So, there is a proposed ISO standard for software testing, ISO 29119, which is causing an awful lot of controversy in the testing world.
Just about every software testing professional with an online presence is concerned about ISO 29119′s likely impact on the profession. The consensus is that forcing a highly bureaucratic one-size-fits-all cookie-cutter approach to testing across the whole software industry is unlikely to result in higher quality software, but will almost certainly stifle innovation and inhibit exploration of new creative approaches.
Rob Lambert is just one of many with serious reservations, and James Christie has this to say:
I’m afraid my hackles rise when I see phrases like “one definitive standard” and “used within any software development life cycle”. It immediately triggers an adverse emotional reaction as I remember this rhyme from Lord of the Rings, about the One Ring that would give the holder power over all.
“One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie”
Unfortunately it’s not something that anyone can guarantee will just go away if people ignore it.
Naturally those whose businesses revolve around selling consultancy to middle-management are going to support the introduction of a standard. As will the certification mills. And don’t even mention lawyers. I’m sure we can all easily imagine technically-illiterate politicians demanding that ISO 29119 be mandatory for all government contracts. After all, everyone knows that those gargantuan government IT failures we keep hearing about in the media are entirely down to sloppy software testing and have nothing to do with reality-denying project management.
There is now a petition against it. If you think ISO 29119 is a bad thing, go and sign it.
But not everyone agrees with the petition. Although this ridiculous Godwinesque screed hardly helps the cause:
Their objection is that not everyone will agree with what the standard says: on that criterion nothing would ever be published. The real reason the book burners want to suppress it is that they don’t want there to be any standards at all. Effective, generic, documented systematic testing processes and methods impact their ability to depict testing as a mystic art and themselves as its gurus.
I would say that resorting to personal attacks of that nature is strong indicator for the bankruptcy of their argument.