I had the extreme privilege to speak to a crowd of test practitioners based in the UK last week. The event was hosted by Transition Consulting (TCL) and boasted some of the UK’s top consumers of testing services. A list of those companies is posted here but you’ll have to scroll down a bit because Stewart Noakes has been an active blogger recently.
One comment that some of my American readers might not like: European test audiences tend to be a lot more aware and a lot more involved in this discipline of testing. Everyone seemed familiar with my writing and the writing of people like Beizer, Kaner and Bach. I was especially surprised at the discussion of the history of the Kaner and Beizer schools of thought in the early 90s and the general knowledge of both industry and academic testing conferences and publications. There seems to be more eagerness to delve into the field and its history here than I generally see in my own country. These folks are really well read!
Proponents of certification might point to that as a reason since certification of testers seems far more popular in Europe. Does certification help spark people’s passion for testing? Test training in general seems more popular in Europe.
I think it might have something to do with the American bias toward test automation, particularly Microsoft’s. Most in our test community are SDETs and approach testing from a very developer-oriented perspective. (The High Altitude Developer explained this well.) They may be less inclined to think of themselves as testers and less inclined to involve themselves in its culture and history. That’s a shame. (Obviously there are many counterexamples at Microsoft but I think this is generally true among the population of tens of thousands of us.)
I am probably going to get in a lot of trouble for this post. But now that I’ve mentioned certification I have a hankering to blog about that now. I can almost guarantee that what I have to say about certification will draw some fire.
I do have a gig in London next week, we'll see if I change my mind. Certainly, I am not brave enough to post about certification before I face that crowd.