configuration management

Conference Presentations

Put on a Gamer's Hat with Data Flow Testing

Designing tests from the point-of-view of the data is like playing a first-person-shooter game. It's fun-and it can give you a deeper understanding of the application under test. Data moves through an application like a player traverses a game. It flows through a maze (to and from the database), encounters enemies (validations), picks up inventory items (attributes), and solves puzzles (business rules) to win (accepted) or lose (rejected). Designing tests from the data’s point of view is a useful heuristic to help pinpoint the origin of the bug and to reveal bugs that may otherwise go undetected. Mitch Goldman employs the game analogy to illustrate ways to break down an application into its data-flows, design the tests, and execute them. So, put your gamer hat on and start designing tests from the data’s point of view. Have a "death match" with your bugs!

  • How to break down an application into its data-flows
Mitch Goldman, Mitch Goldman (Self)
STAREAST 2006: Lightning Talks: A Potpourri of 5-Minute Presentations

Lightning Talks are nine five-minute talks in a fifty-minute time period. Lightning Talks represent a much smaller investment of time than track speaking and offer the chance to try conference speaking without the heavy commitment. Lightning Talks are an opportunity to present your single biggest bang-for-the-buck idea quickly. Use this as an opportunity to give a first time talk or to present a new topic for the first time. Maybe you just want to ask a question, invite people to help you with your project, boast about something you did, or tell a short cautionary story. These things are all interesting and worth talking about, but there might not be enough to say about them to fill up a full track presentation. For more information on how to submit your Lightning Talk, visit

Robert Sabourin, Inc
Agile Software Development: What's in it for Testers?

Agile software development methods change the ways teams work together to build software systems. Testers often are wary of what these changes will mean to them. However, experience shows that testers stand to benefit significantly from agile practices. In fact, testers who are willing to embrace agility with the rest of their project team can expect greater influence, productivity, confidence, and career growth potential. Looking at the technical, management, and social aspects of agile development, Alan Ridlehoover describes how agile methods differ from traditional software development practices. He describes what changes and what stays the same for the testing and test management roles within a project. Discover how testers can benefit when their organizations adopt agile processes and the common pitfalls many testers encounter in making the transition.

  • How agile development and traditional methods differ
Alan Ridlehoover, Microsoft
STAREAST 2006: Branch Out Using Classification Trees for Test Case Design

Classification trees are a structured, visual approach to identify and categorize equivalence partitions for test objects to document test requirements so that anyone can understand them and quickly build test cases. Join Julie Gardiner to look at the fundamentals of classification trees and how they can be applied in both traditional and agile test and development environments. Using examples, Julie shows you how to use the classification tree technique, how it complements other testing techniques, and its value at every stage of testing. She demonstrates a classification tree editor that is one of the free and commercial tools now available to aid in building, maintaining, and displaying classification trees.

  • How to develop classification trees for test objects
  • The benefits and rewards of using classification trees
  • When and when not to use classification trees
Julie Gardiner, QST Consultants Ltd.
Tester Skills for Moving Your Automation to the Next Level

Job interviews for test automation engineers are often limited to, "How proficient are you with the tool vendor XYZ's scripting language?" This approach does little to help the hiring manager choose those individuals who are or will become highly skilled automation professionals. As a test engineer, you will need to acquire specialized knowledge and tool independent capabilities to become a test automation expert. Join Dion Johnson as he identifies the core set of tool-independent competencies required of a successful automated software test engineer: automation framework design, programming and debugging skills, object model concepts, and automation methods based on the required quality attributes. Learn how you, as a hiring manager, can identify these skills, or find out how you personally can improve your skills to become a true test automation expert.

Dion Johnson, DiJohn Innovative Consulting, Inc.
The Software Vulnerability Guide: Uncut and Uncensored

Warning: This talk contains graphic examples of software failure . . . not suitable for the faint of heart. This "no holds barred" session arms testers with what they really need to know about finding serious security vulnerabilities. Herbert Thompson takes you on an illustrated tour of the top twelve security vulnerabilities in software and shows you how to find these flaws efficiently. Each vulnerability is brought to life through a live exploit followed by a look at the testing technique that would have exposed the bug. Testers and test managers will leave with a keen awareness of the major vulnerability types and the knowledge and insight to fundamentally improve the security of the applications they support and test.

Herbert Thompson, Security Innovation LLC
STAREAST 2006: Testing Dialogues - Management Issues

As a test manager, are you struggling at work with a BIG test management issue or a personnel issue? If so, this session is for you. "Testing Dialogues--Management Issues" is a unique platform for you to share with and learn from test managers who have come to STAREAST from around the world. Facilitated by Esther Derby and Johanna Rothman, this double-track session takes on management issues--career paths for test managers, hiring, firing, executive buy-in, organization structures, and process improvement. You name it! Share your expertise and experiences, learn from others’ challenges and successes, and generate new topics in real time. Discussions are structured in a framework so that participants will receive a summary of their work product after the conference.

Facilitated by Esther Derby and Johanna Rothman
Testing: The Big Picture

If all testers put all their many skills in a pot, surely everyone would come away with something new to try out. Every tester can learn something from other testers. But can a tester learn something from a ski-instructor? There is much to gain by examining and sharing industry best practices, but often much more can be gained by looking at problem solving techniques from beyond the boundaries of the Testing/QA department. Presented as a series of analogies, Brian Bryson covers the critical success factors for organizations challenged with the development and deployment of quality software applications. He takes strategies and lessons from within and beyond the QA industry to provide you with a new perspective on addressing the challenges of quality assurance.

Brian Bryson, IBM Rational Software
Build Rules: A Management System for Complex Test Environments

Due to the interaction of many software components, there is increased complexity in testing today's software solutions. The problem becomes especially difficult when the solution includes combinations of hardware, software, and multiple operating systems. To automate this process, Steven Hagerott's company developed "Build Rules," a Web-based application with inputs from their build management and test execution systems. Using logical rules about the builds, test engineers define the characteristics of the build solution points. To deliver the latest and greatest builds that meet the characteristics defined for each solution point, the system dynamically translates these rules into server side nested SQL queries. Learn how their efficiency and accuracy has improved significantly, allowing test engineers to stay on track with many different build combinations and to communicate results to outside departments and customers.

Steve Hagerott, Engenio Storage Group, LSI Logic Corporation
Progressive Performance Testing: Adapting to Changing Conditions

An inflexible approach to performance testing is a prelude to disaster. "What you see at the start isn't always what you get in the end," says Jeff Jewell. Based on his experience performance testing applications on numerous consulting projects, Jeff demonstrates the challenges you may face testing your applications and how to overcome these obstacles. Examples from performance testing on these projects will demonstrate some of the ways that changing conditions of the projects and the information they discovered in early tests caused the testing approach to change dramatically. Find out how hardware configuration, hardware performance, script variations, bandwidth, monitoring, and randomness can all affect the measurement of performance.

Jeff Jewell, ProtoTest LLC


CMCrossroads is a TechWell community.

Through conferences, training, consulting, and online resources, TechWell helps you develop and deliver great software every day.