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STAREAST 2009 Keynote Presentations

Wednesday, May 6, 2009 8:45 a.m

The Testing Dashboard: Becoming an Information Provider
Randy Rice, Rice Consulting, Inc.

Primary concerns for test managers are keeping the testing on schedule, meeting test objectives, making sure tests are effective, and satisfying stakeholders. Like taking a trip by car, you have a destination and only so many resources to get there. By keeping an eye on your car's dashboard, you know your status anywhere along the way. Likewise in testing, a dashboard is an effective way to organize and communicate the status of testing so that you and others can easily evaluate your progress. Randy Rice explains the test metrics that can help test managers better understand and report the status of testing. He explains which metrics are the right ones for your projects, how to gather them, how to create a testing dashboard to display them, and how to make mid-course changes so your testing project can reach its destination safely.  Randy shares his ideas on how to avoid using metrics in incorrect and dangerous ways. Learn how visible testing metrics increase your team’s value to the organization and change your team’s reputation from “problem finder” to “information provider.”

Learn more about Randy Rice



Wednesday, May 6, 2009 10:00 a.m.
  What Haven’t You Noticed Lately? Building Awareness in Testers
Michael Bolton, DevelopSense

“What haven’t you noticed lately?” Marshall McLuhan is said to have asked this paradoxical question—a vital one for testers, because it prompts more questions about things that testers could and should notice. Great testing is about noticing things and asking questions about them. Have you ever found a problem in a program without using a named testing technique or found that some testers seem to be magnets for bugs, seeing things that you don’t? As a test manager, do you wish that your team could look beyond the obvious and discover more defects? Have you noticed that artists, comedians, designers, and novelists notice things that the rest of us don't notice? Michael Bolton believes that many important problems in our products are not found by using formulaic testing techniques. Instead, they are discovered through a rich set of cognitive skills that can be taught and learned. Michael discusses the importance of diversification, focusing and defocusing, rapid cognition, emotional engagement, and collaboration—and provides you with ideas and tools to use them. Learn about testing approaches that take advantage of the minds of individual testers to liberate us from rote testing work and provide far more valuable information about the state of the product and the project.

Learn more about Michael Bolton




Wednesday, May 6, 2009 4:30 p.m.
  Crossing the Chasm: Agile Transitions for Test Teams
Janet Gregory, DragonFire, Inc.

Even if agile development has “crossed the chasm” and is becoming a mainstream set of practices, testers are often left behind when development teams “go agile.” Developers learn test-driven development, continuous integration, refactoring, pair programming, and more. Project managers receive ScrumMaster training. What do testers get? Too often, just a wave to follow as the rest of the organization makes the move. Testers need some answers to their questions: If developers are writing tests, what am I supposed to do? How can I possibly keep up with two-week iterations and constantly changing requirements? Janet Gregory describes the skills that are vital for agile testers and discusses how testers can engage with agile development teams. Agile testers must change their mindset from, “How can I break this software?” to “How can I help the team deliver really great software?” Janet explains how this shift in thinking helps you make the transition to agile testing, how test managers can integrate their teams into agile projects, and how agile ultimately improves product quality. Through her insight and experience, Janet helps you build your bridges from traditional to agile testing.

Learn more about Janet Gregory


Thursday, May 7, 2009 8:30 a.m.
  Beyond Testing: Becoming Part of the Innovation Machine
Patrick Copeland, Google

Testing, once a marginalized function at Google, is now an integral part of Google’s innovation machine. Patrick Copeland describes how this vital transformation took place. As he was analyzing how to be more efficient and better align his testing team with the needs of the company, Patrick realized they had to move beyond “just testing” and become a force for change. His approach was based on five powerful principles: (1) Building feature factories rather than products, (2) Embedding testing at the grass roots level, (3) Solving problems of scale with technology, (4) Automating at the right level of abstraction, (5) Only doing what the team can do well. Learn how Google test teams used these principles to shift from a “service group” composed predominantly of exploratory testers to an “engineering group” with technical skills. Their focus became “delivering innovation” rather than “testing product.” Learn how Patrick led a cultural shift where product teams saw testing and continuous improvement, not as alien concepts driven by someone else, but as a tool for them to meet their own goals of delivering features quickly and with fewer problems. Discover how you can incorporate the lessons of Google to make your test team a vital force for change.

Learn more about Patrick Copeland
Thursday, May 7, 2009 4:15 p.m.
  Improve Your Testing through Automation
Jim Sartain, Adobe Systems, Inc.

Are you wondering how to increase progress with your test automation efforts? Do you understand how to measure the efficiency and effectiveness of your automation activities? Jim Sartain shares the test automation journeys of two leading software companies—Intuit and Adobe Systems—which are companies with long histories of investing in test automation. Some of these efforts were ad hoc, while others were carefully planned and based on software architected with the ability to test below the user interface. Jim describes the approaches he’s used for improving testing through automation—some that worked, and others that didn’t. He explains how to create an individual and organizational mindset that values and relies on test automation. Discover how software developers and testers can work together to build and use automated tests as an integral part of the software development process. In addition, learn how to inspire, enable, and drive progress using key metrics, including code coverage, cycle time, and total test effort.

Learn more about Jim Sartain

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