Look around you at all those people gazing into smart phones and tablets, tapping away, seemingly oblivious to what’s going on around them. Like it or not, mobile devices and the applications they host are now enmeshed in our everyday lives.
Testers and managers have wrestled with the problem of evaluating software products and testing efforts, often using approaches derived from manufacturing, construction, and physical sciences. These approaches have been partially successful because software products aren't physical products.
Even though you employ the best testing processes, techniques, people, and tools, the overall effectiveness of your testing effort will always be bounded by your organization's commitment to quality. Cliff Morehead describes techniques he uses for assessing an organization's quality culture and shares approaches for influencing positive cultural change. Organizations have two major dimensions that determine if change takes hold: the driving force-top-down versus bottom-up-and the quality focus-externally oriented versus internally oriented. Cliff discusses specific tactics you can use to increase the effectiveness of your test improvement efforts for different organization types, with a focus on how front-line team members can influence their organization's culture. Take back the lessons Cliff has learned from his experiences in improving testing-what has worked for him and what hasn't.
Most of us grew up wanting to be firemen or astronauts or teachers-not testers. Eric Jacobson, an average guy and not incredibly technical, loves software testing and his career in testing as much as his dog loves him. Using videos and candid photos of his test team at work, Eric shares the top ten skills and practices he’s developed and honed over the years to make himself a test leader. He explains how he helps his team establish reasonable goals and then meet them. Find out why testing broadly first and deeper later keeps the programmer busy and takes some of the guesswork out of test estimation. Watch Eric as he shows you how to use white boarding to explore technical systems and help programmers find their own mistakes. Take back to work ten ideas you can employ immediately to help you be the tester your dog thinks you are.
Are you a new Better Software speaker or aspiring to be one in the future? Join us at this workshop on making effective conference presentations. Learn the secrets of developing content, identifying the Big Message, preparing slides with just the right words and images, presenting your message, handling questions from the audience, and being ready when things go wrong. Lee Copeland, a professional speaker since birth, shares ideas that will help you become a better speaker, no matter what the occasion.
In this bonus session from the Better Software Conference & EXPO, Lee Copeland speaks about the process of choosing session speakers for Software Quality Engineering conferences and offers some tips to help you down the path toward becoming a better speaker.
Have you worked with someone whose communication style or behavior frustrates you? Extraverts and introverts exhibit significant differences in interaction preferences and work styles; they also differ in what, when, and how they communicate. Such differences can cause frayed nerves, misunderstandings, reduced productivity, and poor results. The good news is that extraverts and introverts who understand this dynamic can form powerful teams, benefit from each other's strengths, and laugh about their differences. Naomi Karten helps you broaden your awareness of introversion and extraversion and dispel your misconceptions about why “they” behave as they do. Learn exactly how these personality types perceive each other–the positives and the negatives–and gain insight into your own behavior and how it may affect others.
As software testers, how do we keep our skills fresh and up-to-date? In our line of work, there is always another build to test, more testing than we have time for, and small training budgets. Selena Delesie explains why skills improvement is critical for both individuals and organizations to succeed, and explores ongoing opportunities for you and your team to learn and practice new test skills. While improving skills requires time and effort, the benefits far outweigh the costs as you expand your career, improve the quality of your work, reduce time-to-delivery, and improve your reputation and your team’s value to the business. Learn some off-the-beaten-path ways you can enhance your skills, and discover the fun and benefits of hands-on learning. Selena demonstrates how crowdsourced and open source projects are excellent learning environments for testers.
Who drives your career as a tester or test leader? Hopefully, not the company for which you work. It's you-you must be the driver. Because the craft of testing is still relatively free and open, there is no authority structure that defines or controls our industry. There are no generally accepted and standardized credentials that will admit you to the upper tier of income and respect as a tester. There are no universities that offer degrees in testing-although certificates and certifications abound. What we do have is a pastiche of communities, proprietary methodologies, schools of thought-together with ambitious individuals who write articles, teach, argue with each other, and speak at conferences.
Even with the best tools and processes in the world, if your staff is not focused and productive, your testing efforts will be weak and ineffective and your finished product will reflect this. Retired Marine Colonel, long-time test consultant Rick Craig describes how using the Marine Corps Principles of Leadership will help you become a better leader and, as a result, a better test manager or tester. Learn the differences between leadership and management and how they can complement each other. Discover new approaches to energize your testers and learn to avoid some that won't. Rick explores motivation, morale, training, span of control, immersion time, and how to promote a consistent testing discipline within your organization. He addresses the role of "influence leaders" and how to use them as powerful agents of change.