Conference Presentations

STARCANADA 2013 Keynote: Testing Lessons from Hockey (The World’s Greatest Sport)

Over the years, Rob Sabourin has drawn important testing lessons from diverse sources including the great detectives, the Simpsons, Hollywood movies, comic book superheroes, and the hospital delivery room. Now Rob scores big with breakaway testing ideas from hockey, Canada’s national sport.

Rob Sabourin,
STAREAST 2013: Maybe We Don’t Have to Test It

Testers are taught they are responsible for all testing. Some even say “It’s not tested until I run the product myself.” Eric Jacobson believes this old school way of thinking can hurt a tester’s reputation and—even worse—may threaten the team’s success. Learning to recognize...

Eric Jacobson, Turner Broadcasting
Specification-by-Example: A Cucumber Implementation

We've all been there. You work incredibly hard to develop a feature and design tests based on written requirements. You build a detailed test plan that aligns the tests with the software and the documented business needs. When you put the tests to the software, it all falls apart because the requirements were updated without informing everyone. But help is at hand. Enter business-driven development and Cucumber, a tool for running automated acceptance tests. Join Mary Thorn as she explores the nuances of Cucumber and shows you how to implement specification-by-example, behavior-driven development, and agile acceptance testing. By fostering collaboration for implementing active requirements via a common language and format, Cucumber bridges the communication gap between business stakeholders and implementation teams.

Mary Thorn, Deutsche Bank
Better Test Designs to Drive Test Automation Excellence

Test execution automation is often seen as a technical challenge-a matter of applying the right technology, tools, and smart programming talent. However, such efforts and projects often fail to meet expectations with results that are difficult to manage and maintain-especially for large and complex systems. Hans Buwalda describes how the choices you make for designing tests can make-or break-a test automation project. Join Hans to discover why good automated tests are not the same as the automation of good manual tests and how to break down tests into modules-building blocks-in which each has a clear scope and purpose. See how to design test cases within each module to reflect that module's scope and nothing more. Hans explains how to tie modules together with a keyword-based test automation framework that separates the automation details from the test itself to enhance maintainability and improve ROI.

Hans Buwalda, LogiGear Corporation
Cloud Computing: Powering the Future of Development and Testing

Developers and testers are under constant pressure to operate more efficiently, cut costs, and deliver on time. Without access to scalable, flexible, and cost effective computing resources, these challenges are magnified. Brett Goodwin explains how to create scalable dev/test environments in the cloud, and shares best practices for reducing cycle time and decreasing project costs. Learn how scalable, cloud-based data centers can run software without complicated re-writes; enable rapid defect resolution with snapshots and clones; and provide global collaboration for multiple product and release teams. Brett presents a case study of Cushman and Wakefield, the world's largest privately held real estate services firm, which struggled with an on-premises development and testing environment.

Brian White, Skytap, Inc.
Using Agile Techniques to Manage Testing - Even on Non-agile Projects

Sometimes, test managers and teams can get bogged down in rigid processes, excessive documentation, and simply too much data, resulting in less actual testing getting done. The good news is that there is a better way! Brian Osman describes how he applies agile and lean practices within his test team, even on non-agile projects. Brian shares his experiences with low-tech, high-value techniques such as big visible charts to track and share information. He was able to cut down on long meetings and eliminate complex status reports while still helping his team stay focused and on track. They improved visibility and communications with management, development, and business stakeholders while reducing interruptions. Brian explains how his new approach positively influenced other projects around them and how it helped everyone stay on task. Learn ways your test team can “go agile”-even if the rest of the project has not.

Brian Osman, OsmanIT
A Test Manager's Transformation Toolkit

If you have had your testing window reduced or you are being challenged to do more with less, this session is for you. Mari Kawaguchi shares how she and her team embraced these challenges to transform their testing operating model. Sharing her extensive experience, Mari details the road map that elevated her testing organization to a valued and strategic partner within the organization. Mari describes the strategic components of testing-people, process, and technology-and shares how to assess your team’s skills, build subject matter experts, and ensure the right mindset to drive innovation and change. From a process and technology perspective, she outlines early testing engagement and collaboration, risk based testing, root cause analysis of escaped defects, and performance scorecards. Take back a new toolkit of ways to transform your test team into strategic business partners.

Mari Kawaguchi, Bank of America
The Missing Integration at Best Buy: Agile, Test Management, and Test Execution

What can you do when test tools from proprietary vendors don’t seem to support your organization’s processes and open source tools are too narrowly focused? Best Buy, the world's largest electronics retailer, faced this very situation. With hundreds of agile development projects running concurrently, they needed an integrated test management and test execution tool set that would scale up easily. Frank Cohen describes how he helped Best Buy integrate open source functional and load test tools, vendor-supplied test management tools, and repository tools with their agile software development methodology. Now, with this integrated solution, business managers, testers, developers, and IT Ops managers click the “Start” button to perform a thorough set of automated tests, verify the results, and produce an informative dashboard of results.

Frank Cohen, PushToTest
Maslow's Hierarchy of Quality: Realigning Your Thinking

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs is a popular model that describes the stages of human psychological development. Anu Kak shares how Maslow's work can be applied to align the quality thinking of a software development organization through a “Hierarchy of Quality.” This builds a quality-centric culture and enhances the quality of products before they are released while quickly learning from mistakes. Anu describes a path beginning at the basic needs for high quality-test plans, defects, regression tests, etc.-and progresses to define what is needed to achieve high levels of sustainable customer satisfaction. Anu describes how “self actualization” in customer quality can be achieved through the process of moving up the hierarchy of needs while sustaining the lower tiers of the model.

Anu Kak, PayPal, Inc.
The Vital P's of Testing: Purpose, People, and Process

When building a testing organization, where do you start? Technical skills? Domain knowledge? Testing experience? The cheapest resource? A set of testing tools? A formal test process? Mike Hendry suggests that before looking for staff or tools, you must ask-and answer-fundamental questions about the planned organization. Drawing on the collective wisdom of many management, leadership, and testing gurus, and on his experience building three testing centers of excellence in the past ten years, Mike shares his successes and failures, tips and traps in building a successful team. This includes determining the purpose of the organization, the types of people needed, and the test processes to be used. Although every organization is different, and what works in one organization may not work in another, Mike is confident that at least one of his “learnings” will resonate with you.

Michael Hendry, UNUM Corporation


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