Conference Presentations

Taming the Beast: Test/QA on Large-scale Projects

Large, complex projects—those with more than 100 people and lasting more that a year—require special considerations for developing, communicating, and managing the overall QA strategy and test plans. Shaun Bradshaw provides insights he gained from a $70 million financial...

Shaun Bradshaw, Zenergy Technologies, Inc.
White-box Testing: When Quality Really Matters

Jamie Mitchell explores perhaps the most underused test technique in our arsenal—white-box testing. Also known as structural testing, white-box requires some programming expertise, access to the code, and an analysis tool. If you only employ black-box testing, you could easily ship...

Jamie Mitchell, Jamie Mitchell Consulting, Inc.
Orthogonal Defect Classification: An Agile Test/QA Primer

Can defect root cause analysis be made agile? Can we transform a multi-hour task from the classical world of software engineering into one that takes minutes and yields greater insights? Learn how Orthogonal Defect Classification (ODC) extracts semantics from defects and turns them into insights on the development process using analytics. After a quick overview of ODC, Ram Chillarege presents a case study to illustrate the method using real-world data on an agile project. They used ODC Triggers to measure test effectiveness at the end of every sprint to evaluate the effectiveness of testing compared to earlier sprints. This ODC process takes just minutes and brings its insight into the realm of the agile development practices. Put a powerful analytical technique in your agile toolbox to increase the velocity of your agile project and find new ways to reduce defects while measuring the quality of testing.

Ram Chillarege, Chillarege Inc.
Tune Agile Test Strategies to Project and Product Maturity

For optimum results, you need to tune agile project's test strategies to fit the different stages of project and product maturity. Testing tasks and activities should be lean enough to avoid unnecessary bottlenecks and robust enough to meet your testing goals. Exploring what "quality" means for various stakeholder groups, Anna Royzman describes testing methods and styles that fit best along the maturity continuum. Anna shares her insights on strategic ways to use test automation, when and how to leverage exploratory testing as a team activity, ways to prepare for live pilots and demos of the real product, approaches to refine test coverage based on customer feedback, and techniques for designing a production "safety net" suite of automated tests. Leave with a better understanding of how to satisfy your stakeholders’ needs for quality-and a roadmap for tuning your agile test strategies.

Anna Royzman, Liquidnet Holdings, Inc.
Pay Now or Pay More Every Day: Reduce Technical Debt Now!

Is your team missing delivery dates? Is your velocity inconsistent from sprint to sprint? Are customers complaining about defects or the time it takes to add new features? These are signs that you are mired in technical debt-a metaphor that describes the long-term costs of doing something in a quick and dirty way and not going back to clean up the mess. Fadi Stephan shares a technical debt management approach to help you make prudent decisions on how much effort to invest in reducing technical debt. Discover ways to measure the quality of your current code base and determine the cost of eventual rework hanging over your system. Learn how to engage executives and get buy-in on a debt removal plan that will improve system design, increase the quality of your code, and return your team to high productivity. If you are burdened with technical debt, the choice is to pay now or continue paying more every day-forever.

Fadi Stephan, Excella Consulting
Database Development: The Object-oriented and Test-driven Way

As developers, we've created heuristics that help us build robust systems and employed test-driven development (TDD) to improve code design and counter instability. Yet object-oriented development principles and TDD have failed to gain traction in the database world. That’s because database development involves an additional driving force-the data. Max Guernsey shows how to treat databases as objects with classes of their own-rather than as containers of objects-and how to drive database designs from tests. He illustrates a way to give these database classes the ability to upgrade old data without introducing undue risk. Max also shares how to apply good object-oriented design principles to database classes and how to enforce semantic connections between databases and clients.

Max Guernsey, Hexagon Software LLC
Back to the Basics: Principles for Constructing Quality Software

Using an analogy to the building codes followed by architects and contractors in the construction of buildings, Rick Spiewak explores the fundamental principles for developing and delivering high quality, mission-critical systems. Just as buildings are constructed using different materials and techniques, we use a variety of languages, methodologies, and tools to develop software. Although there is no formal "building code" for software, software projects should consider-and judiciously apply-the recognized "best" practices of static analysis, automated unit testing, code re-use, and peer reviews. Rick takes you on a deep dive into each of these techniques where you'll learn about their advantages, disadvantages, costs, challenges, and more.

Rick Spiewak, The MITRE Corporation
Cloud-based Testing: Flexible, Scalable, On-demand, and Cheaper

Cloud computing is here to stay-and it is changing the way we test software. Cloud-based testing offers flexible, scalable, and on-demand infrastructure services. And as a bonus, because the cloud offers pay-per-use purchasing options, cloud-based testing usually costs less. Tauhida Parveen describes the concept of cloud-based testing: scope, specific requirements, benefits, and drawbacks. She explains how cloud-based testing brings new capabilities and options for your testing activities-instantly creating and dismantling test environments and miming production environments in early testing. Tauhida discusses how to engineer scalable environments for load, stress, and performance testing. Then, she introduces cloud-based compatibility, cross-browser, and cross-platform testing opportunities you can exploit.

Tauhida Parveen, Independent Testing Consultant
Implementing Agile in an FDA-regulated Environment

While many industries have adopted agile, the medical device industry, which develops products for life-critical applications-where quality and reliability are clearly a top-priority, remains largely stuck under the “waterfall.” Medical device firms must comply with FDA regulations that overwhelmingly suggest a controlled, phase-gated approach to software development. Unfortunately, many companies and development organizations interpret FDA regulations to require a steep waterfall. Many industry long-timers incorrectly see agile as an undisciplined style of software development. Neeraj Mainkar demonstrates how those in regulated industries can overcome these and other hurdles. At Neuronetics, he helped implement key elements of agile while fully complying with FDA regulations.

Neeraj Mainkar, Neuronetics
Agile Development & Better Software West 2012: Agile Testing: Challenges Beyond the Easy Contexts

Don’t let anyone tell you differently: agile testing is hard! First, we have to get over the misconception that you don’t need testers within agile teams. Then, we have to integrate testers with the developers and engender a holistic quality approach. And those are only the challenges when the going is easy! In more difficult contexts, testing in agile environments is-well, even more difficult. Bob Galen explores how to handle testing in difficult contexts-lack of test automation capabilities, agile in highly regulated environments, testing when your team is spread globally and real-time interactions are nearly impossible, and more. He describes contexts and approaches for blending existing, traditional testing techniques with their agile counterparts. With real-world examples, Bob describes how teams have achieved a good working balance between the two-for example, in test planning and quality metrics reporting.

Bob Galen, Deutsche Bank


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