We’re starting a new blog series where we interview BBST® graduates and ask them to share their unique perspectives and experiences on a topic regarding the courses or their profession. Our objective is to let you, our readers, have more in-depth answers to the not-so straightforward questions we receive.
For this first blog post in the series, we asked four graduates the following question: How has the BBST® Bug Advocacy course changed your work as a software tester?
The BBST Foundations course has a lesson focused on Measurement. The goal of the lesson is to lay the groundwork for understanding how to evaluate a measurement’s validity, and why it’s difficult to measure software quality. When I was a student in the course, the lesson seemed to me more focused on curbing my enthusiasm in terms of applying measures than in providing quick tips for how to start measuring my work in my day-to-day job. After a few years of experience, I appreciate much more the approach of carefully considering how to put measures to question instead of accepting them at face value and jumping to conclusions. At the time I was hoping for some tips that would help me answer some measurement requests and questions with more than “I don’t think that will give us much valuable insight, here’s why”, or “I don’t think that’s a good idea”.
This is a course that pushes you to explore the world outside the boundaries of the course. You test a real-world application writing and evaluating bugs, perhaps contributing to the test plan or other troubleshooting. This gives you an opportunity to build a reputation with people who might help your career later, in many other ways.
There are different opportunities for software testers to interact with people with similar interests:
We are proud to announce the first significant update on the BBST® Foundations 3.0 that we are planning to release this year: a completely new design with content revisions for all lectures and assignments.
Back in 2014 we started our collaboration with Cem Kaner and Rebecca Fiedler, convinced that the BBST® series will change the practice of software testing. Our first goal was to make the courses more popular in Romania and Finland, then we committed to promoting them in Europe and now we are devoted to keeping the BBST® series as the go-to courses for advanced skills in software testing worldwide.
Our instructor, Alex Rotaru, has previously organized the Introduction to State Model Based Testing (SMBT) workshop during Autumn Testing Camp and later talked about this concept during a seminar hosted by Cluj IT Cluster. The response and feedback he received after both events were very encouraging which is why we decided to make this workshop available on our platform for any software professional curious to deepen their knowledge on software testing and learn more about the process of test automation.
The concept of SMBT is introduced in both the BBST® Foundations and Test Design courses. Through this workshop, we want to go beyond theory and teach you how to apply it to different scenarios you can come across in your work as a software tester. Learn more about the important issues this workshop will help you solve.
Software teams, agile teams, in particular, are well aware of the need for their developers, testers, product owners, and other team members to collaborate. The usual selection of agile ceremonies creates space for people sharing the planning of the work: planning meetings, product backlog refinement meetings, three amigos sessions for coming up with acceptance examples, and daily meetings just to mention a few. For much of the rest of the time, people are hunched over their own keyboards and screens, working on their own tasks – more so in the time of forced remote work. Even if developers work with each other doing pair programming, testers often work on their own.
The BBST Foundations course is a very challenging course, on many levels. For me, it was a full 4 weeks of learning how to learn, how to organize better and how to stay on top of things. This course offers you many learning opportunities and a lot of useful information. In order to benefit from this as much as you can, you’ll need to put effort not only into going through the materials and assignments but also into paying attention to some of the aspects I’m going to describe below.
A lot of projects and companies nowadays no longer have dedicated testers. That doesn’t mean they no longer do testing; they simply share the responsibility of testing inside a development team. Testing becomes an activity that everyone in the team does, but there’s also a strong focus on automation and trying to create large regression suites that cover as much as possible from the overall functionality of the application.
I’ve also seen automated scripts created in several contexts where the people creating them were focused on solving the programming challenges, but they seemed to overlook one key element: how to make their tests powerful. There were lots of hours involved, lots of tools and frameworks, lots of lines of code, but there was little understanding of the application and superficial interest in what the tests will find and cover. So the teams put a lot of effort in creating extensive automated test suites but the question that remained was “Do they bring enough value?”
In each course, you will be asked to review and provide feedback on assignments written by other students. The instructors will monitor your comments and will assign grades. Peer-to-peer feedback is very important in these courses:
- It gives you a way to switch roles from creator to evaluator, which will help you more objectively evaluate your own work.
- It can help you see opportunities to improve your work, by seeing patterns of problems in the work of other students.
- It provides feedback to students from several sources, rather than from one instructor. Peer feedback is more credible to some students than instructor feedback.
- Most important, careful evaluation of the questions and comments of other students gives you another type of opportunity to step back from your work and reflect on what the course is teaching.
Student work in each of the BBST courses will be reviewed and evaluated by the instructors as well as peer-reviewed by other students.
Each course will include several assessments, quizzes, assignments, and an exam. Each assessment has a primary objective. Here are typical examples of what we might be trying to achieve with a specific assignment:
- evaluate the student’s performance and make a decision if she/he has successfully completed the course or not yet.
- help the student identify strengths and gaps in knowledge and skill
- give the student practice working through a specific type of problem or task
- help the instructor understand where the course is failing to motivate the students or to help them learn
- motivate the students to spend a little more time, effort, or attention on favored tasks