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How are we doing? The Software Testers Benchmark By Ard Kramer

  • 11/10/2010
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  • Posted by EuroSTAR

How are we doing? that was the subject of a discussion about testers I had with Tim Koomen on EuroSTAR 2009. Do we have any figures on where we stand as testers? Are we really challenged as testers? Are we working to our full potential? The conclusion of our discussion was that there are no figures available that can be linked to testing, so we could not answer the question: how are we doing? I asked Tim, if he would help me when I would start a survey to find data to help us answer our question. He didn’t have the time, but he promised me that he was willing to review a concept survey. For me, this was reason enough to start with the preparations.

One year later, just before EuroSTAR 2010, the preparations of the survey are finished and the Software Testers Benchmark is launched. A pilot will be done in The Netherlands and the survey will be done by TestNet (the organization for testers in the Netherlands). A committee is formed, consisting of Tim, myself and two other experienced test consultants, Huib Schoots of Rabobank International and Henk van Merode of the Air France/KLM alliance.

What is the survey about? The motto of survey is simple and covers much of the contents: Tester @ work. The results will tell us more about what a tester is really doing at his job: for example what kind of test techniques does he use of what are the test deliverables in a project? Besides the information about our job, we want to collect data about the profile of a tester as well, for example, how many testers are there, what is their gender, age, how many years of experience in the testing field do they have, etc. Finally information is asked about the organization where the tester is working, to complete the survey. The survey uses ISTQB definitions so it will be possible to make an international comparison.

On October 11th at the TestNet autumn congress, the Dutch testers have the opportunity to fill in the survey first, using the website . This website will be open the coming months, where we aim to get at least 300 respondents, for our survey to be representative. (Calling all Dutch testers to fill in the survey!)

In the spring of 2011 the first results will be published in TestNews and presented at the TestNet Spring congress.

I am convinced that the survey will provide us with interesting information on what we are really doing as testers (in Holland). I hope to get the opportunity to present the results at EuroSTAR 2011. And more important, if it were up to me, let EurosSTAR 2011 be the start of an European Survey. This was my ambition from the start and that is why I already named it:


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