I’ve been working informally with several groups at Microsoft to create a certificate in software testing program. The idea is to provide all testers with a basic knowledge of software testing principles through a certificate program. A certificate program is much more narrowly defined than a certification program such as the MSCSE (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer) certification. A certificate normally means a person has obtained a very specific goal. Anyway, as part of my research, I reviewed the four primary software testing certifications that exist. They are the IIST CSTP (International Institute for Software Testing, Certified Software Test Professional), the QAI CSTE (Quality Assurance Institute, Certified Software Tester), the ASTQB CTFL (International/American Software Testing Qualifications Board, Certified Tester Foundation Level), and the ASQ CSQE (American Society for Quality, Certified Software Quality Engineer). I’ve put together a matrix that summarizes these four certifications. The bottom line is that they all target a different audience, and have different goals, with the one exception that they’re all designed to generate revenue for their sponsoring companies and organizations. The image below is a snapshot of my matrix. You may need to click on the image to view it.
All these certifications have strengths and a whole lot of weaknesses. That’s why we are putting together a lean, highly focused, relatively inexpensive, Certificate in Software Testing with Microsoft Technologies program.