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By James Bach
Pradeep Soundararajan got threatened with lawyers when he criticized Testing Experience magazine for being under the thumb of the ISTQB (for those who don’t yet know, the ISTQB are the guys who want to prevent you from getting work as a tester unless you first pass their silly test. They also plagiarized my definition of exploratory testing, while subtly changing that definition to alter part of its fundamental meaning).
The editor of that magazine could have said “Look, we believe in the ISTQB. That’s just how it is.” Instead he hinted that he would sue Pradeep if he blogged his criticism. Pradeep blogged anyway.
A couple of authors of testing textbooks have threatened to sue me, in the past. I don’t know what they think they were accomplishing by that. I just turned around and blogged about them. It’s not illegal to criticize bad work and the people who do it.
The ISTQB is not part of any community of software testers. They are a business that ignores the rest of the testing world while pursuing their own agenda to line their pockets and promote themselves with misleading advertisements. That’s my opinion, which I have reached through a variety of experiences and investigations as part of being in this craft. One of those experiences is the time that the ISTQB approached me to run their American operation. They spent 30 minutes telling me how great it would be to take advantage of the American market for certification, before they realized I thought it was a terrible idea. After that, I guess they decided that I’m not qualified to have an opinion, since they’ve never paid attention to me since.
I once read Rex Black’s own advertising (promoting ISTQB certification) as part of a keynote speech at the CAST conference– his exact words, mind you– and after reading it I explained why I thought it was misleading. Rex then demanded the return of the money he paid to sponsor the conference.
You might think, yeah, well, of course he should get his money back, until you remember that this was a conference dedicated to free investigation of testing ideas, and not a get-out-of-criticism-if-you-pay-a-fee show. CAST is a free speech zone.
I hope that testers will recognize these opportunists for what they are and begin to fight back. I’m glad that Pradeep is doing just that.


Category: Certification, Testing Culture

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