Cem Kaner's Vision

“My career is centered around a consistent theme: Enhancing the satisfaction and safety of software customers, users, and developers.” 

As the founder of BBST, Cem Kaner made it clear from the beginning what the courses aim to achieve: “improve the state of the practice in software testing by helping testers develop useful testing skills and deeper insights into the challenges of the field”. This was revolutionary at the time, as there were hardly any courses looking to foster and grow these particular set of skills.

BBST never acted as an “easy to achieve certificate” generator. Instead, it built on its initial scope to improve skills and mindsets. This still holds true today.

The evolution of BBST

The first version of BBST can be traced back to 1994, when Cem Kaner started teaching it, alongside Hung Quoc Nguyen. The course then significantly evolved with guidance and assistance from experts such as James Bach, Elisabeth Hendrickson, Doug Hoffman, and Pat Bond, to name just a few.

Expansion and transformation of BBST into an online course started in 2000 when Florida Institute of Technology recruited Kaner to teach software engineering. After understanding his students’ learning patterns, Kaner video recorded his lectures so that the students can go through them outside the class, while focusing on the assignments during the class. Rebecca Fiedler’s partnership was instrumental, as the two managed to secure funding from the National Science Foundations to work on redesigning the Foundations course. Once the academic course was mature enough, Kaner and Fiedler adapted the material for an online learning experience and added the other two courses in the series, Bug Advocacy and Test Design. By trademarking the name and offering the courses as a commercial service, the two associates transformed BBST into a recognizable and valuable brand, making it possible to continue their work on creating the fourth course in the series: Domain Testing.

Over the course of 26 years, a lot of research has gone into picking the right topics and assignments, as well as crafting a precise educational method. Countless tests and peer reviews have contributed to a version that is considered the benchmark in software testing courses.

What makes BBST special is the practical part of the course, where students are encouraged to work with the notions taught to them. BBST is also extremely versatile, as it proves useful in both automated and manual testing, regardless of the tools or technologies used. Nowadays, thousands of professionals enjoy a comprehensive course that values its mission, learnings, relevancy, and interactivity.

Read more about “Evolution of the BBST Courses” as told by Cem Kaner.

Altom and the future

2014 was an extremely important year for us, as it marked the start of our collaboration with Cem Kaner, through KANER, FIEDLER & ASSOCIATES. Having experienced first hand the power and complexity of the BBST courses, we were highly motivated to contribute as instructors and promoters of the series.

Since 2019, BBST has been a trademark of ALTOM. We have taken it upon ourselves to continue the story of BBST and Cem Kaner’s mission to improve the state of the practice in software testing. We want to extend its use to address the needs of not only IT professionals interested in a career in testing, but also of those who take the tester’s role within their team, even if they might not be called testers – like, for example, product owners and developers within Agile teams – who need to improve their testing and critical thinking skills.

We regard the BBST brand as the most valuable asset in the software testing world and we are proud to write new chapters in its story.

Discover and register for one of our BBST courses and workshops, available online.