Tester's Plan

Sample Ladder Progression for a Quality/Test Engineer

As an example of career progression on Construx's professional development ladder, this page outlines the progression of a quality assurance and test specialist from Level 10, through Level 11, and to Level 12. The target leadership areas for this engineer are Testing, Quality, Process, and Configuration Management. The table below shows the requirements for the engineer to achieve Level 12.

CKA Introductory Competence Leadership
Configuration Management sqaure   sqaure   sqaure  
Design sqaure   sqaure    
Construction sqaure   sqaure    
Engineering Management sqaure   sqaure    
Process sqaure   sqaure   sqaure  
Tools and Methods sqaure   sqaure    
Maintenance sqaure      
Quality sqaure   sqaure   sqaure  
Requirements sqaure   sqaure    
Test sqaure   sqaure   sqaure  
Level 10

The following table outlines the reading, classes, work experience, and so on, that need to be completed for the engineer to progress from level 9 to level 10. During this time, the engineer obtains introductory capability in all knowledge areas and competence in quality, test, and process.

Activity Type
Details
Work Experience
  • Act as a tester on at least one project
  • Act as a backup quality lead on at least one project
  • Write one or more test case specification documents on a project
  • Lead system testing for a milestone release
  • Participate in the release process of a project
  • Participate in the creation of a test plan
  • Perform personal planning and tracking on a project
  • Participate in a code review
  • Participate in the review of a quality plan, test plan, and test cases
  • Participate in an informal review
  • Participate in an inspection
  • Lead an Agile retrospective
  • Review a project's documentation including the project plans, schedules, work breakdown structures, designs, and code
 
Reading
  • Black-Box Testing, Boris Beizer
  • Agile Testing, Crispin and Gregory
  • Competitive Engineering, Specification Control Chapter, Tom Gilb
  • Software Project Survival Guide, Steve McConnell
  • Rapid Development, Steve McConnell
  • Balancing Agility and Discipline, Boehm and Turner
  • Agile Software Development, Alistrair Cockburn
 
Training
Level 11

The following table outlines the reading, classes, work experience, and so on, that need to be completed for the engineer to progress from level 10 to level 11. During this time, the engineer obtains competence in requirements, engineering management, and construction along with leadership in test.

Activity Type
Details
Work Experience
  • Act as the quality lead for testing on at least one major project
  • Write two or more software test plans
  • Create test automation on at least one project
  • Lead the development of an automated test system for a major project
  • Lead feature and non-functional testing on a major project
  • Create two utilities or tools
  • Create a use case specification
  • Participate in the elicitation and specification of requirements
  • Participate in a facilitated requirements workshop
  • Act as backup project manager on at least one project
  • Participate in the creation of a project estimate
  • Participate in the creation of a project charter and project plan
  • Participate in the review of requirements specifications and project plans
 
Reading
  • How to Break Software, James Whittaker
  • FIT for Developing Software, Mugridge and Cunningham
  • The Practical Guide to Defect Prevention, McDonald and Smith
  • Mastering the Requirements Process, Robertson and Robertson
  • User Stories Applied, Mike Cohn
  • Code Complete 2nd Edition, Steve McConnell
  • Programming Pearls 2nd Edition, Jon Bentley
 
Training
Certification
  • Quality Assurance Institute's Certified Software Test Engineer
 
Level 12

The following table outlines the reading, classes, work experience, and so on, that need to be completed for the engineer to progress from level 11 to level 12. During this time, the engineer obtains competence in design and tools and methods along with leadership in quality and process.

Activity Type
Details
Work Experience
  • Act as the quality lead for all aspects on at least one major project
  • Write at least two quality plans 
  • Lead six formal inspections of different types of artifacts
  • Lead a root-cause analysis effort
  • Lead defect management for a significant project
  • Lead a project audit
  • Participate in process creation
  • Create a design for a test automation system
  • Participate in a design review
 
Reading
  • Succeeding with Agile, Mike Cohn
  • Metrics and Models in Software Quality Engineering, Stephen Kan
  • Software Metrics: Establishing a Company-Wide Program, Bob Gradey and Deborah Casewell
  • Project Retrospectives, Norm Kerth
  • Switch, Heath and Heath
  • Applying UML & Patterns, Craig Larman
  • Conceptual Blockbusting, James Adams
  • Software Creativity, Robert Glass
 
Training
Certification
  • American Society for Quality's Certified Software Quality Engineer