Center for Software Testing Education & Research
Florida Institute of Technology
August, 2004

Call for Corporate Partnerships and Donations

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To make a donation to the Center, please send a check, payable to the Department of Computer Sciences (CSTER), to:

Center for Software Testing Education & Research
Department of Computer Sciences
Florida Institute of Technology
150 West University Blvd.
Melbourne, FL 32907

Or contact the Center's Director, Cem Kaner

Donations to Florida Institute of Technology can be fully tax deductible. Florida Tech encourages donors to consult with their own tax advisor to ensure a full understanding of their particular tax advantages. The university is listed in the Internal Revenue Service Publication 78.

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Florida Institute of Technology's Center for Software Testing and Education & Research (http://www.softwaretestingeducation.org) was formed in November, 2003 as a collaboration among researchers who see a need for improving the education of software testers.

Our mission is to

"Create effective, grounded, timely materials to support the teaching and self-study of software testing, software reliability, and quality-related software metrics."

At Florida Tech, the Center includes Dr. Mike Andrews, Dr. Pat Bond, Dr. Cem Kaner, Dr. Scott Tilley, and Dr. James Whittaker. External researchrers include James Bach (Satisfice, Inc.), Bret Pettichord, Dr. Steve Condly (University of Central Florida), and Dr. Pat Schroeder (Milwaukee School of Engineering).

We see software testing as a technical investigation of a product, an empirical search for quality-related information of value to a project's stakeholders. This is an active, creative, intellectually challenging process. Teaching testing is challenging in many of the same ways as teaching mathematics: it is easy to teach memorizable techniques, but less easy to create experiences that help learners apply what they have learned to new (non-classroom) situations.

Our research is focused around:

As we develop the main black box testing course, we also expect to create a population of review questions that can be used for certifying examinees' knowledge of the basic facts of the field. As with the course, we plan to make the exam available to the public over the web, at no charge.

The Center is seeking individual donors and corporate partners. We offer three levels of partnership (Silver, Gold and Platinum).

The primary benefit of partnership is support of the development of an important educational resource. This is much like membership in PBS. Partners support a service that benefits the public as a whole.

We offer partners several additional benefits:

All partners gain enhanced access to our students—who have a strong background in software design, programming, and testing—plus public acknowledgement on our website and input into the priorities of our work.

Gold and platinum partners can nominate a member to our Advisory Board. The Board will meet once per year. As part of the meeting, we offer a half-day review of the work of the Center, with presentations by Center staff and students. This is invitation-only, for the Board and a few other selected experts. You can question us in depth and suggest alternative priorites and approaches. We will list Advisory Board members on our website.

Platinum partners gain additional consulting or support services (and have more influence on our priorities). Everyone's needs are unique, so we specify time rather than service: we'll provide a business-week (5 days plus travel time) for each $100,000 of support. We can (for example) provide onsite courses, review training materials, help interview and recruit staff, or review testing practices or processes. We can provide additional services for a fee. Some of our faculty (such as Kaner) are so busy that it is difficult for companies to retain them, at any price. The time they do have available, will be made available primarily to Center supporters.

The key benefits of partnership, though, are the benefits available to the public at large, including your company:

Some potential sponsors protest that they shouldn't have to pay for development of materials that everyone will use. We understand this, but urge you to use a different standard for comparison: how much training expense can you save by using the materials we will provide?

We won't complete our work without public support. Every dollar that you would save by using our courses is a dollar potentially available to invest in the development of those materials.