STARCANADA 2019 - Conference Speakers | TechWell

Conference archive

Conference Speakers

Testing Manager

Jeff Abshoff is a testing manager at ANSYS Inc., a global developer of engineering simulation software. Jeff has been with ANSYS for fourteen years and has worked in a number of different areas, from established products developing incremental features to new product launches looking to revolutionize the computer-aided engineering market....Read more


From the largest companies to the very smallest, Melissa Benua has worked in nearly every software development role—dev, test, DevOps, and program management—in her career. She cut her teeth while building running high-availability, high-quality services while working on Microsoft’s Bing and Cortana, and honed her skills for rapid iteration and...Read more


Michael Bolton is a consulting software tester and testing teacher who helps people solve testing problems that they didn’t realize they could solve. He is the co-author (with senior author James Bach) of Rapid Software Testing, a methodology and mindset for testing software expertly and credibly in uncertain conditions and...Read more

Jennifer Bonine
Co-Founder & CEO
PinkLion AI

Jennifer Bonine is a well-known speaker, teacher, and trainer at both national and international conferences. She has keynoted numerous Testing, Agile, and Development conferences. Jennifer’s belief is that we should do what we are passionate about and believes in living your passion. To this end, Jennifer co-founded and is the...Read more

Mike Cullen
Wawanesa Insurance

Concurrent Sessions

Mike has been in a QA role for eighteen years, with the last twelve focused on QA leadership. While developing quality assurance skills and methods as part of a small and growing financial planning company, his strategy evolved from reacting to client issues found in production to establishing quality processes,...Read more

Software Engineer

Connor studied chemical engineering while in school and did undergraduate research in bioprinting, the intersection of 3D printing and biomedical engineering. While working on his undergrad he was introduced to programming and fell in love. Connor now uses his love of programming and experimentation as a software engineer at Domo,...Read more

Isabel Evans
Independent Consultant

Independent quality and testing consultant Isabel Evans has more than thirty years of IT experience in the financial, communications, and software sectors. Her work focuses on quality management, software testing, and user experience (UX). Isabel authored Achieving Software Quality through Teamwork and chapters in Agile Testing: How to Succeed in...Read more

Conrad Fujimoto
Intellectica Systems Inc.

President and senior consultant of Intellectica Systems Inc., Conrad Fujimoto is an information technology professional with thirty-five years of experience in the education, government, financial, and utility sectors. An accomplished educator and author of several courses, Conrad delivers courses in software testing, relational database technology, data modeling, application programming, business...Read more

Senior Customer Success Manager
Contrast Security

Josh Gibbs is a senior customer success manager at Contrast Security, where he helps companies build security into their applications. Prior to his current role, Josh led the security testing team at a major cloud hosting provider. He has previously worked in development and security roles within the marketing technology...Read more

Senior QA Manager
Aldo Group

Concurrent Sessions

Noha currently serves as senior manager of software quality assurance for the ALDO Group. She runs a cross-functional QA department for different testing teams and various initiatives, including SAP ERP implementations, digital transformations, and e-commerce projects spanning multiple channels and solutions platforms, all of which are powered by Hybris technology....Read more

Gene Gotimer
Principal Consultant
Coveros, Inc.

Gene Gotimer is a proven senior software architect with many years of experience in web-based enterprise application design, most recently using Java. He is skilled in agile software development as well as legacy development methodologies and designing and developing secure, high-quality software. He has extensive experience establishing and using development...Read more

Matthew Grasberger
Associate Consultant

Matthew Grasberger is an Associate Consultant at Coveros with a specialty in Test Automation, DevOps Engineering, and Security Automation. Matt has worked with clients to build and develop robust test automation suites that are integrated into DevOps pipelines based on industry leading practices. In addition, Matt has leveraged open source...Read more

Valentin Guerlesquin
National Bank of Canada

Valentin Guerlesquin is the director of test automation and performance testing at National Bank. He has been a software testing professional for more than ten years. Valentin has worked in several roles, including test environment management, manual functional testing, mobile, and testing process improvement. He is an ISTQB full advanced...Read more

Priyanka Holder
Manager of Quality Engineering

Priyanka Halder has more than 12 years of experience in Quality Assurance working in startups like GoodRx Inc, Heal, and Homeme Inc and big enterprize companies like Sony, Dell, and Accenture. She currently heads the Quality Engineering team in Goodrx which serves more than 8 million Americans monthly as their...Read more


Brian Hicks is a software engineer, development manager, and technical architect with over 15 years of hands-on experience designing and developing software using core Java, web services, and related technologies in both the commercial and public sectors. He is also a Certified ScrumMaster® and has experience implementing agile processes, leading...Read more

VP, Quality and Customer Care

Karen Holiday is a motivated leader with a track record of developing both new and existing products through strategy and execution. Throughout her twenty-five-year career, she's had experience leading small, focused companies as well as large, complex, multi-function organizations in development, QA, services, and support. Karen is passionate about unraveling complexity...Read more

Arnika Hryszko
Polish Testing Board

Arnika is a software tester with a computer science diploma (MSc Eng) and over ten years' experience in the area of quality assurance as a trainer and coach. She was named Exploratory Tester of the Year in the Testing Heroes 2018 contest. During her career, she has gained wide experience...Read more

Carrie Hughston
Manager, Advanced Analytics Testing
SAS Institute

Carrie, the mastermind behind SAS BetaLabs, is a reformed statistician turned tester with over ten years of experience in software development. At SAS, a trusted analytics powerhouse, she manages a team of testers responsible for the quality of solutions addressing the insurance industry’s regulatory needs. Based on her prior experience...Read more


Dr. Jess Ingrassellino is the director of quality engineering for the Nonprofit and Education clouds at She is a frequent speaker at international conferences and focuses on community, collaboration, and improvisational practices for enriching professional life. In her spare time, Jess teaches software testing and Python, writes, and plays...Read more

Independent QA Consultant

An Independent QA Consultant in Toronto, Dawn Jardine has worked in several roles in her career. After years in the teaching profession, Dawn changed direction and entered the software field as a front-end web developer for an eLearning software company. Dawn expanded her skills and expertise to include instructional design,...Read more


Byron Katz has been in love with computers since his father bought the family a Commodore 64. A degreed architect, he found his way back to software development in 2010, and his career has included roles as a quality assurance lead, a full-stack developer, consultant, and sales engineer. Byron has...Read more

Jonathan Kauffman
Senior Consultant
Coveros, Inc.

Jonathan Kauffman works as an agile software development and test consultant at Coveros, a company that helps organizations develop secure software using agile methods. In this role, Jonathan has helped both government and commercial organizations develop and test high-quality applications, and he has gained his experience by working with health...Read more

Head of Quality
Tariq King is the founder and CEO of Self-Test.IO, a company on a mission to develop the next-generation of systems and services with intrinsic self-testing properties. Tariq has over fifteen years' experience in software testing research and practice, and has formerly held positions a test architect, engineering manager, director, and...Read more
Chief Evangelist, Author

Eran Kinsbruner is the chief evangelist and author at Perfecto, a Perforce company. He authored two books, The Digital Quality Handbook and Continuous Testing for DevOps Professionals. Eran is also a monthly columnist at and The Enterprisers Project. Eran is a software engineering professional with nearly twenty years of...Read more

Elizabeth Langston

Elizabeth C. Langston is a principal software quality analyst in R&D at SAS, one of the world's leaders in software analytics. She has a master's in computer science from NCSU and more than thirty years of experience in software quality in both the military and private sectors. Elizabeth has served...Read more

InGenius Software

An Automation Architect at InGenius Software, Chris Loder is an automation enthusiast to the core. His passion and experience help companies reduce regression time and improve overall software quality. With over two decades of automation experience, he designs and implements automation frameworks with his team of automation developers. Chris is...Read more

Lynneth Lohse
SAS Institute

Lynneth is a project manager at heart and by profession, and one of the lead coordinators for the SAS BetaLabs. She has led software development teams and customer implementations for nearly 30 years, working in every capacity from entry-level data analyst to Chief Operating Officer. As a member of the...Read more

Industrial Logic Canada

Jeff “Cheezy” Morgan has been teaching classes and coaching teams on agile and lean techniques since 2004. Most of his work has focused on the engineering practices used by developers and testers. For the past few years he has experienced great success and recognition for his work in the area...Read more

Software Engineer in Test

Concurrent Sessions

Talia Nassi is a quality-driven Test Engineer at WeWork with a passion for breaking and rebuilding software to be the highest possible quality. She started interning in QA when she was studying at UC San Diego and immediately knew that she had found her calling. From UCSD she was recruited...Read more

Jaimee Newberry
Picture This Clothing

Jaimee Newberry worked in the web interaction, design, and development industry from 1998 to 2013, with emphasis on empathetic and behavioral psychology-applied interface design for web, mobile web, and iOS applications. Currently, she is the cofounder and CEO of Picture This Clothing, which started as a passion project launched by a...Read more

panel of automation off speakers

Automation Face Off panel speakers coming to STARCANADA! Prominent speakers include Michael Bolton, Isabel Evans, and Chris Loder—all hosted by Melissa Benua.

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Jeff Payne
CEO and Founder

Jeffery Payne is CEO and founder of Coveros, Inc., a consulting company that helps organizations accelerate delivery using agile methods. Since its inception in 2008, Coveros has become a market leader in agile and DevOps engineering while being recognized by Inc. Magazine as one of the fastest growing private companies...Read more

Principle Consultant
AmiBug.Com, Inc.

Rob Sabourin has more than thirty-five years of management experience leading teams of software development professionals. A highly-respected member of the software engineering community, Rob has managed, trained, mentored, and coached hundreds of top professionals in the field. He frequently speaks at conferences and writes on software engineering, SQA, testing,...Read more

Inflectra Corporation

Adam Sandman was a programmer from the age of 10 and has been working in the IT industry for the past twenty years in areas such as architecture, agile development, testing, and project management. Currently Adam is a director of technology at Inflectra Corporation, where he is interested in technology,...Read more

Jessie Shternshus
The Improv Effect, LLC.

Owner and founder of The Improv Effect, Jessie Shternshus helps individuals and businesses reach their full potential through interpersonal-communication skills improvement, leadership training, and agile/executive coaching. Jessie has been a key player in internal culture transformations for global companies. Her clients include executives from Netflix, Crayola, Groupon, Skype, Adecco, Capital...Read more

Rajni Singh

Rajni has twelve years of experience in the field of software testing and is currently a manager in quality assurance. She is a dynamic, self-driven, results-oriented leader with an excellent technical ability to deliver seamless solutions. She possesses excellent management and leadership skills with a focus on continuous improvement and...Read more


Coveros' Executive Vice President of Training Mike Sowers has more than twenty-five years of practical experience as a global leader of internationally distributed test teams across multiple industries. Mike is a senior leader, skilled in working with both large and small organizations to improve their software development, testing, and delivery approaches....Read more

ThoughtWorks Canada

Varuna is a technical tester who's worked on award-winning projects across a wide variety of technology sectors, including retail, travel, financial, and the public sector, and worked with various web, mobile, and IoT technologies. Varuna is a passionate advocate of shipping quality code to production using agile practices. When not...Read more

Iryna Suprun

Iryna started her career as a software engineer in 2004 in Ukraine, where she was born. She received her master’s degree in computer science in 2006, and in 2007 she began her first position as a quality analyst. She remained in QA, focusing on the telecom industry and testing real-time...Read more

Roy Tuason
Director, SQA Engineering
Zap Surgical Systems

Roy Tuason is director of SQA Engineering for Zap Surgical Systems and holds a degree in applied mathematics and computer science. He has over twenty years of medical device experience, including quality engineering and regulatory compliance in the cancer fields of stereotactic radiosurgery, chemotherapy administration, and oncology information systems.

...Read more
Alison Wade
TechWell Corp.

Alison Wade is the President of TechWell and an accomplished executive dedicated to the business of software. For the past fifteen years, she has worked with industry leaders developing programs for software development and testing professionals. She has been the Program Chair for the Mobile Dev + Test and IoT...Read more

Matt Weinstock
Director, Global SQA
Align Technology

Matthew Weinstock is the director of Global SQA at Align Technology. A developer turned tester, Matt has held various roles in his SQA career, from manual tester to automation engineer to leading global quality teams in large public enterprises, and everything in between. Matt has always been passionate about agile...Read more

Phil Wells
New York Times

Phil Wells has been a software quality practitioner for over a decade. Now, Phil is a software engineer in test for the New York Times games team. This team maintains the most popular crossword product in the world. Phil works to ensure that this team builds quality into every new...Read more