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 Keynote Presentations

 Wednesday, September 29, 2010 8:30 a.m.

You're Either On the Train or On the Tracks: Radical Realities Shaping Our Future
Linda Hayes, Worksoft, Inc.

Because the number of applications and environments are exploding, the rate of change is increasing exponentially, and the scope of risk has never been wider or deeper. Collectively, these forces are creating a flood of transformations within software development that will not stop or slow down for testing. Test practices as we know them today must evolve quickly—or die.  Linda Hayes describes how—rather than struggling against radical changes and becoming a relic of bygone days—we can ride this momentum by leveraging new technologies, tools, and market dynamics to make testing vital in this radical new reality. Learn how to integrate cloud computing, virtualization, SOA, and mobile devices into your test strategy. Convert your concerns about risk into a compelling business case for renewed commitment and resources for testing. Forget past missteps in automation and embrace the possibilities of integrating new technologies throughout the lifecycle. Become part of the answer to these radical new realities by reinventing your role and your processes to thrive, not just survive, in this exciting but crazy new world.

Learn more about Linda Hayes



 Wednesday, September 29, 2010 10:00 a.m.

Test Team Leadership—Yes, There's a Place for it in Agile
Bob Galen, iContact

One of the gravest misconceptions about the agile methodologies isn’t about documentation, teamwork, quality, or productivity. It’s about the role of leadership and management in the adoption and sustained operation of agile practices. In no place is this more visible than in statements such as “We don’t need no stinking test managers … we’re agile.” Bob Galen explores this common misconception and shares his experiences of the proper role of leadership and management within agile test teams. He explains the concept of “servant leadership” and illustrates its practice with healthy and unhealthy examples he’s observed in the real world. Bob examines the relationship among the whole-team quality focus of agile, the test practices that agility demands, and the role of a test leader—whether as a manager or an individual contributor. Learn how firm, context-based leadership is vital to ensure that good testing practices are maintained and enhanced in the agile development world. Leave with a new understanding of how to become a collaborative, servant leader within your team.

Learn more about Bob Galen



 Wednesday, September 29, 2010 4:30 p.m.

Lightning Strikes the Keynotes
Facilitated by Lee Copeland, Software Quality Engineering

Lightning Talks have been a very popular part of many STAR conferences throughout the years. If you’re not familiar with the concept, a Lightning Talk session consists of a series of five-minute talks by different presenters within one presentation period. For the speakers, Lightning Talks are the opportunity to deliver their single biggest-bang-for-the-buck idea in a rapid-fire presentation. For the first time, lightning has struck the STAR keynote presentations. Some of the experts in testing—James Bach, Jon Bach, Julie Gardiner, Dorothy Graham, Jonathan Kohl, Randy Rice, Lloyd Roden, and Rob Sabourin—will each step up to the podium and give you their best shot of lightning. With no time to dither or vacillate—and hemming and hawing forbidden—you’ll get eight keynote presentations for the price of one and have some fun at the same time.

Learn more about Lee Copeland



 Thursday, September 30, 2010 8:30 a.m.

Becoming a Great Tester: Inspiration, Perspiration, and Renewal
Isabel Evans, Testing Solutions Group Ltd.

Three recent and contrasting trends in software development and IT—agile methods, increasing infrastructure complexity, and the requirement to align more closely with business stakeholders—are reshaping testing’s role. As a test manager or tester, you need to develop new knowledge and skills to remain relevant—and employed. In this eye-opening session, Isabel Evans describes the new expertise you must acquire and explores the aptitude, self-motivation, and hard work required to constantly renew your knowledge and skills. With a little inspiration, a bit of luck, and perseverance, you can grow to become a great tester and remain a vital part of your test and development team. The challenges of our changing world demand a renewal of technical expertise and continuous attention to your social, communication, and business skills. Isabel offers a set of practical tools and improvement practices individual testers and test teams can use to meet these challenges. Join Isabel to take the first step on the path to becoming a great tester within a great test and development team.

Learn more about Isabel Evans

 Thursday, September 30, 2010 4:15 p.m.

The Human Side of Testing
Thomas McCoy, Australian Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

Software testing is a unique profession. We’re engaged in critiquing highly complex systems that typically are poorly understood—even by those developing them—and usually forged in an environment of high stakes, enormous pressure, and competing priorities. Every day we deal with delicate egos, defensive reactions, shrinking timeframes, and diminishing resources, all within the context of an uncertain world economic situation. Join Thomas McCoy as he takes a sometimes-irreverent look at the human issues that beleaguer our profession. Learn about our socio-political context, the “fear factor” within many IT projects, the blame game, rewards and punishments, impression management, keeping our energy level and optimism high, identifying whom we are really serving, the testing vocation, and having our contributions valued. In this lively presentation, Thomas examines how we can best carry out our role without forever being cast as the software project’s “Cassandra” who prophesies correctly but is never believed.

Learn more about Thomas McCoy


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