Application Lifecycle Management

Conference Presentations

Ready to Ship?

When developing software systems, the inevitable question is "Are we ready to ship?" Facing this question, many testers and test managers rely on their intuition and gut feeling to come up with a subjective verdict of the system under test. John Fodeh describes how to establish and use a set of Release Readiness Metrics in your organization. These metrics provide a snapshot of the system state and quality that you can use throughout the development process--especially when approaching the release date. John takes a closer look at these metrics and examines the role of testing and testers as “information providers.” John demonstrates different release-related metrics, including a model for predicting how many defects remain in the system after release.

John Fodeh, HP Software
Scaling Agile Processes

Agile processes are revolutionizing the software development industry. Projects embracing agile development are expected to be faster and more efficient than traditional software development. Agile processes enable developers to embrace requirement changes during the project, deliver working software in frequent iterations, and focus on the human factors in software development. Unfortunately, most agile processes were designed for small or mid-sized software development projects-bad news for large teams. Having worked with many larger teams transitioning to agile processes, Jutta Eckstein shares her insights into ways to tune your practices as you scale up to larger projects. Harness the adaptability of agile software development for large projects to ensure frequent releases even with several teams working together.

Jutta Eckstein, Jutta Eckstein
Using Lean Thinking to Align People, Process, and Practices

The operational structure of many organizations fails to support their software development teams. Continuously creating and reforming teams, isolating development from the organization, lack of participation by customers, and rapid task switching cause huge amounts of waste in development. Although agile development practices have made great strides in the last ten years, they have largely ignored the issue of the structure of the organization. "Lean Thinking" is the shorthand phrase for the paradigm, thought processes, and principles that Toyota follows in producing high quality cars at low cost-with a faster development cycle than their competitors. Software development is not exactly like manufacturing, but the principles of Lean Thinking-optimizing the whole, eliminating waste, and respecting people-apply equally well to software development.

Alan Shalloway, Net Objectives
Open Source Tools for Web Application Performance Testing

OpenSTA is a solid open-source testing tool that, when used effectively, fulfills the basic needs of performance testing of Web applications. Dan Downing will introduce you to the basics of OpenSTA including downloading and installing
the tool, using the Script Modeler to record and customize performance test scripts, defining load scenarios, running tests using Commander, capturing the results using Collector, interpreting the results, as well as exporting captured performance data into Excel for analysis and reporting. As with many open source tools, self-training is the rule. Support is not provided by a big vendor
staff but by fellow practitioners via email. Learn how to find critical documentation that is often hidden in FAQs and discussion forum threads. If you are up to the support challenge, OpenSTA is an excellent alternative to high-priced commercial tools.

  • Learn the capabilities of OpenSTA
Dan Downing, Mentora Inc
Software Security Testing: It's Not Just for Functions Anymore

What makes security testing different from classical software testing? Part of the answer lies in expertise, experience, and attitude. Security testing comes in two flavors and involves standard functional security testing (making sure that the security apparatus works as advertised), as well as risk-based testing (malicious testing that simulates attacks). Risk-based security testing should be driven by architectural risk analysis, abuse and misuse cases, and attack patterns. Unfortunately,
first generation "application security" testing misses the mark on all fronts. That's because canned black-box probes-at best-can show you that things are broken, but say very little about the total security posture. Join Gary McGraw to learn what software security testing should look like, what kinds of knowledge testers must have to carry out such testing, and what the results may say about security.

Gary McGraw, Cigital Inc
How to Build Your Own Robot Army

Software testing is tough-it can be exhausting and there is never enough time to find all the important bugs. Wouldn't it be nice to have a staff of tireless servants working day and night to make you look good? Well, those days are here. Two decades ago, software test engineers were cheap and machine time was expensive, demanding test suites to run as quickly and efficiently as possible. Today, test engineers are expensive and CPUs are cheap, so it becomes reasonable to move test creation to the shoulders of a test machine army. But we're not talking about the run-of-the-mill automated scripts that only do what you explicitly told them … we're talking about programs that create and execute tests you never thought of and find bugs you never dreamed of. In this presentation, Harry Robinson will show you how to create your robot army using tools lying around on the Web.

Harry Robinson, Google
Better Software Conference 2006: Lightning Talks: A Potpourri of 5-Minute Presentations

Lightning Talks are nine five-minute talks in a fifty-minute time period. Lightning Talks represent a much smaller investment of time than track speaking and offer the chance to try conference speaking without the heavy commitment. Lightning Talks are an opportunity to quickly present your single, biggest, bang-for-the-buck idea. Maybe you just want to ask a question, invite people to help you with your project, boast about something you did, or tell a short cautionary story. These things are all interesting and worth talking about, but there might not be enough to say about them to fill up a full track presentation. Use this as your opportunity to give a first time talk or to present a new topic for the first time.

Julie Gardiner, QST Consultants Ltd.
Sarbanes and Oxley: Your New Partners in Software Development

Determining whether legal and contractual issues apply to your development efforts isn't always simple. There may be some obvious factors: a well-regulated industry, service level agreements, or state or federal agency oversight. However, other factors may not be so obvious. The new Sarbanes-Oxley Act is largely legally untested, subjecting your company to unknown legal issues. You have an eCommerce site that stores credit card information. Your portal collects personal information. You produce proprietary software ... and more. Does Sarbanes-Oxley apply to you? Covering legal, compliance, and audit throughout the development lifecycle, Elle Ringham discusses the right questions to ask and what to do with the answers. She provides guidelines for working with stakeholders, attorneys, and auditors. Take away audit templates, metrics to help you, and sample reports you may need to produce.

Elle Ringham, Fidelity National Financial
Don't Settle for Better Software - Make Truly Great Software

Too many teams create very decent products that, for whatever reason, fail to rise above the crowd and truly capture the popular imagination. They are surprised when their products are mostly ignored by the marketplace, which seems to be captivated by some other shiny geegaw that's functionally inferior and more expensive. In many product categories, from software to consumer electronics, the product with the most market share is often more expensive and less functional than the number two product. Joel Spolsky will explore why this happens and suggest some ways to design a "blue chip" product that people will love. After you get great software and products using the usual repertoire of debugging, usability testing, etc., you have to go still further and think about beauty, user happiness, and emotional impact. Let Joel help you figure out what makes truly great software-great.

Joel Spolsky, Fog Creek Software
The Complete Developer

With the global availability of talented development people there is a growing trend toward the commoditization of software development. No longer is it enough to simply be a developer with knowledge of specific languages or algorithms in order to maintain your competitive edge in the marketplace. To compete, you must become a complete developer-someone who can, for example, write some code in the morning and in the afternoon update the requirements Wiki with the results of the latest customer review meeting with your marketing team. This talk explores what it takes to be a genuinely valuable complete developer in today’s world of agile development, outsourcing, globalization, and an increasingly complex business environment.

Luke Hohmann, Enthiosys, Inc.


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