The Centro de Ensayos de Software (CES), a non-profit software testing laboratory in Uruguay, has recently launched a program that is certain to become the new “gold standard” in professional development for software testers. The program, endorsed by the Universidad de la Republica (Uruguay), the Universidad Castilla La Mancha (Spain), and sanctioned by the Uruguayan IT Chamber (CUTI), is the most comprehensive, affordable, and publicly available training program for software testers on the market. Based on my market research and comprehensive review of the program, I have no reservation in rating it as market leading.
Software Testing, the software development activity responsible for identifying issues with software and providing a wide variety of quality-related information to stakeholders and decision-makers prior to release, is the primary job of many millions world-wide, yet the majority of software testers learn their craft entirely on the job. Yes, there are various “take a class or two, pass an information-based (not a skill-based) test, and receive a certification” programs – some more respectable than others and most far more expensive than the CES program. There is even a new certificate coming to market that involves three, one month, on-line courses where students are taught and assessed by experienced testers and university professors, but none of those rise to the level of the CES’s program.
The CES offers courses leading to three levels of credential, Software Tester, Software Testing Professional, and Software Testing Leader; each tier is comparable in quality and format to a “Professional Enrichment Certificate” from an accredited university, and when viewed collectively the three levels are only marginally short of the criteria published by North American degree accreditation organizations for consideration as an Associate’s Degree. Each tier is both information- and skill-based and requires takes 6 months to complete. The successful student is expected to dedicate a minimum of 400 hours of instruction and project work that is delivered and assessed by university approved instructors and significantly experienced software testers to complete each tier of the program. The three tiers span the career development of a software tester:
- Software Tester: The ideal program for entry-level, junior, and career-switching software testers. Successfully completing this credential will give you the knowledge and experience most employers expect from testers with 1-2 years of on-the-job experience – effectively enabling you to start your career needing only to acclimate to the specific expectations of the employer and demonstrate your skills at work before being acknowledged as a mid-level tester.
- Software Testing Professional: For testers with several years of testing experience on-the-job who are looking to make the jump from mid- to senior-level, this program is designed to teach high-quality individual contributors how to be effective technical leaders within their testing organization. Effectively giving the tester the new skills they need, in addition to their existing hands-on testing knowledge, to prepare them for the additional responsibilities of a technical testing manager or of a manager of small to mid-sized testing projects.
- Software Testing Leader: This final step in the program has been designed for senior-level testers who desire to be successful managers or directors of corporate testing programs. Frequently the most challenging step for career software testers is to transition from being a technical leader to a management role focused on the interface between quality testing and executive-level business value. Successful completion of this stage of the program will give the student the tools they need to make the jump from technical leader to manager – opening the door to further advancement to positions like “Director of Testing Services” or “VP of Software Product Quality”.
I believe that this is exactly the program that testers and employers of testers have needed and desired for many years. Without hesitation, I would move job candidates who have completed any or all of this program to the top of my consideration list. In fact, the only thing that keeps me from promoting this program even more aggressively is that, at least for the time being, it is only available in Spanish. Even so, if you speak Spanish, or have tester employees who do, I strongly encourage you to take a very serious look at this program and draw your own conclusions. I am confident that you will come to the same conclusion I have… that there is no currently available program that is more comprehensive or higher quality at any price, let alone at surprisingly affordable cost of approximately U$1,300/tier.
“If you can see it in your mind…
you will find it in your life.”