August 16, 2009

Villanova - Saving The Country Billions... One Certification At a Time

Have you been receiving a series of emails from Villanova?  I have.  I've been getting emails fairly regularly for the past year or so.  And the Subject is getting increasingly (how do I put this?) dramatic.

This month's edition: "Software Testers Can Save Economy Billions".

Now, I'm not one to shirk my duty as a citizen, so if there's a way for me and a few of my tester friends to save this economy, I'm all for it.  Somehow, I'm guesssing that completing three courses (even courses "presented by Rex Black"), won't make much of a dent in an our economy, much less a Billion Dollar Dent.

Here are some of the claims in this month's email:
Recession-Proof Yourself With New Credentials Online!  I know some certified folks.  And I know some who are not certified.  I cannot say I see a difference in their recession-proofedness.  Perhaps the laid off friends who own credentials can tell me otherwise?

Software testers can earn up to $135,000.  Oddly, the source they appear to cite has a salary survey that is over five years old, and appears to reference exactly one outlier who made that much.  It does make you wonder what that one person is doing these days?

Software bugs, or errors, are so prevalent and so detrimental that they cost the U.S. economy an estimated $59.5 billion annually, or about 0.6 percent of the gross domestic product.  If this isn't an indication of a certification-starved country, I don't know what is!

An estimated $22.2 billion worth of error costs could be eliminated by an improved testing infrastructure that enables earlier and more effective identification and removal of software defects. Hmm, does this certification improve my testing infrastructure?  I thought people did that?

Currently, over half of all errors are not found until "downstream" in the development process or during post-sale software use.  Over half?  I've never worked any place where that was even remotely true.  Maybe I've just been lucky all these years, one of the fortunate uncertified few.

By becoming an ISTQB-certified tester, you will distinguish yourself as someone who knows how to apply sound software testing techniques and principles to reduce defects, improve quality and enhance business success.  Must be all those "indistinguishable" testers dragging the economy down, huh?

Certification acknowledges that you have mastered the newly acquired subject matter and demonstrates your commitment to professional excellence.  Well, it acknowledges that I have memorized enough to pass the certification exam.  Oh, and paid the fee, too.  (I've been fairly committed to my profession for a while now, thank you.)

By earning your Master Certificate in Software Testing from worldwide leader Villanova University and obtaining the stature of an industry-recognized certification like ISTQB’s Certified Tester, you will come away with a feeling of prestige, respect and accomplishment, along with the potential to instantly increase your earnings.   Stature is good.  So are feelings of prestige, respect and accomplishment.  I wonder - are these feelings the same thing as actually having prestige, respect and accomplishment?  Perhaps not.  But everyone always has the potential to increase their earnings, right?

All these things sound quite wonderful.  But I'm still guessing that the economy will go whichever way it goes without being much affected by marching hordes of newly certified testers.

Thanks, 'Nova - but I'll pass.