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Thursday, October 16, 2014 - 8:30am - 9:30am

The Power of an Individual Tester: The Experience

Like millions of other Americans, Ben Simo visited in search of health insurance and found a frustratingly buggy website that was failing to fulfill its purpose―to educate people on the new health insurance law and help them purchase health insurance. After failing to create an account, Ben put on his tester hat and turned on his web developer tools. In addition to many functional and performance issues, Ben soon discovered a chain of security vulnerabilities that exposed users to unnecessary risk. Finding customer service unequipped to receive reports of security vulnerabilities, he blogged his discoveries, spawning a storm of public attention which hailed Ben as a “web expert,” “methodical IT guru," “folk hero”—and “not too bright.” His reports even came up in congressional hearings, where the Secretary of Health and Human Services referred to Ben as “a sort of skilled hacker.” Ben’s reports helped bring attention to problems that suggested a systematic lack of care and understanding of system design and information security. Join Ben as he shares his experience, the issues he found, and lessons testers can learn from

Ben Simo, eBay, Inc.

With more than two decades of experience, Ben Simo, aka QualityFrog, is a skilled context-driven software tester who views software testing as a cognitively complex activity that requires critical thinking, effective communication, and rapid self-directed learning. Ben approaches software testing as a search for knowledge―both confirming existing beliefs and seeking out the unknown, gathering information to enable informed decision making.

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