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What is included in the ISTQB Agile Syllabus?

So, What is included in the Syllabus?

At the time of writing the ISTQB Agile Extension is relatively new and many potential candidates, like yourself are interested in the Syllabus

These are three high level topics covered:

  1. Agile Software Development
  2. Fundamental Agile Testing Principles
  3. Agile Testing Method

Many people do not have an understanding of what is included in the ISTQB Agile Syllabus so I decided to put up all this useful information in this article.

These days, in the testing industry, you can't get away from the Agile methodology. When I first started testing, approx 17 years ago, the V-Model was the norm. Nowadays it is seen as quite an old fashioned methodology, albeit quit a solid one.

What is the ISTQB Agile-Tester Extension-Certification?

You may probably have an idea of what the extension certification is but I am going to provide a detailed description all the same.

Who needs the certification?

This Agile tester is very important to people who are directly involved with iterative projects and comes in handy to individuals such as test managers, user acceptance testers, software developers, testers and testers.

What Qualifications do you need for the  certification?

Apparently, you do not require a lot of qualifications to be eligible for the course. The certification requires you to have general knowledge of terminologies, processes and test designs of different software.

However, acquisition of the ISTQB Foundation-Certificate is considered to be an added advantage.

What we can You learn from the Agile tester certification?

This syllabus provides a useful insight into key aspects such as: a clear understanding of the fundamentals of Agile Software-development, mastering the skills and roles of a software tester as well as understanding differences of software testing using traditional methods and Agile techniques.

It will also familiarise you with Agile testing methods, processes, techniques, and tools. Another important lesson is acquiring the knowledge of quality risks involved in Agile projects.

What is the best ISTQB agile-certification book? 

If you are reading this article, there are high chances that you are probably one of the people mentioned above who need the ISTQB Agile syllabus. We are well aware that you may be asking yourself which is the best book to purchase and our answer is “ISTQB Agile-Tester: Agile testing lesson”. 

This book is printed in three versions whereby there is lesson one, two and three. The book is authored by Steen Lerche-Jensen.

The lesson one book will prepare you for the syllabus since it introduces you for all that you need to know about Agile Software-Development. The author takes you through the fundamentals of Agile processes as well as the principles of testing and software testing practices.

It will also equip you with agile testing techniques, tool and methods.

On reading the lesson 2, you will find that the author goes into details on the processes and practices and mentions the nine agile testing principles of software testing. The author systematical elaborates the differences in traditional testing methods and Agile approaches.

The lesson three book provides you with the rest of the information that you need to know about Agile techniques such as the acceptance criteria and important definitions. This is the book that we feel is good for anyone who wishes to have an understanding of Agile techniques that will enable the reader to acquire ISTQB agile certification.

Is the ISTQB agile tester one-for-all all-for-one Book any good? 

This is a 117-page book authored by Steen Lerche-Jensen designed to take the reader through comprehensive know-how of the ISTQB Agile-Test Foundation materials.

It is a good book. The book takes you through detailed information regarding Agile Software-Development. As a reader, this book will ensure that you acquire necessary information on this type of software development such as tools, principles, practices, testing methods and techniques, and processes.

The author appreciates the fact that all the stakeholders in software development should act in collaboration to ensure that a project is successful. For this reason, the book is titled “one-for-all all-for-one” which is a slogan used by the famous three musketeers. The book stresses on collaborative practices by the stakeholders because the failure of one will ultimately lead to the failure of the entire team. The reverse is also true.

What is the best ISTQB agile-tester preparation?

Like any other exam, passing will entirely depend on how much you have prepared yourself. It takes a lot of determination and hard work to acquire the ISTQB Agile-Tester certification and therefore we advise you to follow the following procedure.

  1. Studying: The first step to passing certification is studying your reading materials. We suggest that you go through the book we have recommended “ISTQB Agile-Tester: Agile-testing lesson”. You should ensure that you go through all the three lessons at least 3-4 times. This will ensure that you grasp the concept of Agile Software-development and prepare you for any questions on the same.

  2. Booking the exam: Even if you study and publish your own book, you will not get the tester certification if you do not take the exam. Once you feel confident that you are ready, visit ISTQB’s website www.istqb.org to find a registered exam provider within your area. You will be required to provide your personal details such as passport or ID number, name as well as place & date and Foundation-level certificate number if you have one. After you have provided this information, you can proceed with making the payment.

  3. Checking the exam structure: The exam is based on multiple choice questions that are distributed evenly across three chapters. The chapters 1, 2 and 3 have 13, 12 and 15 questions respectively. The total number of questions is 40 and you are required to answer 26 or more correctly to pass the exam.

    We also recommend you to familiarise yourself with the sample paper and answer sheet provided by the ISTQB.

​The Importance of the Agile Tester Extension

For people who are in the Information Technology field, ISTQB Agile-Tester Extension Certification is an important element that not only improves your chances of getting employment, but also enhances your skills.

I realised that every business organisation has incorporated IT into their business processes with large organisations having an IT department.

As an IT expert, you are required to have extensive knowledge of Agile-Software Development and to prove this, an ISTQB Agile-Tester Extension Certification is necessary.

If you are preparing yourself to get certified, I strongly recommend that you go through this article again consider reading the suggested books.

I guarantee you that this will prepare you for the exams which will eventually lead to certification. If the article has been helpful, I urge you to leave your sentiments in the comments section and share the same with your friends on your favourite social media platform.

5 Things you Need to do to Get a Certified Agile Tester Job

certified agile tester jobs

Getting the Agile certification is one thing, getting a job is another.

I had a friend, an excellent software tester, arrogant even! He had joined a new organisation recently. Now, this organisation used the agile methodology integrated within all its practices.

He didn’t last three months there! So why did he fail? Despite being a good and experienced tester, he lacked certain qualities that are required of an Agile software tester.

So, you’ve only worked as a traditional Software Tester throughout your career. You don’t get involved much in the development stage and usually come in only at the end of the product development stage.

But now you have recognised that more and more companies are adopting agile development methodology. In fact, according to Project Management Institute, 71% of organisations use the agile approach sometimes, often or always.

They don’t want a traditional tester anymore! They want to work with a certified Agile Tester who will collaborate with the team throughout the development cycle. With Agile methodology, the testing needs to be done iteratively with each release to ensure that the client requirements are met.

To get an Agile Tester job, you need to move away from the daily routine that you performed as a part of traditional QA team. Let’s look at five things you need to do to get a certified Agile Tester job:

01. Get Your Certifications and Gain Working Knowledge

Start assimilating every information you get about agile methodology. Ask yourself these fundamental questions like:

  • What is agile?
  • How does agile relate to testing?
  • Why agile?
  • What are the principles of agile methodology?

The Agile Manifesto is a great resource for deep diving into each of these.

Once you understand the basics, focus on acquiring the technical skills necessary to be a successful agile tester. You can boost your knowledge base with additional certifications.

Here are few of them recommended by CIO:

Apart from the certification courses, make sure you gain working knowledge of the agile processes and learn the right tools that support agile testing.

2. Learn to Communicate and Collaborate

As an Agile tester, you’ll be working closely with the developers and stakeholders than ever before. You’ll need to brush up your communication skills as you’ll be working in a highly collaborative environment, attending standup meetings, looking at burndown charts, etc.

Once you find a defect in the product, you’ll need to communicate it immediately to the developer. You may even need to allow them to use your system to let them debug and solve the problem as quickly as possible. You may also be asked to present complete information regarding critical defects and the time it took to patch them to the key stakeholders.

You may also need to help the members of your team who may need assistance in completing their part of the project. You need to understand that you are not a “back-office” personnel anymore, but part of a team that is working together to deliver a project successfully. Clear communication and collaboration is key to that success.

According to a VersionOne survey, 63% respondents blamed the clash between business culture and Agile business philosophy for the failure of Agile implementations.

Want to know what a capable, agile team would look like? Watch this Rob Lambert video for the answer: 

3. Learn to Embrace Change

Instead of most people staying true to their human nature, always tend to resist change! Now moving from traditional practice to agile is a significant change as well. In an agile environment, you are not only expected to accept changes but also deal with them effectively. You need to adopt new practices and responsibilities. One minute you are working on developing a new feature, next moment you are working on redesigning the same feature based on client feedback.

Asking the right questions to your team and understanding client requirements before you start working on it is the way to go. Doing so will significantly reduce the change in your tasks and disruptions mid-project. Regularly groom and reassess the backlogs in case of disruptions. They are natural in big projects, and the benefit of agile methodology is that the interruption will only affect the current phase of the project rather than the entire project. Don’t cope with change, welcome it!

4. Programming is Important, Now More Than Ever

I am sure you’ll agree with me when I say that knowledge of a bit of programming will help you test the software more effectively. Organisations will consider you as a critical asset and powerful addition to their team if you have developed testing skills with the technical know-how of programming as well.

In an agile environment, knowledge in coding has become crucially beneficial to testers. This knowledge will help you execute your tasks efficiently and swiftly. No need to annoy developers for every little query related to coding anymore!

Did you know that coding is key to a test automation career? Learn about it yourself. And this where I take you to the next section...

5. Learn to Automate

As we read earlier, changes and disruptions are constant in an agile environment. Code needs to be tested every time it is changed, and manual testing will simply take too much time. You must know how to automate your tests and speed up the regression testing process.

Knowledge of coding is significantly useful in learning test automation as test steps can be coded and then can be reused to execute other scripts as well. Combine the knowledge of coding and automation, and you can be a significant QA force for your organisation.

Final Thoughts On Agile Jobs

Agile changes a lot, whether it is the pace of the development process, your KPIs, or how you collaborate with your team. However, fundamentally you are still a software tester.

These are the 5 things you need to do to get a certified Agile Tester job. Master these five essential skills, and you’ll be a valued addition to any organisation as an agile tester.

What are your thoughts on the points listed above? Do you agree with me? If not, do share your perspective in the comments below. If you liked what you read, please hit the like button below and don’t forget to share it with your friends and colleagues. 

 Before you go, lets look at taking action and look at the actual dates of the exam:

How can I Find the ISTQB agile tester extension certification exam dates?

ISTQB agile tester extension certification exam dates

Exam Dates 

Since ASTQB exams are conducted globally, they are issued on different dates depending on where you wish to have them. You are therefore required to find out where the exam dates of your preferred locality are being issued.

However, it is important to note that these exams are not issued in all cities and therefore you should select the location that is most convenient for you.

There are many places where this information can be sourced but we advise you look for the information on ISTQB’s website. It will assist you in identifying an exam provider within your locality that is licensed by the organization.

It is important to use their website since there are cases where people have cheated only to pay for counterfeited certifications.

Exam Dates in India

Lets look at one particular location, for example, ITB (Indian Testing-Board) is the ISTQB-approved national  board of India that conducts ISTQB certified tester exams in India.

ITB was founded in February 2004 and was officially recognised by ISTQB in April 2004. Right from 2014,  ITB has issued more than 60,000 certifications across the country.

ITB has already announced the dates and locations of the Agile-Tester
Extension-Certification Exam
for the year 2018. They will be held in
Bangalore, Noida, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Pune, Trivandrum, Kolkata, and
Chennai. The exam will be held in these cities throughout the year.

Once you have booked and confirmed your seat for the exam at a scheduled
date, keep a close eye on any communication you receive from ITB before
your exam. The exam dates or venue may change, and they will inform you
via email or message about the change.

Entry Requirements, Test Procedure, and Structure

You must be I.S.T.Q.B Foundation Level certified [ISTQB Foundation Level certified] before you apply for Agile Tester Extension Certification Exam.

Who is This certification exam ideal for?

These are the ideal candidates:

  • Software testers with significant experience in traditional methodology but new to the agile environment.
  • Entry-level software testers with a noteworthy interest in agile testing.
  • Software testers with little or strong knowledge of agile testing looking to gain professional recognition or boost their current profile.

What is the format of the Agile Exam?

The exam is conducted in two formats: Public Exam and Corporate Exam. We will look at the schedule of the public exam below. If you have a group of minimum ten candidates willing to appear for the exam within your corporate premise, the board will visit your office and conduct the test.

The ISTQB Agile-Tester Extension-Certification Exam consists of 40 multiple choice questions. You need to answer these questions within 60 minutes. You also need to score at least 65%, i.e., answer at least 26 questions correctly out of 40 to pass the test.

You can get complete details about the exam structure to help you.

Helpful Study Material

There is an abundant amount of study material available on the market that can help you prepare for this test.

You can consider borrowing, renting, purchasing any of the following books/e-books:

  • Sample Exam-Questions- I.S.T.Q.B Foundation-Level Agile-Tester Extension-Exam by Chhavi-Raj Dosaj
  • I.S.T.Q.B Agile Tester: "One-for-all, all-for-one" by Steen Lerche-Jensen
  • Agile Testing: A Practical-Guide for Testers & Agile-Teams by Lisa Crispin

I highly recommend reading the books mentioned above as they provide excellent fundamental knowledge of Agile testing.

You can consider refereeing Study Guides from following websites:

You can also view these study videos (Note: they are not the most updated ones. However, significant points covered are still relevant)

Even if you don’t plan to apply for the exam, these study materials will boost your knowledge regarding understanding the overall scope of testing in any project.

Final Words on ISTQB Agile Certification Exam Dates

You have the exam dates! You have access to the study materials! You know the syllabus!

I hope that this guide helps you with all the information you need to prepare well for the exam and pass it successfully. If you have more news or insights that you feel is missing above or if you have any questions or queries, let me know in the comments below.

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