STARWEST 2017 Concurrent Session : A Shift in Mindset: From Finding Defects to Preventing Them

Conference archive


Wednesday, October 4, 2017 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm

A Shift in Mindset: From Finding Defects to Preventing Them

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Although most software companies have adopted agile development, many still treat quality assurance as something that gets handled when coding is finished and ready for test. However, practicing this reactive approach to quality costs teams in rework, context switching, slower code release cycles, growing bug queues, and the release of defects into production. Join Oscar Gracia and Todd Albers as they share techniques you can use to help change this “ready for test” mindset. Learn how to focus on testing and quality from the start by using a pre-grooming approach to ensure stories are detailed enough for developers to code. Discover how conducting developer demos can help developers themselves find bugs. Start thinking about engaging the teams QA mind early and throughout the software development lifecycle in order to ask insightful questions, uncover potential issues, and address them while the cost is low. Oscar and Todd share the tools you need to make iterative changes—both individually and within your organization—so you can shift the mindset from finding defects to preventing them.


In software quality assurance for fifteen years, Oscar Gracia has worked in diverse situations—start-ups to mature organizations, small and large teams, waterfall to agile methodologies—to build a wide array of software from real-time ad-exchange to payment system software. For the past five years, Oscar has been working with AppFolio, focusing on bug prevention and driving value for the customer while maintaining the team’s agility, as AppFolio matures from a start-up to a growing public company.


An engineer with a background in test and quality across multiple industries and various company sizes, Geordie Speake has been a member of technical teams focused on bringing quality products and solutions to customers both internal and external. From the test labs of a large aerospace company where software was starting to be used to automate traditionally manual processes, to his current work with AppFolio’s software Quality Assurance team, Geordie has seen many ways teams attempt to insure bug free products and is excited to share some of the things that he feels are currently helping AppFolio deliver exceptional customer value.