It has been an incredible honor and privilege for me to work with Per Scholas as they partner with Barclays to create the Software Testing Education Program (STEP). The outpouring of support from the software testing community has been overwhelming and our partners in this program have been generous beyond my expectations. If you or your company would like to participate in STEP, do not hesitate to contact me and I will be providing updates as the program continues. Thanks – KK
Per Scholas Launches Software Testing Education Program
The global software testing market is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 21.15 percent over the period 2012 – 2016. To help meet this increase in demand, Per Scholas has partnered with Barclays to create the Software Testing Education Program (STEP) to prepare students to compete for entry-level software testing roles. Per Scholas is a national nonprofit organization that breaks the cycle of poverty by providing technology education, access, training and job placement services for people in low-income communities. STEP will teach selected Per Scholas graduates industry leading testing skills and techniques, provide access to real life projects, and include field studies for participants to learn alongside working professionals.
The STEP curriculum is two weeks of intensive lab-based instructor-led training supported by exercises, field studies, industry experts, and exposure to leading edge software testing tools. Students will be selected for the program after successful completion of the core Per Scholas 15-week curriculum and successful achievement of Comp TIA A+ certification.
Week One starts with Barclays Introduction to Software Testing, which covers quality concepts, techniques and objectives of testing including exercises on Workroom Productions Black Box Testing Machines. Workroom Productions is a London-based consultancy owned by James Lyndsay, specializing in strategies and adaptive approaches for software testing. The week concludes with a three-day course in Rapid Software Testing which was co-authored by James Bach and Michael Bolton and includes topics of critical thinking, oracles, heuristics and test techniques. Pre-reading and coursework for this week includes current white papers and articles from thought leaders in the software testing industry.
Week Two builds on the lessons from Rapid Software Testing with five days of Rapid Testing Intensive. During the course of the week, students will work through several testing projects and challenges using the tools and techniques they would use in a project environment. Key skills developed include test strategies, coverage, defect analysis and reporting. Students will benefit from the experience of Paul Holland, who will be the principle trainer for STEP and brings a wealth of experience from his testing career at Alcatel-Lucent and the many international conferences and workshops he has presented at and facilitated.
All coursework will be supported by Field Studies, onsite visits to working software testing projects via Barclays and partner companies. Students will also get real world access to professional testers through half-day field studies followed by debriefing at Per Scholas classrooms. Test Tools strategies and techniques will be taught throughout the course and use industry leading software and training from QA Symphony and SmartBear. To make sure students have a working knowledge of a basic tool set, topics covered will include test management and execution, basic test automation, and defect tracking.
In addition to the Career Support provided by Per Scholas, uTest are inviting STEP graduates to attend their uTest “Sandbox” program – a real-world testing exercise – where they can earn money for submitting valuable bugs and receive professional feedback on ways to improve their skills. uTest provides “in-the-wild” software testing to companies of all shapes and sizes through a global community of 80,000 professional testers in 190 countries and students will be able to gain valuable experience on live projects as they transition into full-time testing roles.
A one-year membership to the Association for Software Testing will also be provided to students where they can gain access to industry conferences, videos, and professional testing resources.
Sponsorship can be provided by companies or individuals wishing to participate in STEP through multiple opportunities. Companies may wish to provide facilities for Field Studies which will require 4 hours for students to visit a live project and observe software testing being conducted on a real world project. Alternatively, organizations or individuals may participate in the STEP Mentoring program which pairs graduates with senior test professionals for career guidance and development.