Challenge yourself by continuing your professional development with AST!

By enrolling in the Foundations Community Track course you are beginning training that will influence how you approach countless aspects of your career in testing. This first course is a basic introduction to black box testing. Foundations Community Track will introduce you to our educational format, the quality of our class content, and the high expectations we have for our  students.

“The amazing fact about the BBST® Foundations course is that it does not restrict itself to the number of years of experience, domain, etc. an individual has in testing, but rather it sets up a fantastic stage for testers with different experiences, nationalities, and backgrounds to discuss, share and learn together.”

— Sharath Byregowda

Basic Information

This first course is a basic introduction to black box testing. It presents basic terminology and considers:

  • The mission of testing
  • The oracle problem
  • The measurement problem
  • The impossibility of complete testing

This course is a prerequisite for all later Black Box Software Testing® courses. The next one in the series considers Bug Advocacy. After that, we work on various test techniques in Test Design.

Each BBST® Community Track course includes video lectures, quizzes, homework of various kinds, and a final exam. All of the homework, and the exam, are peer-reviewed. Every participant in the course reviews work submitted by other participants and provides feedback and suggests grades.

“The course is probably the best introduction that you could give to a novice tester that I have seen yet. Rather than focusing on a handful of useful heuristics, it provides a theoretical framework to begin considering the task of testing.”

— Satisfied Student

Learning Objectives

This is your first course in the series, and perhaps your first online course. This leads us to mixed objectives. In essence, our goal is to prepare you for the later courses in the series. That includes both foundational content and skills for succeeding in courses of this type.

  • Understand and become familiar with basic terminology and how it will be used in the courses.
  • Understand and be aware of honest and rational controversy over definitions of common concepts and terms in the field.
  • Understand there are legitimately different missions for a testing effort.
  • Understand the argument that selection of mission depends on contextual factors. Able to evaluate relatively simple situations that exhibit strongly different contexts in terms of their implication for testing strategies.
  • Understand the concept of oracles well enough to apply multiple oracle heuristics to their own work and explain what they are doing and why.
  • Understand that complete testing is impossible. Improve ability to estimate and explain the size of a testing problem.
  • Become familiar with the concept of measurement dysfunction.
  • Improve ability to adjust focus from narrow technical problems (such as analysis of a single function or parameter) through broader, context-rich problems.
  • Improve online study skills, such as learning more from video lectures and associated readings.
  • Improve online course participation skills, including online discussion and working together online in groups.
  • Increase comfort with formative assessment (assessment done to help students take their own inventory, think and learn rather than to pass or fail).

“I highly recommend this course to anyone in the testing field. Whether you are new to testing or have been in testing for decades, it will challenge your thinking.”

— Linda Hamm


Our BBST® Community Track courses are priced very competitively, and AST members get a substantial discount!

  • Non-member: $499 USD
  • Regular member: $299 USD
  • Life member: $299 USD
  • Champion: $225 USD