Software Testing Diploma
Written by Sue Gee   
Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Alison has added four new courses about software testing methods and procedures to its portfolio and, as they need to be taken as a sequence, has combined them in a Diploma in Software Testing.


Alison is an online training course provider catering for individual learners to enhance their employment opportunities. Rather than create its own learning materials, it sources them through external publishing partners.

The four new software testing courses, each 2-3 hours in length and targeted at those with programming experience are:

  1. Introduction to Software Testing
    Learn about the principles of testing software

  2. Software Testing
    testing strategies such as black-box testing and white-box testing

  3. Condition Coverage and Mutation Testing
    advanced testing strategies such as multiple condition coverage (MCC), dataflow and mutation testing

  4. Testing Levels and OO Program Testing
    testing levels above unit testing, system testing categories and testing Object-Orientated Programs

The courses are listed as being from Channel 9, Microsoft's video channel. In fact the videos, which have a Creative Commons licence, were originated as NPTEL OpenCourseWare and intended as a 4-week course, culminating in a three-hour exam leading to a certificate. The NPTEL course consists of 20 approximately half-hour lectures, well annotated by slides, delivered by Prof Rajib Mall of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur.

For the Alison Diploma the same video lectures are split across eight modules (two per course) supplemented by Learning Outcomes at the beginning and a Lesson Summary at the end of each.  

There are also three assessments which are essentially comprehension tests that check you've paid attention and understood the principles and procedures covered. The first is slotted in as Module 5 after you've completed two weeks of study. After the fourth week has been completed Module 10 is the second assessment followed immediately by the final assessment.

While you can complete both the course and and its tests for free, if you gain 80% or more in all the assessments and want a certificate this has to be paid for. Also if you don't want to be delayed for eight seconds between each topic (of which there are five in most modules) you can pay for an ad-free learning environment.

Having completed this course you will be able to:

  • Describe the different levels of testing software.
  • Discuss means of reducing bugs in your software program.
  • Distinguish the verification and validation process in software testing.
  • Describe the pesticide effect in testing software. 
  • Describe unit testing and when it is performed.
  • Identify the main approaches to designing a test case.
  • Discuss the use of equivalence class testing. 
  • Explain special value testing.
  • Describe the process of Boundary Value Analysis testing.
  • List three strategies for combinatorial testing. 
  • Describe the Decision table-base testing and it usefulness. 
  • Explain pair-wise testing. 
  • Discuss White-box testing and its types of strategies.
  • Discuss the different types of condition coverage testing.
  • Describe Modified condition and decision coverage testing.
  • Explain path coverage testing and creation of control-flow graphs.
  • Discuss Dataflow testing. 
  • Describe mutation testing and identify its drawbacks.
  • Describe different integration testing approaches.
  • Discuss different system testing methods and their categories. 
  • Explain the use and importance of regression testing.
  • Discuss why Object-Oriented programming was supposed to make testing easier than procedural programming. 
  • List the differences for testing an Object-Oriented program compared to a Procedural program.
  • Describe the Object-Oriented programming methods that can cause issues for testing.

What you will not have done by the end of the course is any hands-on testing. This lack of any practical work seems to be the big drawback of this course and detracts from the value of the Diploma. 

On the other hand a Software Testing is a skill that is never not in demand (see Hottest Skills To Get You Hired), having a piece of paper that suggests it a topic you have studied is better than nothing at all.




More Information


Diploma in Software Testing  

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Software Testing Foundations, 4th Ed (Book Watch) 


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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 14 March 2017 )