Software QA and Testing-related Organizations and Certifications

SEI - Software Engineering Institute web site; info about SEI technical programs, publications, bibliographies, some online documents, SEI courses and training, links to related sites.

American Society for Quality - American Society for Quality (formerly the American Society for Quality Control) web site; geared to quality issues in general, not just Software QA. ASQ is the largest quality organization in the world, with more than 100,000 members. Provides a wide variety of general quality-related certifications, as well as the CSQE (Certified Software Quality Engineer).

SPIN - Software Process Improvement Network, for those interested in improving software engineering practices. Organized into regional groups called "SPINs" that meet and share their experiences initiating and sustaining software process improvement programs. Annual meeting at the Software Engineering Process Group (SEPG) Conference, which is co-sponsored by the SEI and a regional SPIN. Web site lists links to regional SPINs worldwide.

IEEE Standards - IEEE web site; has Software Engineering Standards titles and prices; the topical areas for publications of interest would include listings under the 'Computer Engineering' section in the categories of Software Design/Development and Software Quality and Management.

Society for Software Quality - Has chapters in San Diego, Delaware, and Washington DC area; each with monthly meetings.

QAI - Quality Assurance Institute.

EOQ-SG - European Organization for Quality - Software Group, an independent not-for-profit organization founded in 1983. It is comprised of more than 30 national quality organizations and other institutions, enterprises and specialists.

Links to QA and Testing-related Magazines/Publications

CSQE - ASQ (American Society for Quality) CSQE (Certified Software Quality Engineer) program - information on requirements, outline of required 'Body of Knowledge', listing of study references and more.

CSQA/CSTE - QAI (Quality Assurance Institute)'s program for CSQA (Certified Software Quality Analyst), CSTE (Certified Software Tester), and Certified Software Project Manager (CSPM) certifications.

ISEB Software Testing Certifications - The British Computer Society maintains a program of 2 levels of certifications - ISEB Foundation Certificate, Practitioner Certificate.

ISTQB Certified Tester - The International Software Testing Qualifications Board is a part of the European Organization for Quality - Software Group, based in Germany. Certifications and testing are admininstered by ISTQB organizations in each of a number of countries around the world. Two levels are available: Foundation and Advanced.

ASTQB - The American Software Testing Qualifications Board is a branch of the ISTQB Certifications are based on experience and a written test. Two levels are available: Foundation and Advanced.

Professional Tester - European-based quarterly English-language testing magazine. Web site includes archives with articles from past issues.

Software Test and Performance Magazine - New magazine started in 2004, from BZ Media. Table of contents for current and past contents available online; past issues are available for download.

Software Quality Professional Magazine - Published by the American Society for Quality; web site includes table of contents and abstracts of all articles, and full text of selected articles.

Better Software Magazine - Web site has full text of each print issue's featured article. Published by Software Quality Engineering, Inc.

IT Metrics and Productivity Journal - Free on-line publication from Computer Aid, Inc. covering best practices in software development, maintenance, and management, process, metrics, estimation, IT governance, etc. See site's 'archive' link for large collection of past articles.

Methods and Tools - Software Methods and Tools e-newsletter web site by Martinig and Associates; regular articles are included on process improvement, testing, modeling, management, etc. Site includes current issues and past issues with full text of all articles; as well as extensive additional information and resources.

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General Software QA and Testing Resources.

Agile Methodologies - Martin Fowler's online discussion of 'agile' methodologies (XP, Scrum, Crystal, FDD, DSDM, etc.) includes summaries of various approaches as well as reference information, and factors to consider in choosing these approaches.

XP Resources - Large collection of resources from Ron Jeffries about 'Extreme Programming' including a discussion of how QA fits into the XP approach, XP Magazine archives with articles such as 'Test-First Design', 'Incremental Requirements', 'Extreme Programming and the CMM', and more. Also see 'The Rules and Practices of Extreme Programming ' at the web site.

Scrum - Web site of Advanced Development Methods, Inc and their Scrum methodology, a team-based agile approach to iteratively, incrementally develop software with rapidly changing requirements.

Crystal - Web site about Allistair Cockburn's collection of 'shrink-to-fit, human-powered software development methodologies' based on the premise that each project needs an approach appropriate to its particular member talents and people issues, and that efficiency is best maximized via frequent deliveries and improved communications. Methodology suggestions are grouped by team size (no larger than 50 as of 2004) and recommended for teams at a single geographic location working on non-life-critical projects.

WSR Consulting Group publications - Good collection of QA and Testing related articles with an emphasis on proper management of developer-customer relationships for software projects.

Practical Software and Systems Measurement - Web site with extensive information on software development metrics, sponsored by U.S. government. Site contains articles, reports, examples, and a free PC-based software tool to assiste in project-specific metrics development.

Software Estimation - December 2005 interview about software metrics and estimation from the IT Metrics and Productivity Journal .

Software Project Estimation - Good introductory article covering the basic issues of software project estimation, from the Software Productivity Centre in Vancouver.

Testing Education Articles - Collection of articles on software testing and the teaching of software testing from the Florida Institute of Technology funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation.

'Software Experts' site - Software engineering site oriented to microcontroller/embedded system environments, by Eberhard De Wille and Dana Vede. Site has sections on design, coding, refactoring, process, and a large section on testing.

ITIL - 'IT Infrastructure Library' - a set of best-practices guides on the management and provision of operational IT Services. From itSMF, a UK-based organization comprised of 1000 companies and government organizations worldwide that is developing and promoting best practice IT Service Management standards and qualifications. There is a related British Standards Institution BS15000 IT Service Management standard and certification scheme. An online organizational ITIL Service Management Self Assessment is available.

Big Ball of Mud - Outstanding essay on the 'de-facto standard software architecture', by Briane Foote and Joseph Yoder of the U. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The 'Big Ball of Mud' architecture is defined as 'a casually, even haphazardly, structured system. Its organization, if one can call it that, is dictated more by expediency than design....The overall structure of the system may never have been well defined. If it was, it may have eroded beyond recognition.' They discuss why this architecture is so popular, advantages and disadvantages, and what can be done to improve such systems.

The Frameworks Quagmire - Old but still relevant article by Sarah A. Sheard summarizing and exploring the conflicts and complexities among various software process standards existing in the late 1990's - CMMi, SW-CMM, SDCE, Trillium, IEEE, FAA-iCMM, EIA-632, NATO-AQAP, MIL-STD-498, ISO/IEC-12207, ISO-9000, etc. Web Site - James Bach's Web Site with a great collection of his articles on various aspects of software testing.

Bret Pettichord's Software Testing Hotlist - Web site with links to various test and QA-related info; not updated recently but still has a good list of test automation articles and other useful web sites. - QA and Testing information, discussion forums, other resources.

Seven Steps to Test Automation Success - Good introductory article on how to approach automated testing; by Bret Pettichord.

Test Tools for Free - Short article by Danny Faught discussing some free test tools, along with the basics of 'freeware', and information on a testing freeware newsletter. (Note: Many free web testing tools are also included among the web testing tools listed in the 'Web Test Tools' page .)

Effective Performance Testing articles - Extensive collection of how-to and other information on performance testing at Scott Barber's web site.

Evaluating and Choosing the Right Tool - Elisabeth Hendrickson describes a five-step process for comparing, evaluating, and choosing the right test tool; from the web site.

Totally Data-Driven Automated Testing - Introductory article by Keith Zambelich on 'data-driven' and 'keyword-driven' automated testing. Article is from 1998 but information in the article is still valid and applicable. - Site for test/development engineers using JUnit or one of the other XUnit testing frameworks. Has many useful articles and resources on automated Java regression testing and 'agile' testing processes in general.

Java GUI Testing - Short discussion of automated Java GUI testing issues, includes interesting discussion of methods of identifying a component in a GUI hierarchy for use in developing automated test scripts.

Function Point FAQ - Old but still useful article on the basics of the Function Point approach to estimating software development effort, based on an end-user/functional view of a software application's 'size'.

Illustrative Risks to the Public in the Use of Computer Systems - Enormous list of software, system, and related problems compiled by Peter Neumann/SRI International. Organized by categories such as space, defense, medical, stock market, elections, insurance, cryptography, etc. Includes related book list, other information. (Also see 'Risks Digest' listed below.)

Process Improvement Case Study Featuring Reviews and Inspections - Article titled 'Process Improvement: Case Study of an Improvement Program Featuring Reviews and Inspections' in Software Quality Professional magazine.

Will Bugs Eat Up the U.S. Lead in Software? - Business Week (International Edition) article comparing present state of U.S. software industry to U.S. automobile industry in the 1970's, when Japan took away huge market share with better and cheaper products by adopting Deming's and Juran's quality approaches. Discusses a possible repeat with the current US software industry losing software development market share to countries such as India. Entire issue and cover story reports on software problems - discussion of past problems, problems with software engineering, and possible fixes. Also see similar Infoweek article - 'The Big Picture: Killer Apps And Dead Bodies'.

ARIANE 5 Flight 501 Failure Report by the Inquiry Board - A rare and instructive detailed public analysis of a major software failure - the 1996 launch failure of the new Ariane 5 rocket. This is the official report of the inquiry board appointed by the French National Center for Space Studies and the European Space Agency. Also see the article 'Design by Contract: The Lessons of Ariane' which includes a discussion of the code reuse issues brought to light by the Ariane 5 failure.

Eiffel FAQ - FAQ site for a programming approach, based on the ideas of Bertrand Meyer, with the goal of improving software component reusability, extendibility and reliability using assertions, preconditions, and postconditions.

Internationalization Testing - Article at Sun's web site; includes guidelines and good check list of questions for testing an internationalized software product.

German-Language QA/Testing Web Site - German-language QA and testing web site, with articles, downloadable software and documentation, discussion forum, book reviews.

Risks Digest - Digest of the 'Forum on Risks to the Public in Computers and Related Systems'. Includes latest issue and archives covering software and system problems, vulnerabilities, disasters; based on the comp.risks newsgroup.

SEI Capability Maturity Models - SEI's CMM/CMMI web site, with info including the SW-CMM (Software Capability Maturity Model), P-CMM (People CMM) SA-CMM (Software Acquisition CMM), SE-CMM (Systems Engineering CMM), and IPD-CMM (Integrated Product Development CMM).

Construx Software Resources - Site with many useful resources such as CxOne, a lightweight, tailorable, modular, and scalable software engineering framework, estimation info and resources, various checklists, and Steve McConnell's 'Software Survival Guide' website.

CM Crossroads - Online community and resource center for configuration management, with library of resource links, interactive discussion forums, blogs, podcasts, monthly newsletter, Career Search and Jobs Board.

CM FAQ - Configuration Management FAQ edited by David Eaton; includes 'What is CM?', 'How should a CM system relate to process enforcement?', CM books and other resources, etc. Not updated recently but still a useful FAQ.

SR/Institute's Software Quality Hot List - Extensive collection of links to many QA and testing-related articles, resources, etc.

Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act (UCITA) - Text of controversial proposed U.S. laws (formerly Uniform Commercial Code Article 2B) concerning software quality. This would essentially implement new laws in all 50 states in the U.S. Additional info on UCITA controversies at Ralph Nader's CPT (Consumer Project on Technology) web site and Cem Kaner's web site. . As of late 2005, only the states of Maryland and Virginia had enacted UCITA since it was first proposed in 1999.

How To Build Reliable Code - Old but still-relevant article from a past issue of Byte Magazine.

NASA SW Engineering Lab site - U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Software Engineering Lab web site; includes publications such as "Recommended Approach to Software Development". Though this publication is several years old, it is a good online guide to the SW development process with extenisve sections on System Testing, Acceptance Testing, and other QA and testing issues. Other publications freely available at the site include "Cost and Schedule Estimation Study Report", "C Style Guide", "Software Measurement Guidebook", and "Improving the Software Testing Process..."

FDA Medical Device Software Validation Guidelines - U.S. Food and Drug Administration's 2002 guidelines for medical device software validation.

Negotiating Testing Resources - Excellent article by Cem Kaner about testing project planning and budgeting; from a 1996 software quality conference.

Software Engineering Resources - Large collection of useful information and links to many other sites and resources, all related to the SW engineering process including project planning and management, metrics, risk analysis, programming methods, OO SW engineering, testing, QA, CM. From R.S. Pressman, author of the book 'Software Engineering, A Practitioner's Approach'.

Software Technology Roadmap - Software Engineering Institute's technology descriptions listing - summaries of many software terms and technologies such as COM, OO Design, Function Point Analysis, etc

Software Test Coverage Analysis article - Article containing a good discussion of test coverage analysis from Bullseye Testing Technology, maker of "C-Cover Test Coverage Analyzer" tool.

comp.object FAQ - Extensive FAQ for object oriented subjects; includes some info about object-oriented testing.

CMMI (Capability Maturity Model Integration) - A suite of process improvement models for product and service development and maintenance. The suite includes the CMMI-SW model, and there is a 'staged' and 'continuous' version. Each of the CMMI models can be coordinated with other CMMI models to enable enterprise-wide process improvement. CMMI-SW builds on the previous SW-CMM model which was 'sunsetted'.

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