Conference Presentations

Servant Leadership in Agile: The End of Command and Control

The switch from traditional, top-down management to agile project practices poses a dilemma for managers and the team, including test managers and testers. If agile teams self-manage their work, what does a test manager actually do now? And without strong guidance from a traditional manager, how do teams organize their work? Dale Emery describes how successful agile teams resolve these conundrums-by adopting a seemingly paradoxical way of collaboration called “servant leadership.” A servant leader leads by serving and serves by leading. On high-performing agile teams, everyone is a servant leader in one way or another. There are no followers in the traditional sense and no command-and-control managers. Everyone leads-all the time. Everyone serves-all the time.

Dale Emery, DHE
Get Testers Out of the QA Business

Why is the testing department often misnamed "Quality Assurance?" We testers usually aren't allowed to control the scope of the product or change the source code. We don't have authority over budgets, staffing, schedules, customer relationships, market placement, or development models. So how, exactly, can we testers assure quality? We can't. Quality assurance is in the hands of those with authority over it-the programmers who write the code and the managers who run the project. We're extensions of their senses-extra professional eyes, ears, fingertips, noses, and taste buds. Join Michael Bolton and learn why and how to focus your testing energy on exploring, discovering, investigating, and learning about the product. Then, you'll be empowered to provide management with information they need to make informed technical and business decisions.

Michael Bolton, DevelopSense
Top Ten Disruptive Technologies You Must Understand

The consumerization of enterprise software applications is no longer on its way-it is here. Emerging technologies such as mobile apps, tablets, 4G, cloud computing, and HTML5 are impacting software engineering and testing organizations across all industries. By enabling sensitive data to be accessed through the web and on mobile devices, there is immense pressure to ensure that apps are reliable, scalable, private and secure. Using real-world examples, Doron Reuveni identifies the top ten disruptive technologies that have transformed the software industry and outlines what they mean for the testing community now and in the future. The ways in which web and mobile apps are designed, developed, and delivered are changing dramatically, and therefore the ways these apps are being tested are being taxed and stretched to the breaking point.

Doron Reuveni, uTest
Test Estimation and the Art of Negotiation

Many of us have struggled with test estimation. We have tried simple, heuristic models to craft a best guess-often without much success. We have also tried using a variety of complex, scientific models to calculate an accurate number. The problem is, we are usually fooled by the models-both simple and complex ones-and either overestimate testing needs or are lulled into impossible commitments. Lynn McKee and Nancy Kelln explore the realities of test estimation and propose a new mindset for handling estimation requests. In an interactive format, Nancy and Lynn demonstrate that the best estimate may be no estimate at all. By shifting the focus from estimating to negotiating, you’ll learn how to reveal the often obscured but already determined available time for testing.

Nancy Kelln, Unimagined Testing
When Testing Becomes a Risk

We test software to prevent bad things from happening when the software is deployed into production. We assess the quality of the software and give well-founded advice on its readiness for release. However, in some cases, the mere act of testing can cause significant problems. Bart Knaack analyzes real-life testing “accidents” that had serious consequences to the business. For example, although most companies spend a lot of money to secure their production environments, many leave their test environments only partially protected. If a hacker gets into the testing environment–or even worse, the defect database–they can wreak havoc or learn all about the vulnerabilities of your system. Bart shares examples of testing accidents, challenging you to create solutions to prevent these accidents from happening in your organization. Life is too short to make all these mistakes yourself. Come and learn from Bart.

Bart Knaack, Logica
The Cassandra Syndrome: The Tester's Dilemma

In Homer's Iliad, we read of Cassandra, who had the gift of prophecy and the curse of having no one listen to her. Many testers have felt like Cassandra, but why? When engaged in what many perceive as "negative" activities–predicting problems, discovering defects, and reporting incidents–testers often are seen as negative people who don't make a "positive" contribution to the project. While most team members focus on making software work, testers focus on what doesn't work. Rick Hower warns that these seemingly contradictory perspectives have the potential to interfere with team communication, sometimes resulting in testers being labeled as "not team players" and literally being ignored.

Rick Hower, Digital Media Group, Inc.
Building a World Class Test Organization

Do you have teams performing myriads of manual tests? Do you have to depend on subject matter experts with tribal knowledge for testing? Are you yearning to transform it all into a mature, modern, and world-class test organization? Theresa O'Leary leads you through a set of practical and proven steps to implement testing excellence. Her holistic approach encompasses people, process, tools, and environments. Theresa walks you through the steps of getting approval from management, setting up the correct organizational structure, establishing training and skill goals, institutionalizing new methods, and selecting and implementing tools. Using concrete examples from her experiences at UPS, Theresa shares how she demonstrated to executives the business value of improvement and gained both top-down and bottom-up buy-in.

Theresa O'Leary, UPS
The Tester's Role in Identifying, Managing, and Eliminating Technical Debt

Technical debt is a metaphor that refers to the eventual consequences of taking well-meaning shortcuts during software development. This debt attacks organizations in ways such as unachievable schedules, excessive unscheduled backlog, overwhelming defects, and poorly designed code and architecture. When organizations try to get out of debt, testers can be especially impacted. This does not have to be the case. Lee Henson explains the principles of technical debt as it affects testers. Using an example of the debt to income ratio, learn how to manage and eliminate current technical debt while avoiding additional debt in the future. Using consumer credit card debt as an analogy, you'll learn how to address business technical debt more like a consumer might address personal debt as a means to financial freedom.

V. Lee Henson, AgileDad
Crowdsourced Testing: An Emerging Business Model

Crowdsourced testing has emerged as a startlingly effective by-product of social networking. Manoj Narayanan describes how many organizations are leveraging crowdsourcing to reduce testing costs and increase product quality. They are learning that the value of crowdsourced testing can differ significantly based on whether you are testing a web application, mobile device, or gaming app. To help you evaluate the benefits and constraints, Manoj compares the business model crowdsourced vendors are adopting to traditional testing approaches. Explore how crowdsourced vendors are now focusing on vertical integration through partnerships with both cloud-based infrastructure services and on-demand testing tool vendors to improve ROI. Manoj concludes by exploring how greater integration between social networking and crowdsourcing can further enhance the testing business model.

Manoj Narayanan, Cognizant Technology Solutions
STAREAST 2011: Service-driven Test Management

Over the years, the test manager's role has evolved from "struggling to get involved early" to today's more common "indispensable partner in project success." In the past, it was easy to complain that the testing effort could not be carried out as planned due to insufficient specs, too few people, late and incomplete delivery, poor test environments, etc. Martin Pol explores why–and how–test managers must provide a high level of performance within their projects and organization. By implementing a service-driven test management approach, test managers can best support and enhance product development, and maximize testing's value. Service-driven test management encourages the project team to collaborate and find solutions for any testing problem that could negatively impact the project's success.

Martin Pol, Polteq Test Services B.V.

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