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Question: Why do we believe that the board should not be elected during the coming few years?

Answer: Everybody likes democracy and openness, right? So why then is the ISST board not democratically elected? Do they not believe in elections? Do they want to protect their egos? Egos, no. But critical first few years of the organization? Absolutely. The first years will be the most important ones and will set the stage for success. If the board members had to invest their time and energy in an annual popularity contest, we don't believe they'd be investing in the right thing. Eventually, once the society come of age and established itself, the current board will stand down and be replaced by a democratically elected one.

: There's already the Association for Software Testing (AST), a context-driven non-profit organization that's been around for years. Why should I join the ISST?

Answer: There are certainly similarities between the two organizations. We are both advocating testing based on context-driven principles, we’re both operating on a non-profit basis, and we’re both looking to help testing practitioners get better at their craft. But while we share a similar foundation, we differ in approach and focus in our objectives.

ISST is working in three areas that are not emphasized among AST’s objectives:

  • Advocacy of context-driven testing aimed to influence corporate management and decision makers to create more awareness for common sense testing in organizations, from the top down.
  • Community building among test professionals who are either already context-driven, or who are curious to learn more about the context-driven approach to testing.
  • Active opposition against wasteful testing practices that seek to dehumanize testing or turn it into a standardized exercise.

Similarly, the AST’s objectives include things that are not the focus of ISST’s agenda, such as facilitation of partnerships between testing practitioners and testing researchers. The organizations complement each other and you might find that one or the other is more in line with your own interests, but really there is no reason why you shouldn’t join both if you’re serious about software testing.

Question: Where does the ISST stand on the issue of tester certification programs and schemes such as the ones provided by the ISTQB?

Answer: The ISST’s position is that peer certification and the ability to demonstrate real testing skills in a real-life environment are far better alternatives to today’s testing certifications. The certifications you can get as a tester today are too focused on having you memorize bodies of prescriptive knowledge and not focused enough of making sure you get the learning, questioning and thinking skills you need to actually do the job. We don’t believe in having a certification says anything about your ability as a tester and that an over-reliance on certification as a differentiator on the job market can actually hurt the craft in the long term.
For a more in depth argument against certification, see:

Question: What does "passive member" mean?

Answer: General membership is "passive", i.e. it does not confer voting rights. This measure is to ensure that there is continuity amongst the board in the short term whilst the society is being established. We, the board, expect this to be revised at some point in the future. We strongly believe that the society remain accountable to its membership, and recognize that members have the ultimate right to "vote with their feet". We also encourage feedback and are happy to consider suggestions that might help us in pursuing our mission.

Question: Where does the money go that I pay as a member?

Answer: Running a professional society costs money. Changing an industry costs money. We are a non-profit society that is dedicated to the delivery of our mission, and every cent, penny and paisa will be devoted to that cause, or to providing tangible benefits to our members. Many of our initiatives won’t come free of costs. Our commitment to the members of ISST is that we will be completely transparent when it comes to our income and expenditure. As stated in our by-laws, we will issue a financial report once a year stating all our income and spending.
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