If you are subscribed to Testing Experience - The magazine for professional testers, you would have got an e-mail recently ( a day or two before this post ) announcing first year anniversary of the magazine. I am subscribed to them from their third issue and in an year they have grown to about 350,000 subscribers ( as per their own website claim )
I congratulated Jose Diaz for running the magazine and for completing one year with it, and offered my respect to him for doing it. I also wrote in the same e-mail to him that I see the magazine becoming too much of ISTQB stuff to which he seemed to disagree with me. I am surprised with that.
I decided to investigate if I could be wrong and presented my findings to Jose over an e-mail:
( modified the construct for your reading and not the content)
Here is my experience of going through Testing Experience magazine
- When I open the website www.testingexperience.com I am forced to look at a pop up ad for ISTQB. Only after closing that I am allowed to browse through the pages. [ As on May 29, 2009 2300 IST ] Do you see anything different?
- Let's look into the latest issue : Security testing: Page: 2 : The opening ad of Testing Experience is ISTQB. It kind of puts in my mind the thing that Testing Experience means ISTQB.
- Page 3: Jose Diaz has personally covered ISTQB in letter from Editor section and he says, "Last but not least, I want you to pay attention to our new e-learning portal www.testingexperience.learntesting.com . You can register for ISTQB Foundation Level and very soon for Advanced Level. Enjoy Learning". When the chief says pay attention to something it indicates to me that Testing Experience is supporting ISTQB because they are feeding Testing Experience with enough money to do that.
- Page 6: Yet another ad of ISTQB in German language or something similar to that. Hey look, before I even get to read the first article in a magazine, I am asked to cross 4-5 instances of ISTQB.
- Page 13: Another instance of ISTQB half page attractive ad
- Page 21: ISTQB again
- Page 24: Erik Van Veenendaal writes about ISTQB and wooing people to go for it. Here is an excerpt from that article: "The ISTQB Advanced Level scheme offers a complete 5-day module on technical testing which may seem irrelevant to testers today, but I'm convinced will become more and more important to the near future or even already today".
- Page 27: Interview with Mike Smith: Yet another ISTQB masala flavor in the form of LearnTesting. 3 pages full of that. As though - Learn Testing means only about learning ISTQB way of testing.
- Page 30: Yet another ad for Learn Testing who in turn promotes ISTQB and run by Testing Experience.
- Page36: An article from Rex Black, a popular founder and face of ISTQB. To his credit, he doesn't talk about ISTQB.
- In what way is his article on page 66 to 70 that talks about Advanced Software Test Design Techniques is related to Security theme of the magazine? Do we have so less people on Security Testing that we'd have to compensate it by a non security article.
- At least aren't there any other brilliant ISTQB certified testers who can write good articles on Security Testing or maybe even the Advanced Test Case Design Techniques?
- Page 52 & 53 has the ISTQB and information such as "We are the community with 1,10,000 people. Are you on the right side?". Its a Shame. Rex Black speaks against the idea of Schools of Testing but has ads asking testers, Are you on the right side? with a link to ISTQB below it. What is the message?
- Page 58: ISTQB in France
- Page 70: Another article from Rex Black
- Page 78: RBCS & ISTQB
- Page 99: There is ISTQB, yet again and a full fledged article on it for 2 pages.
- Page 103: Is yet another mention about ISTQB being there and being here for those who didn't know it will soon be everywhere .
- Oh and Page 104 also ends with ISTQB training and other details. ( There are only 104 pages of this magazine )
- Compare their first edition of magazine and there on, you would see ISTQB increasing with every edition. I wouldn't be surprised that the future editions is only about ISTQB and I see the future in their latest edition.
Testing is Questioning
Where is all the money that many testers across the globe paying to ISTQB certification and training going? Asks Michael Bolton on James Bach's Blog
Is the magazine becoming an official mouth piece of ISTQB or there is so much of bias that it makes me think so?
Whose money is all this? Your money. You didnt know you can make someone as rich as you wanted to be?
I think anyone who is running a business can cling to a brand to build their own brand but not to an extent that the other brand swallows it. If that is the mission, I think Testing Experience is headed on the right track.
I don't know who is in the review board and I suspect that it might not be diversified and have only ISTQB promoters.
What do you think?
- So, you reader of this post - What is your opinion? After seeing all this would you think the magazine is neutral or is serving the purpose of promoting ISTQB?
- Should magazines like these that claim to be for Professional Testers be promoting one kind of stuff or be helpful to the community in allowing different kinds of people to mix with?
Test Republic is a social community for software testers and a not for profit service by Mohan Panguluri, COO, Edista Testing Institute. You can witness that by visiting it. It has events of ISTQB posted in the past, it has CAST conference details and QAI conferences. It has a blend of all kinds of thought process in software testing and arguments. They allow all kinds of information to be posted from all kind of communities and schools. They keep aside their business and do this for benefiting the community. Another example is STC by Rosie Sherry. I think there is lots to learn from people like Mohan Panguluri and Rosie Sherry, for the rest of the world who also claims to be doing it for Professional testers.
Jose seemed to be OK with my above response of facts about ISTQB in Testing Experience's latest issue but wasn't comfortable after I mentioned to him that I plan to blog about it. He cited that his lawyers might have a look into my blog if I do so.
So they might be reading this post along with you. If I question ISTQB, the dynasty of ISTQB will hire lawyers to see if I can be attacked for questioning them?
How cheap? Software Testing is such a nascent field, we haven't even crossed 50 years and already someone is saying "The best practice and right ways of testing" and "we control the field and there is no room for disagreement".
Kudos ISTQB certified testers. You are sinking the field you are working on without knowing you are doing it. Fantastic, go ahead get certified!