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Quality Assurance


MC Career Superpowers
James Whittaker, Microsoft
Mon, 06/08/2015 - 8:30am

Line up all the successful people in the world. Take away the pedigreed and the prodigies—you know the people who are going to succeed no matter what. Remove the brown-nosers and right-time-right-place lottery winners. And who do you have left? People who succeeded on purpose. Study these folks carefully, and you’ll find their paths to the top have common themes. James Whittaker exposes the career strategies of the ultra-successful and analyzes them in detail. Learn about personal strategies for identifying high-payoff activities and gain insight into being more effective as an individual contributor, manager, and leader. Discover how to identify and interact with the right set of career mentors and role models. Being successful doesn’t have to be an accident. Join James and learn how to succeed—on purpose.

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One of the latest facets of the mobile paradigm is mobile wearables―a new generation of personalized technology that knows us better than our closest friends do. How many of your friends know how far you walked or what you ate today? Although you may think mobile wearables are just for geeks, they will become commonplace very quickly. Our challenge is to develop applications that can synthesize context from the gigantic amount of data these devices and their sensors generate. Ensuring the privacy and security of device usage and its data will be of highest concern. Philip Lew systematically analyzes context―the most important element in future design and development of mobile applications while incorporating big data, privacy, and security. Using examples, Philip shows the contextual elements you need to consider now and discusses how to identify key factors for a future generation of wearable products based on discovering anticipatory services.

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TD Giving Great Presentations: The Art of Stage Presence SOLD OUT
James Whittaker, Microsoft
Tue, 06/09/2015 - 8:30am

Every hour of every day in every country where business is conducted, the same scene plays out―dozens of well-paid people sitting in a conference room being bored senseless. Death by a thousand slides. This mind numbing, soul crushing, grotesquely expensive experience ends here and now! James Whittaker reveals the secrets to conceiving, building, and delivering a great presentation. Whatever your level of presentation skills, this tutorial will hone them. Learn how to build a compelling story from the ground up. Receive advice on how to remember and recall that story as you deliver it. Learn how to use oratory and literary instruments to make the story come alive for your audience. Do your part to put an end to bad presentations―attend this tutorial.

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TL Mobile App Usability and UX for Developers and Testers NEW
Philip Lew, XBOSoft
Tue, 06/09/2015 - 1:00pm

Today, many organizations are migrating to mobile while new organizations are adopting a mobile-first or mobile-only strategy. Because of the special characteristics of the mobile platform and its user base, usability and the user experience (UX) take on an increased emphasis. With SaaS-based business models, where users can pay by the month and switch applications in a heartbeat, user experience becomes paramount. Currently, there are no formal models describing UX. Philip Lew explains the definitions of usability and user experience, describes the connections between them, and explores evaluation methods you can use as the first step toward improving user experience on the mobile platform. Philip uses examples to illustrate the good, the bad, and the ugly of mobile UX to build a deeper understanding of how to improve your own app’s UX. Discover key principles for design and evaluation of usability. Develop a methodology for continuous improvement of your users’ experience.

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TM Innovation Thinking: Evolve and Expand Your Capabilities SOLD OUT
Jennifer Bonine, tap|QA, Inc.
Tue, 06/09/2015 - 1:00pm

Innovation is a word frequently tossed around in organizations today. The standard cliché is “Do more with less.” People and teams want to be innovative but often struggle with how to define, prioritize, implement, and track their innovation efforts. Jennifer Bonine shares the Innovation Types model to give you new tools to evolve and expand your innovation capabilities. Find out if your innovation ideas and efforts match your team and company goals. Learn how to classify your innovation and improvement efforts as core (to the business) or context (essential but non-revenue generating). With this data, you can better decide how much of your effort should be spent on core versus context activities. Take away new tools for classifying innovation and mapping your activities and your team’s priorities to their importance and value. With Jennifer’s guidance you’ll evolve and expand your innovation capabilities on the spot.

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K2 Better Thinking for Better Software: Thinking Critically about Software Development
Laurent Bossavit, Institut Agile
Wed, 06/10/2015 - 10:00am

To paraphrase a famous Albert Einstein quote—We cannot solve our problems by applying the same level of thinking that we used when we created them. Although Einstein was originally talking about war, this also is applicable to software development, where one level of thinking—known as software engineering—has prevailed for the past four decades. Laurent Bossavit explores why several of the key assumptions are no longer—or never were—credible. These include the cost of defects curve, the notion of 10x engineers, and the origin of software bugs. Not stopping at debunking suspect claims and sharing techniques to expose them, Laurent goes on to explain the driving motivation which helped the claims become widespread―a misguided search for universal laws of software development―and suggests an alternative approach at a different level, hinted at by lean and agile practices. In this alternative approach each of us, backed by hard data and critical thinking, puts on the scientist's lab coat in search of local truths within our development organizations.

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K3 Lean UX: Turn User Experience Design Inside Out
Jeff Patton, Jeff Patton & Associates
Thu, 06/11/2015 - 8:30am

It’s usually the finer points of the user experience (UX) design that separate good-enough software from really-great software. For companies launching new products or adding new capabilities, how well they understand their users and their needs differentiates the wild successes from the dismal failures. This is user experience design, and doing it well in the past took experienced specialists and lots of time. But the world has changed. Jeff Patton describes how Lean UX turns product design into a team sport in which everyone participates. Learn how Lean UX thinking breaks what we thought were good design rules. In Lean UX design, it’s OK to guess. It's OK for developers to talk to users. It’s OK for bad artists to design user interfaces. And, it’s OK to demonstrate half-baked ideas. You’d think that if we break all these rules, good user experience couldn’t possibly result—but it does. Jeff shares examples of how all this rule breaking is supported by a culture of experimentation and learning—and that makes all the difference.

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Concurrent Sessions

BW3 This Is Not Your Father’s Career: Advice for the Modern Information Worker
James Whittaker, Microsoft
Wed, 06/10/2015 - 11:30am

In an era where college drop-outs run successful companies and creative entrepreneurs out-earn corporate vice presidents, working smart is clearly the new working hard. James Whittaker turns on their head the career rules that guided past generations and provides a new career manual for working smarter that speaks to the need for creativity, innovation, and insight. James teaches a set of skills designed for the modern era of working for companies—big or small. Learn how to avoid a one-sided relationship with your employer and ensure your passion is working for—and not against—you. Discover how to manage your technical skills and professional relationships for maximum effect. James introduces common career hazards and how to identify and avoid them. Think more creatively and examine how to adopt specific career management strategies designed to supercharge your success. The modern age requires more modern ways to succeed. James has them for you.

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BW11 Conflict: To Know It Is to Love It
Doc List, Doc List Enterprises
Wed, 06/10/2015 - 2:45pm

We all talk about conflict. We all experience it. But do we really understand what causes it and how we deal with it? Do we have any idea what to do about it? Much research and study has been done, but that doesn't help when you're in the middle of conflict. You don't have time to pull out the reference book or go to a website. You need simple, clear understanding. Learn the categories of conflict and how to recognize them, which means having an understanding of what generates them. Learn the different strategies of dealing with conflict, recognize your own preferred strategies, and understand where you may choose to change your strategy. Discover specific tools you can use in any situation to comfortably and confidently deal with conflict. Doc List introduces some ideas to enhance your learning after you leave the session, so you can continue to expand your love affair with conflict.

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BW13 Get the Most from Your Cross Functional Team: The Project Manager’s View
Julie Gardiner, Hitachi Consulting
Wed, 06/10/2015 - 4:15pm

Jerry Weinberg once said, “No matter how it looks at first, it's always a people problem.” In the past, the challenges for any team leader, regardless of specialty, were the same when it came down to people issues. Now, with the popularity of agile and its cross-functional teams, we have another factor to consider in addition to the people―their different specialties. How can our leadership help us achieve great results and a happy agile team? Join Julie Gardiner as she presents a communication-style model that can be used to help motivate every member of the team and minimize personality/specialty clashes. Julie shows you how to apply this model to other assessments—such as Myers-Briggs, Belbin, and DISC—and shares experiences using the model. If you're a newly appointed team lead, ScrumMaster, or you just want to get the most out of your team (cross-functional or dedicated specialists), then this session is for you.

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BT1 Creating a Culture of Trust
Pollyanna Pixton, Accelinnova
Thu, 06/11/2015 - 10:00am

In our personal and business lives, many of us know leaders who foster environments of incredible creativity, innovation, and ideas—while other leaders fail. So, how do the top leaders get it right? Going beyond the basics, Pollyanna Pixton explores with you the ways that the best leaders create “safety nets” that allow people to discover and try new possibilities, help people fail early, and correct faster. Removing fear and engendering trust make the team and organization more creative and productive as they spend less energy protecting themselves and the status quo. Pollyanna shares the tools you, as a leader, need to develop open environments based on trust—the first step in collaboration across the enterprise. Learn to step forward and do the right thing without breaking trust. Find out what to do to foster trust through team measurements, protect team boundaries, build team confidence without taking away their ownership, create transparency, and what to do when there is broken trust in the team.

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BT5 The Art of People: Facilitation, Leadership, and Team Dynamics
Robert Woods, MATRIX Resources
Thu, 06/11/2015 - 11:30am

Some of the greatest products come from great teams with exceptional leaders who know how to servant-lead, create influence (rather than exacting authority), and precisely when to get out of the way. Teams are asked to be self-empowered, change on the fly, and think for themselves. And then they’re inevitably told exactly how they have to do all of those things—or else. Poor leadership can make or break not only a great team but a great product and a great organization. As part of this highly interactive session, Robert Woods highlights leadership and facilitation skills such as focused observation, communication styles, conflict avoidance (as opposed to conflict resolution), influence over authority, and active listening. Robert explains that the impact we make on individuals is often much more about what we don't do rather than what we do. It’s called The Art of People―and it’s one we can all master.

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BT13 Decision Making under Extreme Pressure: Project Management Lessons Learned from Pilots in Crisis
Lee Copeland, Software Quality Engineering
Thu, 06/11/2015 - 3:00pm

Controlled Flight into Terrain is a marvelous book containing case studies of poor decisions made by pilots under extreme pressure. A CFIT is an accident in which an otherwise serviceable aircraft, under the control of the crew, is flown—unintentionally— into terrain, obstacles, or water with no prior awareness on the part of the crew of the impending collision. Using three CFIT case studies, Lee Copeland examines what mistakes the crew made, why their decisions seemed appropriate at the time, and the forces operating on the decision-making process. Then Lee takes those discoveries and applies them to our world of software development. Some learnings include consider entering a holding pattern, have a Plan B ready, beware of the loss of situational awareness, trust your co-workers but not too much, be aware of time dilation, and other key ideas.

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