New BOK for Software Quality Engineer

The Certified Software Quality Engineer (CSQE) body of knowledge (BOK) has been recently updated so that the most current knowledge areas will be tested in future examinations.

Part of the updating process was to conduct a job analysis survey to determine whether the current topics in the BOK are still relevant to the role of a Software Quality Engineer and to identify any new topics that have emerged since the BOK was last issued.

The results of the CSQE job analysis survey showed that all of the topics in the 2002 BOK are still relevant to the job role of a Software Quality Engineer in 2008. However, a few new topics were added to the 2008 BOK because of changing industry needs.

The new 2008 CSQE topics are identified below.

I. General Knowledge
B. Ethical and Legal Compliance: New focus on copyright and intellectual property rights, data privacy, and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

D. Leadership Skills
3. Communication Skill: New focus on using techniques for working in multi-cultural environments and describing the impact that culture and communications can have on quality.

E. Team Skills
1. Team Management: New focus on distributed work environments.

II. Software Quality Management
A. Quality Management System
4. Outsourcing: New focus on designing appropriate criteria for evaluating suppliers and subcontractors.

B. Methodologies
2. Process Improvement Models: New focus on basic elements of lean tools and Six Sigma methodology.

4. Defect Prevention: Special training will be framed to focus on training for defect prevention rather than general training for software quality engineers.

III. Systems and Software Engineering Processes
A. Life Cycles and Process Models: New focus on Feature Driven Development and Test Driven Development.

D. Requirements Management
1. Participants: In addition to testing the role of customers in requirements elicitations, the roles of developers, testers, quality, and management will also be tested.

E. Software Analysis, Design, and Development
5. Software Development Methods: Pair programming, extreme programming, and other new development methods will be tested.

IV. Project Management
A. Planning, Scheduling, and Deployment
2. Project Scheduling: New focus on scrum and burn-down charts.

B. Tracking and Controlling
4. Program Reviews: Program reviews were tested in relation to V&V programs in the past, and will now be tested in a broader context, not just V&V.

V. Software Metrics and Analysis
B. Process and Product Measurement
3. Metrics Reporting Tools: Metrics reporting tools will be tested in this section, not with Communications Skills.

VI. Software Verification and Validation (V&V)
E. Customer Deliverables: New focus on marketing and training materials of customer deliverables.

VII. Software Configuration Management 
(No new topics for this section of the 2008 CSQE Body of Knowledge)

To see the full 2008 ASQ CSQE Body of Knowledge, go to this web page at the ASQ web site.