Get to Know Your ASTQB Board – Andrew L. Pollner

Andrew L. Pollner, CTFL
President & CEO, ALP International Corporation – The Comprehensive Testing Solution

Volunteer Role in ASTQB
Vice President

Describe what led you to your career in testing.
Answer: I gravitated towards testing through the work I was doing in designing and developing information systems to support a global financial software company. The internal systems which I designed and built on a shoestring budget were solid and stable. The CEO wanted the same for the software products we sold to our customers. When a team was assembled to develop the next generation software platform, they tapped me to head-up testing. At the time I had no formal training in testing or testing methodology. I began by learning as much as I could by buying books, including the classic “Art of Software Testing” by Glenford Myers, and many others. With my development background I knew that there had to be some technology to assist in the labor-intensive process of testing. I researched what few tools were available at the time, and made a significant $30k purchase for functional automation tools. This was 1992. I was intrigued by this up-and-coming category of pseudo-development tools that could be used to create automated test scripts. Soon after, I decided to go back to my consulting roots and started ALP International to provide services and training to customers on how to improve the testing process, with an emphasis on automation.

Describe your greatest challenge in testing.
Answer: Getting people and organizations to change so that they can be more efficient and effective is a constant challenge. It’s all too easy to keep doing what you’re doing, to keep thinking that there’s no way out of the current constraints. But it’s always good to take a step back, re-evaluate what’s being done, how it could be done better. Sometimes bringing in an outside resource can help in getting an impartial assessment of what’s working, what’s not. Most organizations do not have a strategy to effectively deploy and maintain automated scripts. I find all too often the case of “shelf-ware” where a testing tool sits on a shelf as no one uses it any longer. All tools can provide some value, can help increase the coverage of what needs to be tested, and can do so in a fraction of the time normally spent testing manually thus freeing up time to develop additional tests to more thoroughly test an application.

Describe why you volunteer your time to grow and develop ISTQB Certification.
Answer: I feel passionate about software testing and how a good testing practice can really help identify software problems before end-users need to unnecessarily suffer. I feel that all of this begins with learning. ISTQB certifications, the supporting materials, and the course providers, together provide a simple and effective way to educate people on how to test more effectively.

Why did you choose the ISTQB Certification rather than other types of testing certifications?
Answer: I wanted to align myself with a certification program which was not profit-driven, but rather based on best practices from software testing experts from around the world. I find that when people collaborate for the common good, wonderful things can happen. The meteoric growth rate of ISTQB seems to support that.