Skip to main content



K1 Testing Lessons from Hockey (The World’s Greatest Sport)
Rob Sabourin,
Wed, 04/10/2013 - 8:30am

Over the years, Rob Sabourin has drawn important testing lessons from diverse sources including the great detectives, the Simpsons, Hollywood movies, comic book superheroes, and the hospital delivery room. Now Rob scores big with breakaway testing ideas from hockey, Canada’s national sport. Like star hockey players, testers develop skills and continuously adapt and perfect them. Like team “stats,” test metrics show how performance impacts business. Like the penalty box, a smoke test keeps flaky builds out of play. Like Zambonis, testers must reset environments to a known state.

Read more
K2 Lightning Strikes the Keynotes
Lee Copeland, Software Quality Engineering
Wed, 04/10/2013 - 3:15pm

Throughout the years, Lightning Talks have been a popular part of the STAR conferences. If you’re not familiar with the concept, Lightning Talks consists of a series of five-minute talks by different speakers within one presentation period. Lightning Talks are the opportunity for speakers to deliver their single biggest bang-for-the-buck idea in a rapid-fire presentation. And now, lightning has struck the STAR keynotes.

Read more


TB SOLD OUT! Critical Thinking for Software Testers
Michael Bolton, DevelopSense
Tue, 04/09/2013 - 8:30am

Critical thinking is the kind of thinking that specifically looks for problems and mistakes. Regular people don't do a lot of it. However, if you want to be a great tester, you need to be a great critical thinker, too. Critically thinking testers save projects from dangerous assumptions and ultimately from disasters. The good news is that critical thinking is not just innate intelligence or a talent—it's a learnable and improvable skill you can master.

Read more
TE Essential Test Management
Rick Craig, Software Quality Engineering
Tue, 04/09/2013 - 8:30am

The key to successful testing is effective and timely planning. Rick Craig introduces proven test planning methods and techniques, including the Master Test Plan and level-specific test plans for acceptance, system, integration, and unit testing. Rick explains how to customize an IEEE-829-style test plan and test summary report to fit your organization’s needs. Learn how to manage test activities, estimate test efforts, and achieve buy-in. Discover a practical risk analysis technique to prioritize your testing and become more effective with limited resources.

Read more
TH Exploratory Testing Is Now in Session
Jon Bach, eBay, Inc.
Tue, 04/09/2013 - 1:00pm

The nature of exploration, coupled with the ability of testers to rapidly apply their skills and experience, make exploratory testing a widely used test approach—especially when time is short. Unfortunately, exploratory testing often is dismissed by project managers who assume that it is not reproducible, measurable, or accountable. If you have these concerns, you may find a solution in a technique called session-based test management (SBTM), developed by Jon Bach and his brother James to specifically address these issues.

Read more

Concurrent Sessions

W2 The Role of Emotion in Testing
Michael Bolton, DevelopSense
Wed, 04/10/2013 - 10:30am

Software testing is a highly technical, logical, rational effort. There's no place for squishy emotional stuff here. Not among professional testers. Or is there? Because of commitment, risk, schedule, and money, emotions can run high in software development and testing. It is easy to become frustrated, confused, or bored; angry, impatient, and overwhelmed. However, Michael Bolton says that, if we choose to be aware of our emotions and are open to them, feelings can be a powerful source of information for testers, alerting us to problems in the product and in our approaches to our work.

Read more
W5 Creating Dissonance: Overcoming Organizational Bias toward Software Testing
Keith Klain, Barclays Capital
Wed, 04/10/2013 - 12:45pm

Overcoming organizational bias toward software testing can be a key factor in the success of your testing effort. Negative bias toward testing can impact its perceived value—just as inaccurate positive bias can set your team up for failure through mismanaged expectations. A structured approach to identifying, understanding, and overcoming bias is an integral part of any successful enterprise testing strategy.

Read more
W6 Concurrent Testing Games: Developers and Testers Working Together
Nate Oster, CodeSquads, LLC
Wed, 04/10/2013 - 12:45pm

The best software development teams find ways for programmers and testers to work closely together. These teams recognize that programmers and testers each bring their own unique strengths and perspectives to the project. However, working in agile teams requires us to unlearn many of the patterns that traditional development taught us.

Read more
W9 Collaboration without Chaos
Griffin Jones, Congruent Compliance
Wed, 04/10/2013 - 2:00pm

Sometimes software testers overvalue the adherence to the collective wisdom embodied in organizational processes and the mechanical execution of tasks. Overly directive procedures work—to a point—projecting an impression of firm, clear control. But do they generate test results that are valuable to our stakeholders? Is there a way to orchestrate everyone’s creative contributions without inviting disorganized confusion? Is there a model that leverages the knowledge and creativity of the people doing the work, yet exerts reliable control in a non-directive way?

Read more