Hello, it’s Kash here. For those that don't know me, I'm one of 2i's newest recruits as part of 2i’s talent development programme. I am currently a trainee Test Analyst within a team of 30 other Testers at an Asset Management company. There, I am developing my testing aptitude and increasing my domain knowledge to help me on my way to becoming a software testing professional.

I am now a few months into my new role and as part of my training and development, 2i encouraged and supported me to sit the ISTQB Foundation level training course and exam. This would give me the grounding needed to understand software testing principles as well as provide some practical techniques that can be applied to my role straight away. The course is split into 6 chapters which range from the fundamental test process to test management techniques and test tools that can aid you along the way.

A note for anyone considering a career change to software testing: the ISTQB is a popular certification route for budding software testers worldwide along with many other options available but more on this later...

Although going through a course provider is not mandatory in order to sit the exam, it can be hugely beneficial as myself and another colleague who recently sat the exam found out. Fortunately for us, 2i provide their own accredited courses and their trainer Andrew Heaton is an experienced Software Testing professional. With a wealth of experience as a Programme Test Manager in various industries, Andrew; who also writes examination questions for the UK Testing Board was able to guide us through the syllabus intuitively and with a genuine understanding of our position having been through the examinations himself and was also able to apply his testing experience.

We completed the course over 3 days and took the weekend for additional revision before sitting the exam on the Monday morning. This worked out well as it gave us more time to practice exam questions. It is very common for students to spend weeks if not months reading through all of the course material as there is A LOT to learn which may be an easier method for some however we underwent a fast paced and intensive 3 days. Thankfully this is where Andrew's experience as an ISTQB trainer as well as his vast experience in software testing came in handy. Andrew taught us the whole course but tailored it to focus more on the topics that had a greater chance of coming up in the exam and areas that could be practically used in our current assignments. Furthermore, he knew how to bring the material to life and make it relatable which in turn made it easier to understand.

Throughout the day, Andrew would write points up on whiteboards then sporadically erase them off to test our knowledge of recalling the key points/themes that we had just gone over. We were also given quiz sheets and practice questions relevant to that chapter for additional learning. On Friday we spent a good part of the day going over practice papers. This was crucial as it gave Andrew an indication of areas that needed more attention. It also meant we got instant feedback and a breakdown on the answers that were incorrect, to avoid repeating the same mistakes!

After spending the weekend going over more practice exam papers, myself and my colleague felt confident going into the exam centre, and both came out with PASS marks, maintaining 2i 's 100% pass rate. Having the qualification behind me has given me additional confidence and it is another step forward in my career

If you are looking for an accredited ISTQB qualification to get your foot in the door to the software testing industry or tailored test training to build on your test teams existing skill set then you’ll find 2i have a solution for you. The specialised courses 2i offer can either be taken directly off the shelf, or tailored to address individual needs and they offer a range of courses to suit the many different roles involved in software testing. Whether it be Test Design Techniques for your Test Analysts or RAID and Stakeholder Management for your Test Managers, whatever the requirement may be, 2i are able to provide guidance to help make an informed decision. I am really looking forward to what training I am directed towards next on my journey to becoming a software testing professional through 2i.

I hope that for those of you looking for advice on upskilling or, for the readers that are researching how to begin a new career in software testing that this post covers some of the options that are out there and available to you today. Although ISTQB is the most commonly known and provides a good foundation on the fundamentals of testing, other accredited course options are beginning to steal the limelight and are worth investigating further.

So some points to summarise:

  • If you’re considering taking the ISTQB: Go through a course provider, rather than teaching yourself

  • Do your research on course providers: make sure it’s for Testers, by Testers. The trainers experience definitely shone through and helped me understand various areas much more easily

  • Don’t be alarmed by the syllabus for the ISTQB: it looks like a lot but with the right training you’ll be on your way to a PASS

  • Ensure you choose the right course for your role: If you’re already a Test Analyst, why not try strengthening your skillset with a specialised course that’s focused on improving your weaker areas?