AMA: What is the biggest racket in the IT industry right now?

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Paul asks..

“What is the biggest racket in the IT industry right now? (Scrum certifications, ISTQB certifications, etc.)”

My response…

I don’t believe ISTQB or Scrum certifications etc. qualify as a racket and I am personally neither overly for or against ISTQB or Scrum certifications. Would I do acquire these certifications myself? No. But I can’t say that I never would, I just haven’t felt this necessary up to and including now.

I am aware of a slice of the testing community being quite anti-ISTQB and making a lot of noise about it, but I find that quite funny considering those who most vocally oppose it sell their own version of training on software testing.

As I previously stated, the biggest thing holding software testers back is wilful blindness and I don’t believe that completing either ISTQB or RST fixes that.

These courses can however make testers potentially more employable, and whilst I have never needed this in my own career, I am not one to judge someone who takes a course to increase their employability. Is teaching someone a course to make them more employable a racket? Probably not.

But I would suggest a software tester who wants to be a better tester could become it by moving themselves outside their comfort zone: attend a non-testing conference, read a non-testing book or blog, or do a non-testing course. Free yourself from your filters. This can make that tester a better tester by moving themselves outside of their own echo chamber.

But to answer the first part of your original question: I can’t identify any major current IT industry racket per say.

I think we’ve gone way overboard on agile/scrum where we’re entering the dangerous territory of people doing ‘agile’ ceremonies without understanding or questioning any reason why.

I am yet to be convinced of the full benefits of implementing visual comparison testing without an unmaintainable noise to signal ratio (which was the case around the time of QuickTest Professional offering this over a decade ago).

I think some places are going all-in on micro services without understanding the integration complexity they’re creating for themselves.

These all could become rackets, but only if we let them.

Author: Alister Scott

Alister is an Excellence Wrangler for Automattic.

1 thought on “AMA: What is the biggest racket in the IT industry right now?”

  1. Alister
    Thank you for your blog on wilful blindness. I have published it to our tribe, for I believe testing is not the only SDLC process in which this occurs. In the development of a solution, at all stages from inception to delivery participants need to be open minded and inquisitive. Certification does not make a good tester, in my opinion it simply means the tester has some familiarity with the terminology. Good testers critically question, are proactive in identifying and trialing new approaches/techniques etc and educate others in the tribe/clan through discussions and showcases.


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