STARWEST 2023 - Conference Speakers | TechWell

Conference archive

Conference Speakers

Application Engineer
Discover Financial

Pradnya Adwankar has more than 20 years of experience in the technology industry as an Application Engineer at Discover Financial Services. Her responsibilities include software design, development, and technical team leadership for her product family. She is passionate about DevSecOps principles adaption, TDD, BDD, test transformation, and more. Pradnya is...Read more

VP of Cloud and DevTestSecOps
EPAM Systems

Adam Auerbach is the Vice President of Cloud and DevTestSecOps 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...Read more

Kenny Austin photo
Chief Customer Officer

Kenny Austin is an accomplished executive with over 25 years of experience leading successful global teams in both pre- and post-sale technical services. As the driving force behind Parasoft Customer Success, Kenny ensures that customers effectively utilize Parasoft solutions to achieve their business objectives and realize long-term value.

Kenny’s expertise in...Read more

Senior Technical Staff Member

Sachin Avasthi is a Senior Technical Staff Member in IBM's CIO organization where he focuses on Application Modernization and helping teams assess, identify, and implement a plan to modernize their application. He also works with IBM Research to co-create tools that can help accelerate the modernization journey and scale the...Read more

Developer Advocate
Grafana Labs

Paul Balogh is a CNCF Ambassador, GoBridge Ambassador, and a Developer Advocate at Grafana Labs. In this role, he encourages developers and testers alike to "shift left," bringing reliability testing earlier in the software development process. He's been a software engineer/architect for over 25 years, programming in various languages and...Read more

Staff Technology Engineer
State Farm

Brian Batronis has over 30 years of software engineering experience in the insurance industry and has been working with JavaScript for about two decades. Brian has more than 15 years of experience enabling engineering teams with testing. In the past six years, he has also been working with engineering teams...Read more

Hajer BenMoussa
Senior Consultant

Hajer Ben Moussa has been leading in the testing industry emphasizing agile software development practices for more than 6 years. Her extensive experience includes all aspects of manual testing, in addition to automation testing of client servers and web-based applications. Hajer analyzed and verified frameworks implementing Page Object Model (POM)...Read more

Melissa Benua
Director of Engineering

Melissa Benua has worked in nearly every software development role—dev, test, DevOps, and program management—at companies big and small and somewhere in-between. She's created and run high availability, high-quality services for PlayFab, Bing, Cortana, and Xbox One, and now for mParticle's enormous data platform. Melissa discovered her love of massively-scaled...Read more

Chris Blain
Software Engineer
Chris Blain has over two decades of experience working in software development, on projects ranging from embedded systems to cloud applications. He offers students and companies a powerful mix of real-world experience and the latest research knowledge. He has worked as an engineering manager, test manager, developer, coach, and test
...Read more
Lyndsey Byblow photo
Solution Architect

Lyndsey Byblow is an IT professional and lifelong QA at heart with almost 25 years of experience in Quality Assurance and Software Delivery in various roles, establishing IT-wide quality and team strategies, processes, and best practices from the ground up. Through out her career no matter what role, she is...Read more

Head of Quality

Erika Chestnut stands as a dedicated advocate for quality, culture, and leadership, serving as the guiding force behind The Leaders' QA Consulting. Seamlessly navigating these domains, she has become a reliable authority in leadership development. With a focus on leadership coaching, consulting, and workshop facilitation, Erika's mission is to support...Read more

Director of Quality Engineering
Carpe Data

Concurrent Sessions

Brendan Connolly is a Test Automation University instructor and recipient of the EuroStar Rising Star Award. He is currently the Director of Quality Engineering at Carpe Data, an insure-tech company providing next generation data solutions to insurance carriers. He is focused on creating and executing testing strategies, building healthy teams...Read more


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

QA Team Lead
Insider Intelligence

Philip Daye is a seasoned software quality professional with over 25 years of experience in the field. Currently the QA Team Lead at Insider Intelligence, he has a diverse background as a tester, manager, architect, and leader, and has worked with companies of all sizes to ensure the delivery of...Read more

Jaimee Finney
Picture This Clothing

Women Who Test Sessions

Jaimee Finney worked in the web interaction, design, and development industry from 1998 to 2013, with emphasis on empathetic and behavioral psychology-applied interface design for web, mobile web, and iOS applications. Currently, she is the cofounder and CEO of Picture This Clothing, which started as a passion project launched by a...Read more

Péter Földházi
Quality Architect
EPAM Systems

Peter Földházi was first involved with QA as a beta tester of DOTA in 2006. Since joining EPAM in 2012, he moved towards test automation, and is currently working in the USA as a Quality Architect. He has experience in designing and developing solutions for mobile, web and desktop applications within...Read more

Founder & CEO

Eden Full Goh is the Founder and CEO of Mobot, a physical testing infrastructure in the cloud for mobile apps powered by supervised, mechanical robots. At Mobot, Eden works directly with mobile-first companies to support their mobile testing strategy and implementation of physical testing automation. Previously, Eden built products that...Read more

Principal Consultant
EPAM Systems

Julie Gardiner works as a Principal Consultant at EPAM Systems, providing consultancy, delivery, and advice in all aspects of testing, management, and agile/DevOps. She is a certified Scrum Master and agile coach, who has over 25 years of experience, including time as a Developer, DBA, Project Manager, Head of Operations...Read more

Senior Technical Program Manager

Ankur Garg is a technically skilled Program Manager with years of experience in leading multiple product teams and organizations. He is currently a Senior Technical Program Manager within the Accessibility Team at Microsoft. With over five years of software development experience, over 13 years of program management experience, and subject matter expertise...Read more

Director Systems Testing Excellence Program
University of Memphis

Dr. Mark L. Gillenson is the Director of the Systems Testing Excellence Program (STEP) in the FedEx Institute of Technology at the University of Memphis, where he is University Research Professor in the Business Information and Technology Department of the Fogelman College of Business and Economics. STEP, founded in 2006...Read more

Accessibility Director
CGI Federal

Pavani Gonuguntla, a Director within the CGI Federal Emerging Technology Practices Accessibility team, is a digital accessibility professional who has served the public sector since 2012. She has an expert understanding of accessibility guidelines, including Section 508, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), and the Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA)...Read more

Head of Testing Products
EPAM Systems

Dmitriy Gumeniuk is the Head of Testing Products, Senior Delivery Manager at EPAM Systems, a leading global provider of digital platform engineering and software development services. Dmitriy led development of solution accelerators at Test Competency Center, focusing of Machine Learning and Neural Networks usage in test automation such as Healenium,...Read more

Priyanka Halder
Director of Quality Engineering
Oscar Health

Priyanka Halder has more than 15 years of experience in Quality Engineering leadership working in various multi-billion dollar companies like Oscar Health, GoodRx Inc, Sony Network Entertainment, Dell R&D, Accenture, and Truecar. She currently leads the Quality Engineering + DevOps team at Oscar Health – the one and only full-stack...Read more

Software Development Engineer in Test
MRI Software

Tim Heck has over 25 years of experience in the software industry and has been working with automated testing for over half of those years. He has a deep understanding of automation and has implemented solutions for several large-scale projects in the financial, automotive, and marketing sectors. Tim has experience...Read more

QA Manager

Tonya Jackson has been in the QA space for over 17 years. She consistently focuses on remaining at the forefront of rapidly evolving technology, which allows her to drive enterprise-wide innovation and maintain a competitive advantage. Her passion is 'true' AI testing and emerging technologies such as ChatGPT. Currently, she...Read more

Lead Software Engineer

John Jenkins has been in the software testing trenches for over 15 years, creating testing solutions for both front-end and back-end testing challenges. With around 10 years experience working with Selenium type solutions, and close to five years working with API and backend automation, he has begun focusing his efforts...Read more

VP of Product-Service Systems
EPAM Systems

Tariq King is the Vice President of Product-Service Systems at EPAM, where he manages a portfolio that lies at the intersection of software products and services, and supports the business through technology consulting. Tariq has over 15 years' experience in software engineering and testing and has formerly held positions as...Read more

Stacy Kirk
QualityWorks Consulting

Stacy Kirk is an Entrepreneur, Agile Coach, and Nationally Recognized Speaker having championed quality and process innovation for over 20 years. Stacy founded QualityWorks Consulting Group, a test architecture consulting firm in 2010. The company enables enterprises to build higher-quality software and future-ready teams to accelerate software delivery. Her staff...Read more

Andrew Knight
Developer Advocate

Andrew Knight is the Automation Panda and a Developer Advocate at Applitools. He strives to help others in solving problems in software development, testing, and quality. Over the past decade, he has designed and built robust test automation projects from the ground up that can run thousands of tests continuously....Read more

Director, Quality Assurance
EAB Global, Inc.

Concurrent Sessions

Pushpa Koneri's education and work experience has centered on technical and management aspects of information technology and quality assurance. This background has provided Pushpa with knowledge in design, development, software testing, strategy planning, client management with user acceptance and overall test management of a software project. Currently, Pushpa is working at...Read more

Siva Kopparapu
Director of QA
PartsSource, Inc.

Siva Kopparapu is an accomplished professional with over 13 years of experience in the QA industry. Currently serving as a Director of QA in the Healthcare Technology sector, she leads a team of 15 skilled QA managers and engineers, delivering top-quality software solutions for critical business needs. Her forward-thinking approach...Read more

Upland InGenius

Chris Loder, a QA Automation Manager at Upland Software, is an automation enthusiast to the core. His passion and experience allow him to 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...Read more

Director of Engineering

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

Senior Product Manager

Jia Ma is a technically skilled Co-Founder and Product Manager with years of experience in leading multiple product teams and organizations concurrently delivering cost effective products and services, with obsession over customers and passion for data. She is currently a Senior Product Manager within Data Platform + Growth Team at...Read more

Associate Director, Bioinformatics System Software Engineering
Guardant Health

Aprajita Mathur is a mom, inventor, mentor and international speaker with an engineering background in Bioinformatics. She has more than 15+ years of software testing experience. She has worked on a wide range of products like instrument software, LIMS, integrated solutions and data analysis pipelines which are used in the...Read more

Manager of Software Quality Assurance

Concurrent Sessions

Stephanie McSwain got her start fresh out of college in manual testing at IBM. In her several years at IBM, she was encouraged to gain coding skills and learned Java and Javascript. This propelled Stephanie into a few backend developer positions, but she eventually madehery way back into testing by...Read more

Grafana k6

Leandro Melendez is a performance testing advocate with K6-Grafana helping everyone to ramp up on their performance practices. He has over 20 years of experience in IT and over 10 in the performance testing practice where he served multiple S&P500 customers all over the USA, Mexico,...Read more

QA Engineer 5
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

Mark Minson is a Swiss-Army knife in the QA field. A certified Scrum Master with QA Lead and automation experience, he has also spent time doing project management and an assortment of other duties. He enjoys the challenge of quality and having fun in the workplace. Since going back to...Read more

Senior Director for Technical & QA
Cox Automotive

Roya Montazeri is the Senior Director for the Technical & QA teams at Cox Automotive. She is responsible for quality engineering initiatives across the Dealertrack organization. She works with agile scrum teams, release management, test and performance engineers, and quality assurance analysts to establish practices and test frameworks for the Dealertrack...Read more

Senoir Delivery Consultant
Global Logic UK & I

Samer Naqvi is a Test Architect with over 16 years of work experience in QA and currently works as Practice Lead for a customer via Global Logic. Samer's aim is to continuously develop and enable teams with best practices and industry standards on the latest tools. She specializes in assisting...Read more

Sr. Quality Engineer
World Wide Technology

Kathleen Naughton has been a Software Test Architect and Quality Engineering consultant for more than 30 years. She has assisted and guided testing of pre-iPhone streaming multimedia cellphone software, consumer and enterprise printer software, virtual storage area network devices, as well as web and mobile applications. Kathleen is a hardcore...Read more

Dev Tools, Inc.

Chris Navrides is the CEO of Dev Tools AI where they bring the latest AI advancements to the entire developer & test pipeline. Previously he was the VP of engineer at, which is built the first AI based mobile & web testing solution. Before that, Chris worked at Google...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

Enterprise Agility Transformation Leader
CGI Federal

Stephen Omojuyigbe is Senior Enterprise Agile Coach at CGI. He is a SME and responsible for agile learning and development in the CGI Agile Center of Excellence (ACoE). Stephen is a SAFe® Certified Practice Consultant (SPC) and agile coach with 21 years project and change management experience spanning several industries...Read more

Managing Member solutions

Jacob Orshalick is a software consultant, agile practitioner, author, speaker, and the founder of solutions. Jacob has over two decades of experience developing software for startups, Fortune 500 companies, and everything in between. He is the author of a best-selling book and has published articles with numerous industry sources....Read more

Lead Quality Engineer
ZS Associates

Gerie Owen is a Lead Quality Engineer at ZS. She is a Certified Scrum Master, Conference Presenter and Author on technology and testing topics. She enjoys analyzing and improving test processes and mentoring new Quality Engineers as well as bringing a cohesive team approach to testing. Gerie is the author...Read more

Software Engineering Team Lead

Jacqueline Pan is an automated testing enthusiast and works with multiple teams at Bloomberg to design and simplify their automated testing infrastructure. With five years of industry experience as a software engineer, Jacqueline leads the Trade Automation team for Bloomberg’s Buy-Side Order Management Enterprise Solution. She has led Bloomberg’s Women...Read more

Principal Automation Engineer

Shailaja Patel is a Principal Automation Engineer with the CIO office of IBM. She comes with a demonstrated history of working in the information technology and services industry. Skilled in Business Automation & Test Automation strategies, Shailaja also provides guidance to teams on various facets of automation. She brings over...Read more

Jeff Payne
CEO and Founder

Jeffery Payne is CEO and founder of Coveros, Inc., a company that helps organizations accelerate software delivery using agile methods. Prior to founding Coveros, he was the co-founder of application security company Cigital, where he served as CEO for 16 years.

Jeffery is a recognized software expert and popular keynote speaker...Read more

Jeff Pierce
Managing Consultant

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

Director Test Engineering
O.C. Tanner

Kevin Pyles has been in the QA industry now for over 15 years with project, product, and management roles throughout. Kevin is currently the Director of Test Engineering at O.C. Tanner. Kevin also served on the board for QA at the Point (a local testing meetup), and is an award-winning...Read more

Vice President - Strategy
Chainsys Corporation

Satish Rajamani has 27 years of rich, multi-national experience in organizations like Oracle Corporation and Cognizant Technology Solutions. He has In-depth expertise in ERP and CRM Applications like Oracle, SAP, and Salesforce. Satish also has a passion for teaching and has taught for over 18 years of in leading technical...Read more

Dinesh Rajput
KPMG US, Technology Enablement

Dinesh Rajput is a Manager in KPMG’s Quality Engineering practice. He has over 15 years of experience delivering data quality and enrichment solutions within the data platform and analytics domain. Dinesh has spent last several years supporting and providing consultation to several communication service providers, addressing their traditional and emerging...Read more

Gomathi Ramalingam
Head of QA
Simba Chain

Gomathi Ramalingam is Head of Quality Assurance at Simba Chain, a leading web3 and blockchain service provider. In her current role, Gomathi is responsible for assuring end-to-end quality including quality of code, APIs, Performance, and Security. She has successfully managed to deliver this through the introduction of Automation Testing at...Read more

Dionny Santiago
Engineering Manager

Dionny Santiago is an Engineering Manager at Indeed and has 12+ years of industry experience working as an SW/QA/ML engineer, software/test architect, and engineering manager. Dionny completed his master's thesis on exploring the intersection between AI and test automation and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in this problem space. One...Read more

Adam Satterfield
Sr. Director of Engineering Enablement
Global Payments

Adam Satterfield, Sr Director of Test Engineering at Global Payments, has been in the software testing industry for 20 years. He has a wide background in industries such as military, SaaS, telecom, mobile, healthcare and finance. Adam enjoys leading and mentoring quality assurance teams as well as teaching testers how...Read more

Associate Director of Quality Assurance
Council for Affordable & Quality Health

Neeta Sonnakul has about 25 years of experience in Information Technology. First few years in development, then quality assurance experience working in various roles for several employers. She has built and led QA teams for companies such as Verizon Wireless, REI, DefyWire to name a few. She has built robust...Read more


Mike Sowers has over forty years of practical experience as a global leader of internationally distributed IT teams across multiple industries. Mike is a senior leader, skilled in working with both large and small organizations to improve their agile software development, testing, and DevOps delivery approaches. Mike is an industry...Read more

IT Manager, Testing and Test Automation
Markel Insurance

Shai Srinivasan manages the Centre of Test Enablement at Markel (Insurance) as part of Enterprise Cloud/DevOps. With a goal to integrate Continuous Testing into the DevOps lifecycle and achieve optimized automation in testing, Shai is passionate about integrating the testing process into the fabric of the entire organization. She is...Read more

Director, Technology, QA and Delivery
AccuWeather, Inc.

Elizabeth Stewart started her journey in quality assurance in 2001. On her first day, she questioned the testing approach and that has been her jam ever since. Elizabeth likes to challenge the status quo of testing and software development practices. She is currently the Sr. Manager of QA and Delivery...Read more


Tom Stiehm has been developing applications and managing software development teams for over twenty years. As CTO of Coveros, he is responsible for the oversight of all technical projects and integrating new technologies and testing practices into software development projects. Recently, Tom has been focusing on how to incorporate DevSecOps...Read more

Perforce Software

Surya Suravarapu is a Principal Consultant with over 15 years of experience working in product and IT services industries supporting customers across various domains in Development and QA areas. He has been part of the customer facing SWAT team with expertise in DevOps products for over 7 years at CA...Read more

Engineering Manager, Quality

Megha Tiwari is the Engineering Manager of Quality Engineering at Iterable, a metric-driven cross-channel marketing platform. She has over with over nine years of experience. Megha sees quality engineering is an amalgamation of software engineering, program management and quality assurance, which propelled her to transition from software engineer to quality...Read more

Director - Software Quality Assurance

Venkatesh Venkataraman has two decades of experience in software development & quality assurance. In his current role as Director of Software Engineering & QA at Oracle, he is spearheading the implementation of automated quality gates for a multi-tenant microservice based platform. He is a thought leader in microservice testing and...Read more

TechWell Corp.

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 currently serves as the Program Chair for EPIC Experience, STAREAST, and STARWEST. She plays a...Read more

Sarah Watkins Headshot
Software Engineer in Test


Sarah Watkins is a Software Engineer in Test at Q2 where she works on an automated end-to-end web UI testing solution that continuously runs thousands of tests daily. She also shares her knowledge of best practices and good coding methodologies with other teams. In addition to this, she is a...Read more

Westfall Team, Inc.

Linda Westfall is the President of the Westfall Team, which provides software engineering, quality, and project management training and consulting services. Linda has more than 40 years of experience in the software industry. Linda is the author of The Certified Software Quality Engineer Handbook. Linda is a past chair of...Read more

Lead Software Test Engineer

Taylor Wilkin has been working with software control of commercial and industrial equipment for over 20 years. However, he is a relative newcomer to the software testing industry, having joined in 2018. Taylor lives just outside of Dallas, Texas, with his wife of 18 years and their five children. He...Read more

Director of QA Engineering
FORT Robotics

Lisette Zounon is a passionate quality engineering leader with over 17 years of experience helping people and companies improve the quality of their applications, with solid tools, a simple process, and a smart team. She strongly believes that industry best practices including implementing agile methodologies and DevOps practices are invaluable....Read more