Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Enrolled in BBST Foundations

It's official. I'm enrolled in the BBST Foundations course for November through AST.

I joined AST (Association for Software Testing) with the end-goal to enroll in the BBST (Black Box Software Testing) Foundations course. I've read about the classes, seen a number of experts whom I trust recommend them and also heard good things from my post on SQA StackExchange. which is home to Cem Kaner and Rebecca Fiedler (the creators of the material) BBST consulting practice say this:
Too many testing courses emphasize a superficial knowledge of basic ideas. This makes things easy for novices and reassures some practitioners that they understand the field. However, it’s not deep enough to help students apply what they learn to their day-to-day work.
The BBST series will attempt to foster a deeper level of learning by giving students more opportunities to practice, discuss, and evaluate what they are learning. The specific learning objectives will vary from course to course (each course will describe its own learning objectives).

The Black Box Software Testing course information is all freely available online at but it seems like I'd get more information going through the class with people in a more collaborative environment. More importantly it's taught by teachers who have been trained by Cem Kaner and Rebecca Fiedler themselves.

There are several levels to the BBST coursework including:
  • Foundations
  • Bug Advocacy
  • Test Design
  • and eventually... Instructor
Just the list of required and recommended readings at the bottom of the BBST Foundations website has me excited. It's going to be a lot of work but probably well worth it.

In the video below Dee Ann Pizzica explains the BBST courses at CAST 2011 (Conference of the Association for Software Testing). It's worth a watch:


Phil Kirkham said...

I've signed up as well, looking forward to it

Chris Kenst said...

See you there.

Becky said...


I'm delighted to see that you've signed up for a facilitated class. We often hear that course participants get more out of instructor-led courses than trying to craft their own experience using the materials available at While there's a lot to be said for the instructors, don't underestimate the value you and each participants brings to the experience. Each of you will make significant contributions to the course by the quality of your participation.

Some people think the Foundations course is enough. Try to make time for Bug Advocacy and Test Design as well. Those are the courses where you start to get SERIOUS about developing test-related skills! Cem lays that out in a blog post at

Enjoy the course(s)!

Chris Kenst said...

Hi Becky,

 My plan is to make enough time to go through each of the courses and if I like it go all the way to BBST Instructor. I asked the question on SQA StackExchange to get impressions of those who had gone through the instructor-led class but also because I was leaning towards the experience of joining others.  

 Thanks for commenting!