White Paper –
Personal Test Maturity Matrix
This paper introduces a framework called the Personal Test Maturity Matrix (PTMM), the purpose of which is to provide career guidance for software test practitioners. When this paper was originally published, the PTMM was a new idea and had not been tested in practice (it is now being used by a number of organizations). Thus the stated purpose of this paper was to gain feedback on the idea.
The main concept behind the PTMM is that testers, especially those new to the discipline, could benefit from using a framework that describes the different roles that software testers perform and the skills required to do this. The PTMM thus comprises roles and skills, which are categorized into four areas: test skills, IT skills, soft skills and domain knowledge. The idea is that an individual tester identifies their own specific skillspace, which describes their capabilities in these four areas, and then uses the PTMM to provide them with suggestions on which skills they might acquire next.
The paper also investigates the use of motivating potential score (MPS) as a measure of job satisfaction within software testing and the roles defined in the PTMM. The initial results provided in the paper suggest that different software testing roles vary greatly in providing motivation and satisfaction to the tester. A number of the roles scored such low scores for MPS that it appears that they would be good candidates to be combined to create a satisfying job rather than considered as a job in their own right. For more detailed information on the use of MPS, you should also see the papers on motivation, which are based on questionnaires from over 600 testers.