The Benefits of Performance-Based Testing

As IT credentialing programs get more complex and rigorous, many certification managers are beginning to contemplate using performance-based testing to evaluate candidates, if they haven’t taken the plunge already. This is a positive development for these programs and for the IT industry generally, said Julie Timmcke, executive director of the Performance Testing Council (PTC).

“In past years, as it kind of ramped up and got crazy, everybody and their brother started getting into (certification),” Timmcke said. “Then there were some questions about how valuable and viable those certifications actually were. There were a lot of certifications out there, but what did they mean? What did they prove? I think that’s part of where this group came from. They were inspired by the need to advocate and pursue performance testing. Our tagline is ‘Testing by Doing.’ We believe that performance testing is a far superior way to evaluate and assess than a lot of the other standard testing methods that are out there.”

To promote this methodology, the PTC hosts events such as its upcoming Summit, which will be in Banff, Canada next month. The organization also researches some of the most successful practitioners of performance-based testing and captured both their best practices and caveats. “There are a lot of obstacles to performance testing,” Timmcke said. “That’s really the mission of the Performance Testing Council: to work out those issues and help people know what steps to take and what steps not to take.”

Performance-based exams are valued…



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