STAREAST 2010 - Software Testing Conference


The Buccaneer Tester: Winning Your Reputation

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.

James Bach, Satisfice, Inc.

The Elusive Tester-Developer Ratio

Perhaps the most sought after and least understood metric in software testing is the ratio of testers to developers. Many people are interested in learning the standard industry ratio so that they can determine the proper size of their test organization. Randy Rice presents the results of his recent research on this metric and explores the wide range of tester-developer ratios in organizations worldwide.

Randy Rice, Rice Consulting Services

The Many Hats of a Tester

As testers, we must wear many hats to do our job effectively. Quite often, it is the pith helmet of an explorer, hacking through the vines and darkness of the unknown; or the baseball cap of the crime scene investigator, determining how the failure occurred. To make things even more interesting, the hats we need often differ from project to project and organization to organization. Adam Goucher begins with a general discussion of some hats testers typically wear and when they are appropriate or inappropriate.

Adam Goucher, Zerofootprint
The Myths of Rigor

We hear that more rigor means good testing and, conversely, that less rigor means bad testing. Some managers-who've never studied testing, done testing, or even "seen" testing up close-insist that testing be rigorously planned in advance and fully documented, perhaps with tidy metrics thrown in to make it look more scientific. However, sometimes measurement, documentation, and planning don't help. In those cases, rigor may require us not to do them.

James Bach, Satisfice, Inc.

The Power of Risk

Erik Boelen starts his risk-based testing where most others stop. Too often, risk-based test strategies are defined in the initial test plan and are never looked at or used again. Erik explores how a dynamic, living risk-based testing strategy gives testers a vital tool to manage and control testing activities and identify the infrastructure they need to perform these activities. Find out how to use your risk-based testing strategy as a tool for negotiations among the different stakeholders.

Erik Boelen, QA Consult Services
Using Test Automation Frameworks

As you embark on implementing or improving automation within your testing process, you'll want to avoid the "Just Do It" attitude some have taken. Perhaps you've heard the term "test automation framework" and wondered what it means, what it does for testing, and if you need one. Andrew Pollner, who has developed automated testing frameworks for more than fifteen years, outlines how frameworks have grown up around test automation tools. Regardless of which automation tool you use, the concepts of a framework are similar.

Andrew Pollner, ALP International Corp

Virtual Test Labs in the Cloud

In most software engineering organizations, development and test labs continuously demand regular computer, storage, and networking infrastructure upgrades and continuous support. Lab administrators have moved toward server consolidation powered by virtualization platforms from vendors such as Citrix, Microsoft, and VMware, often accompanied by a management layer called virtual lab automation (VLA). Together, virtualization and VLA enable the lab to operate as a private, on-premise cloud.

Jacob Ben-David, VMLogix, Inc.
Virtualizing Overutilized Systems to Eliminate Testing Constraints

Organizations currently are using virtualization in the test lab to eliminate underutilized systems such as physical computers and software. So why not virtualize the costly, overutilized, or completely unavailable elements of the software architecture that have serious access and data issues for testing? These elements required for realistic end-to-end testing-mainframe computers, production systems of record, and computing services hosted by other companies-are often difficult or expensive to access for testing.

Ken Ahrens, iTKO
Web Security Testing with Ruby

To ensure the quality and safety of Web applications, security testing is a necessity. So, how do you cover all the different threats-SQL injection, cross-site scripting, buffer overflow, and others? James Knowlton explains how Ruby combined with Watir-both freely available-makes a great toolset for testing Web application security. Testing many common security vulnerabilities requires posting data to a Web server via a client, exactly what Watir does.

James Knowlton, McAfee, Inc.
You Can't Test Quality into Your Systems

Many organizations refer to their test teams and testers as QA departments and QA engineers. However, because errant systems can damage-even destroy-products and businesses, software quality must be the responsibility of the entire development team and every stakeholder. As the ones who find and report defects, and sometimes carry the “quality assurance” moniker, the test community has a unique opportunity to take up the cause of error prevention as a priority.

Jeffery Payne, Coveros, Inc.


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