CSQA Preparatory Training
The CSQA Common Body of Knowledge (CBOK) skill categories have been selected to address the challenges faced by today’s software quality analysts. The Web-based CSQA Exam Study Course is a live, facilitated discussion and presentation of the ten CBOK skill categories. The course reinforces current knowledge, re-introduces concepts that may not be used everyday, explains the rationale for use, and highlights both multiple choice and essay type sample examination questions and responses.
It is recognized that many software quality analysts do not need to be competent in all of the CBOK categories to fulfill their current job responsibilities. However, the CSQA candidate should have a working knowledge of the information in all skill categories and will be examined on all ten CBOK categories. This course provides a background of the IT QA fundamentals and also includes the more advanced concepts, which the Certified Software Quality Analyst must understand.
The completion of this course along with the necessary practical experience and related resource familiarity will help prepare the candidate for the CSQA examination. Due to time limitations, this course is not intended to cover every component of the CBOK in great depth.*
The course usually meets on Tuesday of each week. Occasionally we meet on Thursday to bypass scheduled events. You will be sent the link for the LVC on or before the Monday of each week. We honor daylight savings time when that occurs.
Tuesday 12:30pm – 1:00pm (USA Eastern time) – (Sessions 3-12) The “Live Virtual Classroom”‘s Q&A session meets weekly to go over the assignments and clear up any questions you may have about the material covered on the previous session or sessions.
Tuesday 1:00pm – 2:00pm (USA Eastern time) – (Sessions 3-12) During this one hour session the seminar leader will go over a series of slides and discuss the topics contained in the CBOK that are of importance to you. There may be times when the time of the “Live Virtual Classroom” needs to be adjusted.
NOTE: Special times for the first two sessions are posted below. Please make note of these special times.
Session 1: 12:00pm – 1:00pm ( USA Eastern time) – tutorial only; no Q&A session
Session 2: 12:00pm – 12:30pm ( USA Eastern time) – Q&A session
12:30pm – 1:30pm ( USA Eastern time) – tutorial
Exact session dates will be announced soon.
Pre Work: Prior to the first session – Read the Welcome Info, download and print the Course Materials, and view / take the prework materials on the prework drop-down within the Weekly Sessions tab.
Welcome Info Tab: View the Instructor Bio as desired. Make note of the Additional Information containing the telephone teleconference phone number and passcode. The information also contains a free SKYPE toll-free alternative especially for callers outside the USA.
Course Materials Tab: You can download and print the Course Book which is the workbook for the course. You can download and print the CSQA CBOK (Common Body of Knowledge) for your reference throughout the course. You may find it convenient to keep the downloaded image for quick keyword searches.
Weekly Sessions Tab, Prework drop-down box:You can watch the Prologue to get a course overview.You can preview the “Live Virtual Classroom” Orientation slides to get an idea of what the “Live Virtual Classroom” screens will look like. These same slides will be used as an orientation during the first “Live Virtual Classroom”. Make a written record of your current screen resolution and color quality. Be prepared to change the resolution to 1024 X 768 and quality to minimum (16 bit or 256 color) prior to each session. You can change it back to original settings after each session if you wish.
You can download the Skill Self-Assessment spreadsheet and self-assess you degree of skill in each of the 10 skill categories, before the first “Live Virtual Classroom” session. This will help you identify your current level of knowledge in each area. This is not sent to the instructor. Allow adequate time since there are 160 detailed skill self-assessment areas.
You can take the Pre-Test to pre-assess your present level of knowledge. It uses 30 multiple choice questions. It is automatically scored upon conclusion. Although the instructor gets a copy, don’t worry about how you do; course discussion is limited to group responses. This is an excellent way of doing a “dry run.”
You can take the Test Topics which are essay questions, in the same way and for the same purpose as the Pre-Test. These are questions on topics that Testing professionals most frequently encounter.
The Test Topic Answers contain sample answers to the Test Topics. It is suggested that you attempt to answer the questions before looking here. Link to Additional Resources has links to various web sites and books on software quality which you might find helpful. “Live Virtual Classroom” log in and use instructions shows you the screens you get when you click on the meeting Link to “Live Virtual Classroom” for the meeting session you are in.
Skill Category 1: Software Quality Principles and Concepts
Before an organization can begin to assess the quality of its products and services, and identify opportunity for improvement, it first must have a working knowledge of quality principles and basic concepts. This Session’s topics will include a review of quality concepts and practices, the vocabulary of quality, the different views of quality, and the differences between quality control and quality assurance. Conclude with a discussion of the Cost of Quality, the contributions of quality pioneers, and TQM. Sample test questions will also be discussed.
Skill Category 2: Quality Leadership
The most important prerequisite for successful implementation of any major quality initiative is commitment from executive management. It is management’s responsibility to establish strategic objectives and build an infrastructure that is strategically aligned to those objectives. This Skill Category describes the management processes used to establish the foundation of a quality-managed environment including leadership concepts, the quality management infrastructure, and the quality environment.
Skill Category 3: Quality Baselines
Organizations need to establish baselines of performance for quality, productivity and customer satisfaction. These baselines are used to document current performance and document improvements by showing changes from a baseline. This Skill Category discusses quality baseline concepts, the methods used for establishing baselines, model and assessment fundamentals, and various industry quality models.
Skill Category 4: Quality Assurance
Quality Assurance is a professional competency whose focus is directed at critical processes used to build products and services. The profession is charged with the responsibility for tactical process improvement initiatives that are strategically aligned to the goals of the organization. This category describes the management processes used to establish the foundation of a quality-managed environment including establishing a function to promote and manage quality, quality tools and their use, insight into process deployment and internal auditing and quality assurance responsibilities.
Skill Category 5: Quality Planning
Executive management establishes the vision and strategic goals. Planning is the process that describes how those strategic goals will be accomplished. Quality planning should be integrated into the IT plan so that they become a single plan. This Skill Category reviews planning concepts, the planning process, integrating business and quality planning, prerequisites to quality planning and planning to mature it work processes.
Skill Category 6: Define, Build, Implement and Improve Processes
Companies must constantly improve their ability to produce quality products that add value to their customer base. Defining and continuously improving work processes allows the pace of change to be maintained without negatively impacting the quality of products and services. In this Skill Category we will discuss process management concepts and processes.
Skill Category 7: Quality Control Practices
Quality control practices should occur during product development, product acquisition, product construction at the end of development/acquisition and throughout product change and operation. This skill category will address the various types of controls and when they are best used in the process, developing a testing methodology, verification and validation techniques, the framework for developing testing tactics, change control, configuration management and defect management.
Skill Category 8: Metrics
A properly established measurement system is used to help achieve missions, visions, goals, and objectives. The QA analyst must ensure that quantitative data is valued and reliable, and presented to management in a timely and easy-to-use manner. This skill category addresses measurement concepts, the use of measurement in a software development environment, variation, process capability, risk management, the ways measurement can be used and how to implement an effective measurement program .
Skill Category 9: Internal Control and Security
Especially after the recent scandals and implementation of the Sarbanes-Oxley act, it is necessary to understand Principles and Concepts of Internal Control, Environmental or General Controls, Transaction Processing Controls, The Quality Professionals Responsibilities, Risk and Internal Control Methods, Building Internal Controls, and Building Adequate Security.
Skill Category 10: Outsourcing, COTS and Contracting Quality and Measurement
Quality of software remains an internal IT responsibility regardless of who builds the software. The quality professionals need to assure that those quality responsibilities are fulfilled through appropriate processes for acquiring purchased software and contracting for software services. This Skill Category reviews the processes for selecting COTS software and software developed by outside organizations, the issues regarding contracting for software developed by outside organizations, and the processes for the long-term operation of software developed by outside organizations.