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STARWEST 2008 Preconference Tutorials

GO TO:   Monday  |  Tuesday  

Tutorials for Monday, September 29 —  8:30 a.m. — 5:30 p.m.
Becoming an Influential Test Team Leader
Randall Rice, Rice Consulting Services, Inc.
Have you been thrust into the role of test team leader or are you in this role now and want to hone your leadership skills? Test team leadership has many unique challenges, and many test team leaders—especially new ones—find themselves ill-equipped to deal with the problems they face. The test team leader must motivate and support her people while keeping the testing on track within time and budget constraints. Randy Rice focuses on how you can grow as a leader, influence your team and those around you, and impact those outside your team. Learn how to become a person of influence, deal with interpersonal issues, and help your team build their skills and value to the team and the organization. Discover how to communicate your team’s value to management, how to stand firm when asked to compromise principles, and how to learn from your successes and failures. Develop your own action plan to become an influential test team leader.  Randall Rice
Learn more about Randall Rice  

Introduction to Systematic Testing
Dale Perry, Software Quality Engineering
All too often testers are thrown into the quality assurance/testing process without the knowledge and skills essential to perform the required tasks. To be truly effective, you first must understand what testing is supposed to accomplish and then understand how it relates to the bigger project management and application development picture. After that, you can ask the right questions: What should be tested? How can I design effective and efficient test cases? How much testing is enough? How do I know when I’m finished? How much documentation do I need? Dale Perry explores a testing lifecycle that parallels software development and focuses on defect prevention and early error detection. As Dale shares the basics for implementing a systematic, integrated approach to testing software, learn when, what, and how to test—plus ways to improve the testability of your system. Dale Perry 
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The Art and Science of SOA Testing
Rizwan Mallal, Mamoon Yunus, and Jason Macy, Crosscheck Networks
Based on today’s Web services standards, SOA (Service Oriented Architecture) has ushered in a new era of how applications are designed, developed, tested, and deployed. The promise of SOA to increase development productivity and application flexibility poses new challenges for testers—multiple Web services standards and implementations, legacy applications (of questionable quality) now exposed as Web services, weak or non-existent security controls, and services of possibly diverse origins chained together to create applications. Join Mamoon Yunus, Jason Macy and Rizwan Mallal as they lead you through an intensive tutorial that includes hands-on lab work. Roll up your sleeves and dive into the process of testing SOA Web services. Beginning with the Four Pillars of SOA testing, you will learn new concepts to master SOA testing challenges through techniques such as WSDL chaining, schema mutation, and automated filtration. Learn how traditional techniques such as black-, gray-, and white-box testing are applied to SOA testing to maximize test coverage, minimize effort, and release better products.

Laptop Required
Admin privileges are also required as software will be installed on them.
 Rizwan Mallal Mamoon Yunus
Jason Macy
Learn more about Rizwan Mallal
Learn more about Mamoon Yunus
Learn more about Jason Macy

Exploratory Software Testing Explained
Jonathan Kohl, Kohl Concepts, Inc.
Exploratory testing is an approach to testing that emphasizes the freedom and responsibility of the tester to continually optimize the value of his work. It is the process of three mutually supportive activities performed in parallel: learning, test design, and test execution. With skill and practice, exploratory testers typically uncover an order of magnitude more problems than the same amount of effort spent on procedurally scripted testing. All testers conduct exploratory testing in one way or another, but few know how to do it systematically to obtain the greatest benefits. Even fewer testers can articulate the process. Jonathan Kohl describes specific heuristics and techniques of exploratory testing to help you get the most from this highly productive approach. Jonathan focuses on the skills and dynamics of exploratory testing itself and how it can be combined with scripted approaches. (For insight into how to manage and measure ET, attend Jonathan Bach's tutorial on Session-Based Exploratory Testing.) Jonathan Kohl 

Laptop Required
This is a hands-on course. A laptop—preferably with Microsoft Windows capability—is required for some of the exercises.
Learn more about Jonathan Kohl  

How to Teach Yourself Testing
James Bach, Satisfice, Inc.
Are you in control of your testing education? Do you have a systematic approach to learning the skills a great tester needs? James Bach shares his personal system of testing self-education. It's a system based on analyzing personal experiences and questioning conventional wisdom. He explains and demonstrates the methods that he has used to develop context-driven testing ideas since 1987. You can use similar methods to draw out and codify the lessons of your own experiences. James discusses how to sort through the differing schools of testing; the entry points for personal testing education; a syllabus of software testing concepts; how to identify, articulate, and test your own heuristics; and how to assess your progress. Whether you are new to testing, working to be a great test lead, or want to become a better testing consultant, this tutorial will take you down the road to more effective learning.  James Bach
Learn more about James Bach  

Transition to Agile Development: A Tester’s View
Bob Hartman, Net Objectives
Adopting an agile development methodology changes many familiar practices for both developers and testers. Join Bob Hartman to examine the challenges many testers face as agile development practices move into the mainstream and into their organizations. Teams new to agile or exploring agile practices have discovered that the transition from traditional testing practices to the lean-agile “test first” approach is a significant challenge for the development team and, in particular, for test engineers. Learn how requirements practices and documents differ when the team is using agile development practices. Find out about new workflows needed for test development and execution, and process changes for tracking and repairing defects. Discover how faster release schedules can affect testing and the entire team. Using case studies—both successes and failures—Bob discusses transition strategies and solutions for test and development teams. Learn from these experiences and apply their lessons to the challenges you may face as you enter the land of agile development. Bob Hartman 
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Scripting Techniques for Testers
Dion Johnson, DiJohn Innovative Consulting, Inc.
Automating functional tests for highly dynamic applications is a daunting task. Unfortunately, most testers rely on automation tools that produce static test suites that are difficult and expensive to change. With complex automation frameworks and expensive testing tools, it is no wonder that automated testing often fails to live up to its promise. But, there is another way that is simple and almost free! By learning basic scripting language skills, you can begin immediately to automate time-consuming, everyday testing tasks. Scripting saves valuable time doing repetitive tasks so that you can focus on more important work. Using the Ruby scripting language and Internet Explorer, you will practice scripted automation techniques on an HTML application. These techniques address many of your test automation needs, including dynamic data creation, automated input entry, and exception handling—all of which can increase the coverage, maintainability, scalability, and robustness of your tests. Participants should have scripting experience or knowledge of basic programming control-flow statements and logic—if-then-else, for-next, etc.  Dion Johnson

Laptop Required
Be sure to bring your Windows laptop with Internet Explorer and Excel. Because working in pairs is encouraged, feel free to bring a friend to share your PC.
Learn more about Dion Johnson  

Key Test Design Techniques
Lee Copeland, Software Quality Engineering
All testers know that we can create many more test cases than we will ever have time to create and execute. The major problem in testing is choosing a small, “smart” subset from the almost infinite number of possibilities available. Join Lee Copeland to discover how to design test cases using formal black-box techniques, including equivalence class and boundary value testing, decision tables, state-transition diagrams, and all-pairs testing. Also, explore white-box techniques and their associated coverage metrics. Evaluate more informal approaches, such as random and hunch-based testing, and learn about the importance of exploratory testing to enhance your testing ability. Choose the right test case documentation format for your organization. Use the test execution results to continually improve your test designs. Lee Copeland 
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Adapting to Agile
Elisabeth Hendrickson, Quality Tree Software, Inc.
When a development team adopts an agile process such as Scrum or XP, testers find that their traditional practices no longer fit. The extensive up-front test planning and heavyweight test documentation used in traditional development environments just get in the way in an agile world. In this experiential workshop, you experience the transition to agile through a paper-based simulation (no programming required). In a series of iterations, the team attempts to deliver a product that the customer is willing to buy, thus generating revenue for the company. As with real projects, producing a working product on a tight schedule can be challenging. After each iteration, your team reflects on key events and adjusts to increase productivity for the next iteration. Learn to apply the principles of visibility, feedback, communication, and collaboration to increase the team’s rate of delivery. By the end of the workshop, you will have an intuitive understanding of agile and, in particular, the shifting role of Test/QA in agile development.  Elisabeth Hendrickson
Learn more about Elisabeth Hendrickson  

Tutorials for Monday, September 29 —  8:30 a.m. — 12:00 p.m.
Becoming a Trusted Advisor to Senior Management
Lloyd Roden, Grove Consultants
How can test managers present information about test results so that the decision-makers receive the correct message? Testing generates a huge amount of raw data, which must be analyzed, processed, summarized, and presented to management so the best decisions can be made quickly. Using his experiences as a test manager and consultant, Lloyd Roden shares ways to communicate with and disseminate information to management. Develop your skills so you become a “trusted advisor” to senior management rather than the “bearer of bad news.” Discover innovative ways to keep the information flowing to and from management and avoid losing control of the test process, particularly near the delivery date. Learn how to deal effectively with various controversies that prevent senior managers from taking us seriously.  Lloyd Roden
Learn more about Lloyd Roden  

Reliable Test Effort Estimation
Ruud Teunissen, POLTEQ IT Services BV
How do you estimate your test effort? And how reliable is that estimate? Ruud Teunissen presents a practical and useful test estimation technique directly related to the maturity of your test and development process. A reliable effort estimation approach requires five basic elements: (1) Strategy – Determine what to test (performance, functionality, etc.) and how thoroughly it must be tested. (2) Size – Yes, it does matter—not only the size of the system but also the scope of your tests. (3) Expected Quality – What factors have been established to define quality? (4) Infrastructure and Tools – Define how fast you can test. Without the proper organizational support and the necessary tools, you’ll need more time. (5) Productivity – How experienced and efficient is your team? While it’s fun to learn new techniques, it means your time is not being spent finding defects. Ruud Teunissen 
Learn more about Ruud Teunissen  

Using Visual Models for Test Case Design
Rob Sabourin, AmiBug.com, Inc.
Designing test cases is a fundamental skill that all testers should master. Rob Sabourin shares a graphical technique he has employed to design powerful test cases that will surface important bugs quickly. These skills can be used in exploratory, agile, or engineered contexts—anytime you are having problems designing a test. Rob illustrates how you can use Mindmaps to visualize test designs and better understand variables being tested, one-at-a-time and in complex combinations with other variables. He presents the Application-Input-Memory (AIM) heuristic through a series of interactive exercises. We’ll use a widely available free, open-source tool called FreeMind to help implement great test cases and focus our testing on what matters to quickly isolate critical bugs. If you are new to testing, these techniques will remove some of the mystery of good test case design. If you’re a veteran tester, these techniques will sharpen your skills and give you some new test design approaches. Rob Sabourin

Laptop Optional
Participants are encouraged to bring a laptop computer to this session.
Learn more about Rob Sabourin  

Measurement and Metrics for Test Managers
Rick Craig, Software Quality Engineering
To be most effective, test managers must develop and use metrics to help direct the testing effort and make informed recommendations about the software’s release readiness and associated risks. Because one important testing activity is to “measure” the quality of the software, test managers must measure the results of both the development and testing processes. Collecting, analyzing, and using metrics is complicated because many developers and testers feel that the metrics will be used “against them.” Rick Craig addresses common metrics: measures of product quality, defect removal efficiency, defect density, defect arrival rate, and testing status. Rick offers guidelines for developing a test measurement program, rules of thumb for collecting data, and ways to avoid “metrics dysfunction.” Various metrics paradigms, including Goal-Question-Metric, are addressed with a discussion of the pros and cons of each. Participants are urged to bring their metrics problems and issues for use as discussion points. Rick Craig 
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Difficult Testing Questions and How to Answer Them 
Michael Bolton, DevelopSense
Testers live in a world of great complexity, scarce information, and extraordinary time pressures. With all these challenges, really good testing is less about confirming, verifying, and validating, and more about thinking, questioning, exploring, investigating, and discovering. While technical testing skills are important, you need better thinking skills to solve your biggest testing questions. Michael Bolton teaches you the skills—questioning, critical thinking, context-driven analysis, and general systems thinking—that can help you deal confidently and thoughtfully with your testing challenges. In this interactive workshop, you will examine common cognitive biases within testing and practice the thinking tools you need to overcome them. You’ll learn to use modeling and general systems approaches to manage complexity and see more clearly. Work with Michael and others to explore your most difficult testing questions—and find innovative approaches to answer them.  Michael Bolton

Laptop Encouraged
Participants are encouraged to bring a laptop computer to this session.
Learn more about Michael Bolton  

Tutorials for Monday, September 29 —  1:00 p.m. — 5:30 p.m.
Risk-Based Testing
Julie Gardiner, Grove Consultants
Risks are endemic in every phase of every project. One key to project success is to identify, understand, and manage these risks effectively. However, risk management is not the sole domain of the project manager, particularly with regard to product quality. It is here that the effective tester can significantly influence the project outcome. Julie Gardiner explains how risk-based testing can shape the quality of the delivered product in spite of such time constraints. Join Julie as she reveals how you can apply product risk management to a variety of organizational, technology, project, and skills challenges. Through interactive exercises, receive practical advice on how to apply risk management techniques throughout the testing lifecycle—from planning through execution and reporting. Take back a practical process and the tools you need to apply risk analysis to testing in your organization. Julie Gardiner 
Learn more about Julie Gardiner  

Spend Wisely, Test Well: Making a Financial Case for Testing
Susan Herrick, EDS-Global Testing Practice
Organizations that develop software always profess absolute commitment to product quality and customer satisfaction. At the same time, they often believe that “all that testing isn’t really necessary.” Test managers must be able to quantify the financial value of testing and substantiate their claims with empirical data. Susan Herrick provides experienced test managers with quantitative approaches to dispel the prevailing myths about the negative bottom-line impact of testing, make a compelling business case for testing throughout the project lifecycle, and provide decision-makers with information that allows them to make fiscally responsible choices about test efforts. During a hands-on activity, you will calculate, analyze, and substantiate answers to such questions as, “What will it cost if we don’t test at all?” “Should we rely on the system and acceptance testers to find all the defects?” “Can our experienced developers test their own code?” and “Should experienced users perform the acceptance testing?” Answer these and more questions with the numbers at hand to back up your claims.  Susan Herrick

Laptop Required
To benefit fully from the hands-on activity, each participant should bring a laptop. All participants will receive as a takeaway a CD containing a calculation tool (with full instructions).
Learn more about Susan Herrick  

To Infinity and Beyond: Extreme Boundary Testing
Rob Sabourin, AmiBug.com, Inc.
If you think you have already explored all of the important boundaries as part of your testing, this dynamic, interactive presentation will open your eyes to some often-missed edges and offer you great techniques to expose and explore them. You’ll dive into the rich universe of boundaries related to systems behavior, environments, system limits, design limitations, and even eccentric user behaviors. Rob Sabourin helps you learn to see and explore the final frontiers of your software and look beyond the confines of common knowledge to see the aliens and strange monsters lurking. In this hands-on workshop, you’ll participate in a series of fun, interactive exercises and experience rich boundary examples from Rob’s recent projects. Practice identifying and exercising the data conditions that influence a system’s behavior and understand how critical values lead to emergent behaviors, which can make or break software projects. In addition to practicing traditional boundaries value analysis and equivalence partitioning techniques, you will learn about exploratory testing, failure mode analysis, and several stress testing experiments you can perform. Rob Sabourin 
Learn more about Rob Sabourin  

The Craft of Bug Investigation
Jon Bach, Quardev, Inc.
At testing conferences, many presentations mention techniques and processes meant to help you find bugs, but few talk about what to do when you actually find one. If it’s as simple as filing a report about what you saw, how do you know that’s the real problem? What do you do when you file a bug, but the developer wants you to give more information? How do you reproduce pesky, intermittent bugs that come in from customers? Join Jon Bach in this hands-on tutorial to help you practice investigation and analysis skills such as questioning, conjecturing, branching, and backtracking that might help you unearth more context about the problems. If you’re telling stories about the bug that got away, this tutorial gives you the opportunity to try some techniques that may trap it so you can earn more credibility, respect, and autonomy from your stakeholders.

Collaboration is encouraged during the session, so bring your tool suggestions, tester’s notebook, and scientific mindset.
 Jon Bach
Learn more about Jon Bach  

Managing Test Outsourcing 
Martin Pol, POLTEQ IT Services BV
When outsourcing all or part of your testing efforts to a third-party vendor, you need a special approach to make testing effective and controlled. Martin Pol explains his roadmap to successful outsourcing and offers ways to define the objectives, the strategy, and the scope (what tasks should be outsourced and what tasks should not—at least not yet). He describes how to select your supplier and how to migrate, implement, and cope with organizational issues. Martin discusses contracts, service levels, and ways to monitor and control tasks. He focuses on a technique for scoping the project, defining service levels, and establishing a specific set of metrics. The good news for testers is that outsourcing requires more testing—not less—and that new testing jobs are coming into existence. Testing the outsourcing is becoming a very important control mechanism for outsourcing in general. Martin Pol 
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