Bug Advocacy at a glance

All students who sign up for the Bug Advocacy course must have successfully completed the BBST® Foundations course.

BBST® Bug Advocacy is the most important course in the series, helping testers improve the most visible part of their work. You will become a highly effective tester, knowing how to help your team fix the right bugs.

The course will help you to:

develop technical skills in effective bug investigation, such as troubleshooting failures and isolating failure-producing configurations

apply different heuristics for design problems versus program failures to easily find compelling arguments for fixing them

understand how people make decisions and how to adapt your work to their biases

know when to advocate for your bug, and when to stop

You will work on live bug reports of open-source applications where you can actually contribute to the documentation of these bugs.

Course Details:

Fully Online

3 weeks of classes

1 week for exam


Oct 08 – Nov 04, 2023



Price: 885 Registration closed

Oct 06 – Nov 02, 2024


Ray Oei

Ru Cindrea

Price: 885 Register

*The final number of instructors might differ based on the number of students joining the class. We reserve the right to change, remove, or add other instructors if the situation requires it. We guarantee that all modifications are made to ensure the highest quality possible.

Course Details

Bug reports are not just neutral technical reports. They are persuasive documents. The key goal of the bug report author is to provide high-quality information, well written, to help stakeholders make wise decisions about which bugs to fix.

This highly interactive, hands-on course involves you in real-life interactions with an open source software project so you can experience a realistic work environment. Then, in the privacy and safety of the course learning environment, you and your classmates will give and receive constructive feedback on your contributions to the open source team.

Read about the latest version of the course and what to expect as a Foundations graduate in this blog post.

The course is comprised of 6 lessons, 2 per week. Every lesson is followed by a quiz and an assignment.

Week 1:

Lesson 1: Basic Concepts

Lesson 2: Effective Advocacy: Making People Want to Fix the Bug

Week 2:

Lesson 3: Writing Clear Bug Reports

Lesson 4: Irreproducible Bugs

Week 3:

One-on-one call with your instructor to discuss the assignment (interactive grading)

Lesson 5: Bugs That Could Be Dismissed as Unreasonable or Unrealistic

Lesson 6: Credibility and Influence

Week 4:

Work on the exam questions

Take the exam

Being the second course in the series, we will build on skills you have practiced with in the Foundations course, and also introduce some new areas of focus.

After this course, you should be able to:

Define key concepts such as software error, quality, and the bug processing workflow (Remember)

Understand and explain the scope of bug reporting – what to report as bugs, and what information to include (Understand)

Recognize bug reporting as persuasive writing (Analyze)

Investigate bugs to discover harsher and simpler replication conditions (Apply)

Make bugs reproducible (Apply)

Understand excuses and reasons for not fixing bugs (Understand)

Understand lessons from the psychology of decision-making: bug-handling as a multiple-decision process dominated by heuristics and biases (Understand)

Evaluate bug reports written by others (Evaluate)

Revise/strengthen reports written by others (Analyze)

Write more persuasive bug reports, considering the interests and concerns of your audience (Create)

Participate effectively in distributed, multinational workgroup projects that are slightly more complex than the one in BBST-Foundations (Apply)

By this time you probably are familiar with interactive grading. In case you have not yet opted for it, we encourage you to give it a try.
As Cem Kaner defines it, interactive grading is “a technique that requires the student to participate in the grading of their work”. This provides an opportunity for the students to better demonstrate what they understood from the course material, and to get helpful feedback directly from the instructor on what to improve and how.

We think that interactive grading encapsulates the essence of formative assessment, by focusing on the learning experience of the student, not on the grade. For more info on interactive grading, please read Cem Kaner’s post here.

In the Bug Advocacy course, interactive grading will be performed on an assignment halfway through the course, instead of on the exam. Our aim is to provide students with the necessary feedback to improve their work on the following assignments.

An important note is that during interactive grading, your grade on the exam cannot go lower than in the case of an evaluation where you receive written feedback. The session can only help you demonstrate more knowledge and thus increase your grade. With this weight lifted off from your chest, it is worth mentioning that our focus is on the learning experience during the course, and not on the grade.

For this course, as you are accustomed already, you will use multiple resources to study:

the video lectures and slides

the assignments and labs in the Canvas platform

the required and recommended readings

bugs database of an open source software product

The assignments are based on all these resources. This means that you will need to use them all in your learning in order to successfully accomplish the tasks for the course.


Cem Kaner

Cem Kaner

BBST Instructor and Content owner
As a Professor of Software Engineering at Florida Institute of Technology, Cem Kaner’s research was focused on software engineering, primarily software testing, software metrics, and computer law & ethics.

His career is centered around a consistent theme: enhancing the satisfaction and safety of software customers, users, and developers.

Alexandra Casapu

BBST instructor
Alexandra Casapu specializes in exploratory testing using heuristics and testing techniques adapted to context. She enjoys coaching and mentoring other testers, shaping teams, and company-wide testing approaches, as well as doing hands-on testing.

She is currently Principal Quality Engineer at Native Instruments, and co-founder of GISCollective.
In her free time, she enjoys programming, reading, and practicing critical thinking skills.

Ray Oei

BBST instructor
Ray Oei is currently CTO at Gamgee Netherlands BV. coaching, mentoring and managing all techies. He has been active in the IT field for over 33 years, of which several years as trainer and coach.

He is a founding member of DEWT (Dutch Exploratory Workshop on Testing) and has been a speaker at several test conferences. He is greatly interested in the human factor of testing as well as the challenges in investigating software in different contexts. He enjoys teaching and helping people learn more about the beauty of testing

Oana Casapu

Oana Casapu

BBST Instructor
Oana Casapu has been working as a tester, test manager and project manager on a variety of projects for over 18 years.

Her focus lately has been on contributing to the testing community. Together with her fellow testers, she organizes the monthly meetups in Cluj-Napoca and facilitates the events for the Tabara de Testare community.

Ru Cindrea

BBST instructor
Ru Cindrea is a senior test consultant and managing partner at Altom. With over 20 years of experience, she believes all testing is exploratory and applies this mindset to complex testing challenges and when building test automation frameworks. Her focus has mostly been on testing mobile applications and embedded systems, as well as on automating game testing, where she is one of the main developers of the open-source AltUnity Tester tool. She has been a BBST instructor for over 10 years and she has been working on developing the BBST materials and practical assignments that draw from her past project experiences.