For those intrigued by CSQA and eager to understand its significance or considering whether to pursue it, this article serves as a comprehensive guide. All necessary details regarding the CSQA certification are put together to aid your decision making process.
The following practical advice comes from Swati S, a CSQA certified testing professional with an experience of over 7 years in QA.
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The CSQA (Certified Software Quality Analyst) is a Certification for Quality Analysts in the Software sector, provided by the QAI Global Institute. It is meant for IT professionals capable of demonstrating their expertise in Quality strategies and principles.
The subsequent link hosts comprehensive information about this certification, including the fee, format, prerequisites etc.:
CSTE or CSQA?
A common dilemma faced by testers is: which certification to choose?
Both of these certifications cater to distinct individuals in the realm of quality. Neither is superior, they serve different purposes.
For testers just starting their career, the CSTE (Certified Software Tester) serves to validate their skills in quality control.
On the other hand, the CSQA is meant for testers who have progressed to take up combined QA roles dealing with both quality control and quality assurance.
Typically, testers at early career stages achieve the CSTE certification and as they evolve into QA roles, they proceed to get the CSQA certification. This piece of information can aid readers in choosing the most relevant certification based on their existing role.
Benefits of Becoming a CSQA
- As a part of the QA community, you will possess exceptional principles, best practices, and code of conduct. This differentiates you from other QAs and enhances the overall QA environment.
- Your confidence will boost in dealing with the day-to-day QA activities and your guidance to peers will become more effective.
- Your employer will derive more value from this certification and the skills you acquire through it.
- This certification will positively impact your career progression.
The working of CSQA
The CSQA certification is a program of study that measures competency in Quality Assurance and control principles and practices specific to the IT profession. The Certification Board defined these principles and practices as the Common Body of Knowledge (CBOK).
The CBOK encompasses 10 skill categories that encapsulate everything you need to master in the QA domain to emerge as a leader. These categories constitute the syllabus for the certification examination.
The following list depicts these categories:
- Skill Category 1 – Quality Principles and Concepts
- Skill Category 2 – Quality Leadership
- Skill Category 3 – Quality Baselines
- Skill Category 4 – Quality Assurance
- Skill Category 5 – Quality Planning
- Skill Category 6 – Defines, Develops, Implements, and Improves Work Processes
- Skill Category 7 – Quality Control Practices
- Skill Category 8 – Metrics and Measurements
- Skill Category 9 – Internal Control and Security
- Skill Category 10 – Quality in Outsourcing, COTS, and Contracting
The specifics of each skill category are detailed in the CSQA brochure linked above. A snapshot is also provided for quick reference.
Steps to Prepare for Certification
- Spend some time to fix a date for the test. We suggest preparing for at least 4-6 months in anticipation of the test.
- As soon as you decide on an ideal time, register for the certification online and select a nearby test center for the chosen date. (The link provides a detailed procedure)
- Get hold of the CBOK. (A PDF or CD of the CBOK is sent to you after registering for the certification)
- The CBOK provides comprehensive information about the test, references, and a detailed explanation of the earlier mentioned skill categories. Understand it thoroughly.
Take Note: My primary study reference was the CBOK in preparation for this certification and I did not have to refer to any additional sources. However, QAI recommends the following references:
CSQA Recommended Study References:
No need for panic looking at this list. There is no compulsion to read all the books. However, the list is provided for those readers with an academic inclination towards the field and who are searching for reference titles.
- Prepare well and take the examination which comprises two sections – Multiple-choice and Essay questions. The examination lasts around 2.5 hours and requires a minimum of 70% in each section to pass.
Suggestions to Tackle the Examination
- Prepare with ample time in hand.
- Do not view your CBOK knowledge and work experience as separate entities. Try to explore how the current QA processes you follow are aligned with the guidelines provided in the CBOK.
- During your preparation, apply the recommended principles and practices from CBOK in your work and observe their benefits.
- Consider the CBOK your everyday guide for testing or QA practices and make note of your observations.
- Get a firm understanding of the CBOK content. It is your primary resource for the certification and success is guaranteed if you have a good grip of its content.
While I understand that many testers have negative impressions about testing certifications, I have personally found this certification to enhance my confidence, equip me with the tools needed to be an effective QA professional, instill trust in my capabilities among superiors and clients and strengthen my curriculum vitae.
The fee for the certification might be a concern for some. You can check with your company on their policies regarding continuous learning for associates, as they might be willing to reimburse the fee. Wishing you good luck!
Stay tuned for our next article where we would be sharing some sample questions for the CSQA certification which includes both Multiple-choice and Essay questions along with tips on how to answer, particularly the essay questions.
You are welcome to ask your queries.