How To Break Things Real Good

Martin has been absent because he’s been redesigning his side of the site. (Go check it out. It’s cool.) I’ve been absent for much less interesting* reasons.

Basically, I’ve been studying for a test. About testing. The Information Systems Examination Board (ISEB) Practitioner Certificate in Software Testing, or, as I think of it, How To Break Things Real Good.

After eight days of classroom instruction spread over two weeks, I had less than a month to cram the syllabus in between my ears (Only click on the link if you have persistent insomnia. Not suitable for reading whilst operating heavy machinery*). I did it – I can now go on at great length about the relative strengths of boundary value analysis and state transition testing in the design of functional tests, name 18 types of automated test tool, and describe three software development lifecycle models and how they relate to testing.

I wasn’t a very good classmate, I’m afraid. I got massively insecure early on in the instruction section, when I came in on the second week to find that someone extra had turned up and taken my seat and my course materials. The instructor was mortified, but I felt deeply unwelcome, and turned to the same obnoxious behaviour I used to get through high school. When I feel out of place, I become the most annoyingly, articulately intelligent pain in the posterior ever…trying to prove that separate does not equal inferior, I guess.

I did this throughout the second week of classes, and only got worse in the revision session. I even straightened the instructor out on his understanding of one area of the syllabus. Yes, I was right and he was wrong. But that doesn’t make it less obnoxious**. I hope I made up for it a little with some of the tutoring I did on the side.

The exam was a pig, but I knew it would be. I think I did OK, on balance, though I won’t know for a couple of months. The pass mark is 60%, and if I get over 80% I get a distinction. (Which is, in a small community, considered rather cool.) I’ll be content to pass.***

I promise, now that I’m done with that, I’ll post to the blog again. I’ll even go back and pick out the best photos I took over that time, tell you about the time Fionaberry did a face plant at full speed running downhill, and even update my cinnamon roll recipe. Promise.

* I don’t think it’s boring. But I know everyone else does.

** Peter, if you’re reading this, I am sorry.

*** This is a lie. I would be marginally content to hear that I got 100%. I’ll gnash my teeth over every missed point. I know I missed at least 7 marks, and it’s driving me nuts.

2 thoughts on “How To Break Things Real Good”

  1. Abi, this is not good.
    If I had been your indstructor, right or wrong,I would have mauled you.

    Chill out, life is far, far too short, for this type of reaction.

  2. To be fair, Ian, actually what I did was realise that the way he marked my mock exam showed that I didn’t understand TPI at all. (As in, I even thought the organisation was described by a letter and his model answer said it was described by a number.)

    So I asked him to explain it to me, because if it came up on the exam I was clearly hosed. So we went back into the notes, and I still couldn’t understand how the way he explained it would work. Then we looked at other model answers, and it became clear that my mental model of it was actually right and his wrong.

    I do tend to prefer instructors who are interested in ensuring that the information presented to the students is right to those who are focused on maintaining their position of authority. I’m pleased to note that Peter is among them.

Comments are closed.