Conference Presentations

Systematic Techniques for Fault Detection and Isolation

Selecting the appropriate testing techniques and test cases improves test efficiency, reduces time to market, and gives you confidence that the system is ready to ship. Using real-world case studies as examples, Madhav Phadke explains the fundamentals of robust test case selection and how code coverage can improve your test results. He discusses ways for testers to support debugging and faster repairs by isolating defects to a specific part of the software. Learn to select test outputs based on "total function evaluation" rather than end customer outputs and ways to use orthogonal arrays for testing combinations of parameters. Take away a list of free or inexpensive tools that can speed up your testing process.

Madhav Phadke, Phadke Associates
Building a Requirements Foundation with Customer Interviews

Whether you are building a brand new product or evolving an existing system, understanding the business needs of your customers is the foundation of a marketable product or valuable internal application. Few of us are experts in interviewing techniques, and few customers talk about their tasks, needs, and context in neat, concise statements about requirements. Hone your elicitation skills and learn what it takes to get beneath the surface and understand your customers: their world, how they work, and what really bothers them. With effective interviewing techniques and skills, you will get inside their heads and better understand their needs within their context.

Esther Derby, Esther Derby Associates Inc
Agile Process Improvement and the Evolution toward Software Factories

The concept of software factories is becoming a hot topic in software engineering circles. So, how can the factory model fit with Agile development practices? Damon Carr makes the case that Agile development is a stepping stone-not an alternative-to software factories. This is not the dreary vision of mindless workers in a factory. Instead, think of highly skilled individuals working with multi-million dollar machinery to develop systems. Even if you are not considering the factory model, Damon offers new practices that can reduce overall Agile development costs by as much as 40 percent. These include explicit refactoring to design patterns in your iterations, quantitative risk management, metrics for understanding the health of your project, and a new approach to team structure.

Damon Carr, AGILEFACTOR
Better Software Conference 2005: Software Production Line Automation with Concurrent Development

In some contexts, the software development process can be optimized when it is thought of-and run-like a highly automated manufacturing production line. Rather than producing many identical widgets like a manufacturing plant, software organizations produce many programming changes. These changes may not be identical like manufactured widgets, but programming changes can start looking a lot like widgets when you look at the big picture. In this session, Tom Tyler describes how to bring the processes and benefits normally associated with manufacturing to software development-efficiency, reliability, and extensive automation. Manufacturing organizations invest heavily in tooling and infrastructure to automate production lines, and they reap great rewards in efficiency.

C Thomas Tyler, The Go To Group Inc
Model Driven Architecture (MDA) - What's in it for Developers and Testers?

According to the Object Management Group (OMG), the benefits of Model Driven Architecture (MDA) are significant to businesses and developers alike: reduced overall product life costs, faster development, better application quality, rapid deployment of new technology, and a higher ROI on new technology. In short, the hype is that MDA enables system integration strategies that are better, faster, and cheaper. However, the MDA approach represents a fundamental change in the way software is developed, and it revolutionizes how you allocate test resources and how you create system tests. Timothy Korson outlines the MDA process and then suggests ways to change quality assurance activities to mesh with the MDA development style. Take away a realistic view of the current state of MDA practices compared to the MDA promise and vision, offered by the OMG.

Timothy Korson, QualSys Solutions
Achieving Meaningful Metrics from Your Test Automation Tools

In addition to the efficiency improvements you expect from automated testing tools, you can-and should-expect them to provide valuable metrics to help manage your testing effort. By exploiting the programmability of automation tools, you can support the measurement and reporting aspects of your department. Learn how Jack Frank employs these tools with minimal effort to create test execution
status reports, coverage metrics, and other key management reports. Learn what measurement data your automation tool needs to log for later reporting. See examples of the operational reports his automation tools generate, including run/re-run/not run, pass/fail, percent complete, and percent of overall system tested. Take with you examples of senior management reports, including Jack's favorite, "My Bosses' Boss Test Status Report"-names will be changed to hide the guilty. Regardless of the

Jack Frank, Mosaic Inc
Test Driven Development (TDD) for Secure Applications

Test Driven Development (TDD) has emerged as a successful productivity technique for development teams. As a unit testing methodology, TDD prescribes a simple three-step process of (1) develop test, (2) write code, and (3) re-factor the code. In a question-and-answer tag-team

James Whittaker, Florida Institute of Technology
Test Improvement for Highly Reliable NYSE Trading Systems

With billions of dollars changing hands every day, financial trading systems demand extremely high accuracy and reliability. So, how do you improve test process performance in the areas of time to market and efficiency and at the same time reduce failures? Over the last three years, using process and project measurement data as a guide, SIAC has focused on doing exactly that. Steve Boycan highlights the key elements of the process changes that have led to SIAC's current performance: the use of a rigorous requirements engineering process; controlled parallel and iterative work flows; changes to the level of abstraction in test documentation; emphasis on test planning, analysis, and design; causal analysis; and improving the test team's skills.

Steve Boycan, SIAC
The QA/Testing Perspective on Software Security

Most everyone now realizes that we cannot solve security vulnerabilities with firewalls, virus scanners, and other tactics that build an electronic “moat” around systems. According to Julian Harty, security is not an operational issue, not a developer issue, and not a testing issue. It is a systems issue that you must focus on throughout the software’s life. From a QA/testing perspective, we need to look early in the development process for adequate security requirements. Then, we should assess the designs for vulnerabilities and participate in security code reviews. When specialized, security tests find bugs that get past our early prevention efforts, causal analysis helps prevent the recurring security defects. Dig into system security issues with Julian and learn about manual techniques, commercial software, and home-brew automation tools to help you find security vulnerabilities-before the bad guys do.

Julian Harty, Commercetest Limited
Evaluating Requirements for Testability

For a test engineer, perhaps the most important measure of requirements quality is testability. By improving testability during requirements development, you not only will make test design easier, but you also will have gone a long way toward building better software for less cost. Learn methods to identify the requirements problems that reduce or improve testability: ambiguity, incompleteness, inconsistency, incorrectness, and "compoundness." This method first was used successfully in a very large payroll system development project and has since been practiced in both large and small development projects. From this session take away a spreadsheet-based method for tracking requirements testability throughout the project, and see examples from an Access database that can be used for further requirements analysis.

  • How to analyze requirements for attributes that increase testability
Rodger Drabick, Lockheed Martin Transportation & Security Solutions

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