Conference archive

STARWEST 2016 - Leadership

Tuesday, October 4

Bob Galen
Zenergy Technologies

Agile Test Team Leadership: From Concept to Product

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Tuesday, October 4, 2016 - 1:00pm to 4:30pm

Today, many agile organizations are making a terrible error. They are assuming there is no place for test management and leadership in agile, self-directed team contexts. We beg to differ with this view and believe a strong need exists for testing leadership in agile organizations—just not the way we’ve typically approached it. Join Mary Thorn and Bob Galen as they explore what excellent test team leadership looks like in agile contexts. Explore the aspects of self-directed teams and the implications to your previous leadership styles. Look under the covers of...

Wednesday, October 5

Selena Delesie
Delesie Solutions

Lessons Learned in Leadership: Give Your Team the Edge

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Wednesday, October 5, 2016 - 8:30am to 9:45am

Selena Delesie recognizes that highly successful teams embrace several specific principles. When every person embodies these principles, teams have people who are passionate about the work they do and who show up every day eager and ready to deliver their best. A self-admitted geek, Selena was thrilled to hear Sir Richard Branson speak live at an event last year—in-person and in the same room! She learned that his success is built on the same principles she coaches: listening deeply, believing people truly matter, having an addiction to learning, serving others,...

Tariq King
Ultimate Software

The Path to Test Leadership: A Road Less Traveled

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Wednesday, October 5, 2016 - 11:30am to 12:30pm

Are you interested in growing into a test leadership position? Or do you shy away from leadership because you think you’ll lose your technical, hands-on testing skills? Regardless of your experience level, technical programming knowledge, and company organizational structure, following a test leadership path could be the difference between surviving or thriving as a testing professional. Join Tariq King as he debunks myths about test leadership, and provides a clear explanation of the different software testing leadership roles and positions. If you have ever...

MATRIX Resources

The Art of People Facilitation: Servant Leadership and Team Dynamics

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Wednesday, October 5, 2016 - 1:45pm to 2:45pm

Some of the greatest products come from great teams with exceptional servant leaders. These leaders use influence instead of authority and know when to just get out of the way. Unfortunately, some teams are asked to be self-empowered, change on the fly, think for themselves—and then are told exactly how they have to do all of these things or else. Poor leadership can break a great team, ruin great product, and damage a great organization. In this highly interactive session, Robert Woods explores team dynamics, highlights servant leadership skills, and explains...


Virtually Speaking: Leading Distributed Test Teams

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Wednesday, October 5, 2016 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm

As a newly promoted quality assurance manager, Willie Smith assumed responsibility for a large application that allows UPS customers to ship packages worldwide. His team was distributed worldwide and had varying levels of automation experience, application knowledge, and QA processes in place. With the next deployment date only a few months away, Willie found that the testing side of the project was in trouble. To align the test team with project and company goals, he had to develop virtual training plans and implement new practices to deal with the host of issues...

Thursday, October 6

Ulta Beauty

What Time Is It Over There? Managing Your Global QA Team

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Thursday, October 6, 2016 - 9:45am to 10:45am

Cheaper … faster … smarter—words familiar to modern QA test team leaders everywhere. Although many organizations recognize that a globally-distributed QA model will achieve some of these objectives, it comes with obvious challenges. Lack of immediate communication, not knowing what the other is doing, and even cultural clashes can result in a lack of trust within the team, an absence of team spirit, and high attrition. Elizabeth Wisdom identifies the key to mitigating the risks associated with each challenge. And it’s not a technical solution (like advanced...


T-Shaped People: Time to Get in Shape for Your Testing Future

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Thursday, October 6, 2016 - 9:45am to 10:45am

Today, agile testers are being asked to do a lot more than just testing. The notion of “T-shaped people,” who combine technical skills with collaborative capabilities, was created by Tim Brown in the 1990s to describe the new breed of worker. Mary Thorn believes that anyone—including testers—can contribute more to the business than their standard role traditionally dictates. The tester’s critical view and skeptical thinking can be used earlier in the development process. This role can stretch to include other aspects that intrigue them and keep them interested....


The Tester’s Role: Balancing Technical Acumen and User Advocacy

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Thursday, October 6, 2016 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm

Ten years ago, many of us started our careers in testing, generally moving from a different internal role. It was common for people who were product users to be hired to jump start their technical career. Now, we see the growth of tester positions that require coding experience or a computer science degree. Melissa Tondi discusses the changing landscape of the role of testers, the challenges when hiring developers with no previous testing experience, and a way to shift the pendulum back to balance technical acumen with a user advocacy role. Melissa leads a...


Reception and Summit Kickoff: As a Leader, What Is Keeping You Up at Night?

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Thursday, October 6, 2016 - 5:30pm to 6:30pm

Kickoff the Testing & Quality Leadership Summit with a reception and some networking.

Friday, October 7

Agile CxO

Agile Leadership to Empower Your Team

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Friday, October 7, 2016 - 8:30am to 9:30am

Leadership used to be about delegating authority to subordinates. Today it’s about enabling and facilitating teams and individuals to help them solve their own problems. Join Rod Jardine, an expert in agile leadership techniques, for an interactive discussion of how to apply agile best practices and principles to management and leadership. Learn tips and tricks for motivating employees to step up and lead, empowering teams to reach new heights, and becoming a servant leader for your organization. Take home practical methods for applying agile leadership...


Creative Leadership for Creative Teams

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Friday, October 7, 2016 - 9:45am to 10:45am

As developers and testers, we're uniquely creative, we're inspiration driven, we obsess over every detail, and we can rarely turn it off ... we are creatives, and we are different. We think differently, we perform differently, and we need to lead differently. Join Martin Ringlein for a rant, a rave, and a reality check on how to build and lead creative teams. Learn how to manage collaboration and fuel inspiration. Leave the Testing & Leadership Summit with much more than data points, facts, and figures about leadership; see how changing our perspective of the...

Dawn Haynes
PerfTestPlus, Inc.

The Power of Collective Experience

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Friday, October 7, 2016 - 10:45am to 12:30pm

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...

Tania Katan

The United State of Women Summit: From Dreaming to Doing!

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Friday, October 7, 2016 - 1:15pm to 2:00pm

Axosoft evangelist, Tania Katan reports back after being invited to the White House’s United State of Women Summit as a “Changemaker”. She will share stories from leaders, activists and, ahem, the First Lady of the United States on how women are taking on challenges in technology, entrepreneurship and beyond. You will leave this talk with tools for challenging the status quo and becoming a Changemaker! In the spirit of Axosoft’s collaborative tools (GitKraken)—and work culture—this lively talk (and micro-workshop) will engage attendees in working collaboratively...

Alison Wade
TechWell Corp.

Panel–Career Superpowers

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Friday, October 7, 2016 - 2:00pm to 2:45pm

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 2016 and going forward.

Panel: Tania Katan, the Curator of Code at AxoSoft and Melissa Benua, Senior Backend Software Engineer at PlayFab, Inc.



Building your Personal Brand for Success

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Friday, October 7, 2016 - 3:00pm to 3:45pm
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...