Monday, January 11, 2016

Indexation of the Portnov Computer School tuition

Effective January 1, 2016 we are implementing annual indexation of the Portnov Computer School tuition. For the year 2016 our 4-modules program will cost 4*$1.050 = $4,200

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Update on pricing and scheduling of campus-based classes

We are implementing same 185 hours curriculum in all 3 on-campus programs:

  • Express (3 days/15 hours a week, 10am-3pm)
  • Flex (3 days/12 hours a weeks, 7pm-11pm)
  • Full-time (4 days/20 hours a week, 10am-3pm)

The program includes the following modules:

  • Software Quality Assurance - 40 hours
  • Testing Mobile applications - 40 hours
  • Technology - 40 hours
  • Test Automation - 40 hours
  • Software testing project - 40 hours

So, the tuition for each and every program is the same - $4,000

And yes, we have enough internships with local companies for all the graduates who comply with the graduation and internship placement requirements

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

September 6 - Portnov School Reunion

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We are approaching 20th Anniversary of the Portnov Computer School. All the graduates are invited. Please share that information with other graduates.

Here is the link for registration

Lets celebrate!!!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Waiting list

We have two morning time groups (Mn-Tue-Thu; Wed-Fri-Sat) and 2 night time groups running simultaneously. The life cycle of one group is 10-11 weeks. As a result the School starts 2 new groups (one at night and one in the morning) each and every 5-6 weeks. Evening classes are easier to get into because we do not have waiting list for them. Morning classes are more popular and we close the enrollment 4-5 before the class begins. If you are planning to take the Express (morning) program, please, come to the School for taking the enrollment test 6-7 weeks before the class begins. The test is about basic computer skills - nothing sophisticated will be on the test. It cannot be retaken next day or next week. We do not require prospective students to have Computer Science background. But we do expect them to be good users of PCs and computer software. Statistically 75-80% of the enrollment test takers are passing it successfully.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Agile testing video tutorial

We are working on creating the video library of the classes taught at Portnov Computer School. Some classes we teach on regular basis and some are delivered once in a while by guest speakers. Iana Mourza has been teaching for Portnov Computer School for 5-6 years now. She is a Senior QA Lead at WMWare working in the Agile environment. Her comments and observations are priceless. We just posted two videos on Youtube with Iana talking about Agile Testing Methodology:

Friday, August 17, 2012

Would you sponsor my H1B visa?

We are being asked that question very often. I think it comes out of the fact that many small consultancies are offering classes in technical disciplines. They promise to sponsor work visa to qualified graduates. We are not in that line of business. So, under no circumstances we will sponsor H1B visa to our graduates no matter what their education and/or skill level might be.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

How the Software QA Testing job market is doing?

The QA job market question is very common in our conversations with students. And it has two components now since we are operating locally as well as worldwide via our online program. The overall IT job market is probably the best over the last 20 years including the crazy market of late nineties. The best way to check it yourself is by looking at the IT job market numbers published each and every month by The QA job market is a part of the overall IT job market and it follows exact same trend. Outside if Silicon Valley though the demand/supply ration is more favorable to job seekers since the supply is close to zero. I have recruiter's access to Dice and can see the picture from that side as well. I have been teaching SQA to career changers since 1994 and in my personal opinion there gas never been job market better than it is today. We are living in the opportunity time.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Can I take the class if I have to drive from San Francisco (Monterey, Sacramento, etc.)?

We have students coming from all over the US and Canada including Los Angeles and San Diego. They join our Full-Time program, which is originally designed for the needs of students coming to the campus for 3-4 months.

We have many students from San Francisco. They easily drive from the City and back. Without traffic the commute would not take longer than 50-60 minutes.

We also have students who live as far as Sacramento or Monterey. Some of them would commute on the days we have classes joining Express (morning time) oer Flex (night time) programs. Others would be on full-time staying locally with friends or renting some housing nearby the school.

For those who commute daily the most challenging part of the program is going for an internship. All the companies taking our interns are located in between San Francisco and San Jose. There are no internship opportunities outside of that region.

So, if you life 80-100 miles from the campus, please, think about possible commute and how you can handle that.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Video taping all the sessions in the School

As of today we have Nikita on-board to take care of all the technical issues in the school. He joined us from Kazakhstan for 18 months as an international trainee on J1 visa. Nikita's term will end up in April of 2012 and we will bring two more trainees to join the Portnov Team.

Both will come from Ukraine. One person will take over Nikita's responsibilities. Another one specializes in Digital Media. He will take videos in our classrooms, edit them, and organize into convenient libraries.

Why do we want to create the videos? The primary interest was originally in giving our online students better connection to classes we teach on campus. It is especially important for the self-paced classes.

Besides that we want our Silicon Valley students to be able to repeat each and every session of their choice without driving to the school and sitting in the classrooms. There is really no need in that.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Test Automation with Selenium IDE

We just added for your references two videos on Test Automation with Selenium IDE. Yana, our staff instructor talks about advantages of test automation, installation of Selenium and related issues, creating your first automated test case. Enjoy!!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Is it possible to combine morning and night classes?

That question comes sometimes when prospective students have scheduling issues.

Here is the best answer I am able to come with. We have multiple resources, which we can combine to cover gaps, recover for a missed session, and customize the individual schedule:
- Day-time classes (10am-3pm)
- Night time classes (7pm-11pm)
- Instructor-facilitated online classes (6pm-7pm)
- Self-paced online classes
- Webinars and video recordings of the classes
- 3-4 schedules for QA projects

We are more than willing to do all the accommodations possible to make it more convenient to students to study. There is one thing though the students should consider seriously - any deviation from the set schedule will require more commitment on their site to have things done.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Portnov Web Site redesigned

We have brand new design for Portnov Computer School web site in place now. I hope it is more user friendly. One of the important features of the site is easy to understand outline of our programs and classes.

We are working on removal of the technical inconsistencies related to changing the hosting provider. Spanish and Russian versions are coming next month.

Please report any technical issues you might encounter so we can fix them ASAP.

Monday, September 5, 2011

One more time about bug reporting

We are using surveys for collecting and analyzing the answers to the Software QA questions, which we want students to answer during the class. The results of the survey help instructors to decide which issues should given more attention in the class.

Here is the video taken in our online class where we discuss what the survey reveals. The subject of the survey is "Bug Reporting and Bug Tracking".

Monday, August 29, 2011

2 online QA programs are running now

It just happened that way - we do not want to enroll more than 15 students in one instructor facilitated QA Training program. The one we started on August 10 was overcrowded, which resulted in another class being scheduled for August 25.

One of the lessons learned so far is that since we have online QA students from all over the world we have to offer two schedules for two major geographic areas such as Americas (mostly US) and Europe. Because of the US-centered schedule we have right now our students in Ukraine, Finland, and Israel have to go to the virtual classroom at 3-4 am local time. Honestly, we did not expect our course to be that much popular outside of the US.

Our focus in online course development is given right now to developing quizzes and making online sessions more interactive. The home work is now given before the session, not after. We ask online students to watch videos and webinars, to read the textbook before the class. Then, when we meet, we discuss what we learned rather then simply listening to the instruction.

I hope that after finishing the August 25 batch the course development will become mostly finalized with minor modifications to be made from time to time.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Software QA Online program becomes popular

We started new online program on August 10, 2011. But the demand was really more than we expected. So far we have set the limit for maximum number of students in the virtual classroom to no more than 15.

Because of that there will be another online class offered in 2 weeks and we already have 5 students enrolled.

Right now our major focus in improving the course is given to feedback, home work, and quizzes. We are working on taking the most from technology in managing the learning curve and controlling the progress.

The web site for the online classes is practically completed but we are working on complete redesign of the now

At some point we would probably need to synchronize both web sites eliminating ambiguities and contradictions which are likely to be present.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Online QA Testing Training Course gets new web site

Yes, web site is Up and Running with all the web pages in place. Small corrections will be done as we find problems down the road.

All the suggestions and bugs reported will be given serious consideration.

The next project is redesign of our major web site -

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Next online program starts on August 10, 2011

We just finished the first run of the online career change program. One student out of that class obtained employment in Software QA 2 weeks before graduation. There were 10 students in that group: 2 from LA, another 2 from Chicago, Sacramento, upstate New York, one from Israel, one from Russia, and 2 from Ukraine.

Out of 6 US-based students one is working, 2 joined the job market last week, one just gotten his resume done yesterday. And one decided to come to our campus and continue his study here with an internship provided by the school. He wants his family to relocate to the Silicon Valley, which is booming now.

I will keep you posted on the developments.

The next online class will start on August 10, 2011. Here is the web site for our online operations. It is being populated with the content as we speak. I hope it will be more or less completed within a week or two.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The School is now approved by the State of California

We have been in operation since August of 1994. All that time we were in compliance with existing regulations, which change some times.

Because of such a change we had to go through the whole cycle of getting approved under new rules and it took us just about one year of developing rules and procedures, creating new Catalog and new Enrollment Agreement.

The new Catalog will be posted on the School web site soon.

And, by the way - we are back from the vacation. Two new groups will be starting this month.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Clear way to recover missed sessions

We were asked a few times by students who cannot attend a session or two if there is a way for them to recover missed sessions. Before we suggested to join other groups - we have 2-3-4 at a time at different stages of the program.

With introduction of online program we started to video tape life sessions and yes, they are available not for simply recovering the missed sessions, but also for repeating the things learned from the convenience of student's home or office. The videos are placed on Youtube. They are not available to the general public, but we are providing students with an access.

Some issues covered in the online class are delivered in a much more concise format than it happens in the physical classroom where the session takes 4 hours. The recordings taken in the online program are very helpful if our on-campus students want to refresh certain subjects fast.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

WIA approved school - what does that mean to you?

WIA abbreviation stands for Workforce Investment Act (US Federal Law passed in 1998). You can get all the legal data on the Act at US Department of labor web site

The essence of the Act is explained in a simple language on Wikipedia - I like the way it talks about different aspects of the Act.

What it means to those interested in taking our classes is very simple - there are government funds to pay for your training. The funds are being distributed locally, at the county level. Most of our WIA students are coming through NOVA - Santa Clara County organization, which is distributing funds in that county. PeninsulaWorks is taking care of that program within San Mateo County. We are getting sometimes students from San Francisco, Alameda and Contra Costa counties as well.

The eligibility rules exist. And they are not very easy to understand for the general public. If you are out of work then there is a chance you might be eligible. In that case I would suggest that you contact the School and we will suggest you which steps to take to find out if that program might benefit you.

We at the School are not able to determine your eligibility, but we will explain the steps needed to find out what your options are.