What the Certification Sales Lady Said…

At the Star conference, this week, the lady at the ASTQB booth was executive director Lois Kostroski. The ASTQB is the American chapter of the ISTQB. Here’s the gist of the conversation we had about certification…

James: “Do you need any experience to get certified?”

Lois: “No, you just have to pass the exam.”

James: “What are the benefits of certification?”

Lois: “JB.”

James: “JB?”

Lois: “Just Because. There are almost 90,000 certified testers. It’s fast becoming the norm. In some countries you can’t get a job unless you have our certification.”

James: “But isn’t there controversy surrounding certification?”

Lois: “No. The controversy is only around other certification programs. When you’re the Big Dog, there is no controversy.” (Yes, she referred to her organization as the Big Dog.)

James: “Are you a tester?”

Lois: “No. I run the organization.”

James: “You run the organization but you are not a tester? How do you know this program is any good.”

Lois: “I work with testers. I trust the experts on our advisory board.”

James: “Are you aware of any recognized industry experts who oppose this certification?”

Lois: “Yes.”

James: “Can you name them?”

Lois: “Yes. Cem Kaner and James Bach.”

James: “I’m James Bach.”

Lois: “Oh, I didn’t recognize you.”

James: “Well, I’m glad you recognize that there is controversy.” (I turned to go.)

Lois: (She called after me…) “From your side!”

Here’s what I take from that conversation. The ASTQB is using a combination of ignorance (Lois is ignorant of testing) and feigned ignorance of the field (she pretends that there is no controversy) in order to scare the ignorant into giving the ASTQB money and buying into the ASTQB world-view.

Plus, her organization is so arrogant that it believes it can ignore principled opposition to its behavior.

Please don’t support these fools and scoundrels.