November 17, 2007

Finally, a tester certification test that I might like!

Posted by Ben Simo

I am not a fan of any of the current software tester certification programs. Perhaps it is because I take the word certification too literally -- which means that I expect it to have real meaning. When I think of certification, I usually think in lines with the IEEE's definition of certification.


The process of confirming that a system or component complies with its specified requirements and is acceptable for operational use.
Perhaps my thinking is biased by my past IV&V testing work. If one can go to a weekend class and become certified, then I question the value of that certification. I believe that certifications based on ability to memorize terms and practices free of context are of little value -- and may do more harm than good. Yet, the purpose of this blog post is not to provide arguments against the current crop of tester certification options. If you'd like to see some concerns about certification, read the following.
If we must have a test certification based on a computer-scored multiple-false test, then I think I have found a test that is better than any others I've yet seen. This test covers many aptitudes and skills that I believe are important for testers:

  • Precision reading
  • Requirements interpretation
  • Persistence
  • Exploratory learning
  • Domain knowledge
  • Heuristic based problem solving
  • A good sense of humor
  • Critical analysis
  • Looking at problems from many angles
  • Recognizing context
  • Understanding the software platform
  • Agility
  • Troubleshooting
  • Working under pressure
  • A good memory, or good note taking skills
  • and don't be easily offended
Give it a try.

If I had to select testers based on passing a test, I think I'd take someone that has gotten further than I in this quiz over someone with a software tester certification. I believe this quiz is a better measure of whether or not one is "acceptable for operational use". :)

How far can you get?

And did you notice the bug on question 30?



November 18, 2007  
Anonymous wrote:

Precision readingRequirements interpretationPersistence
Exploratory learningDomain knowledgeHeuristic based problem solving
A good sense of humorCritical analysisLooking at problems from many anglesRecognizing contextUnderstanding the software platformAgilityTroubleshootingWorking under pressureA good memory, or good note taking skillsand don't be easily offended
Give it a try.

Yeah! Those who give it a try will have to give more tries.

November 20, 2007  
Anonymous wrote:

What the hell is the answer to question 56?!

November 21, 2007  
Anonymous wrote:

Hi Ben,

I am running short of words to appreciate you for this excellent quiz! I just notice this post roughly 10 minutes back and am only 12 questions through (after a LOT of retries). I am not going to give up until I see the last question of this quiz. I am going to take my dinner now. Will comment once again once I succeed in completing this quiz. Just thought of conveying my happniness and thank you for this awesome effort.

Happy Testing...

November 21, 2007  
Ben Simo wrote:

I did not create the quiz. My children found it online and got me hooked. You can click the credits box at the start or the link below the quiz in the blog for info about its creators.

I thought it was worthy to share with software testers as a thinking exercise. It is fun, addictive, and very frustrating.

November 21, 2007  
Ben Simo wrote:

The answer to 56 is shown a few questions earlier when it tells you to remember.

November 21, 2007  
Ben Simo wrote:

Hi Debasis,

I bet you'll need to take many dinner breaks before you reach the end of the quiz.

I'm currently stuck on clipping the toe nails. I can't click them fast enough with my notebook's touchpad. I'll have to try a real mouse.


November 22, 2007  
Anonymous wrote:

Hi Ben,

I appreciate your honesty in telling that this quiz was NOT developed by you. Anyway, allow me to thank your kids for sharing this with you and in turn, thank you for sharing this quiz with other fellow testers via your blog.:)

You are absolutely right. This quiz is very very addictive and tickles your brain's gray matter! Yesterday I tried it once again after taking my dinner. And I could reach Qu# 40. [Don't Touch the Pink!]. But I seem to have stuck at that question! :) My tester's 6th sense (if there is any such thing!) keeps telling me that there must be some bridge to jump to the Next button. May be, I should give it another try. The thing that frustrates me most is the fact that I am NOT able to use my SKIP option even though I have one.

Anyway, I will try again tonight after my dinner. Lets see how many dinners does it take before I can complete this quiz. :)

In the mean while, wishing you a great Thanksgiving day.


November 22, 2007  
Anonymous wrote:

Man, question 56? I'm having a hard time passing question 15! For some reason, I don't see a correlation between a horse and my keyboard...

Anyway, I'm addicted to it like everyone above. Great post!

November 23, 2007  
Anonymous wrote:

Okay, I take that back. HORSE. Who would've known? :)

November 24, 2007  
Ankur wrote:

Very Very addictive.

Some questions were very well would find that "AHA moment" as you understand the reasoning...particularly Q.40...couldn't make it through the bomb of Q66 though.

I am going to make this as a first "outside of topic" post on my blog and pull-in the "test automaters" to attempt this puzzle.

November 25, 2007  
Ben Simo wrote:

Yes, the answers to many of the questions make perfect sense to me once I figure them out. Others do not make sense even once I do stumble upon out the correct answer. I think the instructions said something about some of the answers being nonsensical.

As to question 66: The answer is the end of the world!


November 27, 2007  
Anonymous wrote:

Hi Ben,

I am still stuck at Qu #56! I think remember the (supposed) answer that is displayed sometime before. But in vain! Even I have tried with all the possible options available on the question. :( I understand, I must have missed something that prevents me from clearing this question. Let me see if I can make this out this weekend!


March 10, 2008  
Unknown wrote:

Hi Ben!
Thank you so much for sharing the quiz with the testers. We all are enjoying it. Its an addiction.
I can't cross #59...i am trying it over and over but no luck :( Can i get some hints please.
Debasis, remember the sequence that you are asked to remember in a question and i am sure you can pass it easily :)

April 25, 2008  
Anonymous wrote:

Aargh, an evil blog, you purveyor of addiction you. Must... stop... now... before I spend my evening on a little flash game!

March 01, 2009  
Ghyslain Chamberland wrote:

And the bug is...
You have to stay focus about testing. It is easy to get stuck in the game not remembering that bugs must be found. We are testing it or are we playing?
Maybe we should "skip" this, no?