Conference Presentations

Influencing Others: Business Speak for Testers

One of the major goals of testing is to provide information to decision-makers about the quality of the product under test and the risks of releasing or not releasing the software. But whether or not management hears what we have to say depends on how we deliver the message. The truth is management often doesn't care about the number of defects or their severity level; instead, they care about revenue, costs, and customer impact. Find out more about what motivates managers and how to frame test results and status about product quality and product risks in language managers will understand. Learn how to present the business case clearly and convincingly. Then let the chips fall where they may.

  • Key skills you need to influence decisions for the good of the organization
  • How to assess risk and their effects and present a strong case
Esther Derby, Esther Derby Associates Inc
Ongoing Retrospectives: Project Reviews That Work

As evaluators of quality, testers can often identify critical software development problems during the process. So, how do you get other members of the development team to take notice? Lauri MacKinnon offers real-world case studies to illustrate how ongoing project retrospectives make for better testing and higher quality software. She describes ways to get objective data from project reviews done during the project, giving your team a better chance of making timely adjustments. Learn the basics of conducting a project review and interpreting the resulting data. Then, turn this data into useful process improvement changes within the test group and the rest of the software development department.

  • Project reviews throughout the development cycle for continuous feedback
  • A way to improve testing and other development activities during the project, not after
Lauri MacKinnon, Phase Forward Inc
Quantifying the Cost of Test Escapes

Creating an effective test strategy is an expensive undertaking for complex software applications. While the money invested in the process is relatively easy to measure, the return on that investment (ROI) is much harder to quantify. Duncan Lane discusses an objective, metrics-driven approach his organization employs to evaluate the financial benefits of testing and to assess the right level of investment in testing. Find out how to identify the best areas for future investment in testing at your company. Use a quantitative approach to analyze your test processes, and identify the improvements needed to produce the product quality your organization expects.

  • Determine the ROI of testing in your organization
  • How to develop and use bug impact and bug cost metrics
  • Methods for quantifying hard and soft cost factors for defects
Duncan Lane, Hewlett-Packard
Building an Independent Test Group

Are you attempting to start an independent test group or increase the scope and value of your present group? After building a highly effective thirty-person test group, Scott Eder reflects on the three major areas where he focused and the challenges he faced along the way. Take away sample work scope and purpose statements for your test group, and learn how to set realistic expectations at all levels within your organization. Find out the key processes that Scott implemented immediately to get his team off to a good start.

  • The foundations of an independent test group that is valued by your organization
  • Ways to build relationships with key stakeholders in order to foster a supportive environment for test and quality
  • How to create a sense of identity around which your test team can rally
Scott Eder, Catalina Marketing
Are We There Yet? Knowing When You Have Reached Your Quality Target

Marketing may set the schedule for software delivery. Product management may create the budget. But as a test manager, how do you know when your product is ready to ship? Based on his experiences from managing small Web projects to General Manager in the Windows Division of Microsoft, Sanjay Jejurikar discusses the critical factors all test managers face making that judgement. Learn to deal with the challenges of an unmanageable test matrix (applications, hardware, browsers, OS platforms, etc). Find out how Sanjay develops his test strategy and release criteria early; then monitors risk factors to prioritize testing along the way; and finally makes that difficult quality recommendation.

  • The quality targets and release criteria to make the release process/end-game more objective
  • The critical factors to consider for prioritizing testing efforts
Sanjay Jejurikar, Disha Technologies Inc.
Testing Toolkit for J2EE Systems: A Case Study

Taking a test team from a client/server environment to J2EE-based Web technologies and implementing test automation at the same time is a challenge. Introducing an agile test methodology into a traditionally waterfall-oriented organization at the same time is even bigger. In this case study, share Clay Coleman's successes and challenges as he mentored and supported a test group throughout this project. Walk with Clay from the days of early analysis and design; through test strategy development and planning; on to test case design and automation efforts; during all stages of test execution; past system rollout; and, finally, completion of an initial regression test suite. If you think you may go through such an experience, you'll learn some lessons Clay will never forget.

  • Integrate test automation into the construction phase of a development project
Clay Coleman, CapTech Ventures
Test Driven Project Management

In Test-Driven Development (TDD), you write a test that fails before you write the code that makes the test pass. Expanding on that concept, Glenayre Technologies set up its test organization to drive project management issues, too. The test group there serves as a catalyst for involving customers early in the process, resolving issues between development and product management and making sure that management has realistic expectations about the project. They explore launch-related issues such as packaging, documentation, system configurations, and upgrade procedures at the beginning of the project and track them throughout.

  • How to establish credibility with senior management for Test-Driven Project Management
  • Focus on project risks and business issues that affect the ability to release the product
  • Ways to create rapport with all stakeholders for a positive result using this practice
Scott Lazenby, Glenayre Technologies
Lessons Learned from End-to-End Systems Testing

End-to-end testing of large, distributed systems is a complex and often expensive task. Interface testing at this high level involves multiple sub-systems and often requires cooperation among many groups. From mimicking real-world production configurations to difficult project management and risk issues, Marc Bloom describes the challenges and successes he's experienced at Capital One in performing end-to-end testing. Learn how to define and scope end-to-end system testing and develop a customized framework for repeatable test execution. Find out ways to support knowledge sharing across different test teams to improve the coverage and efficiency of your interface testing.

  • The benefits and value added of comprehensive end-to-end testing
  • Guidelines for developing an end-to-end test plan and implementing it
Marc Bloom, Capital One Financial Corp
Testing Dialogues- Management Issues

Looking for a way to gain feedback from you testing peers
on real-world issues? Testing dialogues are a unique
platform for you to share your ideas and learn from
experienced testers from around the world. Facilitated by
Johanna Rothman and Esther Derby, these two-hour track
sessions take on both test management and technical issues. You'll 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.

Johanna Rothman, Rothman Consulting Group, Inc.
Are You Hiring Yesterday's Testers?

Testing a risky software-intensive system is sometimes just as difficult as creating the system itself. And developing unit tests for each path or object individually is not sufficient testing for most applications. The more complex the system, the more varied the required skills needed for testing, including analysis, design, and programming. If testers are excluded from key discussions or prevented from obtaining the tools and product expertise they need to do their jobs, you have a group of second-class testers who can't adequately test your product. Johanna Rothman discusses high-value activities first-class testers can provide their organizations. You'll learn how to upgrade your test team through selective hiring, improved training, skills-development methods, and much more. Walk away with new ideas and insights about how to take your team and yourself to the next level.

Johanna Rothman, Rothman Consulting Group, Inc.


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