BBST: Something to Brag About

Posted by Albert Gareev on Dec 29, 2011 | Categories: NotesReviews

I have made two major investments into my professional development this year.

One of them, taken in April, is the course of Rapid Software Testing. I wrote about my experience and takeaways, as well as proudly gave a personal endorsement.

Another course, similar and different at the same time, is Black Box Software Testing (Foundations level), which was taken in Autumn. Same as with the RST course, I’ve got a unique blend of experiences.  And I want to say more about it.

The course itself is organized in a “research lab” style. It actually reminded me of my happy student years. Theory and practice are given in an excellent mixture, and the course has a potential of keeping knowledge-thirsty students busy for 40 hours a week. (Although you don’t have to spend that much time to pass the exam. But I found the assignments so addictive that I worked even on those not given to me.)

In this sense, the Foundations level course will be a true testament of skills even for someone considering himself (or herself) a senior tester.

The course aims for the following learning objectives:

  • Understanding key testing challenges; choosing the strategy to meet your actual needs under present constraints.
  • Rapid learning, as well as learning through collaboration and reflection.
  • Critical thinking and precision in reading.
  • Efficient and effective communication, and well-structured feedback.
  • Understanding diversity of definitions in software testing terminology.
  • “Complete” vs. “Good Enough” testing.
  • Heuristic approach.
  • Programming fundamentals.
  • What is coverage?
  • Measurement and metrics. 


That’s a lot for just 3 weeks! But what makes the course really special is the tight collaboration it requires and encourages. I felt pretty strong on many topics yet I was deeply engaged in the assignments either finding new aspects for myself or supporting fellow students. We had quite a group! I wish at my day jobs I’d always meet such a strong passion for testing and learning.

If, at this point, you haven’t signed up for the course yet, here’s another argument to consider: you will get to work with a star team of instructors. For the particular course I was taking, our instructors and facilitators were Cem Kaner, Rebecca Fiedler, Michael Larsen, Selena Delesie, and Brian Osman. – And I’m very thankful to them for all the feedback and coaching given.

On a final note, I want to say: if the RST course with Michael Bolton was the most insightful and inspiring experience of this year, the BBST course was the most challenging and motivating experience, and I look forward to taking Advanced classes.

  • One response to "BBST: Something to Brag About"

  • Darren McMillan
    29th December 2011 at 15:11

    Hi Albert,

    Thanks for sharing this. I’ve booked in for March 2012, to do this. I’d originally planned to do it last year, but had to pull out due to work commitments.

    Your post makes me all the more excited about it.


    [ Albert’s reply. Thanks, Darren, and good luck. I’m sure you’ll love it! :) ]

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This work by Albert Gareev is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported.