ISTQB Petition Comments

The following are some of the comments I’ve received from the signers of the ISTQB Foundations Exam Review petition. They are obviously biased, but interesting themes are developing. Chris Carter (another training provider) has just been elected president of the ISTQB, so please take a moment to send him an email ( to let him know you’d like some answers. Enjoy!

“I took this exam at the start of my career in software testing about 8 years ago. I learnt lots of inaccurate things about software testing as a result which made me make quite a lot of bad decisions. The people backing qualification are not really testers, just people out to make a fast buck. ”

“Let the debate end. Time to be transparent.”

“Great initiative, should be public information based on their claimed values!”

“Sunlight is the best disinfectant.”

“I have always seen that there has been no value addition in terms of testing a software better in this certification. Not against the certification but, I am personally against the way it is being done. Thanks!”

“I did CSTE when I started my career in software testing. Fortunately, for me process of getting CSTE was useful as I formed a study group and discussed / shared experience over the weekend (In 2002) – However, I never liked the CBOK or the format of exam – did not bother with renews / certifications again.”

“It is almost impossible to carry the torch of truth through a crowd without singeing somebody’s beard.” – G.C. Lichtenberg

“Valid questions that should be answered.”

“A lack of transparency results in distrust and a deep sense of insecurity.” -Dalai Lama

“I would like to know: “Is their any validity of the certification?” – Is that ISTQB making companies compulsory to have for testers? Does the syllabus gets refreshed?”

“As an ISTQB Foundation Level Certificate graduate, I would very much like an answer to these questions.”

“It is my understanding that different regions set their own exams. Are reliability coefficients applied across these differing regional versions?”

“Any new information about supporting or negating the validity of these exams is a good idea. I hope you get detailed answers.”

“For clarity. Can see no reason why there should have to be a petition in the first place.”

“I have taken the ISTQB Foundation exam and want these answers for myself as well as others.”

“I didn’t take any ISTQB certification exam and I guess these were the basic questions which were bugging me and stopping from doing that. So yes indeed I would like to know the answers of these questions. Thanks for initiating it.”

“I’ve been challenging the ANZTB (Australia & New Zealand Testing Board) for over 10 years. Something needs to change.”

“I would like to know the answers to these queries too…. am too very curious to know who is building palaces from the money that we spend on certifications.”

“I would love to know these answers. I have never been satisfied interviewing people flashing ISTQB certificates. I find their knowledge and understanding of the subject to be very shallow.”

“I took the old ISEB exam, but the question still stands with ISTQB. How valid are our qualifications? It was just a foot in the door for many roles for companies that would not even interview you unless you had it.”

“Really, guys, what do you measure except the ability to memorize “correct” answers?”

“ISTQB has to become an open body sharing maximum information. Else it will become irrelevant.”

“Solid answer for the questions are needed. as a tester we are not money itself but our time, energy and hard work there…”

“I really dont understand how certifications make good testers.”

“I believe that certifications per se do not help improve testing skills. However, it is sad to note that they form an important criteria in landing a job. This needs to change.”

“Certificate of this sort is totally unnecessary for real tester who can prove the skill on demand. It is really possible for a non tester who has not done any testing in reality to pass the exam.”

“I wont encourage the ISTQB certification…..As I have seen many people who certified ISTBQ, doesnt know basic testing…I am not sure what ISTQB syllabus is all about…….I dont want to spend too much time in wasting time in writing on ISTQB…Since I have lot more to learn others things which context driven community is telling to become expert tester.”

“I agree. ISTQB FL exam is never helped me to be a better tester. Its just a piece of paper every organization wants before we can join them.”

“The Questions are very important and the response would make it more credible .”

“You know there are big problems with this. Try coming clean.”

“Given that the ISTQB Foundation level exam is now a minimum prerequisite for most test positions and contracts, the answers to this petition are essential to transparently demonstrate whether or not the certification is valid in the ‘real’ world.”


  • Jyothi Rangaiah

    Over a week ago, I was part of the interview panel and could witness this.
    The interviewer told the candidate that the answer was right out of a text book.
    And post a few other text book questions waved off the candidate.

    Then is when the whole debate about certification and formal education on twitter and elsewhere around the world came alive to me.

    For God’s sake the interviewer had done just that, had asked text book questions!

    Transparency in teaching, learning with experimentation and being in the context is the need of the hour in those places which are already not doing it.

    To be asleep is not an excuse, but eventually one has to wake up to everyday challenges and questions that which need an answer. And someone‘s gotta find the answers or answer.

  • Dwarika

    Actually in my view we need to change the practices in IT industry because where ever you go for the interview if there is opening for testing and QA, They normally ask for ISTQB…So first thing that we need to eradicate this bugs from the mind of recruitment process.

    Second thing I want to say that this exam should be more interactive like participant should be given some testing design and testing related challenge and this testing should be more dependent on the practical thing not more on Theories that we hardly use.

    How many of us do the both Sanity and Smoke testing in a single project but we are imposed to learn these theoretical thing that is already a topic of discussion.

    3rd Thing that I really want to say that Testing is not a set of rules that would always hit on the right place but it is a though and process of mind to keep the milestone of quality high..So most of the time I feel like there is not a single definition or methodology to perform some testing.

    So why not we make a big community where more and more testing come in to one place.Like I have a good trust in Weekendtesting(Indian and American version) and I also appreciate the effort of Ajay and all associated Facilitatory who try to bring people in the field of testing to impart their time for brain storming testing session.

    At last I would like to say that things should be transparent and we should be like Kopernikas to raise the fingers all about the wrong practices or belief.