The course at a glance

Bug Advocacy course book

All students who sign up for the Bug Advocacy course must have successfully completed the BBST Foundations course.

Altom, in collaboration with Kaner, Fiedler & Associates, LLC, is offering a new generation of public BBST® courses. The second course in the series, Bug Advocacy, includes access to video lectures and exercises on our online platform and the workbook, revised and updated in 2015.

In this course we focus on one of the products of our work as testers: bug reports. Creating great bug reports that persuade others to fix the bugs is a challenging process.
Become a more effective advocate for getting the right bugs fixed by learning to spot the details that make a report more persuasive and understanding excuses for not fixing bugs.

The course book in electronic format is included in the price.

You will watch video lectures, solve quizzes and assignments and participate in discussions on our online platform.

One-on-one call session with your instructor halfway through the course to discuss your assignment.

Twice a week, you will receive individual feedback from your assigned course instructor.

Course Details:

Fully Online

3 weeks of classes

1 week for exam

Get more bug advocacy insights from our next webinar with Ru Cindrea
Wednesday, March 7
7 pm (GMT +2)


Fall 2019

Sep 29 – Oct 26


Cem Kaner

Ru Cindrea

Price: 750 Register

Course Details

Bug reports are not just neutral technical reports. They are persuasive documents. The key goal of the bug report author is to provide high-quality information, well written, to help stakeholders make wise decisions about which bugs to fix.

This highly interactive, hands-on course involves you in real-life interactions with an open source software project so you can experience a realistic work environment. Then, in the privacy and safety of the course learning environment, you and your classmates will give and receive constructive feedback on your contributions to the open source team.

Read about the latest version of the course and what to expect as a Foundations graduate in this blog post.

The course is comprised of 6 lessons, 2 per week. Every lesson is followed by a quiz and an assignment.

Week 1:

Lesson 1: Basic Concepts

Lesson 2: Effective Advocacy: Making People Want to Fix the Bug

Week 2:

Lesson 3: Writing Clear Bug Reports

Lesson 4: Irreproducible Bugs

Week 3:

One-on-one call with your instructor to discuss the assignment (interactive grading)

Lesson 5: Bugs That Could Be Dismissed as Unreasonable or Unrealistic

Lesson 6: Credibility and Influence

Week 4:

Work on the exam questions

Take the exam

Being the second course in the series, we will build on skills you have practiced with in the Foundations course, and also introduce some new areas of focus.

After this course, you should be able to:

Define key concepts such as software error, quality, and the bug processing workflow (Remember)

Understand and explain the scope of bug reporting – what to report as bugs, and what information to include (Understand)

Recognize bug reporting as persuasive writing (Analyze)

Investigate bugs to discover harsher and simpler replication conditions (Apply)

Make bugs reproducible (Apply)

Understand excuses and reasons for not fixing bugs (Understand)

Understand lessons from the psychology of decision-making: bug-handling as a multiple-decision process dominated by heuristics and biases (Understand)

Evaluate bug reports written by others (Evaluate)

Revise/strengthen reports written by others (Analyze)

Write more persuasive bug reports, considering the interests and concerns of your audience (Create)

Participate effectively in distributed, multinational workgroup projects that are slightly more complex than the one in BBST-Foundations (Apply)

By this time you probably are familiar with interactive grading. In case you have not yet opted for it, we encourage you to give it a try.
As Cem Kaner defines it, interactive grading is “a technique that requires the student to participate in the grading of their work”. This provides an opportunity for the students to better demonstrate what they understood from the course material, and to get helpful feedback directly from the instructor on what to improve and how.

We think that interactive grading encapsulates the essence of formative assessment, by focusing on the learning experience of the student, not on the grade. For more info on interactive grading, please read Cem Kaner’s post here.

In the Bug Advocacy course, interactive grading will be performed on an assignment halfway through the course, instead of on the exam. Our aim is to provide students with the necessary feedback to improve their work on the following assignments.

An important note is that during interactive grading, your grade on the exam cannot go lower than in the case of an evaluation where you receive written feedback. The session can only help you demonstrate more knowledge and thus increase your grade. With this weight lifted off from your chest, it is worth mentioning that our focus is on the learning experience during the course, and not on the grade.

For this course, as you are accustomed already, you will use multiple resources to study:

the course book in electronic format

the video lectures and slides

the assignments and labs in the Canvas platform

the required and recommended readings

bugs database of an open source software product

The assignments are based on all these resources. This means that you will need to use them all in your learning in order to successfully accomplish the tasks for the course.


Cem Kaner

Cem Kaner

BBST Instructor and Content owner
Cem Kaner is a Professor of Software Engineering at Florida Institute of Technology. He teaches and does research in software engineering, primarily software testing, software metrics, and computer law & ethics.

His career is centered around a consistent theme: enhancing the satisfaction and safety of software customers, users, and developers.

Alexandra Casapu

BBST Foundations and Bug Advocacy instructor
Alexandra Casapu is a software tester. The environment she works in has facilitated her learning on the importance of context in testing, the exploratory approach, and caring a great deal about improving her testing skills. The recent interest she has developed for sharing testing experiences has lead her to EuroSTAR and CAST as a speaker.

Her focus on her current project is on achieving a balance between working on understanding the users and their needs, while collaborating effectively with the technical team.

Ray Oei

BBST Bug Advocacy instructor
Ray Oei is currently team leader QA at Innovation Labs by AVG and has been active in the IT field for over 25 years, of which several years as trainer and coach.

He is a founding member of DEWT (Dutch Exploratory Workshop on Testing) and has been a speaker at several test conferences. He is greatly interested in the human factor of testing as well as the challenges in investigating software in different contexts. He enjoys teaching and helping people learn more about the beauty of testing.

Alexandru Rotaru

BBST Foundations and Bug Advocacy instructor

For the past 6 years Alex has been working with Altom Consulting, a Software Testing Consultancy company based in Romania. Being a small company, his role and tasks vary a lot. He works as a test engineer / test lead at customer’s site on fixed length projects, he does administrative tasks, interviews and training sessions, he interacts a lot with current and potential clients to try to understand their needs and problems. This makes it a great learning experience!