Are software testing certifications worth it?

16 Mar 2017
tags: testing

In principle, they could be. In practice, no.

I’ve done the ISTQB foundation. It was a case in memorising useless terminology and methodology that is at best outdated, and at worst completely irrelevant. It also seemed to see iterative development and automation as ‘incredibly advanced’ (sigh) topics, which IMO does more damage to the industry than helps it.

I’m thankfully at the point in my career where I have plenty of options available to me, but frankly, any job that requires me to have arbitrary useless qualifications is a warning sign more than an opportunity. If they don’t put any thought into their interview criteria, what makes you think they put any thought into their software, or you once you join?

If you want to learn more about testing, work in more teams, learn some programming, do some coding side projects, read some books, attend meet ups and conferences. And be discerning.

The best thing you can do, honestly, is find a great company and/or team and prepare to learn and be mentored (easier said than done!).

Of course, I’m not the first person to think along these lines. This post by Albert Gareev is much more elequont than I am, and Martin Fowler (for it is he) has also talked about the problem with technical certifications.