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Women Who Test

Women Who Test is a full-day event on Friday, October 2 for women to network with other women who work in software testing. It is also a day to learn from and be inspired by each other. The program will cover testing topics and will support women’s personal and career journeys and include content like: reengineering your life, growing your personal brand, setting goals, discovering your career superpowers, and how to problem-solve when you are a female in the tech industry where your gender is out numbered 7:3.

Join women test engineers, managers, CEOs, and consultants for some truly inspiring talks and fascinating group work. Registration is free for conference attendees, but you must reserve your seat in advance. See below for the overview of sessions and full descriptions.


WWT1 Design Your Life
Jaimee Newberry, SWINGSET, Inc.
8:30 AM

After more than 15 years of pouring her soul and passion into making empathetic and engaging products and product teams for some of the world’s most recognized brands, and absolutely loving her work, Jaimee hit a rock-bottom career burnout. Something she never expected would happen. In finding her way back, she began to explore what might happen if she put that same dedication she had poured into the products she made into her own life as if her life were the product she was designing and she learned some fantastic, useful skills along the way that made her life, her work and how she felt about her work, better than ever. No matter where you may be in your career, Jaimee’s insight and experience will guide us through some familiar production processes and show us how we can turn those processes and techniques we know from the work we do every day into useful thinking and practices we can fold into our day-to-day routines to help prevent job burnout, maintain the love for what we do, and continue to grow better than ever.

Learn more about Jaimee Newberry.

With software engineering still dominated by men, it is not uncommon for women to find themselves alone on a team of men. Those who are test-focused can find themselves in the awkward position of not only being the sole woman in the ship room, but with the tough job of telling her peers they are not ready to go to production. Melissa Benua has spent many years as the lone female voice speaking up for code quality at companies both big and small. Learn from her experiences on how to be heard and taken seriously, with tips on how to be “the woman” without making the job about being female, how to avoid common traps in team situations, and how to improve your team’s attitude toward test. Melissa walks through how to use an organized, data-driven approach to remove the 'intimidation factor' from the process of advocating for code quality in a team-based setting.

Learn more about Melissa Benua.
WWT3 The Power of Collective Experience
Dawn Haynes, PerfTestPlus, Inc.
10:30 AM

Bring your biggest challenges to this session and tap the wisdom of others. In this immersive session, you will tackle some of the most widely mentioned challenges brought to light from the group. Whether it’s a software testing conundrum, a project setback, a management blocker, a group or team dysfunction or an interpersonal hurdle, all of these can slow our progress and reduce our effectiveness.  And when we hunt for options, we all have blind spots and biases that prevent us from thinking out of the box and finding new and different solutions. Typically the best ideas come from collaborating with others - so let's take your challenges out for a spin!

We will engage in small group brainstorming sessions to generate ideas and approaches for managing, mitigating or solving problems. But brainstorming isn't enough. Each group will dig in and evaluate their ideas by thinking about implementing them, considering possible blockers and suggesting ways to handle them. Every participant should leave with at least one idea or an entire action plan for targeting a significant challenge they are facing today.

Your session leaders will be available to assist, facilitate questions, provoke thinking and provide suggestions throughout the entire workshop, but the real power is in the group! Bring your challenges, ideas, experiences, positive energy, an open mind, and be prepared to work!

Learn more about Dawn Haynes.

In an effort to break down barriers and shift perceptions of women in technology—and all spaces—Axosoft used their tech superhero powers of collaboration, cross-functionality, and agility to offer up a radically reimagined women’s bathroom symbol. This new symbol has started an international conversation that is picking up STEAM! Since the campaign launched just one month ago, it has generated over 18 million impressions, received attention from every major media outlet, and is funding a scholarship at Arizona State University for a need-based student entering a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) field.

In this lively talk, not one, but…TWO Axosoft superheroes, Lawdan Shoajee, CEO of Axosoft and Tania Katan, the instigator behind the #ItWasNeverADress campaign, shares tips for artful disruption inspired by agile methodology!

Learn more about Tania Katan and Lawdan Shojaee.
WWT5 Panel–Career Superpowers
Alison Wade, Software Quality Engineering
1:30 PM

Let’s discuss and define the most important career superpowers for women.  Hear what industry professionals, leaders, and idea disruptors think the important career superpowers are for women in 2015 and going forward.

Panel: Jaimee Newberry, the Founder of SWINGSET, INC., Lawdan Shojaee, the CEO of AxoSoft, Tania Katan, the Curator of Code at AxoSoft, and Melissa Benua, Senior Backend Software Engineer at PlayFab, Inc.

Learn more about Alison Wade.

Building the right personal brand is one of the critical success factors in today’s workplace. Organizations develop a brand and image, but not many individuals think about their personal brand and how it can affect their career. As we interact with people, we want to influence them to support our efforts—approving projects, budgets, and funding; supporting our next career move; or recommending us for that promotion or raise we want.  As a professional, it is critical to understand how you are being perceived by your “target audience.” During this interactive session Jennifer shares ideas on building your brand, mastering politics, reading your colleagues’ and bosses’ perspectives—all techniques that get the results you want. She presents a toolkit for creating your personal brand, changing perceptions in the organization to ensure successful interactions with others, and improving your ability to achieve your career goals.  Any professional with career aspirations should be actively shaping her brand and career. Leave this session with a clear idea of your brand, how to continually re-invent that brand as your career and aspirations evolve,  a start on your personal brand statement, and tips for networking effectively to promote your brand.

Learn more about Jennifer Bonine.