Train Your Testers...Cheap!!

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you will witness an incredible exchange of knowledge and ideas. I have found it very educational and enjoyable to "teach" other testers what I know about testing and QA and have found that I learn as much from others when I'm teaching them. Certification study groups can be done during lunch, after work, on weekends, or whenever it is convenient for the employees. Study groups increase the overall level of
knowledge on your team, improve interpersonal relationships, improve morale, and increase the level of teamwork in your group.

Encourage Your Employees to Join a Professional Group (or Start One)
Professional groups are a great way for people with a common professional interest to learn, network, and promote their profession. Generally, professional groups charge a small fee for membership and provide regular meetings with topical speakers, as well as periodicals of interest to the group. They may also support certifications and classes in the group's area of interest .

There are a number of active groups that exist solely to promote quality. Some of these groups, such as the American Society for Quality (ASQ) and the Society for Software Quality (SSQ), have local chapters in various areas of the United States that are free or very inexpensive to join. As a member, you are entitled to attend the meetings and receive the periodicals at no extra cost. The Delaware chapter of the Society for Software Quality, for example, has had a wide variety of speakers on topics such as software testing, project management, and test tools. Each of the speakers is an expert and many are professors, directors, or consultants.

What if there are no professional groups in your area? Start one! Many of the groups, including SSQ and ASQ, encourage QA professionals to start local chapters. What better way to demonstrate your leadership and get your employees involved in the industry then to start a local chapter?

Conclusion
Training and educating your testers does not have to be expensive. By being creative, you can find many ways to increase the value of your employees and your testing team. Your employees will appreciate the effort and you are likely to learn a thing or two yourself. Sure, send them to conferences, provide them with tuition assistance, and bring in outside training, when necessary, but don't overlook what you already have. The best source of training may be right in front of you. You just have to look around and recognize it!

RESOURCES

Professional Groups:
www.ssq.org/

www.asq.org/

Other Certification References:
"Benefits and Risks of Tester Certification"
, By Dave Gelperin

About the author

Don Prather's picture Don Prather

Don Prather has spent the past fifteen years as a technology manager within quality assurance and testing, incident management, and IT Audit. His work has been primarily focused on the financial and education industries and Don has worked with companies small and large to realize the benefits of continuous improvement blended with modern, agile methods. Contact Don at don.prather@apollogrp.edu.

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