When I started in IT a few years ago, I had no IT education, so I started taking different certificates. BBST Foundations is my fourth one (I already have ISTQB foundation, ISTQB advanced, BCS foundation).
Recently I found a new job as a Senior Test Analyst and my manager really wanted me to pass this training. Based on my experience with certifications, I was quite sceptical at first. BBST seemed to me like another certification without any real value – especially when it is just online.
But I was totally wrong and I realised it quite soon. This course is really different in every aspect. I will try to point out the most significant differences.
1. You are not asked to memorize tons of terms and definitions, you have to UNDERSTAND the given problem.
2. It is up-to you when to work on course – are you more productive after midnight? No problem.
3. Peer reviews – this is the most significant difference. I was just amazed how much interesting information and different points of view I learned thanks to other students. Just reading answers of other students helps you think differently and in ways you normally wouldn’t.
4. Final exam questions are available since the beginning of the course – another HUGE advantage of this course.
5. Interactive grading of final exam: this is next awesome advantage – in my exam I had wrong calculations in some answers, but when going through it with my instructor, I was able to demonstrate that I really understood the problem and I only did a little typo. So even if your answer is wrong, you are given the opportunity to show that you understand the topic and you usually get a better grade.
6. You can contact any instructor almost any time on Skype and you get your answer.
7. You can have Skype sessions with one of the most influential test expert out there – Cem Kaner.
8. People behind this course understand that almost every student has its own daily job, so if you decide for example in the middle of the course that you don´t have enough time to study, you can cancel your participation and take another round few months later with no extra cost! This actually happened to me.
To sum it up – this course is not for people who just want to have nice addition to CV. You are pushed to your limits, but in a nice and entertaining way. For example, understanding why defect arrival rate is nice to measure, but useless for project evaluation is the type of information you would get. You will learn how to effectively communicate with other stakeholders, how to make your point when you are concerned about quality, which arguments to use, what type of research to do etc. Cem shows different test approaches when you have different information objectives, you will see some programming fundamentals, you will learn how to effectively describe your ideas and answers and many more things. I can definitely highly recommend this course. I’m already looking forward for Bug Advocacy.
A few tips for successful completion:
– Don’t be shy and do peer reviews of other students’ works from the beginning! This helps much more than you think.
– Start preparing the final exam questions as soon as possible, preferably from day 1! – actually this point was crucial for me and assured that I passed.
– Don’t spend too much time on less important things (quizzes, too much time spent on orientations…etc), always use recommended time, not more.
Tomas Straka, Senior Test Analyst at Summit UK
Tomas Straka, tester with natural ability to break things, passionate about software development, mobile technologies and gaming. With experience in banking industry as well as in retail marketing area, he is always trying to find ways how to improve quality. Besides testing, his love is guitar, snowboard, driving, reading sci-fi and social activities in Prague.