The global skills and competency framework for the digital world

#61 TEST - Improvements to address the more technical aspects of a Test Engineer role change request accepted

Some changes required to the wording of the SFIA 4 / 5 skills levels to address the more technical elements of the modern Test Engineer to cover Test Automation and Performance Testing or alternatively consideration given to creating a separate skill for these common Test roles.

Areas to consider:

The main issue with the current testing skill is that it seems to fit that of a traditional manual functional tester and the skills route from SFIA 4 to SFIA 5 seems to focus on a move from a Senior Test Engineer to a Test Management role.

With the move in recent years towards more agile ways of working and an emphasis on Test Automation I would like to discuss whether the more technical elements of this role can be incorporated into the current TEST skill or whether a separate skill is required to capture the role a Test Architect / Test Automation Architect (see - T

his shift to a more technical route has been reflected by the ISTQB ( who have moved away from a linear test to test management qualification route to one that focuses on specialist skills such as Test Automation, Penetration Tester or Agile Tester. I think this should be reflected in the next version of SFIA.

Another area to consider is whether a separate specialism (similar to PENT) is also required for performance testing as this could be another technical route to progress into in the same way as automation i.e. from a skill that focuses at a junior level 3-4 at running and implementing tests to a higher level 5-6 that focuses on tools selection and the implementation of bespoke performance and automation frameworks.

Proposed change applies to Testing

Current status of this request: accepted

What we decided

Include in review of Testing related skills

SFIA Updates Manager
Oct 15, 2020 04:51 PM

Comment added on behalf of Angela Martland

Think this CR reflects much of what is going on the real world i.e. the ability of a tester to progress through the technical route and not just test management anymore.

The TEST skill would benefit from having some sort of technical specialist reflected in Level 4 and 5 .

Whether to have test specialist skills incorporated into TEST or separated out like PENT is an interesting one . Take automation. In some respects, what test automation engineers do is the same as a manual tester, they just have the specialist skills to code . i.e. they still analyse, they still identify test cases, they still execute (albeit through automation) and they still analyse results. It all just so happens to be done with a variety of tools and languages. So, with a bit of addition to the TEST skill you could reflect the technical specialism progression and abilities by the addition some specific language quite easily. Methods and Tools skill covers the tools aspects.

Also, given that test automation is becoming the norm, if it isn’t the norm everywhere now, is more reason to keep automation within the core TEST skill.

Re. Agile – likewise, ultimately most if not all of the actual skills of a tester are similar, they are just used in different development methods or models. Is Agile testing a different skill from other testing? Not necessarily – you’re just working a different way .

It may be useful to think of a split between TEST and non-functional testing in terms of skills though. One aspect of NFT (penetration test) has already been split out from TEST, and perhaps performance testing, or more widely other NFT could also be split out . Skills here are much more focused on testing service, security or performance requirements and could be seen as different from functional software testing (which the TEST definition does seem to concentrate on).