Some of you have been seeing a flurry of activity and comments about SummerQAmp. Wait, wasn’t that something we were talking about last year? Yes, and it’s coming up on that time again. Students between the ages of 16 to 24, many from areas and backgrounds where technology has not been an emphasis (or in some cases even available), and are given the opportunity to apply for internships with organizations where they get learn about and practice software testing. The goal is to give these students internships that could lead to employment down the line in information technology.

Will every one of these interns become software testers? No. Will many of them choose to go into other areas of work? Very likely, but they will come out of this experience with, one hopes, a better appreciation for how software is written. More importantly, they will appreciate what can be broken and how can they determine that it is broken.

So what is AST doing with this? A number of us, primarily those involved with the Education Special Interest group, have been trying to answer a basic question… “what did I wish I knew as a starting tester that, had I known it then, might have made a world of difference?” We made an introductory module that discussed what software testing is and how to approach software testing in the appropriate context. The feedback we received was very positive, and overwhelmingly, the request was “where can we get more of this?”

The answer to that is “It needs to be developed, and we are actively developing the content right now in the AST Forums. Would you like to take part in that process? If so, all you need to do is go to, create an account if you don’t have one (or log in if you do), find the EdSig forum and either comment on or create a topic that interests you. this is a collaborative effort, one where those who contribute will certainly get credit for their efforts, and will be shared with the broader software testing community (all content, while it is being prepared for the SummerQAmp initiative, is being developed under Creative Commons copyright, which means it can be used anywhere.

The catch? This initiative has to be wrapped up and ready to be presented for final review on March 1st. that means we have all of February to get this together for the 2013 program year. Thus, if you want to participate, we encourage you to do so, and we encourage you to do so quickly!