ...................................................................... 7 Code of Ethics ...................................................................... 9 Character Reference ...................................................................... 11 Submitting the Initial Application ...................................................................... 12 Application-Examination Eligibility Requirements ............................................................ 13 Arranging to Sit and Take the Examination ............................................................................ 14 Scheduling to Take the Examination ...................................................................... 15 Receiving the Admission Ticket ...................................................................... 16 Checking Examination Arrangements ...................................................................... 16 Arriving at the Examination Site ...................................................................... 16 How to Maintain Competency and Improve Value ................................................................. 16 Continuing Professional Education ...................................................................... 17 Advanced CSTE Designations ...................................................................... 17Preparing for the CSTE Examination .............................................................. 21 Assess Your CSTE 2006 CBOK Competency ....................................................................... 21 Complete the CSTE Skill Assessment Worksheet ......................................................... 22 Calculate Your CSTE CBOK Competency Rating .......................................................... 24 Understand the Key Principles Incorporated Into the Examination ....................................... 25 Review the List of References .............................................................................. 25 Initiate a Self-Study Program .............................................................................. 26 Take the Sample Examination .............................................................................. 26CSTE 2006 Skill Assessment Worksheet .......................................................... 27 i
  4. 4. G U I D E T O C S T E 2 0 0 6 C B O KSkill Category 1Software Testing Principles and Concepts ....................................................... 41 Vocabulary ............................................................................. 42 Quality Assurance versus Quality Control ..................................................................... 42 The Cost of Quality ..................................................................... 44 Software Quality Factors ..................................................................... 45 How Quality is Defined ..................................................................... 52 Why Do We Test Software? ............................................................................. 54 Developers are not Good Testers ..................................................................... 54 What is a Defect? ..................................................................... 55 What is Quality Software? ..................................................................... 55 Why Does a Development Process Produce Defects? ................................................. 56 Reducing the Frequency of Defects in Software Development ..................................... 62 The Multiple Roles of the Software Tester ............................................................................. 65 People Relationships ..................................................................... 66 Scope of Testing ..................................................................... 67 When Should Testing Occur? ..................................................................... 68 How the Test Plan Should be Developed ..................................................................... 71 Testing Constraints ..................................................................... 72 Life Cycle Testing ............................................................................. 80 Test Matrices ............................................................................. 81 Cascading Test Matrices ..................................................................... 83 Independent Testing ............................................................................. 85 Tester’s Workbench ............................................................................. 86 What is a Process? ..................................................................... 86 Levels of Testing ............................................................................. 90 The “V” Concept of Testing ..................................................................... 91 Testing Techniques ............................................................................. 96 Structural versus Functional Technique Categories ...................................................... 96 Verification versus Validation ..................................................................... 113 Status versus Dynamic Testing ..................................................................... 117 Examples of Specific Testing Techniques ..................................................................... 117 Combining Specific Testing Techniques ..................................................................... 131Skill Category 2Building the Test Environment .............................................................. 133 Management Support ............................................................................. 133 Management Tone ..................................................................... 134 Integrity and Ethical Values ..................................................................... 135 Commitment to Competence ..................................................................... 137 ii
  5. 5. T A B L E O F C O N T E N T S Management’s Philosophy and Operating Style ............................................................. 137 Organizational Structure ...................................................................... 138 Test Work Processes .............................................................................. 140 The Importance of Work Processes ...................................................................... 140 Responsibility for Building Work Processes .................................................................... 142 Developing Work Processes ...................................................................... 149 Tester’s Workbench ...................................................................... 150 Analysis and Improvement of the Test Process .............................................................. 153 Test Tools .............................................................................. 167 Tool Development and Acquisition ...................................................................... 167 Tool Usage ...................................................................... 179 Testers Competency .............................................................................. 180Skill Category 3Managing the Test Project .............................................................. 183 Test Administration ........................................................................... 183 Test Planning ...................................................................... 184 Customization of the Test Process ...................................................................... 184 Budgeting ...................................................................... 185 Scheduling ...................................................................... 188 Staffing ...................................................................... 189 Test Supervision .............................................................................. 192 Communication Skills ...................................................................... 193 Negotiation and Complaint Resolution ...................................................................... 203 Judgment ...................................................................... 206 Providing Constructive Criticism ...................................................................... 206 Project Relationships ...................................................................... 208 Motivation, Mentoring and Recognition ...................................................................... 210 Test Leadership .............................................................................. 211 Chairing Meetings ...................................................................... 211 Team Building ...................................................................... 212 Quality Management Organizational Structure ............................................................... 215 Code of Ethics ...................................................................... 217 Managing Change .............................................................................. 219 Software Configuration Management ...................................................................... 219 Change Management ...................................................................... 220 iii
  6. 6. G U I D E T O C S T E 2 0 0 6 C B O KSkill Category 4Test Planning .............................................................. 223 Risk Concepts and Vocabulary .......................................................................... 224 Risks Associated with Software Development ...................................................................... 226 Risks Associated with Software Testing ............................................................................. 238 Premature Release Risk ..................................................................... 241 Risk Analysis ............................................................................. 241 Risk Analysis Process ..................................................................... 242 Risk Management ............................................................................. 246 Risk Reduction Methods ..................................................................... 247 Contingency Planning ..................................................................... 248 Prerequisites to Test Planning ............................................................................. 249 Test Objectives ..................................................................... 249 Acceptance Criteria ..................................................................... 249 Assumptions ..................................................................... 250 People Issues ..................................................................... 250 Constraints ..................................................................... 250 Create the Test Plan ............................................................................. 251 Understand the Characteristics of the Software being Developed ............................... 252 Build the Test Plan ..................................................................... 253 Write the Test Plan ..................................................................... 261Skill Category 5Executing the Test Plan .............................................................. 269 Test Case Design .......................................................................... 269 Function Test Cases ..................................................................... 270 Structural Test Cases ..................................................................... 273 Erroneous Test Cases ..................................................................... 275 Stress Test Cases ..................................................................... 278 Test Scripts ..................................................................... 279 Use Cases ..................................................................... 285 Building Test Cases .......................................................................... 289 Process for Building Test Cases ..................................................................... 290 Example of Creating Test Cases for a Payroll Application ............................................ 291 Test Coverage .......................................................................... 294 Performing Tests .......................................................................... 294 Platforms ..................................................................... 295 Test Cycle Strategy ..................................................................... 295 Use of Tools in Testing ..................................................................... 295 Perform Tests ..................................................................... 297 iv
  7. 7. T A B L E O F C O N T E N T S When is Testing Complete? ...................................................................... 299 General Concerns ...................................................................... 300 Recording Test Results ........................................................................... 300 Problem Deviation ...................................................................... 301 Problem Effect ...................................................................... 302 Problem Cause ...................................................................... 303 Use of Test Results ...................................................................... 304 Defect Management ........................................................................... 304 Defect Naming ...................................................................... 305 The Defect Management Process ...................................................................... 306Skill Category 6Test Reporting Process .............................................................. 321 Prerequisites to Test Reporting ........................................................................... 321 Define and Collect Test Status Data ...................................................................... 322 Define Test Metrics used in Reporting ...................................................................... 323 Define Effective Test Metrics ...................................................................... 326 Test Tools used to Build Test Reports .............................................................................. 331 Pareto Charts ...................................................................... 331 Pareto Voting ...................................................................... 334 Cause and Effect Diagrams ...................................................................... 335 Check Sheets ...................................................................... 338 Histograms ...................................................................... 340 Run Charts ...................................................................... 342 Scatter Plot Diagrams ...................................................................... 344 Regression Analysis ...................................................................... 348 Multivariate Analysis ...................................................................... 349 Control Charts ...................................................................... 350 Test Tools used to Enhance Test Reporting .......................................................................... 352 Benchmarking ...................................................................... 352 Quality Function Deployment ...................................................................... 356 Reporting Test Results .............................................................................. 357 Current Status Test Reports ...................................................................... 358 Final Test Reports ...................................................................... 375 Guidelines for Report Writing ...................................................................... 379Skill Category 7User Acceptance Testing .............................................................. 381 Acceptance Testing Concepts ........................................................................... 381 Difference between Acceptance Test and System Test ................................................. 384 v
  8. 8. G U I D E T O C S T E 2 0 0 6 C B O K Roles and Responsibilities ............................................................................. 385 User’s Role ..................................................................... 385 Software Tester’s Role ..................................................................... 386 Acceptance Test Planning ............................................................................. 386 Acceptance Criteria ..................................................................... 387 Acceptance Test Plan ..................................................................... 389 Use Case Test Data ..................................................................... 390 Acceptance Test Execution ............................................................................. 391 Execute the Acceptance Test Plan ..................................................................... 391 Acceptance Decision ..................................................................... 392Skill Category 8Testing Software Developed by Contractors .................................................... 395 Challenges in Testing Acquired Software ............................................................................. 395 Purchased COTS Software ..................................................................... 396 Contracted Software ..................................................................... 396 COTS Software Test Process ............................................................................. 399 Assure Completeness of Needs Specification ............................................................... 399 Define Critical Success Factor ..................................................................... 400 Determine Compatibility with Your Computer Environment .......................................... 400 Assure the Software can be Integrated into Your Business System Work Flow .......... 402 Demonstrate the Software in Operation ..................................................................... 403 Evaluate the People Fit ..................................................................... 405 Acceptance Test the COTS Software ..................................................................... 405 Contracted Software Test Process ............................................................................. 405 Assure the Process for Contracting Software is Adequate ............................................ 406 Review the Adequacy of the Contractor’s Test Plan ...................................................... 412 Assure Development is Effective and Efficient ............................................................... 412 Perform Acceptance Testing on the Software ................................................................ 412 Issue a Report on the Adequacy of the Software to Meet the Needs of the Organization 413 Ensure Knowledge Transfer Occurs and Intellectual Property Rights are Protected .. 413 Incorporate Copyrighted Material into the Contractor’s Manuals .................................. 414 Assure the Ongoing Operation and Maintenance of the Contracted Software ............ 414 Assure the Effectiveness of Contractual Relations ........................................................ 416Skill Category 9Testing Internal Control .............................................................. 419 Principles and Concepts of Internal Control .......................................................................... 419 Internal Control Responsibilities ..................................................................... 421 Software Tester’s Internal Controls Responsibilities ...................................................... 421 vi
  9. 9. T A B L E O F C O N T E N T S Internal Auditor’s Internal Control Responsibilities .......................................................... 421 Risk versus Control ...................................................................... 422 Environmental versus Transaction Processing Controls ................................................ 423 Preventive, Detective and Corrective Controls ................................................................ 425 Internal Control Models .............................................................................. 434 COSO Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) Model ....................................................... 434 COSO Internal Control Framework Model ...................................................................... 437 CobiT Model ...................................................................... 440 Testing Internal Controls .............................................................................. 440 Perform Risk Assessment ...................................................................... 441 Test Transaction Processing Controls ...................................................................... 442 Testing Security Controls .............................................................................. 444 Task 1 – Where Security is Vulnerable to Penetration ................................................... 444 Task 2 – Building a Penetration Point Matrix ................................................................... 447 Task 3 – Assess Security Awareness Training ............................................................... 458 Task 4 – Understand the Attributes of an Effective Security Control ............................. 465 Task 5 – Selecting Techniques to Test Security ............................................................. 466Skill Category 10Testing New Technologies .............................................................. 471 Risks Associated with New Technology .............................................................................. 471 Newer IT Technology that Impact Software Testing .............................................................. 473 Web-Based Applications ...................................................................... 473 Distributed Application Architecture ...................................................................... 474 Wireless Technologies ...................................................................... 475 New Application Business Models ...................................................................... 477 New Communication Methods ...................................................................... 478 Wireless Local Area Networks ...................................................................... 479 New Testing Tools ...................................................................... 481 Testing the Effectiveness of Integrating New Technologies ................................................... 482 Determine the Process Maturity Level of the New Technology ..................................... 482 Test the Controls over Implementing the New Technology ........................................... 484 Test the Adequacy of Staff Skills to Use the Technology ............................................... 486How To Take the CSTE Examination .............................................................. 489 CSTE Examination Overview .............................................................................. 489 Guidelines to Answer Questions .............................................................................. 490 Sample CSTE Examination .............................................................................. 493 vii
  10. 10. G U I D E T O C S T E 2 0 0 6 C B O KAppendix AVocabulary .............................................................. 515Appendix BReferences .............................................................. 535 viii
  11. 11. Introduction to theCSTE ProgramT he Certified Software Tester (CSTE) program was developed by leading software testing professionals as a means of recognizing software testers who demonstrate a predefined level of testing competency. The CSTE program is directed by an independent Certification Board and administered by the Quality Assurance Institute (QAI). Theprogram was developed to provide value to the profession, the individual, the employer, and co-workers.The CSTE certification entails an aggressive educational program that tests the level of competencein the principles and practices of testing and control in the Information Technology (IT) profession.These principles and practices are defined by the Certification Board as the Common Body ofKnowledge (CBOK). The Certification Board will periodically update the CBOK to reflectchanging software testing and control, as well as changes in computer technology. These updatesshould occur approximately every three years. Software Certification Overview 2 Meeting the CSTE Qualifications 7 Arranging to Sit and Take the Examination 14 How to Maintain Competency and Improve Value 16 Be sure to check the Software Certifications Web site for up-to-date information on the CSTE program and examination sites and schedules, and What’s New: www.softwarecertifications.org Using this product does not constitute, nor imply, the successful passing of the CSTE certification examination. 1
  12. 12. G U I D E T O C S T E 2 0 0 6 C B O KSoftware Certification OverviewSoftware Certification is recognized worldwide as the standard for IT testing professionals.Certification is a big step; a big decision. Certification identifies an individual as a test leader andearns the candidate the respect of colleagues and managers. It is formal acknowledgement that theIT recipient has an overall understanding of the disciplines and skills represented in acomprehensive Common Body of Knowledge (CBOK) for a respective software discipline.The CSTE program demonstrates the following objectives to establish standards for initialqualification and continuing improvement of professional competence. This certification programhelps to: 1. Define the tasks (skill categories) associated with software testing duties in order to evaluate skill mastery. 2. Demonstrate an individual’s willingness to improve professionally. 3. Acknowledge attainment of an acceptable standard of professional competency. 4. Aid organizations in selecting and promoting qualified individuals. 5. Motivate personnel having software testing responsibilities to maintain their professional competency. 6. Assist individuals in improving and enhancing their organization’s software testing programs (i.e., provide a mechanism to lead a professional).In addition to CSTE, Software Certifications also offer the following software certifications. See“How to Maintain Competency and Improve Value” on page 16 for more information on thecertifications for advanced and master levels. Software Testers Advanced Software Tester (ASTE) Master Software Tester (MSTE) Software Quality Analysts Certified Software Quality Analyst (CSQA) Advanced Software Quality Analyst (ASQA) Master Software Quality Analyst (MSQA) Software Project Manager Certified Software Project Manager (CSPM) 2
  13. 13. I N T R O D U C T I O N T O T H E C S T E P R O G R A MOne or more of these certifications is frequently a prerequisite for promotion or acquiring a newposition. See www.qaiworldwide.org and www.softwarecertifications.org for detailed informationon all software certifications available including: Preparation Courses Examination Schedules Conferences and Seminars In-house Training CoursesContact Us Software Certifications Phone: (407)-472-8100 Fax: (407)-398-6817 CSTE questions? E-mail: certify@softwarecertifications.orgProgram HistoryQAI was established in 1980 as a professional association formed to represent the software testingindustry. The first certification began development in 1985 and the first formal examinationprocess was launched in 1990. Today, Software Certifications, administered by QAI, is global.Since its inception, Software Certifications has certified over 27,000 IT professionals in Australia,Barbados, Belgium, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, China, Egypt, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Korea,Mexico, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, United Kingdom,United Arab Emirates, and the United States.Why Become Certified?As the IT industry becomes more competitive, management must be able to distinguishprofessional and skilled individuals in the field when hiring. Certification demonstrates a level ofunderstanding in carrying out software testing principles and practices that management candepend upon.Acquiring the designation of CSTE indicates a professional level of competence in softwaretesting. CSTEs become members of a recognized professional group and receive recognition fortheir competence by businesses and professional associates, potentially more rapid careeradvancement, and greater acceptance in the role as advisor to management.Benefits of Becoming a CSTEAs stated above, the CSTE program was developed to provide value to the profession, theindividual, the employer, and co-workers. The following information is data collected from CSTEsin the IT industry – a real testimonial to the benefits and reasons to make the effort to become aCSTE. 3
  14. 14. G U I D E T O C S T E 2 0 0 6 C B O KValue Provided to the ProfessionSoftware testing is often viewed as a software project task, even though many individuals are full-time testing professionals. The CSTE program was designed to recognize software testingprofessionals by providing: Common Body of Knowledge (CBOK) The Certification Board defines the skills upon which the software testing certification is based. The current CBOK includes 10 skill categories fully described in this preparation guide – see Skill Category 1 through Skill Category 10. Examination Process to Evaluate Competency The successful candidate must pass a four-part examination that is based on the CBOK. You must receive a grade of 75% or greater on each part. Only 31% of the pre- qualified applicants pass the examination the first time, making this a prestigious certification to obtain. See “How to Take the CSTE Examination” for a sample examination and answers to help you prepare for the actual examination. Code of Ethics The successful candidate must agree to abide by a professional Code of Ethics as specified by the Certification Board. See “Code of Ethics” on page 9 for an explanation of the ethical behaviors expected of all certified professionals.Value Provided to the IndividualThe individual obtaining the CSTE certification receives the following values: Recognition by Peers of Personal Desire to Improve Approximately eighty percent (80%) of all CSTEs stated that a personal desire for self- improvement and peer recognition was the main reason for obtaining the CSTE certification. Fifteen percent (15%) were required by their employer to sit for the examination, and 10% were preparing themselves for an improved testing-related position. Many CSTEs indicated that while their employer did not require CSTE certification, it was strongly encouraged. Increased Confidence in Personal Capabilities Eighty-five percent (85%) of the CSTEs stated that passing the examination increased their confidence to perform their job more effectively. Much of that confidence came from studying for the examination. Recognition by IT Management for Professional Achievement Most CSTEs stated that their management greatly respects those who put forth the personal effort needed for self-improvement. IT organizations recognized and rewarded individuals in the following ways: 4
  15. 15. I N T R O D U C T I O N T O T H E C S T E P R O G R A M Thirteen percent (13%) received an immediate average one-time bonus of $610, with a range of $250 to $2,500. Twelve percent (12%) received an immediate average salary increase of 10%, with a range of 2% to 50%. Non-monetary recognitions were: Thirty-six percent (36%) were recognized in staff meetings. Twenty percent (20%) in newsletters or e-mail. Many received rewards, management visits or calls, and lunch with the boss. Within the first 18 months after receipt of the CSTE certification, of the successful candidates: Twenty-seven percent (27%) received an average salary increase of 23%, with a range of 2% to 100%. Twenty-three percent (23%) were promoted, 25% received a better assignment and 13% a new assignment.Value Provided to the EmployerWith the need for increased software testing and reliability, employing CSTEs provides value inthese ways:Increased Confidence by IT Users and Customers IT users and customers expressed confidence in IT to effectively build or acquire software when certified testing practitioners were involved.Improved Processes to Build/Acquire/Maintain, Operate and Measure Software CSTEs use their knowledge and skills to continuously improve the IT work processes. CSTEs know what to measure, how to measure it, and then prepare an analysis to aid in the decision- making process.Independent Assessment of Testing Competencies The CSTE program is directed by a Certification Board of independent testing experts. Through examination and recertification, they provide an independent assessment of the CSTE’s testing competencies, based on a continuously strengthening Common Body of Knowledge for testing practitioners.Testing Competencies Maintained Through Recertification Yesterday’s testing competencies are inadequate for today’s challenges. CSTE recertification is a process that helps assure the CSTE’s skills remain current. The recertification process requires CSTEs to obtain 40 hours of testing-related training per year in topics specified by the Certification Board. From an IT director’s perspective, this is employee-initiated testing training. Most, if not all CSTEs, do this training during their personal time. IT organizations gain three benefits from 5
  16. 16. G U I D E T O C S T E 2 0 0 6 C B O K CSTE recertification: 1) employees initiate improvement; 2) testing practitioners obtain competencies in testing methods and techniques; and 3) employees train during personal time.Value Provided to Co-WorkersThe drive for self-improvement is a special trait that manifests itself in providing these values toco-workers:Mentoring the Testing Staff Forty-five percent (45%) of the CSTEs mentor their testing colleagues by conducting training classes; encouraging staff to become certified; and acting as a resource to the staff on sources of IT testing-related information.Testing Resource to “IT” Staff CSTEs are recognized as experts in testing and are used heavily for advice, counseling, and for recommendations on software construction and testing.Role Model for Testing Practitioners CSTEs are the IT role models for individuals with testing responsibilities to become more effective in performing their job responsibilities.How to Improve Testing Effectiveness Through CSTE CertificationA “driver” for improved IT effectiveness is the integration of the CSTE certification program inyour “IT” career development plan. This can be accomplished by: Creating an awareness of the CSTE Program and its benefits to your testing practitioners. Requiring or encouraging your testing practitioners to become certified. Recognizing and rewarding successful candidates. Supporting recertification as a means of maintaining testing competency. QAI, as CSTE program administrators, will assist you in this effort. See www.qaiworldwide.org for detailed information. 6
  17. 17. I N T R O D U C T I O N T O T H E C S T E P R O G R A MMeeting the CSTE QualificationsTo become certified as a Certified Software Tester, every candidate must first meet thesequalifications: 1. Satisfy all of the prerequisites required prior to applying for candidacy – educational and professional prerequisites including non-U.S. prerequisites, recommendations for preparing for the examination, and understanding what will be expected once you are a CSTE. 2. Subscribe to the Code of Ethics as described on page 9. 3. Submit a completed Certification Candidacy Application. See “Submitting the Initial Application” on page 12 for information on all the materials needed to submit your application.Prerequisites for CandidacyBefore you submit your application, first check that you satisfy the educational and professionalprerequisites described below and understand what is expected of the CSTE after certification.Educational and Professional PrerequisitesTo qualify for candidacy, each applicant must meet one of three credentials: 1. A bachelors degree from an accredited college-level institution. 2. An associate’s degree and two years of experience in the information services field. OR 3. Six years of experience in the information services field.Non-U.S. PrerequisitesEducational requirements for Software Certifications are stated following the terms, customs, andrequirements typically encountered in the United States. However, authority has been given tospecific organizations sponsoring the examination process outside the United States to examine andmodify educational and experience criteria within their countries. Each countrys criteria will bebased on the following framework: Candidates should possess qualifications equal to other professionals of similar status. Candidates should possess the superior knowledge and skills needed to carry out all designated responsibilities in a preeminent manner. Candidates’ education and experience must be broadly based to meet a wide range of responsibilities and expectations. 7
  18. 18. G U I D E T O C S T E 2 0 0 6 C B O K Successful candidates must be able to execute suitable testing principles and practices in an array of diverse assignments and clearly communicate appropriate conclusions and recommendations.Note: When submitting academic qualifications, the candidate must ensure that the materials are insufficient detail so that the Software Certifications Board can determine equivalency. The Board isthe final judge of acceptability of any alternative educational or experience-based criteria submittedby any applicant.Expectations of the CSTEKnowledge within a profession doesnt stand still. Having passed the CSTE examination, acertificant has demonstrated knowledge of the designations CBOK at the point in time of theexamination. In order to stay current in the field, as knowledge and techniques mature, thecertificant must be actively engaged in professional practice, and seek opportunities to stay awareof, and learn, emerging practices.The CSTE is required to submit 120 credit hours of Continuing Professional Education(CPE) every three years to maintain certification or take an examination for recertification.Any special exceptions to the CPE requirements are to be directed to the Certification Director.Certified professionals are generally expected to: Attend professional conferences to stay aware of activities and trends in the profession. Take education and training courses to continually update skills and competencies. Develop and offer training to share knowledge and skills with other professionals and the public. Publish information in order to disseminate personal, project, and research experiences. Participate in the profession through active committee memberships and formal special interest groups.The CSTE is expected not only to possess the skills required to pass the CSTE examination butalso to be a change agent: someone who can change the culture and work habits of individuals (orsomeone who can act in an advisory position to upper management) to make quality in softwaretesting happen.Professional Skill Proficiency ResponsibilitiesIn preparing yourself for the profession of IT software testing and to become more effective in yourcurrent job, you need to become aware of the three C’s of todays workplace: Change – The speed of change in technology and in the way work is performed is accelerating. Without continuous skill improvement, you will become obsolete in the marketplace. Complexity – Information technology is becoming more complex, not less complex. Thus, achieving quality, with regard to software testing in the information technology environment, will become more complex. You must update your skill proficiency in order to deal with this increased complexity. 8
  19. 19. I N T R O D U C T I O N T O T H E C S T E P R O G R A M Competition – The ability to demonstrate mastery of multiple skills makes you a more desirable candidate for any professional position. While hard work does not guarantee you success, few, if any, achieve success without hard work. CSTE certification is one form of achievement. CSTE certification is proof that you’ve mastered a basic skill set recognized worldwide in the information technology arena.Develop a Lifetime Learning HabitBecome a lifelong learner in order to perform your current job effectively and remain marketable inan era of the three C’s. You cannot rely on your current knowledge to meet tomorrows jobdemands. The responsibility for success lies within your own control. Perhaps the most important single thing you can do to improve yourself professionally and personally is to develop a lifetime learning habit. REMEMBER: If it is going to be—it’s up to me.Code of EthicsAn applicant for certification must subscribe to the following Code of Ethics that outlines theethical behaviors expected of all certified professionals. Software Certifications includes processesand procedures for monitoring certificant’s adherence to these policies. Failure to adhere to therequirements of the Code is grounds for decertification of the individual by the SoftwareCertifications Board.PurposeA distinguishing mark of a profession is acceptance by its members of responsibility to the interestsof those it serves. Those certified must maintain high standards of conduct in order to effectivelydischarge their responsibility.ResponsibilityThis Code of Ethics is applicable to all certified by Software Certifications. Acceptance of anycertification designation is a voluntary action. By acceptance, those certified assume an obligationof self-discipline beyond the requirements of laws and regulations.The standards of conduct set forth in this Code of Ethics provide basic principles in the practice ofinformation services testing. Those certified should realize that their individual judgment isrequired in the application of these principles.Those certified shall use their respective designations with discretion and in a dignified manner,fully aware of what the designation denotes. The designation shall also be used in a mannerconsistent with all statutory requirements.Those certified who are judged by the Software Certifications Board to be in violation of thestandards of conduct of the Code of Ethics shall be subject to forfeiture of their designation. 9
  20. 20. G U I D E T O C S T E 2 0 0 6 C B O KProfessional Code of ConductSoftware Certifications certificate holders shall: 1. Exercise honesty, objectivity, and diligence in the performance of their duties and responsibilities. 2. Exhibit loyalty in all matters pertaining to the affairs of their organization or to whomever they may be rendering a service. However, they shall not knowingly be party to any illegal or improper activity. 3. Not engage in acts or activities that are discreditable to the profession of information services testing or their organization. 4. Refrain from entering any activity that may be in conflict with the interest of their organization or would prejudice their ability to carry out objectively their duties and responsibilities. 5. Not accept anything of value from an employee, client, customer, supplier, or business associate of their organization that would impair, or be presumed to impair, their professional judgment and integrity. 6. Undertake only those services that they can reasonably expect to complete with professional competence. 7. Be prudent in the use of information acquired in the course of their duties. They shall not use confidential information for any personal gain nor in any manner that would be contrary to law or detrimental to the welfare of their organization. 8. Reveal all material facts known to them that, if not revealed, could either distort reports of operation under review or conceal unlawful practices. 9. Continually strive for improvement in their proficiency, and in the effectiveness and quality of their service. 10. In the practice of their profession, shall be ever mindful of their obligation to maintain the high standards of competence, morality, and dignity promulgated by this Code of Ethics. 11. Maintain and improve their professional competency through continuing education. 12. Cooperate in the development and interchange of knowledge for mutual professional benefit. 13. Maintain high personal standards of moral responsibility, character, and business integrity. 10
  21. 21. I N T R O D U C T I O N T O T H E C S T E P R O G R A MGrounds for DecertificationRevocation of a certification, or decertification, results from a certificant failing to reasonablyadhere to the policies and procedures of Software Certifications as defined by the SoftwareCertifications Board. The Board may revoke certification for the following reasons: Falsifying information on the initial application and/or a CPE reporting form, Failure to abide by and support the Software Certifications Code of Ethics, Failure to submit the required continuing education credits toward recertification as required, or Failure to submit the required recertification fees as required.Upon revocation, the certificant is requested to return their current certification credentials. Acertificant may appeal a revocation at any time by communicating, in writing, directly with theBoard. 11
  22. 22. G U I D E T O C S T E 2 0 0 6 C B O KSubmitting the Initial ApplicationA completed Certification Candidacy Application must be submitted for entrance to SoftwareCertifications as a candidate for any particular certification. Software Certifications stronglyrecommends that you submit your application only if you are prepared to sit and pass the CSTEexamination. Submit the application only if you have: Satisfied all of the prerequisites for candidacy as stated on page 7. Subscribed to the Code of Ethics as described on page 9. Reviewed the CBOK and identified those areas that require additional studying.The entire CBOK is provided in Skill Category 1 through Skill Category 10. A comprehensive listof related references is listed in Appendix B. Current experience in the field covered by the certification designation. Significant experience and breadth to have mastered the basics of the entire CBOK. Prepared to take the required examination and therefore ready to schedule and take the examination.It should not be submitted by individuals who: Have not met all of the requirements stated above. Are not yet working in the field but who have an interest in obtaining employment in the field. Are working in limited areas of the field but would like to expand their work roles to include broader responsibilities. Are working in IT but have only marginal involvement or duties related to the certification. Are interested in determining if this certification program will be of interest to them.Candidates for certification who rely on only limited experience, or upon too few or specific studymaterials, typically do not successfully obtain certification. Many drop out without ever taking theexamination. Fees in this program are nonrefundable. Do not apply unless you feel confident thatyour work activities and past experience have prepared you for the examination process.Applicants already holding a certification from Software Certifications must still submit a newapplication when deciding to pursue an additional certification. For example, an applicant alreadyholding a CSQA or CSPM certification must still complete the application process if pursuing theCSTE certification.All supporting application forms and required fees must be filed with Software Certificationsat least 60 calendar days prior to any examination date selected. The candidate must sign theapplication form agreeing to support and abide by the Software Certifications Code of Ethics.Applications will not be processed if they are incomplete, incorrectly completed, or fees have not 12
  23. 23. I N T R O D U C T I O N T O T H E C S T E P R O G R A Mbeen paid. See www.softwarecertifications.org for application fee information. The candidate hassole responsibility to ensure that materials are submitted in a timely and orderly manner.When sending an application, please allow two weeks for processing. There is no need to contactthe administrative office during this period to check on the status of the application. In fact, toprotect the integrity of the examination and certification processes, all correspondence related tocertification policies and procedures must be in writing, using e-mail, fax, or first-class postalservice. Information and status obtained through telephone conversations with the administeringbody shall be considered unofficial and off-the-record.Correcting Application ErrorsThe accuracy and correctness of applications, documentation, or payments are the responsibility ofthe applicant. Incomplete or erroneous paperwork is returned to the applicant for correction andresubmission. Common defects requiring paperwork to be returned to the applicant include: Required information is missing. Incorrect form was used. Payment is missing or invalid. Unable to read required portions of application. Required signature is not present. Application received too late to be processed for selected examination.Once corrected, materials can be resubmitted. This correction cycle does not waive the requirementthat all processing be completed at Software Certifications at least 60 days before any scheduledexamination. Applicants are strongly advised to not delay submission of materials until close to thatdeadline.Submitting Application ChangesIt is critical that candidates submit changes to their candidacy application and keep their programrecords up-to-date. Many candidates change their residence or job situations during theircertification candidacy. Others change their name as a result of marriage or divorce. If any suchchanges occur, it is the candidates responsibility to notify the certification administrator using theChange of Records Form.Application-Examination Eligibility RequirementsThe candidate must take the initial exam within 12 months after acceptance. After the 12-month period, the candidate must resubmit the application, supporting documents, and anyadditional fees that may have been incurred. A second or third sitting, if required, must becompleted within 24 months of acceptance of the original application. After the 24-monthperiod, the candidate must reapply for candidacy to begin the process again.The candidate may withdraw from the CSTE program at any time by submitting a CandidateWithdrawal Form to the certification administrator. 13
  24. 24. G U I D E T O C S T E 2 0 0 6 C B O KCandidates for certification must pass a four-part written examination in order to obtaincertification. The examination tests the candidates knowledge and practice of the competency areasdefined in the CBOK. Candidates who do not successfully pass the examination may resit forthe examination up to two times by submitting an Examination Retake Application (see Filing aRetake Application below) and paying all required fees. Subsequent additional examination effortsrequire reinitiating the entire application process.The Software Certifications Board requires unsuccessful candidates to wait six months ormore between examination sittings. Candidates who rapidly resit for examination parts are rarelysuccessful. Adequate study and learning time needs to be spent in order to resit for missedexamination parts successfully.Technical knowledge becomes obsolete quickly; therefore the board has established theseeligibility guidelines. The goal is to test on a consistent and comparable knowledge baseworldwide. The eligibility requirements have been developed to encourage candidates to prepareand pass all portions of the examination in the shortest time possible.Filing a Retake ApplicationA written Examination Retake Application must be submitted for each desired retake. As with theinitial application, the application to reschedule and associated fees must be filed with SoftwareCertifications at least 60 calendar days before any examination date is selected. Seewww.softwarecertifications.org for application fee information.Arranging to Sit and Take the ExaminationWhen you have met all of the prerequisites as described above, you are ready to arrange to sit (orschedule) and take the CSTE examination. See “Preparing for the CSTE Examination” forinformation on what you need to do once you have scheduled the examination. This section alsoincludes a sample examination with answers.To schedule the CSTE examination, every candidate must: Satisfy all of the qualifications as described in “Meeting the CSTE Qualifications” starting on page 77. Be certain that you are prepared and have studied the CBOK, the vocabulary in Appendix A, and the references in Appendix B. Schedule to take the examination. If youve studied enough that you feel you can commit to a specific examination date, visit www.softwarecertifications.org for dates or call Software Certifications. CSTE examinations are administered in various cities in the United States and all over the world. Submit a complete Examination Selection Form. Follow up on your examination schedule. After scheduling your examination you should receive a Confirmation Letter for the specific examination you indicated on your Examination Selection Form. See Receiving the Confirmation Letter on page 1616. Check www.softwarecertifications.org for your specific scheduled examination during the days leading up to the examination sitting for any changes to the schedule. 14
  25. 25. I N T R O D U C T I O N T O T H E C S T E P R O G R A M Be sure to arrive at the examination early. See “Arriving at the Examination Site” on page 16 for a few tips, and what happens if you do not show up as scheduled.Scheduling to Take the ExaminationWhen you believe you are close to being prepared to take the examination, schedule to take theexamination. To select an examination date and location that meets your needs submit anExamination Selection Form. Public certification examinations are scheduled periodicallythroughout the United States. A complete up-to-date schedule is on the Software CertificationsWeb site; see Current Examination Schedule at www.softwarecertifications.org.Examination seating is limited, and seats are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. AnExamination Selection Form must be submitted at least 60 days before the selectedexamination date in order to reserve a seat in the selected examination. The earlier you applythe better chances of reserving a seat. The examination schedule can change on a weekly basis, socheck www.softwarecertifications.org for any changes.Examinations are held primarily by QAI Federation chapters, at major QAI conference programs,and by local QAI affiliates around the world. It is recommended that you contact the Director ofCertification for site requirements, fees, and other details.The certification examinations are typically available in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, India, NewZealand, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, and the United States. Asthe worldwide acceptance of Software Certifications designations continues to grow, morelocations will be hosting the exam. Please contact www.softwarecertification.org to inquire aboutexamination locations.Rescheduling the Examination SittingFrom time to time, candidates need to reschedule their intended examination date. This is known asa deferral, and is accomplished using the Examination Deferral Form that must be submittedto the certification administrator at least 30 days before the originally scheduledexamination. If done in this manner, the Examination Selection Form can be used to schedulethe new examination as long as it is received at least 60 days before the new requested date.Deferrals received within 30 days of an examination date cannot be processed becauseexamination materials have already been sent to the field. These candidates are considered "noshows" on the day of the examination and must use the Examination Retake Application in order toschedule a new examination date. As with the initial application, the Examination RetakeApplication and associated fees must be filed with Software Certifications at least 60 daysbefore any examination date is selected. 15
  26. 26. G U I D E T O C S T E 2 0 0 6 C B O KReceiving the Confirmation LetterEach candidate should receive an Confirmation Letter. You should bring this letter to theexamination site along with photo identification to gain entry. When the letter is received, verifythe examination information to assure that you have been scheduled for the examination selected,and that your contact information is all correct. If not received three weeks before a scheduledsitting, check the Current Examination Schedule for possible changes, or contact SoftwareCertifications via e-mail for confirmation or correction.Checking Examination ArrangementsCandidates are strongly encouraged to check www.softwarecertifications.org for your specificscheduled examination during the days leading up to the examination sitting. While SoftwareCertifications makes every possible effort to provide examinations as scheduled, last minutechanges have been sometimes unavoidable in the past. Previous disruptions have includedinclement weather and building closures. The Current Examination Schedule is kept as up-to-dateas possible when such situations occur.Arriving at the Examination SiteCandidates should arrive at the examination location at least 30 minutes before the scheduledstart time of the examination. Candidates must have their admission ticket and photoidentification with them in order to register and gain admission to the examination.No-showsCandidates who fail to appear for a scheduled examination – initial or retake – automatically failthe examination and must submit the Examination Retake Application to apply for a newexamination date. Candidates who have filed a deferral after the 30-day advance deadline areconsidered to be no-shows as well.How to Maintain Competency and Improve ValueMaintaining your personal competency is too important to leave to the soul discretion of youremployer. In today’s business environment you can expect to work for several differentorganizations, and to move to different jobs within your own organization. In order to beadequately prepared for these changes you must maintain your personal competency in your fieldof expertise.Continuing Professional EducationMost professions recognize that a minimum of 40 hours of continuing professional education isrequired to maintain competency of your skills. There are many ways to get this training, includingattending professional seminars and conferences, on-the-job training, attending professionalmeetings, taking e-learning courses, and attending professional association meetings. 16
  27. 27. I N T R O D U C T I O N T O T H E C S T E P R O G R A MYou should develop an annual plan to improve your personal competencies. Getting 40 hours ofcontinuing professional education will enable you to recertify your CSTE designation, but it willnot necessarily improve your competencies. For example, you may get 24 hours CPE credit forattending a 3-day seminar, but if you’re already competent in the seminar topic, it will not add toyour personal capabilities.The Common Body of Knowledge (CBOK) for the CSTE should be your guide for improvingyour personal competencies. A self-assessment of your competencies in the CBOK is provided in“CSTE 2006 Skill Assessment Worksheet.” This assessment is designed to help you identify areasin which additional training would be beneficial to both you and your employer. After taking thiscompetency assessment, you can use the results to create a personal plan of action for you to ensurethat you maintain the necessary professional competency to prepare you for change and/orpromotion.Advanced CSTE DesignationsYou can use your continuing professional education plan to improve and demonstrate your value toyour employer. You can obtain your professional education credits while applying for an advancedcertification. Your employer may have difficulty assessing improved competencies attributable tothe continuing professional education you are acquiring. However, if you can use that continuingeducation effort to obtain an advanced certification, you can demonstrate to your employer yourincreased value to the organization by acquiring an advanced certificationThere are two levels of advanced certifications you will be eligible for once you obtain your CSTEdesignation: Advanced Software Tester (ASTE) This advanced designation is designed to demonstrate your knowledge of how to do the testing tasks you may be assigned. The CSTE designation is focused much more on “what” you must know in order to practice testing. The ASTE designation is designed for those who can demonstrate they know “how” to perform testing tasks. Master Software Tester (MSTE) This is the highest designation attainable in the IT testing field. It is reserved for those who can demonstrate testing qualities and professional responsibilities.The drivers for improving performance in IT are the quality assurance and quality control (testing)professionals. Dr. W. Edward Deming recognized this “do-check” partnership of qualityprofessionals in his “14 points” as the primary means for implementing the change needed tomature. Quality control identifies the impediments to quality and quality assurance facilitates thefix. Listed below is the certification level, emphasis of each certification, and how you candemonstrate that competency. 17
  28. 28. G U I D E T O C S T E 2 0 0 6 C B O KWhat is the Certification Competency Emphasis? CSTE Demonstrate competency in knowing what to do. Study for, and pass, a four-part examination developed by peers to evaluate the candidate’s knowledge of the principles and concepts incorporated into the CBOK, plus the ability to relate those principles and concepts to the challenges faced by IT organizations. ASTE Demonstrate competency in knowing how to do it. Candidates must demonstrate their ability to develop real solutions to challenges in their IT organizations, by proposing a solution to a real-world problem. This must be done for five CBOK categories, where each proposed solution must be accepted by the Certification Board. Each accepted solution will be awarded a certificate of competency for that CBOK category. MSTE Demonstrate competency in knowing how to break through testing and productivity barriers. Candidates must demonstrate the ability to innovate beyond current practice in solving IT challenges, as well as, demonstrate public service in the IT testing profession. (Note: this certification available starting in 2006.)Figure 1 illustrates how you can improve your personal competencies. 18
  29. 29. I N T R O D U C T I O N T O T H E C S T E P R O G R A M Staff Competency Certifications to Needed Demonstrate Competency Analytical Skills Level MSQA, MSTE (How to innovate) 5 Statistical Skills Level ASQA, ASTE (How to improve performance) 4 Performance Skills Certificates of Level (What to do) Competency 3 IT Skills Level CSQA, CSTE 2 Level 1 Maturity LevelFigure 1. Maturing Your Professional CompetenciesFor more information on the type of training that is applicable toward your continuing professionaleducation requirements, and information on the advanced testing certifications and how to applyfor them, visit www.softwarecertifications.org. 19
  30. 30. G U I D E T O C S T E 2 0 0 6 C B O K 20
  31. 31. Preparing for the CSTEExaminationT he CSTE examination is designed to evaluate your knowledge of the principles and practices of software testing. The principles primarily will involve vocabulary. This is to ensure that you understand what quality in an IT function is attempting to accomplish. The second half of the examination is on the application of those principles. This is to ensure that you canrecognize good software testing practices when they occur.Preparing for any standardized examination should be considered a serious undertaking. Beginpreparing and studying well in advance. Remember that the minimum requirement for submittingyour application is 60 calendar days prior to the exam date. When you know you will be applying forthe examination, submit your application and fees and begin studying. Avoid “cramming,” as it israrely beneficial in the long term. See the “Introduction” for detailed information on submitting yourapplication. Assess Your CSTE 2006 CBOK Competency 21 Understand the Key Principles Incorporated 25 Into the Review the List of References 25 Initiate a Self-Study Program 26 Take the Sample Examination 26Assess Your CSTE 2006 CBOK CompetencyThe Common Body of Knowledge (CBOK) for the CSTE is in effect a job description for a world-class IT software tester. The CSTE Certification Board has defined the skills within the CBOK asthose skills that would enable an IT software tester to perform the tasks needed to meet today’s ITtesting challenges. 21
  32. 32. G U I D E T O C S T E 2 0 0 6 C B O KMany human resource organizations use the CSTE CBOK as the basis for writing job descriptions forIT software testers. To properly prepare yourself to be proficient in the practice of IT testing, youshould develop a personal plan of action that would enable you to assess your competency in the 2006CSTE CBOK. It is recognized that many software testers do not need to be competent in all of theskill categories to fulfill their current job responsibilities.The current CSTE CBOK includes ten skill categories that are fully described in this guide: Skill Category 1 Software Testing Principles and Concepts Skill Category 2 Building the Test Environment Skill Category 3 Managing the Test Project Skill Category 4 Test Planning Skill Category 5 Executing the Test Plan Skill Category 6 Test Reporting Process Skill Category 7 User Acceptance Testing Skill Category 8 Testing Software Developed by Contractors Skill Category 9 Testing Software Controls and the Adequacy of Security Procedures Skill Category 10 Testing New TechnologiesSkill Categories 1-8 should be common to all testing-related assignments and therefore, most of thecertification examination focuses on categories 1 through 7. However, you should have a basicknowledge of Skill Categories 8, 9 and 10 to remain current of software testing competencies.Candidates are examined at high levels on categories 8, 9 and 10.Complete the CSTE Skill Assessment WorksheetTo assess your competency of the CSTE CBOK, complete the worksheet, “CSTE 2006 SkillAssessment Worksheet” starting on page 27. Follow these guidelines on how to use the worksheet torate your competency and identify those areas that you need to better understand to successfully passthe CSTE examination: 1. Assess your competency of each skill listed on the worksheet. Carefully read each skill within the skill category. Based on your reading of the skill, assess your competency in one of the following three categories and place a checkmark (“ ”) in the appropriate column on the CSTE 2006 CBOK Competency Rating Table: 22
  33. 33. P R E P A R I N G F O R T H E C S T E E X A M I N A T I O N Not Competent – “None” Either you do not understand this skill, or if you do understand it you do not know “what” is required to perform this skill. For example, you may know that an IT test plan is needed, but you do not know what is included in an IT test plan. Some Competency – “Some” This assessment means that you know “what” is needed to accomplish a specific skill. For example, you may know what is to be included within an IT test plan, but you have never actually prepared an IT test plan. In other words, you have book knowledge, but not how- to knowledge. Fully Competent – “Full” This assessment means that you not only know what is required to perform a specific skill, but you have actually used that skill in performing day-to-day work tasks. For example, you have written an IT test plan. Note that Skill Category 1 focuses on the vocabulary of IT software testing and the basic concepts on which the software testing profession is built. In assessing this category for a testing term such as reliability a “not competent” response means you could not define the term; a “some competency” response means you could define the term; and a “fully competent” response means that you use the term in the performance of your day-to-day work.2. Study those skills you rated “None.” After you complete the assessment worksheet, you will have designated some of the skills included in the CBOK as: None, Some, and Full. The objective in preparing for the CSTE examination should be to have “some competency” in all of the skills within the CBOK. You need not be fully competent in any skill to qualify you to pass the CSTE examination. Note that the CSTE designation focuses on individuals knowing “what to do” in order to effectively perform IT software testing. To provide maximum value to your employer, and to enable you to obtain either an Advanced Software Tester (ASTE) or Master Software Tester (MSTE) designation you need to be “fully competent” in most of the CBOK skills areas.3. Reassess those skills you studied after a rating of “None.” If you now believe your rating changes to “Some,” then change your checkmark for the related skill on that category assessment table. Continue reassessing as you study. Proceed only when you believe you are ready to submit your application for the CSTE certification examination. 23
  34. 34. G U I D E T O C S T E 2 0 0 6 C B O KCalculate Your CSTE CBOK Competency RatingFollow these steps to calculate your competency rating for the CSTE 2006 CBOK. This rating willhelp you determine if you are ready to submit your application for the CSTE examination or if, and inwhat areas, you need further study in order to pass the examination. Use the CBOK Skill CategoryCompetency Rating Table on page 40 to perform each step below. 1. Total the number of skills you have checked in each of the three columns for each skill category. Write your numbers in the space provided for each skill category on the worksheet. These are your competency rating totals for that skill category. 2. Transfer the three competency rating totals for each skill category to the corresponding column (“Full,” “Some,” and “None”) in the CSTE Skill Category Competency Ratings table provided. 3. Tally each column in the table to determine each Ratings Total. 4. Multiply each column by the indicated number to determine the Column Total. 5. Add the Column Totals together to determine the Sum of the Rows Total. 6. Divide the Sum of the Rows Total by 160 (the number of total skills in the CSTE 2006 CBOK) to determine your CSTE CBOK Competency Rating. This number will be between 1 and 3.Now you are able to determine if you are ready to submit your application and take the certificationexamination or if you need further study. Use your CSTE 2006 CBOK Competency Rating from step6 above and the following key to interpret your competency rating: The closer your score is to “3,” the more competent you are in software testing. If your score is a “3,” you are a world-class software tester and ready to submit your application. If your score is between “2” and “3”, you are a competent tester and ready to submit your application. See the “Introduction” for information on submitting your application for the CSTE 2006 certification examination. If your score is between “1” and “2”, you do not have the basic skills necessary to perform software testing. Study those skills that you rated “None” and then reassess your skills. If your score is a “1”, you are not competent in the CBOK. Study those skills that you rated “None” and then reassess your skills. 24
  35. 35. P R E P A R I N G F O R T H E C S T E E X A M I N A T I O N Using this product does not constitute, nor imply, the successful passing of the CSTE certification examination.Understand the Key Principles Incorporated Into theExaminationThis step is to provide you some insight into what will be emphasized on the examination. This shouldnot be used in place of the CBOK. It is intended to emphasize some of the key concepts includedwithin the CBOK.In studying these key principles, two guidelines should be followed: Learn the vocabulary. A major part of the CSTE examination and a major part of being an effective software tester is to understand and use the testing vocabulary. If you do not know the testing vocabulary, study Appendix A, “Vocabulary,” before beginning any other CSTE examination preparatory activity. Note that understanding the vocabulary is essential to pass the examination. Learn how to apply the testing principles to everyday practice. As you study the testing principles, think carefully how you would apply those principles to your day-to-day work challenges.Review the List of ReferencesUse the following lists of references to help you prepare for the CSTE examination: Appendix B of this preparation guide lists numerous books recommended in the software testing field. Software Certifications Web site – www.softwarecertifications.org (click on Index and then click on Body of Knowledge, CSTE) lists references compiled by the Certification Board and used in preparing the examination. It is each candidates responsibility to stay current in the field and to be aware of published works and materials available for professional study and development. Software Certifications recommends that candidates for certification continually research and stay aware of current literature and trends in the field. The lists referenced above are suggestions; they are not intended to be all-inclusive. 25
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