Sunday, April 13, 2008

OTHER TOPICS: (Humor) State of Indiana Makes Using Waterfall SDLC’s a Criminal Offense

This article, from earlier this month, discusses recent legal developments involving the Waterfall methodology and similar software life cycle approaches.

STUDY MATERIAL: Mnemosyne Import Files

As I create import files for Mnemosyne, I will post them here:


I discussed Mnemosyne in a previous post.

To import a question/answer file into Mnemosysne:

  • save the file on your PC
  • launch Mnemosyne
  • select File, Import
  • for file type select "Text with tab separated Q/A"
  • browse to the file you just saved
  • if you like, you can type in a category, such as CSQE
  • click OK
You will then be presented with this list of questions, which you will need to answer (in your head) and grade yourself. (Until you give a grade of 2 or higher for a question, you will be asked that question again.)

It's best to launch Mnemosyne every day and run through the questions it presents.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

JOURNAL - Status week #3

Three weeks down, eight weeks remaining.

I'm having a whole lot more fun posting on the blog and finding reference materials than reading the CSQE Primer (our textbook for the class).

This is probably not a good thing.

Well, in fact this is not a good thing.

I'll get over it ...

But I am staying relatively up to date on my reading. The reading is rather brutal and far from entertaining.

This last week, I've spent about 6 hours of reading and review. Listening to audio recordings I've recorded and podcasts has made this much easier. I'd like to increase the hours for next week. I'll probably set up a study hour each night with my teenage daughter who is finishing up high school. Obviously we'd be studying different things, but a set nightly schedule would help me out. And I can spend some time with the resident adolescent.

I've also been listening to Paul Palmes QC 101 podcasts while commuting (see previous post). He does the podcast in a conversational style and you can pick out one or two good things from each podcast. Palmes's home page is [here]. This page has no recent updates.

On a final note, I'll be combining a number of posts to (hopefully) make this site more organized and readable.

STUDY MATERIAL - Reference Material

A couple sources for more information:

(1) The US Department of Defense has a library of quality publications available on their Quality Management program library. You can see what they have [here].

(2) The University of Minnesota has established a searchable Body of Knowledge in their Juran Center, founded by UofM alumni Dr. Joseph Juran. This won't give you the actual publication, but it will identify articles and books that you can go to for more information [here].

STUDY MATERIAL: W. Edwards Deming - BBC Documentary

Here's a three part video on Dr. Deming.

Click [here] to see Deming, Part II

Click [here] to see Deming, Part III

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

EXAM: Application Approval


It took about 24 hours to be approved - here's the email I received:

Your application to sit for the Certified Software Quality Engineer exam on 06/07/2008 has been reviewed and approved.

You will receive exam location information by email one to two weeks prior to the exam. The email will come from Please add this email address to your address book. If you do not receive this email, please contact Customer Care at or call toll-free 1-800-248-1946 or 414-272-8575.

To ensure that you receive your exam location information via email, please keep your contact information current. If you're planning on changing your email address, sign in to, and choose Change Address to update your email address.

If you use your work email address, please keep in mind some employers may block receipt of employees' personal email. Please update your email address at -see instructions above. Please also keep in mind some spam protection software may move the e-mail to a spam folder, so please take steps to ensure you will receive any email regarding your certification exam.

If you have any questions about your certification approval, our Customer Care staff is available to assist you. Send an e-mail to or call toll-free 800-248-1946 or 414-272-8575.


American Society for Quality
600 N Plankinton Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53203

EXAM - Exam Techniques

Since the exam is open book, we need to prepare for very rapid lookups of information contained within reference material.

A couple things that I'm starting to see as common open book exam strategies:

(1) Separate the Table of Contents from your reference material to avoid having to flip back and forth

(2) Separate the appendix from your reference material (same reason as above)

(3) Gail recommended tagging a couple summary pages in the CSQE Primer for quick lookup.

And a couple other things that I will try ...

(4) If no copyright infringements exist, I'll make a copy of the TOC and appendix, because I read about somebody who brought their reference material and forgot their detached TOC, making things much more difficult.

(5) I will bring a copy of all printable glossaries

(6) I need to create some cross references of ISO standards, Quality Gurus, Management Standards, etc. for quick lookups. I'll use a format of "keyword", standard name, page reference in texts. Here are a couple posted on a free hosting service called - you can view these online or click on Download original then Skip Ad (there are lots of ads with this free service).
Here's a cross-reference of STANDARDS
Here's a cross-reference of QUALITY GURUS

Please note: Sometimes servers are unavailable for hours at a time. If you want to take these to the exam, I would print these at least a week ahead of time.

(7) In addition to highlighting information in the textbook, I'm also highlighting all headings to quickly locate subject material on a page.

(8) Another of Gail's suggestions was to make frequent use of sticky notes as tabs for quick access. I'll probably use one color for each chapter, then another color for topics within each chapter.

(9) Oh yeah. Don't forget to remove all sample exam questions from the books. These are not allowed in the exam room and could create hassle that you don't want to deal with.

(10) While discussing the open book policy with Bruce, we both agree that it's still critically important to know as much material as we possibly can. At an average of 90 seconds per question, there's just not enough time to look up a lot of answers.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

EXAM: Application Submission

The online application is located [here]

One thing that's required is to copy & paste your resume into the online application.

There is a word limit, so I needed to cut about half of my resume out. I guess they don't need to know about my amateur brain surgery activities anyways.

Be advised that ASQ uses your resume to determine if you meet the base quality requirements for the certification and you may be denied based on your resume's content. If denied, they keep a $50 processing fee.

To apply online, you'll need a valid credit card number.

STUDY MATERIAL - ISO in plain English

The ISO 9000-3 is frequently referenced in the CSQE Primer.

Praxiom states that the ISO 9000-3 1997 standard is now OBSOLETE. It has been replaced by ISO IEC 90003 2004.

Praxiom Research Group, Ltd of Alberta, Canada has created a series of ISO interpretation guides "in plain English". Information includes ...

Introduction to the ISO IEC 90003 2004 Software Standard
ISO IEC 90003 Plain English Software Quality Management Definitions
ISO IEC 90003 Plain English Checklist - SAMPLE (Chapter 8)
ISO 9000-3:1997 Software Quality Standard (obsolete).

Their online material also includes:

ISO 9000 2000 Introduction

ISO 9000 2000 Principles
Plain English Overview of ISO 9001 2000
How to Develop a Process Oriented Quality Management System
ISO 9001 2000 Quality Management System Development Plan
How to Upgrade to the New ISO 9001 2000 Standard
ISO 9001 2000 Gap Analysis Tool
ISO 9001 2000 Internal Audit
ISO 9001 2000 Tutorial
ISO's Process Approach
ISO 9000 2000 Definitions


Dilbert on ISO 9000.

Located on the De La Salle University link [here].