How can I defend a dissertation on QA in Russia?

    Some time ago, several people knocked to me on Skype and My Circle with the same question: "How and where can I defend my dissertation on QA?" Questions surprised. I have not heard for a long time that someone wants to write scientific papers, especially on QA. At the same time, recently I began to notice that people who began to come for interviews to me more often were either writing a scientific work or planning to engage in scientific activity.

    After that, I decided to find out if there were many cases when a person defended a dissertation on QA. There were many examples, here are just a few of them:

    • “Testing on the basis of formal specifications in the processes of developing software systems” (Petrenko Alexander Konstantinovich, Dr. Sci.)
    • "Methods and software for managing configurations of projects for developing embedded systems" (Nalyutin Nikita Yuryevich, Ph.D.),
    • “Methods for the implementation of regression testing for extended test sets” (Epifanov Nikolay Anatolyevich, Ph.D.),
    • “Development of a method for constructing a load testing complex for a distributed information system” (Alexei Aleksandrovich Ermykin, Ph.D.).

    However, all this was already finished and finished work, so to speak, the finale. I was interested in the "background". Personal successful experience in defending a dissertation (though in experimental physics) at that time allowed us to see only the big picture, without any specifics. Therefore, I collected some information, added thoughts from personal experience and decided to share all of this.

    What is needed to defend a dissertation?

    By and large, in order to get a degree you need only desire . The rest is a matter of technology and chance.
    So, after you have firmly decided for yourself that you will go to the victorious end, you need to decide on the topic of work. There are two options: choose a topic on your own and look for a supervisor who will approve it, or choose a topic with the supervisor (usually he himself proposes a topic).

    How can a dissertation be defended?

    A common answer to this question is "graduate school." However, there is also an alternative way. Let's consider each of them in more detail.

    1. Graduate School

    You pass the entrance exams; You study in graduate school, as a rule, for 3 years (in correspondence form - four). At this time, working on your scientific work.
    Next, you pass the candidate minimum, publish articles based on the results of your work. And, in most cases, after this time - you defend yourself.

    • You are exempt from the army (only if you are a full-time graduate student!),
    • You get a scholarship.

    • You must pass the entrance exams,
    • You must attend classes
    • You must pass a minimum of 3 exams: a foreign language (IJ, usually English), history and philosophy of science (IFN, philosophy surrendered before 2005) and a specialty.

    2. Applicant

    You attach yourself as an applicant to the institution (in which your supervisor works, most often these are universities and research institutes) by the decision of the academic council. Write a dissertation, published. Pass the candidate minimum and defend your work.

    • You do not pass entrance exams and do not waste time attending classes.

    • You are not exempt from the army,
    • You do not receive a scholarship,
    • You must pass the candidate minimum.

    Where can I defend my dissertation on QA?

    Scientific work on QA can be defended (namely, “defend”, not “write,” because you can write a dissertation at one university, and defend yourself at another.) In institutions where there are dissertation advice on the following specialties:

    05.13.11 - “Mathematical and software of computers, complexes and computer networks”

    For example:
    St. Petersburg: SPbSU, SPbSPU, LITMO, SPbSU ITMO.

    Branches of sciences: Engineering, physical and mathematical sciences.

    05.13.01 - “System analysis, management and information processing (by industry)”

    For example:
    Moscow: Moscow Engineering Physics Institute, Moscow Aviation Institute, and Mars Design Bureau.
    St. Petersburg: SPbSU ITMO.

    Branches of science:Engineering, physical and mathematical sciences.

    05.25.05 - “Information Systems and Processes, Legal Aspects of Informatics”

    For example:
    Moscow: STANKIN, Russian State University for the Humanities

    Sectors of Sciences: Engineering.


    In order to defend a dissertation, you need to publish your main scientific results in print. Without this, there will not even be a pre-defense (but more on that later).

    Domestic publications

    1. Recommended by VAK. Examples of Russian peer-reviewed scientific journals in which the main scientific results of dissertations for the degree of candidate of science should be published:

    • “ Information Technology ”,
    • “ Software Engineering ”,
    • “Programming”.

    Useful: almost all large universities have their own series of works, as a rule, they are also VAKovskie.

    2. Others . There are also non-peer-reviewed journals in Russian, for example: “ Tester's Life ”.

    Foreign publications

    1. Prestigious. It is almost impossible to get into prestigious foreign magazines, for example, such as:
    • “ IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering ”,
    • “ Software: Preactice and Experience ”,
    • “ Testing Experience ”.

    2. But there are also prestigious foreign magazines . There are many of them, and it is better to start with a speech at conferences.

    UsefulSome conferences publish a compendium of reports after each conference. Those. you made a report (in most cases it doesn’t matter whether you had a poster or a regular one), after you send the article and it is printed in a special collection. The status of such conference proceedings is the same as that of prestigious journals. But even if the conference does not have its collections, the report will go to the list anyway.


    Domestic conferences

    SYRCoSE (Spring / Summer Young Researchers' Colloquium on Software Engineering)

    Useful: The SYRCoSE conference has its own printed collection of papers that is published after each conference. It’s quite convenient: to speak at a conference and get a publication.

    • “Development of software ”, or CEE-SECR (Central and Eastern European Software Engineering Confrence in Russia),
    • IPAI (Actual problems of software engineering) - takes place at MESI once every 2 years,
    • Seminar TRAP “Technologies for developing and analyzing programs”,
    SQA Days (Software Quality Assurance Days),

    Foreign conferences


    Useful: The DAAAM conference has its own printed collection of reports, which is published after each conference.

    • Others.

    Useful: a good overview of professional conferences where you can make a presentation on QA, held in different parts of the world, was made at one time by Sergey Polazhenko here .


    So you:
    • We chose a topic and a supervisor,
    • Decided on the institution where you will write the dissertation and where you will defend it (very often it is the same university or research institute),
    • The necessary number of publications was issued (the specific number and quality of these publications is discussed individually with the supervisor and depends on the rules and features of the work of a dissertation council),
    • Passed the exams

    But you are still far from protection.

    Now you need to find two opponents: doctors and candidates of science in their specialty who are not associated with co-authorship and the place of work with you as an applicant. Opponents will be required to evaluate your dissertation, i.e. write a review after reading, and speak on the debate while protecting it.

    Next you will:
    • Go through pre-defense
    • Prepare and conduct a seminar in a third-party organization,
    • Publish a dissertation abstract (with a circulation of about 100 copies), which a month before the defense (no later) is distributed to large scientific libraries in Russia, members of the dissertation council and specialists in this field of science,

    And only after that is protection.

    Defense of the dissertation is a very individual matter. Someone succeeds in “9 circles of hell” in 3 years, someone - in 5-8 years, but someone does not succeed at all. Above, I tried to describe the key points that you will definitely encounter on the way to a scientific degree, but be prepared for the nuances and subtleties that are not described here. Good luck


    In conclusion, I would like to thank the following people who helped me collect all this information:

    A.K. Petrenko
    Head of the Department of Programming Technologies, ISP RAS.
    Professor, Department of System Programming, VMiK Moscow State University.

    S.V. Sinitsyn
    Professor, Department of On-board Automation of Unmanned Space and Atmospheric Aircraft, MAI.
    Head of Department at FSUE Moscow Design Bureau (IOKB), MARS.

    R.E. Yavorsky
    Partner Relations Manager, Skolkovo Foundation.

    T.N. Fisherman
    Technical Consultant, Department of Software Solutions, Hewlett-Packard.

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