I am a Biology student, who has changed my career to IT and have been working in the software field for the past 4 fours under the QA (auditing processes for ISO9001 purposes). Now I'm a Software QA Execute and have decided to increase my knowledge on QA. What are the next steps I can look for?

Are there any certifications that I can do under QA, which will be very useful? (I have already done certification on IQA). I have heard about CSQA certifications for QA, are there any other certifications apart from these?

Or as always, are there any books for upgrading my knowledge on QA?

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    Can you clarify what you mean by QA? E.g. are you testing software, or are you auditing processes (e.g. for ISO9001 purposes). – Steve Apr 13 '11 at 11:05
  • I'm working under auditing processes (i have edited too) – Ant's Apr 13 '11 at 11:09

If you are auditing, you need to get ahold of your country's equivalent of the US GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Priniciples) and learn it in depth. Even if you are not auditing financial systems, some concepts such as internal controls are most helpful in auditing systems as I find that developers are unaware of these things and leave gaping holes in their software that allow people (especially internal users) to manipulate the data in an unauthorized way. If you are auditing finacial systems GAAP will contain the rules you most need to make sure the system enforces. I believe that the AICPA will also have a lot of information on auditing financial information systems and possibly certifications, at least they had that kind of information back in the 1990s when I worked for an audit agency.

  • any kind of books for these certifications? – Ant's Apr 13 '11 at 15:11

Do you like breaking things? QA is all about breaking stuff, then telling the guys who can fix it how. Don't know if a certification exists for this, but if you constantly void warranties that is a good start.

  • "QA is all about breaking stuff, then telling the guys who can fix it how", that is only exploratory testing. QA is much, much wider. It encompasses various types of functional and non-functional testing. – StuperUser Apr 13 '11 at 16:38
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    Your understanding of "exploratory testing" seems to be somewhat lacking - try Cem Kaner's definition first: satisfice.com/kaner/?p=42 (he coined the term), and then try reading this: developsense.com/blog/2008/09/evolving-understanding-about There is nothing in the definition of "exploratory testing" that excludes any type of functional or non-functional testing. – testerab Apr 13 '11 at 21:58
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    That and you can break stuff in a "so, what happens when you hit this with a hammer" fashion or you can systemically break things but the point is pushing systems to the breaking point. – Wyatt Barnett Apr 14 '11 at 0:12
  • @testerab, your understanding of my comment seems somewhat lacking too. I didn't say that exploratory testing includes functional and non-functional testing, I said that QA does. – StuperUser Apr 14 '11 at 9:35
  • @Wyatt Barnett, +1 for a good point, but fully functioning systems that don't function according to spec will fail tests while not "breaking". – StuperUser Apr 14 '11 at 9:47

A programmer friend who writes hardware diagnostics for a living has a framed sign on his wall:


That has to be the mindset of a successful QA guy.

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    What does it stand for? – Job Apr 13 '11 at 18:41
  • Breaking stuff. – Wyatt Barnett Apr 14 '11 at 0:13
  • @Wyatt - I didn't break it, it was already broken when I got it! ;) – testerab Apr 15 '11 at 3:24

Have a look at the International Software Testing Qualifications Board's website: http://istqb.org/

In particular: http://istqb.org/display/ISTQB/Certification

  • Why the downvotes? – StuperUser Apr 14 '11 at 9:36

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