ISO 29119 the “new” testing standard

On Tuesday night, Steve Willsher (QualIT) gave his best to bring ISO/IEC 29119  closer to our testing hearts at a NZCS TPN presentation. Kudos for him to really have a go at the beast that is standardisation. I am part of the working group and am at least familiar with the documents being produced. The thing is that I’m not (yet?) sold on standardization in testing and IT in general, where the intent is that it applies everywhere. In this post I’d like to share some of my concerns and elicit some debate on the topic.

The first thing I’d like to highlight is the way a standard is “born” (note the use of quotation marks here, as in the title around the word – new.) All going well ISO 29119 as a standard will be released, at it’s earliest, May 2013. This will be after already being on a 2 year journey involving lots of groups, discussions and opinions. In the last 5 years I have seen quite a few revolutions/evolutions in testing and IT SDLC in general. Testing, and IT, is still in it’s infancy and new ideas are cropping up daily, so it eludes me how the standardisation process is not being overrun by current events. The risk of the standard being out of date when it gets released is immense. The timelines for standardization might be okay for other engineering disciplines but IT moves at a faster pace (also accelerating other fields but not quite to this speed). I think the process is too unwieldy.

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