Okay, so now I had a certificate up on my wall... Did that make me a good tester?
Have you ever met someone who went to school to become, let's say, a teacher? If this person has all the paperwork to prove they can be a teacher, does this mean they are a teacher? Anyone who has spent any time in school has met someone who should not be at the head of the classroom. At the same time, surely most have met someone who had no paperwork, no college education whatsoever, and has taught them a lot. Paperwork implies something, it does not do something.... and when tested under fire, it is useless.
Not long after becoming certified, I was exposed to two of the best training courses available for software testers...
In our weekly team meeting, it was announced that the organization I work for was going to be providing us with a 3 day Rapid Software Testing course with Michael Bolton. I was excited to have an opportunity to learn more about testing.
This course helped me to take ownership of my testing. The use of heuristics and oracles was something I had never taken into consideration. It is not that I had not used them - everyone uses them to some degree , but I didn't know how to use them smartly.
The course also gave me confidence in testing. Not only did I believe that I could test any application/product set before me, but I went on to do so with success, on each of the projects within the facility I work for. In short, the tools provided by this course have enabled me to organize my mind in my testing.
I knew some time after this course that I needed to test myself. I knew I was good at what I was doing, but I was unsure if what I was doing was good. At this point I signed up for the Association for Software Testing's BBST Foundations course. This course was great. There were all levels of testers in the same "class". The points of view brought in were amazing and the main project allowed me to gain some experience in working on a geographically dispersed team. This ended up helping me quite a bit when I was actually involved in a four-location project.
This was an intense, fast-moving course that provided me with an opportunity to learn from not only the course materials, but other testers from all over the world. It not only added to my testing knowledge, but to my communication skills as well.
I would highly recommend both of these courses to all testers regardless of time and experience they have in the field.