STARWEST 2019 - Conference Speakers | TechWell

Conference archive

Conference Speakers

CA Technologies, A Broadcom Company

Shamim Ahmed is a thought leader in DevOps, Continuous Delivery, Continuous Testing and Application Life-cycle Management (ALM). He has more than 15 years of experience in large-scale application design and development, software product development and R&D, application quality assurance and testing, organizational quality management, IT consulting, and practice management. He...Read more


Jason Arbon is the CEO at where his mission is to test all the worlds apps. Google’s AI investment arm lead’s latest funding round. Jason previously worked on several large-scale products: web search at Google and Bing, the web browsers Chrome and Internet Explorer,...Read more


Davar Ardalan is the founder and storyteller-in-chief of IVOW, a cultural storytelling startup powered by AI. In 2019, Ardalan also served as deputy director of the Presidential Innovation Fellows Program in Washington, DC.  Prior to this, she was a public broadcasting journalist for twenty-five years, mostly at NPR News,...Read more

Vice President of Quality Engineering
EPAM Systems

Adam Auerbach is the Vice President of Quality Engineering at EPAM Systems, a leading global provider of digital platform engineering and software development services. Before joining Epam, Adam served as the VP of Quality and DevOps Engineering at Lincoln Financial Group where Adam was responsible introducing and leading the DevOps...Read more

Deque Systems Inc.

Dylan Barrell has been focused on accessibility testing for the past nine years, having developed the first browser-based developer tool for accessibility testing and founded the open source technologies that make up the axe family of tools. This includes axe-core, axe-webdriverjs, and react-axe. He has also been involved in many...Read more


From the largest companies to the very smallest, Melissa Benua has worked in nearly every software development role—dev, test, DevOps, and program management—in her career. She cut her teeth while building running high-availability, high-quality services while working on Microsoft’s Bing and Cortana, and honed her skills for rapid iteration and...Read more


Michael Bolton is a consulting software tester and testing teacher who helps people solve testing problems that they didn’t realize they could solve. He is the co-author (with senior author James Bach) of Rapid Software Testing, a methodology and mindset for testing software expertly and credibly in uncertain conditions and...Read more

Jennifer Bonine
Co-Founder & CEO
PinkLion AI

Jennifer Bonine is a well-known speaker, teacher, and trainer at both national and international conferences. She has keynoted numerous Testing, Agile, and Development conferences. Jennifer’s belief is that we should do what we are passionate about and believes in living your passion. To this end, Jennifer co-founded and is the...Read more


Hans Buwalda has been working with information technology since his high school years. In his career, Hans has gained experience as a developer, manager, and principal consultant for companies and organizations worldwide. He was a pioneer of the keyword approach to testing and automation, now widely used throughout the industry....Read more

Eun Chang

Eun Chang is a lifelong learner, an avid consumer of new technologies, and a data scientist at Microsoft specializing in machine learning. In her career at Microsoft, Eun has driven a number of projects focusing on Windows post sales monetization and enterprise device usage. Her research uses a broad spectrum...Read more

Ultimate Software

Since he got his first computer at age thirteen, Kaushal Dalvi has been interested in systems and software performance. He spent days researching performance characteristics of different motherboards, CPUs, GPUs, RAM, and disks to configure and overclock them in order to squeeze the maximum frames per second out of the...Read more


Madhu Datla is senior software engineering manager at Intel in the analytics and DevOps organization. He has deep experience in DevOps practices, engineering management, product development, and leading cross-organizational initiatives. Madhu has been working in this field for over eight years as a part of Intel's software community's transformation to...Read more

Ultimate Software

Philip Daye has more than two decades of experience in software development, testing, and delivery for companies of all sizes. From his earliest days as a software tester to today, Philip has pursued a passion for quality, which has led him to hone his craft by studying and researching the...Read more

Product Rebels

Vidya Dinamani is the founder of, where she exercises her passion for coaching product leaders, product teams, and entrepreneurs. She has eighteen years of experience specializing in business and technology strategy and product design, development, and management. Vidya has held multiple executive product, customer experience, and technology roles at...Read more

Software Engineer

Connor studied chemical engineering while in school and did undergraduate research in bioprinting, the intersection of 3D printing and biomedical engineering. While working on his undergrad he was introduced to programming and fell in love. Connor now uses his love of programming and experimentation as a software engineer at Domo,...Read more

System Test Manager

Mike Duskis got his test automation start in 1997 using Rational Robot on a multimedia interleaving product. Over the years, he rotated through testing, development, and test management roles for industries ranging from children's entertainment to higher education to medical devices, but he rarely drifted far from the source code,...Read more

Director Quality

Amy Jo Esser is an enthusiastic self-confessed conference and learning addict. She feels like a kid in a candy store at conferences. She has enjoyed learning at conferences from the beginning of her career through today, and she considers herself a learning leader. Amy Jo believes the time is now...Read more

Isabel Evans
Independent Consultant

Independent quality and testing consultant Isabel Evans has more than thirty years of IT experience in the financial, communications, and software sectors. Her work focuses on quality management, software testing, and user experience (UX). Isabel authored Achieving Software Quality through Teamwork and chapters in Agile Testing: How to Succeed in...Read more


Christine Fisher started her career as a high school history teacher, but a switch to software training got her started on a career path in technology, where she has held various positions in professional services and development over the past fifteen years. Currently managing a team of business analysts and...Read more

Bob Foster
Technical Manager

Bob Foster is a technical manager with over twenty years of experience as a senior software engineer and team lead. Bob has proven experience in all aspects of software development and delivery, including DevOps, CI/CD, and infrastructure as code. He is a firm believer in the benefits gained by software...Read more

Director of Software Quality

Jane Fraser is a software and hardware test engineer and manager with over twenty years of experience in various technologies, including wireless speakers, robotics, mobile games, online games, casual games, social networking games, website QA, e-commerce, release management, desktop publishing, and word processing. She's also an independent certified coach, teacher, and...Read more

Bob Galen
Principal Agile Coach

Bob Galen is an agile practitioner, trainer & coach based in Cary, NC. In this role, he helps guide companies and teams in their pragmatic adoption and organizational shift towards Scrum and other agile methodologies and practices. He is a Principal Agile Coach at Vaco Agile, a leading business agility...Read more

Seretta Gamba
Test automation consultant

Seretta Gamba has forty years’ experience in development and fifteen in test automation. After going through all the usual developer roles, in 2001 she was put in charge of test automation for her current company. She developed a framework that enabled her company to quickly get excellent results. After having...Read more

Independent Consultant

Julie has more than twenty years' experience in the IT industry, including time spent as a developer, database analyst, project and program manager, test analyst, test team leader, test consultant, and test manager. She is now director of consulting at Hitachi Consulting, providing consultancy and training in all aspects of...Read more

Senior Customer Success Manager
Contrast Security

Josh Gibbs is a senior customer success manager at Contrast Security, where he helps companies build security into their applications. Prior to his current role, Josh led the security testing team at a major cloud hosting provider. He has previously worked in development and security roles within the marketing technology...Read more

Gene Gotimer
Principal Consultant
Coveros, Inc.

Gene Gotimer is a proven senior software architect with many years of experience in web-based enterprise application design, most recently using Java. He is skilled in agile software development as well as legacy development methodologies and designing and developing secure, high-quality software. He has extensive experience establishing and using development...Read more

Matthew Grasberger
Associate Consultant

Matthew Grasberger is an Associate Consultant at Coveros with a specialty in Test Automation, DevOps Engineering, and Security Automation. Matt has worked with clients to build and develop robust test automation suites that are integrated into DevOps pipelines based on industry leading practices. In addition, Matt has leveraged open source...Read more

The Pokémon Company International

Paul Grimes has worked in the software industry over twenty years. He loves technology and has worked in many vanguard fields, including web services, game network engineering, automation planning, and automation implementation. He spent the early part of his career at Microsoft working on Office, then shifted to work on...Read more

Dawn Haynes
PerfTestPlus, Inc.

Dawn Haynes is CEO, testing coach, and consultant for PerfTestPlus, Inc. A highly regarded trainer of software testers, Dawn blends experience with a real-world view to provide testers with tools and techniques to help them generate new approaches to common and complex software testing problems. Passionate about improving the state...Read more


Arthur Hicken has been involved in automating various practices at Parasoft for over twenty years. He has worked on various projects involving the software development lifecycle, software security, complex web applications, and integration with legacy systems. Arthur has helped IT departments at Cisco, Vanguard, Motorola, and other major companies improve...Read more


Brian Hicks is a software engineer, development manager, and technical architect with over 15 years of hands-on experience designing and developing software using core Java, web services, and related technologies in both the commercial and public sectors. He is also a Certified ScrumMaster® and has experience implementing agile processes, leading...Read more

Richard Hundhausen

Richard is the president of Accentient, a company that helps software teams deliver better products by understanding and leveraging Scrum and DevOps. He is a certified Professional Scrum Trainer, Microsoft Developer Technologies MVP, author of Professional Scrum Development with Microsoft Visual Studio, and co-creator of the Scaled Professional Scrum framework....Read more

Saltworks Security

Dennis Hurst is a highly respected security expert with expertise in the area of application security and the integration of security into all aspects of the software development lifecycle. His broad experience in security, application development, product management, and IT operations have given him the knowledge and experience to work...Read more

Lightning Keynotes

Lightning keynote speakers coming to STARWEST! Prominent speakers will include Isabel Evans, Mike Sowers, Angie Jones, Melissa Benua, Jane Jeffers, Tariq King, and Janna Loeffler—all hosted by Alison Wade!Read more


Dr. Jess Ingrassellino is the director of quality engineering for the Nonprofit and Education clouds at She is a frequent speaker at international conferences and focuses on community, collaboration, and improvisational practices for enriching professional life. In her spare time, Jess teaches software testing and Python, writes, and plays...Read more

QA Architect
Riot Games

Jane Jeffers is a 10-year veteran of the video games industry, where she has worked in quality assurance on AAA titles and the highly successful League of Legends. As a QA architect at Riot Games, she specializes in end-to-end content development and delivery and performing quality-focused RAID (Risks, Assumptions, Issues,...Read more

Ken Johnston

Ken Johnston is a frequent keynote presenter, trainer, blogger, and author on software testing and data science. Currently he is the principal data science manager for the Microsoft 360 Business Intelligence Group (M360 BIG). Since joining Microsoft in 1998 Johnston has shipped many products, including Commerce Server, Office 365, Bing...Read more

Angie Jones
Senior Developer Advocate

Angie Jones is a Senior Developer Advocate who specializes in test automation strategies and techniques. She shares her wealth of knowledge by speaking and teaching at software conferences all over the world, as well as writing tutorials and blogs on As a Master Inventor, Angie is known for her...Read more


Kishore G. Kamath heads the QA function for the Global Services division of Fiserv, a NASDAQ company. He has over thirty years of experience in developing and testing software, including several digital transformations. He has presented papers at multiple testing user conferences in the US and abroad. Kishore has a...Read more

CEO of Creative Trespassing
Creative Trespassing

Tania Katan is a creative powerhouse, potent keynote speaker, and Co-Creator of #ItWasNeverADress, a social movement that has inspired over 50 million people worldwide to see, hear and celebrate women for the superheroes they are. Her unconventional way of formulating ideas led to the groundbreaking bestseller, Creative Trespassing: How to Put...Read more


Byron Katz has been in love with computers since his father bought the family a Commodore 64. A degreed architect, he found his way back to software development in 2010, and his career has included roles as a quality assurance lead, a full-stack developer, consultant, and sales engineer. Byron has...Read more


Chris Kenst has been improving software quality for nearly 15 years, now serving as an Automation Engineer at BloomNation in Santa Monica, CA. A Board Member for the Non-Profit Association for Software Testing he is working to build better testing education through the AST-BBST classes, webinars and more. An occasional...Read more

Head of Quality
Ultimate Software

Tariq King is the Head of Quality at Ultimate Software. With over fifteen years' experience in software testing research and practice, Tariq leads a team of directors, architects, and engineers responsible for guidance, strategy, innovation and outreach in software quality and performance engineering. His areas of research interest include software...Read more

Stacy Kirk
QualityWorks Consulting Group, LLC

As a software QA architect, agile coach, coder, and speaker, Stacy Kirk champions quality and process innovation in software development. She has led global IT teams to deliver cutting-edge web, mobile, and enterprise applications in a variety of industries from advertising to security. Stacy founded QualityWorks Consulting Group and ...Read more

Director of QA

Concurrent Sessions

Tanya Kravtsov is a Senior Director of QA at Audible, helping to build a new QA org to support innovative product development at scale. Previously, as the head of automation and continuous delivery at ROKITT, senior QA manager at Syncsort, and VP at Morgan Stanley, Tanya focused on quality, automation,...Read more

InGenius Software

An Automation Architect at InGenius Software, Chris Loder is an automation enthusiast to the core. His passion and experience help companies reduce regression time and improve overall software quality. With over two decades of automation experience, he designs and implements automation frameworks with his team of automation developers. Chris is...Read more

Manager, Quality Engineering
Ultimate Software

Janna Loeffler has more than fifteen years of software quality experience. She holds a bachelor's degree in computer engineering and a master's degree in business administration. Working in a variety of software engineering roles, including development, testing, quality assurance, and DevOps, has provided her with a holistic view of software...Read more

Claire Lohr
Lohr Systems

Claire Lohr has been an active professional in the computer field for thirty years, with the last twenty years emphasizing software process improvement and testing. Claire provides training—design, authoring, and instruction—and consulting services for a wide variety of both government and commercial clients. She is a Lloyd’s Register trained ISO...Read more

Yury Makedonov
Test Manager

Yury Makedonov was trained as a researcher and worked in a research and development institution dealing with composite materials. He has a Ph.D. degree in physics and math, though he is not a rocket scientist anymore; now he is using his skills and knowledge to improve software quality. Yury has...Read more

Satyajit Malugu
Test Automation Engineer

Satyajit Malugu is a test automation engineer with over 10 years of experience. He specializes in Android and iOS mobile test automation, and has helped companies including Urbanspoon, Godaddy, and SoFi plan and execute on mobile test strategy. He is eager to learn and to share his learnings as...Read more

Manager Bioinformatics Software Test
Guardant Health

Aprajita Mathur is a Bioinformatics Software Test Manager with an engineering background in Bioinformatics. She has more than 10 years of software testing experience. She has worked as a manual and automation tester on a wide range of products like instrument software, LIMS, web-applications and integrated solutions which are used...Read more

Moser Consulting

John McConda is an experienced Software Quality Control/Assurance tester, technician, and manager. Experienced in multiple methods of software testing from rigorous validated system testing, to session-based exploratory testing, test automation, and performance. Teacher and speaker for software testing classes and conferences.

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Software Engineer

Mimi Balcom Meng has over twenty years of working experiences as a software engineer, quality engineer, and release engineer. Most of her work is devoted to test automations. Her software testing experiences include testing web applications, middleware and services, databases applications, media applications, software security applications, cloud applications, and server...Read more

Test Architect

Geoff Meyer is a test architect in the Dell EMC Infrastructure Solutions Group and has thirty-five years of industry experience as a software developer, manager, program manager, and director. He drives the test strategy and architecture for over four hundred software and hardware testers across India, Taiwan, and the United...Read more


Moshe Milman is the cofounder of Applitools, a cloud service for automated visual testing. As part of his role at Applitools, he helps dozens of companies across the industry implement state-of-the-art test automation suites. Moshe is passionate about software testing and frequently gives talks about it in various conferences around...Read more

Bayside Consultants

With operations experience in a variety of regulatory settings from public utilities to video games, Bill has been involved in projects that require compliance with payment processing, privacy, rate structures and consumer protection. After joining a global QA organization, Bill broadened his legal and regulatory compliance background with testing for regional requirements from around...Read more

Kristoffer Nordström
Northern Test Consulting AB

Kristoffer Nordström is a test developer who has worked with telecommunications systems, distributed compilers, cloud technology, smartphone OS development, embedded systems, and much more. As a testing devotee and a member of the context-driven test community, with his own company Kristoffer consults and teaches the course Python for Testers because...Read more

Testing Strategist and Evangelist
Technology Strategy Research

Gerie Owen is Testing Strategist and Evangelist at Technology Strategy Research. She is a Certified Scrum Master, Conference Presenter and Author on technology and testing topics. She enjoys mentoring new QA Leads and brings a cohesive team approach to testing. Gerie is the author of many articles on technology including Agile...Read more

Tauhida Parveen

Tauhida Parveen is a consultant and trainer specializing in software testing and cloud computing. She holds a PhD in Computer Science from the Florida Institute of Technology. She has over 10 years of experience working in Quality Assurance with organizations such as The WikiMedia Foundation, Millennium Engineering & Integration, Yahoo!,...Read more

Jeff Payne
CEO and Founder

Jeffery Payne is CEO and founder of Coveros, Inc., a consulting company that helps organizations accelerate delivery using agile methods. Since its inception in 2008, Coveros has become a market leader in agile and DevOps engineering while being recognized by Inc. Magazine as one of the fastest growing private companies...Read more

Jeff Pierce
Coveros, Inc.

Jeff Pierce has more than 20 years of experience in software engineering management, specializing in program, project, and software quality assurance management. Jeff is also experienced in building technical teams that are rapidly able to implement solutions and deliver business value. More recently, Jeff has focused on Agile project management...Read more

1A1 Innovations

Mike Puntumapanitch is the principal consultant and transformation IT executive leading the Consulting Services & Digital Transformation practices at 1A1 Innovations. He has twenty years of experience driving change, improving service levels, and proving the value of IT services and systems within Fortune 500 companies. Most recently, he led several...Read more

Director, QA
Domo, Inc

Concurrent Sessions

Kevin Pyles has been in QA for over ten years and has led local and remote teams responsible for QA across forty-plus concurrent projects. Kevin’s previous teams provided web load testing for over 600,000 connections/sec and I18N and L10N testing for over a hundred languages and countries. Kevin recently fell...Read more

Lead Test Engineer

Kat Rocha has over twenty years of experience in Test Engineering and is currently a Senior QA Engineer at ACT/NRCCUA. She has managed and lead test teams at Imperva, The Advisory Board Co., Dell, HP and Compaq, working on computer hardware, software and firmware. Kat loves to break things and...Read more

Intelligent Automation Offering Lead

Larissa Rosochansky is the head of Intelligent Automation at Avanade. Prior to that, she was the head of Testing and Automation at IBM Brazil for several years. She has been working with design thinking, project management, quality assurance, and software testing for the last fifteen years. She has worked in...Read more

Principle Consultant
AmiBug.Com, Inc.

Rob Sabourin has more than thirty-five years of management experience leading teams of software development professionals. A highly-respected member of the software engineering community, Rob has managed, trained, mentored, and coached hundreds of top professionals in the field. He frequently speaks at conferences and writes on software engineering, SQA, testing,...Read more

Product Rebels

Heather Samarin, founder of Product Rebels, has seventeen years of experience in delighting customers through the design, development, and management of customer experiences within both B2B and B2C marketing and product management. She’s held senior and C-level roles at start-ups within the social gaming and health care markets, where she...Read more

Director of Test and Automation

Max Saperstone has been working as a software and test engineer for over a decade, with a focus on test automation within the CI/CD process. He specializes in open source tools, including the Selenium tool suite, JMeter, AutoIT, Cucumber, and Chef. Max has led several test automation efforts, including developing...Read more


Lorna Smyth is from Galway on the west coast of Ireland. She is currently a technical sales engineer for SmartBear's test automation tools. She has worked in various IT roles over the past eight years, including technical analyst, data migration test lead, and software licensing specialist. She specializes in test...Read more

test IO

Philip Soffer is the CEO of test IO. A twenty-year internet veteran, Soffer ran product management at Plumtree Software during the enterprise portal era, product development at Lithium Technologies when social CRM emerged, and marketing and operations at Piazza. He is an expert in enterprise and SMB software product management,...Read more


Coveros' Executive Vice President of Training Mike Sowers has more than twenty-five years of practical experience as a global leader of internationally distributed test teams across multiple industries. Mike is a senior leader, skilled in working with both large and small organizations to improve their software development, testing, and delivery approaches....Read more

Mary Thorn
Agile Practices Lead

During her more than twenty years of experience with financial, health care, and SaaS-based products, Mary Thorn has held VP, director, and manager-level positions in various software development organizations. A seasoned leader and coach in agile and testing methodologies, Mary has direct experience building and leading teams through large-scale agile...Read more

Melissa Tondi
Senior QA Strategist
Rainforest QA

Melissa Tondi has spent most of her career working within software testing teams. She is the founder of Denver Mobile and Quality (DMAQ), past president and board member of Software Quality Association of Denver (SQuAD), and Consultant Manager at Rainforest QA, where she assists companies to continuously improve the pursuit...Read more

Peter Varhol
Technology Strategy Research

Peter Varhol is a software strategist and evangelist who closely observes the testing industry and uses his knowledge and experience to identify new technologies and help companies respond to those trends. His diverse technical background enables him to seamlessly integrate new technologies into his practices and provides him with a...Read more

Alison Wade
TechWell Corp.

Women Who Test Sessions

Alison Wade is the President of TechWell and an accomplished executive dedicated to the business of software. For the past fifteen years, she has worked with industry leaders developing programs for software development and testing professionals. She has been the Program Chair for the Mobile Dev + Test and IoT...Read more

IT Senior Manager of Quality Assurance at Caesars Entertainment
Caesars Entertainment

IT Senior Manager of Quality AssuranceRead more

State Farm

Tim Wheeler is a technology manager with twenty years' experience working on and leading large IT projects at State Farm. He has held the positions of product manager for Mainframe Continuous Delivery and Test Environment Provisioning, program test manager for DOL, release test manager, test manager, and project manager of...Read more