Friday, November 04, 2016

Online Study Group Forming for the ISTQB Advanced Security Tester Certification

I am forming an online virtual study group for people who wish to prepare for and take the new ISTQB Advanced Security Tester Certification. The exam has been in place since March of 2016, but the missing piece has been training courses.

I am working hard to finish my course in both live and e-learning formats. My plan is to have a beta version of the e-Learning course available in mid-November. This beta version will not be accredited because that process takes several weeks. However, the official release version will be accredited.

I know there are people that would like to start studying for this certification now. For that reason, I am forming this online virtual study group that also includes access to the e-Learning content as it is completed.

The cost of the exam ($200) is not included in the price of the course.

Also, please note there are two pre-requisites to sit for the exam:

1. You must hold the CTFL or equivalent
2. You must have 3 or greater years experience in software testing or a related field.

Security testing experience is not required.

Here’s How it Works:

We will meet weekly for one hour in a web meeting format. I will lead the meeting, but the purpose is to answer your questions and provide additional insights to the topics. We will cover sample exam questions. The exact day and time of the meetings may vary, but my plan is to hold the meetings on Wednesday around noon, Central time. There may be times when I either must reschedule or have a fill-in facilitator.

There are 11 sessions, including the kick-off session. Tentative start date is Thursday, Nov. 17th, with a goal end date of January 25th. That may sound like a long time, but with e-Learning courses, most people take several months to complete the advanced courses.

If you can’t attend a meeting, that’s fine. We will record each meeting so you will be able to watch and listen later if you like. You can also send me your questions and feedback by e-mail and I will be happy to respond. You also have phone access to me to ask questions.

If you join after the official start date, that’s fine too. Each chapter of the syllabus stands on its own. While it is optimal to start at Chapter 1, you can either catch-up with the recorded modules, or “wrap around” in the next study group (provided there is enough interest in a second group.)

You will have access to all the e-Learning content I have produced to date. This includes narrated slide shows, course notes, exercises and solutions, as well as the ISTQB sample exam questions.

As I continue to add new content, you will have first access to it. However, I expect that all the content will be in place by the second week of the study group.

Each week, we will focus on a chapter in the syllabus. In two chapters, there will be two weeks each, due to the amount of materials. The time required to view the pre-recorded lessons will be about 2 hours per week. The exercises will require another 1.5 to 2 hours.

You will have access to other attendees to get their thoughts as well. The group and course are housed in my e-Learning Management System with forums so you can freely post ideas and questions.

You will get personal attention and mentoring from me. I expect this group will be 12 – 15 people or fewer people in size.

After the group ends, you still have access to the e-Learning course. This is helpful for review before you sit for the exam.

You have direct access to the person who chaired the development of the syllabus. I can provide context and input that is not in the syllabus or the course. And I can answer your “why” questions.

At any time you feel the group is too much for you to handle time-wise, you always have the option to continue on your own through the e-Learning modules. You still have access to me to ask any questions. In fact, you can still attend the weekly sessions. However, without doing with weekly preparation, you may feel a little disconnected.

Financial Details

The price for the full 11-week study group is $795. The cost of the exam ($200) is not included in the price of the study group.

Payment is in advance and can be made by major credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, Amex and Discover). We also accept PayPal and company checks.

How to Get Started
br /> You can register and pay at

Access instructions will be sent in advance of the first session.

le="font-family: "arial" , "helvetica" , sans-serif;">Questions?

Just contact me here
Tentative Schedule and Topics

1. Thursday, Nov. 17, 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 CST - Kick-off
2. Wednesday, Nov. 23, 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 CST - Review and Discussion of Module 1 (Basis of Security Testing)
3. Thursday, Dec 1, 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 CST - Review and Discussion of Module 2 (Security Testing Purposes, Goals and Strategies)
4. Thursday, Dec 8, 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 CST - Review and Discussion of Module 3 (Security Testing Processes)
5. Thursday, Dec 15, 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 CST - Review and Discussion of Module 4 (Security Testing Through the Lifecycle, Part 1)
6. Thursday, Dec 22, 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 CST - Review and Discussion of Module 4 (Security Testing Through the Lifecycle, Part 2)
7. Thursday, Dec 29, 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 CST - Review and Discussion of Module 5 (Testing Security Mechanisms, Part 1)
8. Wednesday, Jan 4, 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 CST - Review and Discussion of Module 5 (Testing Security Mechanisms, Part 2)
9. Thursday, Jan 12, 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 CST - Review and Discussion of Module 6 (Human Factors in Security Testing)
10. Thursday, Jan 19, 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 CST - Review and Discussion of Modules 7 and 8 (Security Test Reporting, Security Test Tools)
11. Thursday, Dec 26, 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 CST - Review and Discussion of Module 9 (Standards and Industry Trends), Summary and Final Exam Tips

Thursday, November 03, 2016

ISTQB Advanced Security Tester Course Coming Soon!

A question I am asked often by people interested in the new ISTQB Advanced Security Tester certification is "When will courses be ready?"

I am excited to announce my course will be available soon in beta format - both live in-house and e-learning formats. I do not have an exact date at this time for the beta release, but I am looking at mid-November.

Since this is a beta version, the course will not be accredited initially. The plans are to have accreditation by the end of 2016. However, as chair of the ISTQB Advanced Security Tester Syllabus working party, I think I have a pretty good grip on the material.

The live course is 4 days in length and is a 50/50 mix of presentation and exercises. The e-learning course has the same content and exercises as the live course.

Here is the link to the course description:

If you are interested in the course or have any questions, either as an individual or as a company, please contact me through the contact form on my website:,453/id,1/view,formmaker/

I am taking course bookings for December and forward into 2017. I expect this to be a popular course, so act early to get your spot on my calendar. I will be the main instructor for the course.