Conference Presentations

Managing by the Numbers

Metrics can play a vital role in software development and testing. We use metrics to track progress, assess situations, predict events, and more. However, measuring often creates "people issues," which, when ignored, become obstacles to success or may even result in the death of a metrics program. People often feel threatened by the metrics gathered. Distortion factors may be added by the people performing and communicating the measurements. When being measured, people can react with creative, sophisticated, and unexpected behaviors. Thus our well-intentioned efforts may have a counter-productive effect on individuals and the organization as a whole. John Fodeh addresses some of the typical people issues and shows how cognitive science and social psychology can play important roles in the proper use of metrics.

John Fodeh, HP - Mercury
Test Automation Centers of Excellence

Many organizations want to automate their testing efforts, but they aren't sure how to begin. Successful test automation requires dedicated resources and automation tool expertise-two things that overworked test teams do not have. Nationwide Insurance's solution was to create a Test Automation Center of Excellence, a group of experts in automation solution design. Members of this team partner with various project test teams to determine what to automate, develop a cost-benefit analysis, and architect a solution. Their automation experts stay with the test team throughout the automation project, assisting, mentoring, and cheering. Join Jennifer Seale to learn what it takes to put together a Test Automation Center of Excellence and examine test automation from a project management point of view.

Jennifer Seale, Nationwide Insurance
Modular Test Case Design:The Building Blocks of Reusable Tests

The use of modular design in programming has been a common technique in software development for years. However, the same principles that make modular designs useful for programming-increased reusability and reduced maintenance time-are equally applicable to test case development. Shaun Bradshaw describes the key differences between procedural and modular test case development and explains the benefits of the modular approach. He demonstrates how to analyze requirements, designs, and the application under test to generate modular and reusable test cases. Join Shaun as he constructs and executes test scenarios using skeleton scripts that invoke the modular tests. Learn how you can design and create a few self-contained scripts (building blocks) that then can be assembled to create many different test scenarios.

Shaun Bradshaw, Questcon Technologies, A Division of Howard Systems Intl.
You're the New Test Manager - Now What?

You've wanted this promotion to QA/Test manager for so long and now, finally, it's yours. But, you have a terrible sinking feeling ... "What have I gotten myself into?" "How will I do this?" You have read about Six Sigma and developer to tester ratio-but what does this mean to you? Should you use black-box or white-box testing? Is there a gray box testing? Your manager is mumbling about offshore outsourcing. Join Brett Masek as he explains what you need to know to become the best possible test manager. Brett discusses the seven key areas-test process definition, test planning, defect management, choosing test case approaches, detailed test case design, efficient test automation, and effective reporting-you need to understand to lead your test team. Learn the basics for creating a test department and how to achieve continuous improvement.

Brett Masek, American HealthTech
The New IEEE 829 Testing Standard: What You Need to Know

You know about it. You've used it. Maybe you've even loved it. But now, after all these years, the IEEE 829 standard, the only international standard for test documentation, has been radically revised. As a leader on the IEEE committee responsible for this update, Claire Lohr has detailed insight into what the changes mean to you. You'll discover that all of the old documents, with one exception, are still included. But now, the 829 standard describes documentation for each level of testing, adds a three-step process for choosing test documents and their contents, adds additional documents, and follows the ISO 12207 life-cycle standard as its basis. In addition, the new standard can be tailored for agile methods if the stakeholders agree on the modifications.

  • The one-size-fits-all IEEE 829 standard of the past is gone
  • How to tailor the new documents to match your needs
Claire Lohr, Lohr Systems
Measuring the Effectiveness of Testing Using DDP

Does your testing provide value to your organization? Are you asked questions like "How good is the testing anyway?" and "Is our testing any better this year?" How can you demonstrate the quality of the testing you perform, both to show when things are getting better and to show the effect of excessive deadline pressure? Defect Detection Percentage (DDP) is a simple measure that organizations have found very useful in answering these questions. It is easy to start-all you need is a record of defects found during testing and defects found afterwards (which you probably already have available). Join Dorothy Graham as she shows you what DDP is, how to calculate it, and how to use it to communicate the effectiveness of your testing. Dorothy addresses the most common stumbling blocks and answers the questions most frequently asked about this very useful metric.

Dorothy Graham, Grove Consultants
Behavior Patterns for Designing Automated Tests

Automated GUI tests often fail to find important bugs because testers do not understand or model intricate user behaviors. Real users are not just monkeys banging on keyboards. As they use a system, they may make dozens of instantaneous decisions, all of which result in complex paths through the software code. To create successful automated test cases, testers must learn how to model users' real behaviors. This means test cases cannot be simple, recorded, one-size-fits-all scripts. Jamie Mitchell describes several user behavior patterns that can be adopted to create robust and successful automated tests. One pattern is the 4-step dance, which describes every user GUI interaction: (1) ensure you're at the right place in the screen hierarchy; (2) provide data to the application; (3) trigger the system; and (4) wait for the system to complete its actions.

Jamie Mitchell, Test & Automation Consulting LLC
Top Ten Tendencies That Trap Testers

A trap is an unidentified problem that limits or obstructs us in some way. We don't intentionally fall into traps, but our behavioral tendencies aim us toward them. For example, have you ever found a great bug and celebrated only to have one of your fellow testers find a bigger bug just one more keystroke away? A tendency to celebrate too soon can make you nearsighted. Have you ever been confused about a behavior you saw during a test and shrugged it off? The tendency to dismiss your confusion as unimportant or irrelevant may make you farsighted-limiting your ability to see a bug right in front of you. Jon Bach demonstrates other limiting tendencies like Stakeholder Trust, Compartmental Thinking, Definition Faith, and more. Testers can't find every bug or run every possible test, but identifying these tendencies can help us avoid traps that might compromise our effectiveness and credibility.

Jon Bach, Quardev Laboratories
Communicating the Value of Testing

Test managers constantly lament that few outside their group understand or care much about the value they provide and consistently deliver. Unfortunately, they are often correct. The lack of visibility and understanding of the test team's contribution can lead to restricted budgets,
fewer resources, tighter timelines, and ultimately, lower group productivity. Join Theresa Lanowitz as she highlights ways to move from simply being a tester of software to an advocate for your organization's customers. Learn how to effectively and concisely communicate with key
stakeholders in your organization to ensure that they understand the value and role of the testing group. With effective and concise communication, the testing group will be perceived as more strategically important and integral to the success of every project.

  • Strategies for communicating complex data
Theresa Lanowitz, voke, Inc. and Dan Koloski, Empirix
Establishing Effective Software Metrics for the Measures You Want

The goal of software metrics is to have a rich collection of data and an easy way of mining the data to establish the metrics for those measures deemed important to process, team, and product improvement. When you measure something and publish the measurement regularly, improvement happens. This is because a focus is brought on the public results.

Joe Farah's picture Joe Farah


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