Certification and Standardisation - ISO 29119?

General Apr 21, 2021

I'm going to wade neck deep into the whole ISO 29119 debate; well maybe paddle around the edges. I'm also going to do something that is rare for me which is make my intentions clear right from the very start........... I'm not against ISO 29119!

What...... that's blasphemy!

You heard correctly I'm not against ISO 29119 however I have little use for it and have no intention of applying it any time soon.

At the risk of getting splinters from perching on the fence I shall explain.

I don't see any value for me in the ISO 29119 standards. I generally use value as an indicator on many things and ask my team to do the same. If something doesn't seem to be adding value then I expect it's continued usage to be challenged. The reason I don't see any value is ultimately because it doesn't tell me that someone is doing a good job or adding value with testing. In the same way ISQTB doesn't tell me that someone is able to apply what he or she know about testing in a practical way.

I'll be honest....... if I see ISEB or ISQTB certification on a cv it does nothing for me. In fact if I'm honest it leaves me a little concerned.

I don't particularly want my testers to try solving everything with a pre-determined idealistic methodology. I want them to be dynamic thinkers, able to adapt and challenge the software in new ways.

Don't get me wrong I think structure and discipline are important skills for testers but only applied in the right way. Maybe I am driven by my experiences a little to much but in my experience I have found that the testers without any certification and any background in standards compliance have proved to be less constrained and more forward thinking.

If I really want to put standards around the testing in my team I will identify and apply standards applicable to the needs of the business in line with our own priorities.

For all that I have said to this point, I am not worried about ISO 29119 or it's usage. If it gives people or teams a nice warm fuzzy feeling about their processes and methods then great, who am I to stand in their way? I don't expect people who wish to adopt the standard will give two hoots what my opinions are. They undoubtedly have reasons.

Am I expecting ISO 29119 to have any major impact on me or the way my team works?
Not really

Will failure to adopt ISO 29119 provide limitations on the success of my team?
I highly doubt it

Do I feel threatened by ISO 29119?
Not even slightly

Am I against ISO 29119?
Absolutely not, each situation is different and one cannot over estimate the value of standardisation for the dynamics of some industries

I won't be signing any petition but I won't be introducing ISO 29119.

The splinters are starting to hurt so without further ado:


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