Carol Hamer, PhD, CTFL

I just received my official certificate in the mail from the American Software Testing Qualifications Board certifying that I’m now a Certified Tester, Foundation Level. The funny part is in the letter where it says that I’m now entitled to put the letters “CTFL” after my name on my business cards and letterhead. No offense to the ASTQB (and ISTQB) folks, but the test is really easy, so I’m not sure how impressive it will look (especially following the old “Piled Higher and Deeper”).

That said, I felt the ISTQB course was fun and worthwhile. I was working for a QA consulting company in Switzerland, and instead of taking a formal course, the employees organized an informal study group. One colleague divided the syllabus into lessons, and then we met once per week to discuss that week’s assignment. Most of the concepts in the Foundation Level syllabus are the type of things that are simple (once you read them) but you might not have thought of spontaneously. So it’s interesting to get together among colleagues and discuss. For someone like me (who has primarily seen QA from the outside, while working in development), it’s useful to take the time to understand QA from the high level concepts to the practical techniques.

I didn’t take the test with the rest of my “class” because I left Switzerland before we were done. But since the ISTQB is an international board, it was simple to just take the test after arriving in the U.S.

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7 comments so far

  1. Roy Wilson on

    I am interested in your new (2010) game book on BB game development. What games will use to illustrate 2-person games? Something other than tic-tac-toe?

  2. carolhamer on

    Hi Roy, thanks for your interest in the new book!

    There will be three different multi-player games: A massive multiplayer online game exploring space, Andrew’s fox-and-hounds live chase game, and Checkers. The Checkers game is based on the Checkers game from my previous book, but I completely refactored it and improved it for BlackBerry. 🙂

    • Roy Wilson on

      Thanks, I just ordered it. BTW, as a fellow PhD, what is yours in? CS?

  3. carolhamer on

    Thanks, I hope you’ll like it!!

    Nope, in Mathematics (from Rutgers, the State U of NJ). You?

  4. Roy Wilson on

    PhD in Sociology of Education (Pittsburgh), but MAs in Mathematics and CS (University of Denver).

    What was your dissertation on?

  5. carolhamer on

    It was in Number Theory.

    I really haven’t used any of the specifics of my dissertation research since I left grad school, though. My Mathematics research background has been especially useful for learning how to learn. In Software Engineering you have to be ready to tackle, learn, and apply new ideas and new technologies all the time, and research-level mathematics is a great preparation for that.

    • Roy Wilson on

      Analytic number theory (zeta functions?) or something more computationally oriented?

      I have a friend who did his work ion the golden mean. No matter what topic comes up (I exaggerate) he mentions the relvance of it. 🙂

      I’ve found that my graduate work enables me to read a lot of stuff with enough understanding to proceed. E. g., I’m doing stuff involving computational incompressibility in connection with simulation.


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