Monday, December 17, 2007

Defining the profession - what next?

Following my keynote at EuroSTAR, a number of people wanted to know, “What do we do next to develop the profession?” and other people saying to me, “We have already started on this by…” so here are just some of the ideas and some of the projects already underway which you could join.

A group from Norway are already looking at links with universities to provide a improved tester education. This is from the Norwegian special interest group – visit and;action=ArticleFolder.publicOpenFolder;ID=1930

In the UK, the UK Testing Board is seeking volunteers to help write exam questions; visit the UK Board on and email if you want to be part of the exam question group

Two survey activities are taking place; both researchers would value your input and their research will help us have a greater understanding of current position and what we need to do next.

  • Brett Sumner is carrying out a survey and interviews for an MBA to look at the evolution of the IT profession and the relationship between IT and the business, and the links to his survey are in the December EuroSTAR Newsletter and are:

For general IT end users, business and management:

For IT practitioners, IT management, etc. :

  • Nick Pearce – who spoke at EuroSTAR on cultural aspects of professionalism – is starting research for an MSC dissertation “An investigation into the discipline of software testing and its transition towards a profession.” Nick is looking for volunteers to interview, so please contact him on if you are happy to be interviewed.

If you are interested in the IT route map for development of the profession, look at and click on “projects”. You’ll also find your country’s IT professional body, if you are not sure what it is.

If you are interested in certification schemes, have a look at the International Software Testing Qualification Board website, If you want to look at alternatives, have a look at the debates on the Association for Software Testing website
for discussion of certification schemes in an interview with Cem Kaner.

Two people from France said they would be interested in a special interest group in France – so I have put them in touch with each other – if you know of a SIG in France, we could pass that information on, or if you also want a SIG in France, again, we could put you in touch with each other.

If you are involved with any other initiatives or projects, why not write a short piece for the EuroSTAR newsletter to let everyone know what you are doing?

A number of people said that they are interested in continuing to discuss ideas. So, let’s use the EuroSTAR blog to do that as it already exists! But be aware this will not be “my” group as some of you have suggested! This will be “your” group – for you to control, keep alive and keep interesting! For you to agree, disagree, debate and try out ideas. For you to communicate, form plans and form groups to make things happen! So this is the start of a blog-place for you to add to and discuss ideas...

Thanks for your time. Let’s keep the momentum going!

Isabel Evans


Peter Bas Oosthoek said...

Defining the Profession and What do we do next to define the Profession has an implicit risk to be to much involved with 'ourselves' as test professionals. I strongly encourage the test community to focus on the perceived and needed business benifits of the test profession and how to increase the benefits.

Isabel Evans said...

Hi Peter
I agree
We need to define ourselves as test professionals within the IT profession, and that definition needs to look at how we serve the IT community, the business community, our customers and society. What skills and knowledge do we need to be able to provide benefit?
Have a look at Nick Pearce's question on his EuroSTAR blog and Erik's reply - what do we need apart from test skills to be professionals? Things that will help us provide benefit.

Thank you for your thoughtful post, Peter.


Kevin said...