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Mike Sowers

Software Quality Engineering

Mike Sowers has more than twenty-five years of practical experience as a global quality and test leader of internationally distributed test teams across multiple industries. Mike is a senior consultant, skilled in working with both large and small organizations to improve their software development, testing, and delivery approaches. He has worked with companies including Fidelity Investments, PepsiCo, FedEx, Southwest Airlines, Wells Fargo, ADP, and Lockheed to improve software quality, reduce time to market, and decrease costs. With his passion for helping teams deliver software faster, better, and cheaper, Mike has mentored and coached senior software leaders, small teams, and direct contributors worldwide.

Speaker Presentations
Monday, May 4, 2015 - 8:30am
Half-day Tutorials
Planning, Architecting and Implementing Test Automation within the Life Cycle

In test automation, we must often use several tools that have been developed or acquired over time with little consideration of an overall plan or architecture and without considering the need for integration. As a result, productivity suffers and frustrations increase. Join Mike Sowers as he shares experiences from multiple organizations in creating an integrated test automation plan and developing a test automation architecture. Mike discusses both the good (engaging the technical architecture team) and bad (too much isolation between test automators and test designers) on his test automation journey in large and small enterprises. Find out approaches to ensure that the test tools you currently have and the new test tools you acquire or develop will work well with other testing and application lifecycle software. Explore approaches to drive test automation adoption across multiple project teams and departments, and communicate the real challenges and potential benefits to your stakeholders.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015 - 3:00pm
Test Management
Speak Like a Test Manager

Ever feel like your manager, development manager, product manager, product owner, or ____ (you fill in the blank) is not listening to you or your team? Are you struggling to make an impact with your messages? Are you “pushing a wet rope uphill” in championing product quality? Are you talking, but no one is listening? Mike Sowers shares practical examples of how to more effectively speak like a test manager and offers concrete advice based on his experiences in the technology, financial, transportation, and professional services sectors. Mike discusses communication and relationship styles that work—and some that have failed—and shares key principles (e.g., seeking to understand), approaches (e.g., using facts), and attributes (e.g., being proactive) to help you grow and prosper as a test manager. Leave with practical ideas to boost your communications skills and influence to become a trusted advisor to your team and your management.

Thursday, May 7, 2015 - 4:15pm
The Future of the Software Testing Profession

The world of testers and test managers—like most professions—continues to evolve. Some say the more things change, the more things stay the same; others say that testing as a profession is dying. These divergent views raise compelling questions. Are we approaching the era of minimal defects in which testing is diminished? Or is testing on the brink of becoming the most important aspect of software development as the risk of failure grows exponentially? What role will testers play on development teams? What critical skills will testers need in the future? After taking a hard look at where testing has been, Mike Sowers presents his and others’ views of the key drivers that are shaping the future role of software testers and test leaders. Mike explores how testing is impacted by technology (cloud, mobile, wearables), process (development and testing methodologies), and innovation. He then shares observations on and recommendations for staying competent, competitive, and relevant as a results-driven dev/test team member in your organization.