Unity Technologies are the creators of the multiplatform Unity Game Engine. We have more than 4.5 million registered users ranging from individual hobbyists to large professional game studios. And at Unity, we make all our internal software testers go through the BBST Courses from AST.
You will not become a good tester by taking a course. Only lots of practice with proper feedback will do that. But going through the BBST courses will go a long way towards making you “booksmart” about testing. And if you build upon this foundation properly, you can make it an excellent base for further inspiration and self-study. That is what we encourage our testers to do.
The Foundations course is a good all-round introduction to software testing. With Bug Advocacy you learn that it is not enough to report undesired behavior – you also have to provide context for why the issue is important. With Test Design, you get a comprehensive introduction to multiple test techniques and get to try out a couple of them in exercises.
The courses are designed around peer feedback which is both a strength and sometimes a weakness of the courses. Students rate each other’s work. Instructors will never tell you “this is wrong” or “this is right” but will sometimes encourage you to think about a problem differently. For some, this takes a little getting used to. It also requires student participation. While I did not experience this myself, there have been instances where one of our colleagues reported low engagement from the other students. So if you take one of these courses, do the right thing and engage with other students and the exercises! You do not get a diploma for just showing up. We have had colleagues who failed their first attempt at the BBST Foundation course.
It is obvious to compare the BBST courses to the curriculum offered by ISTQB/ISEB. Prior to discovering BBST I took the ISTQB Foundation and ISTQB Test Analyst courses so I feel well positioned to do so. And unlike some people (you know who you are), I don’t believe that taking any course in software testing will make you worse at it. But I do believe that the BBST courses are much, much superior. The ISTQB/ISEB curriculum is focused on process, terminology and artifacts (plans, test cases etc.). And while that can have its place, at Unity we don’t believe that it gets to the core of what is important in testing.
Our testers are spread across teams in 12 different cities on three different continents. The fact that the BBST courses are online makes it much easier for people to join at their convenience across time zones. And while this should not be a problem in a perfect world, it should also be mentioned that the BBST courses are very affordable – especially when compared to what consultants charge for other testing courses.
We have found that the BBST courses provides a very comprehensive overview of the craft. It also gives us a shared vocabulary and ensures that our testers are equipped to perform their craft according to the principles we strive for at Unity. We do not spend too much time at Unity debating whether we are “context driven” in our approach or not. Mostly because to us it is not so much a paradigm we have chosen as it is common sense about an intelligent and responsible approach to software testing. But the outlook on the craft of testing found in the BBST courses is certainly aligned with ours.