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Software Testing And Certifications

Posted on 11/18/2009 08:38:00 PM by Abhijeet Bhagat

With the rising number of people appearing for software certifications and while the certifications may give a definite advantage it has become a business of few.

Assess your certification needs and have a clear path in mind or else all you'll end up into is losing hard earned money and precious time.

Type "Software Testing Certification" in google and you are bound to get 2.5 million searches all pointing to Software Testing certifications. Before taking any certification lets try and understand why get Certified?

  • Why get Certified at all?
Certification can lead to better visibility, opportunities, and jobs. In today's increasingly complex and highly-specialized economy, credentials are everything. Sure, you know you've got the skills to do the job, but how do you convince potential customers and employers? For many career-minded professionals, certification is often the answer.

For some entomologists, it is recognized as a valuable way to prove professional credentials to non-entomologists and the general public. For others, the topic can generate a puzzled response. Why become certified? Isn't a college degree and/or years of practical hands-on experience enough to establish one's credentials? Either response of yes or no is correct, depending on your clientele and colleagues.

Consider the doctor, plumber, architect, lawyer, or building inspector ... These are all professionals just like you. They have been educated in their craft. They have spent years working in the field, and in some cases, earning their degrees, but credentialing is an important and recognized part of their career.

  • When to think of certification
    1. When you are working in a highly competitive industry.
    2. You need to stand out of crowd when applying for jobs.
    3. When your employer demands.
    4. Your field demands keeping up the license that you get after doing certification.
  • Does Software Testing or Software Test Automation fit in any of the above criteria?
Well, Surely it does!!!. Software Testing  and Software test automation is a challenging field and people often need to prove their competence by doing certification and also often the employer or Client demand the proof of competence.

This calls for going ahead with the certification for sure. and this is many peoples start point of confusion or cul-de-sac for not going for certifications.

Think Before You Apply!!!!

  1. Analyze your Certification Needs: The general thumb rule here is decide what you want to become 5 years down the line.Not Decided? Well its time that you start planning your carrer then.Let me give you an example of Analyzing Need. Lets say Mary joined the Testing industry as a fresher. She lives with room mates who are apprearing for CCNA certification. Mary thinks that this is a good opportunity and joins the classes. Eventually Mary finds that the certification has got nothing to offer her from long term career perspective and nor she is interested in networking. So what i would suggest is that if you are not sure take your time. I would suggest a Generice Certification or foundation level certification in case you are still not sure.

  2. Choose Right Certification:  Choose a certification that is going to offer value both in terms of your current duties and long term. Most often once the decision is made that people need to remain of manual testing jobs then they'll go for a more higher certification like CSTE,CSQA,ISTQB-Advanced ect. These certification will not be able to help you 100% at your floor but you gain a sense of confidence like "i kow my industry"

    1. How About Automation?: Well in my view rather than doing a product(Tool) Certification i would suggest do a generic language certification something like VBA,VBScript, Perl etc.

    2. The tools grow in versions and you may not be able to keep up with the pace and eventually you give up.

    3. Note: - The above 2 points assume that you do not intend to become a tool specialist. Incase you do wish then the above 2 points are not valid for you.

  3. Is there any Certification path that i Should follow?

    1. Many people have asked me this question and my answer is definitely yes to it.

      1. Generic Testing Certification

      2. Database Certification

      3. One Product Tool Certification at maximum

      4. Domain Certification(s)

      5. Specialization Certifications

    2. Let me explain the above mentioned path to you.

      1. Do a generic testing certification even if you wish to pursue Automation /Security /Database Testing Career. It is very well recommended because afterall you'll still be belonging to a fraternity called Software TESTING.

      2. A Database is integral part of Software Testers Life and looking at the growing need of techno functional testers in the industry understanding and grasping DB is must.Go for Oracle Certified Associate or SQL Server Database Certification.

      3. If you wish go for one Tool certification that you wish to be expert in.

      4. Eventually as you grow towards senior management then the need for understanding domain increases and thats precisely the point where you should start thinking of domain certifications viz. Banking, Insurance, Finance, Capital Markets, SCM etc.

      5. If you are a techno savvy and want to pursue a sepcialized Testing career namely security Testing, network testing, Database testing then plan well in advance for certificates like CCNA,A+,Advance DB Certifications Like Oracle Certified Professional. ect.

  4. Some Recommendations[Dos /Donts]

    1. Once you are certified as a Testers there is little point in re-appearing for the same certification once it expires.

    2. Get yourself certified on one Database.

    3. Do Not keep upgrading your Tools /product Certifications unless you intend to become specialist in that tool.

Getting certified should be a journey of joy and learning.
Getting Right Certification on Right Time is the key to your successfull professional growth.
Enjoy your certification. Apply in practice.

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