Project Management

Conference Presentations

STARWEST 2018 The Art of Software Investigation
Slideshow

Although processes and tools play an important role in software testing, the most important testing tool is the mind. Like scientists, testers search for new knowledge and share discoveries—hopefully for the betterment of people’s lives. More than sixty years ago, William I.B. Beveridge reframed discussion of scientific research in his classic book The Art of Scientific Investigation. Rather than add to the many texts on the scientific method, he focused on the mind of the scientist. Join Ben Simo as he applies Beveridge’s principles and techniques for scientific investigation to software testing today. Learn to discover and communicate new knowledge that matters; to think—and test—like scientists; and to continually prepare, experiment, exploit chance, imagine productively, apply intuition and reason, tune observation, and overcome resistance.

Ben Simo
STARWEST 2018 Building a Skilled Testing Practice In an Innovative Digital Agency
Slideshow

Everybody wants to have their projects tested so that they can deliver top-notch products to their clients. But with multiple projects all running in parallel, all with tight deadlines and all needing testing, simply allocating a tester on a project for some time isn’t going to give you quality. This, in turn, can sometimes make our stakeholders question the value of testing. Join Nimesh Patel as he shares his experience in building a test practice and team from the ground up into valued, credible members of a project, in a digital agency where the focus is often on delivering multiple fast-paced projects in parallel. He shares the skills, approaches, and methods that are valuable when engaging with project stakeholders and managers to enable them to make informed project decisions.

Nimesh Patel
STARWEST 2018 Managing BDD Automation Test Cases inside Test Management Systems
Slideshow

Behavior-driven development (BDD) has been around for a while and is here to stay. However, the added abstraction levels pose a technical problem for writing and managing tests. While BDD does a great job of marrying the nontechnical aspect of test writing to the technical flow of an application under test, keeping this information under source control becomes problematic. Frameworks such as JBehave, Cucumber, or Robot give subject matter experts that additional ability to write tests, but they are often restricted access from them; because people treat test cases as code, they get stored in source control repositories. Additionally, these given-when-then steps soon can grow to an extent where they are difficult to manage without an IDE, and nontechnical people lose interest. Using management tools, Max Saperstone shows how to manage these nontechnical steps and keep them in sync with the automaton in tools such as Git.

Max Saperstone
STARWEST 2018 Risk Based Testing: Communicating WHY You Can't Test Everything
Slideshow

The idea of testing everything is a popular one—in fact many stakeholders think that’s exactly what their quality teams do. It usually isn’t and can’t be; but how can teams communicate this? Join Jenny Bramble as she helps to pave the way using the language of risk-based testing. By defining risk in two simple parts, the team and project have a tangible and usable metric. She shares how to apply this metric and use it to determine where the team should focus testing, making it more effective and efficient whilst communicating that effort through the creation of a risk matrix. As a result, risk becomes the right language for the team to communicate clearly and concisely with everyone involved in the project by using agreed-upon words and definitions. Take away a set of tools that can be used to facilitate both better testing and better communication though precise use of language and risk matrixes.

Jenny Bramble
STARWEST 2018 Working with Anxiety: From Personal Weakness to Career Strength
Slideshow

Each of us has personal weaknesses that are often perceived to have negative impacts on performance and capability in the workplace. When this weakness is prominent to yourself or others, are you capable of benefiting IT teams and qualified to do the job? In dealing with negative impacts of her Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Julene Johnson falls into this category and has experienced personal doubt in her ability to perform her job well. Over time, however, she’s noticed that habits and techniques developed while dealing with anxiety can be applied in a manner that improves her life and her career and gives confidence to others in her capabilities. Similarly, skills and abilities gained while working as a tester have helped her build successful patterns in her life to help her manage anxiety more effectively.

Julene Johnson
STARWEST 2018 Automate Your Application Test Deployments with Docker
Slideshow

In a busy world, testing teams are asked to adopt new approaches to increase speed and flexibility of change. What methods and tools can help? Artem Golubev has seen many testing teams being told to use Docker. But for testers, this brings confusion. What it Docker and why is Docker useful to testers? How can Docker be used to increase confidence in our releases? To help you answer those questions, Artem shares his experience using this popular tool and approach. Starting with terminology Artem shares what is meant by Dockerfile, Docker Image, Docker Container, Compose, Kubernetes, and then explains the advantages and limitations of Docker. He shows how to build a Docker-based deployment in this session and gives Hands-on help. He shows how to add Docker to your own current project on your own machine and how-to setup Kubernetes on Google Compute Cloud.

Artem Golubev
STARWEST 2018 Improve Planning Estimates by Reducing Your Human Biases
Slideshow

Are you puzzled about why your estimate turned out wrong, or stressed from working to meet an impossible deadline? Some teams on inaccurately estimated projects suffer stress, burnout, and poor quality as pressure is applied to stick to an unrealistic schedule. Such project teams also descend into irrational decision-making—with potentially catastrophic consequences. Frustratingly, even when teams perform well, they are often judged by their failure to meet impossible deadlines. Andrew Brown will show how estimation errors are caused not just by new technology or intentionally manipulated estimations, but also from limitations in the way we think. Andrew will explain how cognitive biases contribute to estimation errors and show how to mitigate these biases. Learn how the planning fallacy, anchoring effect, and optimistic bias contribute to estimation errors and lead to irrational decision-making.

Andrew Brown
STARWEST 2018 Why "Why...?" Can Be the Most Important Question for QA to Ask
Slideshow

To test a product, there are so many questions to ask, and so little time in which to ask them. More often than not, we get caught up in the who, what, when, and how, but Jane Jeffers from Riot Games explains that “why…?” questions can be the most important ones to ask when it comes to QA work. When missing the whys, we can wind up only focusing on specific details like who needs to do the work or when our deadlines are, and subsequently lose the bigger picture of why a project matters, and why we do what we do. Learn some of the key ways that you can ask why for product, for process, and for people, and how the answers you get will help you with everything from how to devise your overall test strategy to how you communicate with your teammates to get them thinking about quality.

 

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Jane Jeffers
STARWEST 2018 What Aircrews Can Teach Testing Teams
Slideshow

United Flight 232 should have crashed with all 296 lives lost. Asiana Flight 214 should not have crashed at all. But the reality is very different. Peter Varhol and Gerie Owen explain that the critical difference between the two flights was the interactions of their respective aircrews. United Flight 232 divided up responsibilities and worked as a team, using Aircrew Resource Management (ARM) to guide how the crew behaved during the flight, and especially in a crisis. Asiana Flight 214 deferred to the captain, neither communicating nor questioning his decisions in crisis. ARM helps cockpit crew members work together to best utilize the whole team’s skills to make flights safe. Using ARM principles, a testing team can bring their project safely home. The leader of a team is the final authority, but leaders must acknowledge team members’ knowledge and experience. This can make the difference between success and failure.

Peter Varhol
STARWEST 2018 Mission Critical Automation Testing
Slideshow

When critical subsystems fail, the resulting losses can be catastrophic. In the insurance industry, if premiums are miscalculated, defect costs can reach well over a million dollars. In this session, Mike Keith and Dom Nunley draw on their practical experience with insurance systems testing to provide an overview of combinatorial automation testing for high-risk backend system areas—i.e., features that absolutely must work correctly. They share a process for categorizing requirement risk levels to determine which requirements warrant combinatorial testing. Mike and Dom illustrate various combinatorial testing techniques such as N-FAT, N-Wise, and RANDOM, which can be used to automatically generate test cases. These methods are used to ensure coverage against risk while controlling the number of tests that run.

Mike Keith

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