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STARWEST 2008 Concurrent Sessions

GO TO:   Wednesday  |  Thursday  |  Friday  

Concurrent Sessions for Friday, October 3 — 10:00 a.m.
Toward an Exploratory Testing Culture
Rob Sabourin, AmiBug.com, Inc.
Traditional testing teams often agonize over exploratory testing. How can they plan and design tests without detailed up-front documentation? Stubborn testers may want to quit because they are being asked to move out of their comfort zone. Can a team’s testing culture be changed? Rob Sabourin describes how several teams have undergone dramatic shifts to embrace exploratory testing. Learn how to blend cognitive thinking skills, subject matter expertise, and “hard earned” experience to help refocus your team and improve your outcomes. Learn to separate bureaucracy from thinking and paperwork from value. Explore motivations for change and resistance to it in different project contexts. Leverage Parkinson’s Law—work expands to fill the time available—and Dijkstra’s Principle—testing can show the presence of bugs, but not their absence—to inspire and motivate you and your team to get comfortable in the world of exploratory testing.

Learn more about Rob Sabourin
Rob Sabourin 

Truths and Myths of Static Analysis
Paul Anderson, GrammaTech
Identifying defects with static analysis tools has advanced significantly in the last few years. Yet, there still are many misconceptions about the capabilities and limits of these innovative tools—and sales propaganda such as “100% path coverage” has not helped at all. Paul Anderson debunks common myths and clarifies the strengths and limitations of static-analysis technology. You’ll learn about the types of defects that these tools can catch and the types they miss. Paul demystifies static analysis jargon, explaining terms such as "object-sensitive" and "context-sensitive". Find out how the FDA uses static analysis today to evaluate medical device software. Paul jump-starts your understanding of static analysis so you can decide where to apply this technology and have more knowledge and confidence in your interactions with tool vendors.

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Paul Anderson 

Lessons Learned in Acceptance Test-Driven Development
Antony Marcano, testingReflections.com
Acceptance Test-Driven Development (ATDD), an application of the test-first practice of XP and agile development, can add enormous value to agile teams that are proficient in these practices. Moving from awareness of ATDD to being proficient at practicing ATDD comes about only after learning some important lessons. First, no one group can “own” the process. Second, ATDD is first about helping the customer and the team understand the problem; then it is about testing. Third, writing automated acceptance tests in ATDD is not the same as writing automated tests with typical automation tools. Antony Marcano shares his experiences with ATDD—the good, the bad, and the ugly—and the many other lessons he’s learned in the process. Discover the benefits and pitfalls of ATDD and take advantage of Antony’s experiences so that you avoid common mistakes that teams make on their journey to becoming proficient practitioners of ATDD.

Learn more about Antony Marcano
 Antony Marcano

Automating Security Testing with cUrl and Perl
Paco Hope, Cigital
Although all teams want to test their applications for security, our plates are already full with functional tests. What if we could automate those security tests? Fortunately, most Web-based and desktop applications submit readily to automated testing. Paco Hope explores two flexible, powerful, and totally free tools that can help to automate security tests. cUrl is a free program that issues automatic basic Web requests; Perl is a well-known programming language ideally suited for writing test scripts. Paco demonstrates the basics of automating tests using both tools and then explores some of the more complicated concerns that arise during automation—authentication, session state, and parsing responses. He then illustrates simulated malicious inputs and the resulting outputs that show whether the software has embedded security problems. The techniques demonstrated in this session apply equally well to all Web platforms and all desktop operating systems. You'll leave with an understanding of the basics and a long list of resources you can reference to learn more about Web security test automation.

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Paco Hope 

Database Locking: What Testers Should Know, Why Testers Should Care
Justin Callison, Luxoft Canada
Database locking is a complicated technical issue for some testers. Although we often think that this issue belongs in the realm of the developer and the DBA—“It’s not my problem”—database locking is the enemy of functional and performance testers. As Justin Callison can personally attest, locking defects have led to many disasters in production systems. However, there is hope! Justin sheds light on the problem of database locking, how it varies among different platforms, and the application issues that can arise. Armed with a new understanding of database locking, you can develop effective testing strategies. Join in and learn about these strategies: designing explicit locking tests, ensuring appropriate test data, implementing sufficient monitoring, and combining manual with automated testing to avoid disaster.

Learn more about Justin Callison
Justin Callison 

Concurrent Sessions for Friday, October 3 — 11:15 a.m.
Quality Metrics for Testers: Evaluating Our Products, Evaluating Ourselves
Lee Copeland, Software Quality Engineering
As testers, we focus our efforts on measuring the quality of our organization’s products. We count defects and list them by severity; we compute defect density; we examine the changes in those metrics over time for trends, and we chart customer satisfaction. While these are important, Lee Copeland suggests that to reach a higher level of testing maturity, we must apply similar measurements to ourselves. He suggests you count the number of defects in your own test cases and the length of time needed to find and fix them; compute test coverage—the measure of how much of the software you have actually exercised under test conditions—and determine Defect Removal Effectiveness—the ratio of the number of defects you actually found divided by the total number you should have found. These and other metrics will help you evaluate and then improve the effectiveness and efficiency of your testing process.

Learn more about Lee Copeland
Lee Copeland 

A Modeling Framework for Scenario-Based Testing
Fiona Charles, Quality Intelligence, Inc.
Scenario-based testing is a powerful method for finding problems that really matter to users and other stakeholders. By including scenario tests representing actual sequences of transactions and events, you can uncover the hidden bugs often missed by other functional testing. Designing scenarios requires you to use your imagination to create narratives that play out through systems from various points of view. Basing scenarios on a structured analysis of the data provides a solid foundation for a scenario model. Good scenario design demands that you combine details of business process, data flows—including their frequency and variations—and clear data entry and verification points. Fiona Charles describes a framework for modeling scenario-based tests and designing structured scenarios according to these principles. Fiona works through a real-life project example, showing how she applied this framework to design tests that found hundreds of bugs in a system—and this after the company had completed their testing and delivered the system into acceptance.

Learn more about Fiona Charles
Fiona Charles 

Agile Acceptance Testing Using .NET FitNesse
Gojko Adzic, Neuri Ltd.
FitNesse is an open-source test automation tool that enables business users, developers, and testers to cooperate on agile acceptance testing. FitNesse allows them to build a shared understanding of system requirements that ultimately produces the software that is genuinely fit for its purpose. Gojko Adzic presents an introduction to agile acceptance testing. He discusses when to use FitNesse, when not to use it, and how to start writing acceptance tests with this free tool. Gojko explains how to make the most of automated acceptance tests by focusing on business rules, how to overcome workflow constraints, and how to avoid common testing pitfalls. He describes features specific to the .NET FitNesse test runner, including cell handlers and embedded symbols, that allow you to save time and effort in writing and maintaining tests. Join in to see if FitNesse fits into your .NET testing world.

Learn more about Gojko Adzic
Gojko Adzic 

Integrating Security Testing into Your Process
Danny Allan, IBM Rational
Software quality is a priority for most organizations, yet many are still struggling to handle the volume of testing. Unfortunately, applications are frequently released with significant security risks. Many organizations rely on an overburdened security team to test applications late in development when fixes are the most costly, while others are throwing complex tools at test teams expecting the testers to master security testing with no formal processes and training. Danny Allan describes five steps to integrate security testing into the software development lifecycle. Danny shows how highly secure and compliant software applications begin with security requirements and include design, development, build, quality assurance, and transitional practices. He describes some of the most common application security vulnerabilities, techniques to address these issues, and methods to safeguard sensitive online information from the bad guys.

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Danny Allan 

Going Mobile: The New Challenges for Testers
Wayne Hom, Augmentum
Mobile device manufacturers face many challenges bringing quality products to market. Most testing methodologies were created for data processing, client/server, and Web products. As such, they often fail to address key areas of interest to mobile applications—usability, security, and stability. Wayne Hom discusses approaches you can use to transform requirements into usability guides and use cases into test cases to ensure maximum test coverage. He discusses automation frameworks that support multiple platforms to reduce test cycle times and increase test coverage, while measuring and reporting at the different phases of the software lifecycle. Wayne presents case studies to illustrate how to reduce test cycles by up to 75 percent. He demonstrates solutions that have helped providers of third-party applications and services manage testing cycles for multiple mobile device releases.

Learn more about Wayne Hom
 Wayne Hom

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