Conference Presentations

STARWEST 2018 What's an API and How Do I Test It?

API-based applications have become ubiquitous in the past few years. Yet many of us still really don't know what an API is from the inside out. Moreover, many of us don't know much about how to comprehensively test them! Join Paul Merrill to learn what everyone is doing and talking about, related to APIs: microservices, REST, endpoints, requests, request methods, and responses. Paul demonstrates four free tools you can use to directly interact with a simple API: curl, the browser, Postman, and Java (with Rest Assured). Learn techniques for testing APIs at the service level and how to test APIs faster with greater coverage and quicker test automation. Walk away with an understanding of what JSON is, how APIs use JSON, and how to go about verifying that it is correct. With new knowledge and skills, you’ll do a better testing job and give more valuable feedback to the API designers and developers.

Paul Merrill
STARWEST 2018 Troubleshooting and Understanding Modern Systems: Tools Testers Need

Successful agile testers collaborate with programmers as code is written, isolating problems, troubleshooting defects, and debugging code all along the way to getting the product to done. But modern systems are scaling beyond what traditional teams are able to understand using familiar tools. New appreciation for systems and complexity theory, as well as disciplines and tools around emerging areas such as observability and resilience engineering, are offering solutions that allow teams to actively debug their systems and explore properties and patterns they have not defined in advance. Chris will share the basics of the theory of these new ideas, as well as some tools that support this type of work. He'll show how dynamic analysis can be used to isolate and understand puzzling system behavior.

Chris Blain
STARWEST 2018 Automation and Test Strategies to Save Our Project from the Brink of Collapse

Teams are sometimes asked to turn a mess of undocumented, poorly structured legacy code into a robust product under impossible deadlines. Test strategies blending automation, exploration, and refactoring can help focus development efforts and converge even the most chaotic projects. But, where do you start? Join Jonathan Solórzano-Hamilton as he shows how automation can help drive products into a state of release readiness. Learn how refactoring, test-driven development, SOLID principles, dependency injection, and mocking frameworks help break down complex development problems into actionable chunks to delivering reliable, self-documented, and high-performing products. Jonathan walks you through the concepts of “Single responsibility”, “Open/closed”, “Liskov substitution”, “Interface Segregation”, and “Dependency Inversion”.

Jonathan Solórzano-Hamilton
DevOps West 2018, Agile Dev West 2018, Better Software West 2018 I, Project Manager: Meet the Future of AI Software Delivery

Are you ready for business agile? Machine learning? Chatbots and intelligent decision support? What about hiring new people and delivering high-quality projects on time and on budget in this new paradigm? Emerging technology and embedded IT teams are entering into a symbiotic relationship, where DevOps is inefficient without AI and business leaders are involved in the everyday of the tech team. In this session, Rachel Burger will discuss how IT leaders can determine which DevOps technologies are hype and which are real. You'll learn how to best leverage new technology to empower your teams while mitigating any new risks. Gain an understanding of what new technologies Rachel believes will be standard practices by 2021 and introduce a business agile paradigm shift that is already happening.

Rachel Burger
Better Software West 2018, Agile Dev West 2018, DevOps West 2018 The Impact of Agile Quantified

For years, people have made recommendations for how to develop software in an agile way based almost entirely on intuition, folklore, and anecdotes. They've never been able to quantitatively show the accuracy or applicability of these recommendations. This session quantifies those recommendations in the most precise and objective terms, including a presentation of general findings in Larry Maccherone's research correlating agile practices to performance along the dimensions of productivity, predictability, quality, and time to market. These data can be used to make general decisions about what to focus on. The presentation also includes the numbers, so that instead of just saying that A is better than B, we can say that A is a 24 percent improvement in quality but a 10 percent reduction in productivity compared to B.

Larry Maccherone
Better Software West 2018, Agile Dev West 2018, DevOps West 2018 Overcoming Test-Driven Damage

Test-driven development is supposed to help us refactor our code safely, but we often find that when we refactor our code, we also have to refactor our tests. What was supposed to add safety becomes a burden requiring time and effort. Writing good unit tests is a critical skill that developers need to master in order to get the most benefit from test-driven development. Tests must be unique, written at the right level of abstraction, and implementation-independent in order to be most valuable. In this session, David Bernstein will cover effective techniques for doing TDD that support building useful tests and quality code. You’ll learn how to approach TDD in a way that yields the right number and kind of tests to support improved refactoring. Working through a few code examples, you’ll see how many assertions are required to specify a linear range, exceptions, and other boundary conditions.

David Bernstein
DevOps West 2018, Agile Dev West 2018, Better Software West 2018 Liquibase: An Open Source Version Control Tool for Your Database

It is generally accepted that you should always use proper version control when developing software. Why wouldn't you do the same with your database changes? It's even more important as part of a DevOps continuous integration strategy. Evolving your database schema using SQL scripts seems easy at the start but quickly becomes a nightmare as your application grows more complex. How do you track which scripts have been run? How do you rollback changes? Can you conditionally run certain changes for different environments? In this session Blaine Carter will discuss using a schema migration tool called Liquibase, a database-independent, open source tool for managing database changes. Blaine will demonstrate some of the major features and functionality of Liquibase, including how to extract your current schema into Liquibase, make changes, and roll them back.

Blaine Carter
Better Software West 2018, Agile Dev West 2018, DevOps West 2018 Strategies for Selecting the Right Open Source Framework for Cross-Browser Testing

Organizations today are required to test their web application across browsers and mobile devices. Choosing the right framework is a matter of organizational as well as technical fit. With a plethora of test frameworks that span across practices such as behavior-driven development, unit tests, UI, and others, it can be a struggle to select the right tool. In this session, Eran Kinsbruner will provide an overview of the market and cover the top ten open source test frameworks, with a comparison table of pros and cons about when and why to use one tool over another. Eran will take into account technical automation skills, market trends, framework functionality, usability, and integration concerns. You'll learn about the current cross-browser testing landscape and future forecasts, putting you in a solid position to pick the best open source test framework for your unique needs.


Eran Kinsbruner
STAREAST 2018 DevOps Tools for Winning Agility

With a myriad of tools to choose from—open source, free, paid, and enterprise level—teams and organizations have seemingly endless options. Making the right tool decisions can impact the level of quality and success within DevOps projects. Kellyn Pot'Vin-Gorman discusses different tools, what tools work best together, and how—even in teams that are in silos—the right choices can make the difference between success and failure in DevOps implementations. Explore tools—such as Ansible, Jenkins, Maven, Delphix, Github, Liquibase, and Terraform—for automating builds and virtualization. Review reasons for choosing open source, “freemium,” or enterprise tools along with different hybrid tool combinations and explore why companies face new challenges as DevOps tools mature.

Kellyn Pot'Vin-Gorman
DevOps West 2018, Agile Dev West 2018, Better Software West 2018 Use DevOps Principles to Transform Culture

At the heart of DevOps is the idea that organizations break down silos and teams work together to innovate faster, reducing the length of feedback loops and delivering value faster. Ashley Hunsberger describes how Blackboard is using DevOps principles—collaborative practices, iterative improvements, incremental testing, and more—to transform their development culture so everyone owns quality. Big change does not happen overnight, so they learned to make smaller changes that support the overall vision. Join Ashley as she lays the groundwork for iterative and continuous improvement through a defined mission and specific goals. Ashley explores how cross-team collaboration broke down silos and helped align team members with the necessary skills to meet their quality goals. One key to their success was recognizing that we cannot test everything—even if we want to.

Ashley Hunsberger


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