At CAST 2014 James Christie gave a presentation called: “Standards – Promoting quality or restricting competition?“.  James argued that standards are produced by bodies with a commercial interest in seeing them adopted. He analysed the economic forces behind the creation of standards. They should be viewed as optional methods that companies can buy or reject as they see fit. Selling them as standards distorts the market by creating the impression amongst senior managers, lawyers and regulators that there is no valid, responsible alternative. James explained why the auditors and compliance professions are not lined up on the side of the standards lobby. Tesfototers must speak out following the website fiasco. This debate is not an academic contest between rival schools of thought. It’s a commercial struggle, and James provided compelling arguments against standards.

During open season Karen Johnson showed a red card and suggested that people should DO something. She argued since it was the start of the conference and many of the attendees seemed to be against certifications and standards that perhaps they could “do something” that would make an impact.

This resulted in two initiatives: a petition made by ISST (International Society for Software Testing (*) and a professional Tester’s manifesto made by Karen (helped by Iain McCowatt, Fiona Charles and James Christie). During the conference both James and Karen where interviewed by CAST Live. You can find those interviews in the video section below.

(*) Update 24/9/2019: The ISST was founded to advocate for more common sense in testing (see founding message here, but doesn’t exist anymore. The website is bought by another agent and has unrelated stuff on it now). Also: for a while there was a website but this website is gone too. You can find the manifesto, which I think is still important, here: professional Tester’s manifesto.

This kicked off a whole lot of blog posts from testers around the world. This page shows a collection of all these blog posts. Please let me know if I missed one.

Petition and manifesto

The standard

Wanna know who are writing this standard? Read this: Dramatis Personae – Michael Bolton

Blogs supporting the petition

“Anti” petition & pro ISO29119


Reactions to “book burners post“:

Mentions on (news) sites:


Results of the Step-in Forum Testers’ Arena September Contest:

  1. ISO 29119 – Impact on Software Testing
  2. A Red flag for ISO: 29119
  3. Why is ISO 29119 bad for Software Testing?
  4. Can software testing be confined to a Standard (ISO 29119)?
  5. Why ISO29119 Standard is bad for Testing
  6. Blogspot on ISO 29119
  7. Hot Cold Topic “Standards” : Building the Stand – Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4
  8. Why not ISO 29119 Software Testing standard
  9. ISO 29119 – NO GO

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