CAST 2015 has ended
The Association for Software Testing is pleased to announce its tenth annual conference, CAST 2015 “Moving Testing Forward,”to be held in Grand Rapids, Michigan, August 3-5.Since our first CAST we  have seen dramatic changes in the nature of communications and the nature of delivery, from PC to client/server to the web and web services. Deployment is different; monitoring is different, builds and test tooling are different. We have a variety of new models and methods for our testing. CAST is where we talk about how they actually work out in practice, based on experience. At our tenth CAST, in 2015 speakers will be presenting stories, workshops and tutorials regarding their experiences surrounding how to advance software testing.

Join us this summer for our tenth annual conference in downtown Grand Rapids at the beautiful Grand Plaza Hotel August 3-5, as we explore “Moving Testing Forward.”

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Track Session [clear filter]
Tuesday, August 4

11:05am EDT

Building A Culture Of Quality, A Real World Example
“Quality is everyone’s responsibility.”  This statement is frequently used in the software industry when talking about the role of a tester, often times without an explanation of what it means or how to achieve it. If there is a description provided, the focus is often on the skills and task of the tester. Focusing on the tester seems almost ironic when the statement talks about making quality *everyone’s* responsibility.

So how do we make quality everyone’s responsibility? We build a culture of quality; all the tools, skills, and processes in the world won’t help raise the quality bar without quality being part of the DNA of the company. How the heck do we do that?

Josh will give real world examples from Amazon and Salesforce that have helped build and evolve a quality culture from the ground up. He will also share painful examples that can become a reality if you don't build quality into your culture.

avatar for Josh Meier

Josh Meier

Architect, Quality Engineering, Salesforce
Josh Meier is a Quality Engineering Architect at Salesforce currently working on infrastructure engineering. He has been working with software for about 15 years. He originally started as a developer but was drawn towards quality. After making the switch he has been focused on... Read More →

Tuesday August 4, 2015 11:05am - 12:20pm EDT
Vandenberg A

11:05am EDT

Learning To Lead: Making An Impact By Improving Yourself

Sometimes we recognize a need for improvement in our test organization, but it can be difficult to accomplish when you are not in a formal leadership position. For me, the solution was to first commit to self-improvement. I read blogs, magazines, and Twitter, and joined groups like Weekend Testing, Miagi-Do, and Software Development 24/7. I learned techniques like pair/collaborative testing and evaluating risks to determine what to test.

New projects and hallway discussions helped me introduce these techniques to my team. My relationships with the Customer Support team allowed me to introduce pair testing for training, replacing assigning scripts to new trainees. I improved coverage and reduced effort on a regression project by evaluating risk to determine which test cases to include. I started a team discussion on our existing test cases, and as a result, I've been asked to study how the team can write better test cases. By sharing self-improvement ideas and ways to build relationships inside and outside of the test team, attendees can learn to improve their test team’s effectiveness.

avatar for Carol Brands

Carol Brands

Software Tester, DNV GL Software
Carol Brands began her software career working as a technical support representative, where she developed an empathy and understanding for her users. After choosing to focus on testing, she moved to DNV GL Software and spent the next three years developing her testing skills and studying... Read More →

Tuesday August 4, 2015 11:05am - 12:20pm EDT
Governors Room

11:05am EDT

The Context Driven Tester In The Lean Startup
The Lean Startup movement focuses relentlessly on pushing value to customers quickly and reducing waste, in part through encouraging a culture of exploration and experimentation. As testers, we can apply our critical thinking and analysis skills, and our willingness to be creative and notice what no one else does to greatly improve product/market fit and generate revenue-producing information for our firms.  In this talk, we will examine some of the main ideas of the Lean Startup movement (build-measure-learn, A/B testing, minimum viable product, and continuous innovation) in the light of the principles of context-driven testing. The current interest in Lean techniques in the enterprise indicates a massive demand for testing skills that may not be identified as such.  We will map our experiences as testers to the Lean Startup ideas (and buzzwords) to assist in making the case for a crucial role for testers in the product marketing function.

avatar for Thomas Vaniotis

Thomas Vaniotis

Product Manager, Liquidnet
Thomas Vaniotis has over ten years of experience as a tester, developer, and product analyst. At NYC-based institutional brokerage Liquidnet, he is the product manager for internal and external customer tools that manage multiple complex trading applications. He is interested in... Read More →

Tuesday August 4, 2015 11:05am - 12:20pm EDT
Vandenberg B

11:05am EDT

From Test Cases to Context-Driven: A Startup Story
The financial industry is notorious for its unwillingness to change. Change is often avoided unless absolutely necessary, and usually at the behest of company executives. This is the story of Gary's journey moving from test cases to context-driven testing in a start-up financial technology company and the invitation to change that never arrived.

He felt motivated to change the company's approach and moved from a test case culture to a testing program based on a heuristic test strategy model. This journey required planning, passion, a leap of faith, and applying other tester’s advice and experiences.  His team incorporated techniques and approaches learned in rapid software testing, learning many lessons through this experience.

Gary will show you how to plan your own journey towards context-driven testing and how to gain confidence in enacting that change. Additionally, he will show how to combine community advice with your own experience to catalyze improvements and forward momentum. He will also share tips on how to obtain support from people who matter, and how your passion for testing can help teams embrace change.

avatar for Gary Miller

Gary Miller

Director of Testing and Release, Boku, Inc
Gary Miller is the Director of Testing and Release at Boku Inc. in San Francisco, where he and his team have moved from a test case culture to context-driven testing. He has been in software testing for 12 years, starting out as a test pilot for an auto club startup, then making... Read More →

Tuesday August 4, 2015 11:05am - 12:20pm EDT
Ambassador West

1:30pm EDT

Should Testers Code?
Some people have suggested that the days of the human, thinking-only tester are numbered. Others believe that time writing code means time spent not testing, and that coding subtly changes the perspective of the tester away from the customer.

We invited two leaders in the field, Henrik Andersson and Jeff "Cheesy" Morgan, to assume these opposing positions and lead a debate. Hear both perspectives, see what aligns with your context, and make your own informed decision to move your own part of test forward.

avatar for Erik Davis

Erik Davis

Manager of Testing, Hyland Software, Inc.
Erik is currently responsible for the overall testing effort of a team of 170 testers. He owns, reviews, and finds ways to improve the way testing is done including; bringing new ideas to the team, finding ways to engage testers in testing as a career, and building a stronger community... Read More →

avatar for Henrik Andersson

Henrik Andersson

CEO, House of Test
Henrik Andersson is Co-founder and CEO of House of Test Consulting, a context driven testing consultancy based in Sweden, Denmark and China. Besides House of Test, Henrik also co-founded Let´s Test, Europe´s first annual conference on context driven testing. The conference has set... Read More →
avatar for Jeffrey "Cheezy" Morgan

Jeffrey "Cheezy" Morgan

Continuous Delivery Coach, Tango
Jeff been helping companies improve the way they build software since the early days of Agile. His emphasis on Continuous Delivery has fostered new technical and collaborative techniques that help teams deliver high quality software every day. He is driven by Lean values and principles... Read More →

Tuesday August 4, 2015 1:30pm - 2:45pm EDT
Governors Room

1:30pm EDT

Testing Is Your Brand: Sell It!

Do you feel misunderstood? Do you feel like what you do isn’t respected by those you work with? Are you afraid for the future of testing at your company? You aren’t alone. Those feelings are common in the testing community. Most people feel that there is nothing they can do to help the situation.

This interactive talk will give individuals the tools they can practically use to become the solution they are looking for. We’ll dive into how to own your own reputation, the importance of setting clear expectations, and how to talk to non-testers about testing. This may sound like marketing … and that’s because it is.

As the Director of Quality Assurance at a Digital Advertising Agency Kate Falanga has seen where marketing and testing can successfully merge. Testing is a brand and you represent that brand. Are you Walmart or Tiffany’s? You decide. Here’s how.

avatar for Kate Falanga

Kate Falanga

Director, Quality Assurance, Huge
Kate Falanga (Director, Quality Assurance at Huge) has over 14 years of digital experience. At Huge she works with a full time team of quality assurance professionals as well as actively supports projects and project teams with testing mentorship. As part of her role she works alongside... Read More →

Tuesday August 4, 2015 1:30pm - 2:45pm EDT
Ambassador West

3:00pm EDT

Feedback And Its Importance In Delivering High Quality Software.
Broadly, feedback comes in three forms: appreciation, coaching and evaluation. Often the receiver wants to hear one type of feedback, while the giver actually means something else. In your testing career, you will need to understand how to give and receive feedback, from bug reports to discussing quality with executives. Ken will share his experiences of the feedback process during various points in his software development career.

Areas where this type of information will help you:
- Coaching: giving and receiving comments during test case and session-based reviews.
- Evaluation: developing relationships with various levels of management where criticism is encouraged and used to move the organization forward.
- Appreciation: helping to preserve the value of the software you are testing.

Think bug reports.

Attendees will take away:
- How to give and receive feedback, by identifying the various triggers
- Ways of practicing it in a safe environment

avatar for Ken De Souza

Ken De Souza

Software Engineering Manager, Exinda, Inc
Ken De Souza has been in software development for over 15 years, starting as a developer bent on automatically checking everything he built. Currently he is specializing in exploratory testing, with a passion for delivering high quality software at a rapid pace. He occasionally... Read More →

Tuesday August 4, 2015 3:00pm - 4:15pm EDT
Governors Room

3:00pm EDT

Visualizing Testability
The simplest way Maria Kedemo knows of describing testability is “How easy it is to test a specific product”. Low testability would be anything that slows you down or makes it harder to test. Frustrated testers might be a symptom of such. A high degree of testability helps not only testers, but everyone involved in the development of the product.

Through out her career as a test manager she has seen her fellow testers suffer daily from things affecting their testing negatively. Flaky test environments, buggy code, exclusion from relevant information, difficulties in creating test data and lack of knowledge in a specific domain were only a few of the problems.

The suffering was not the testers’ alone. It affected the project, the development teams and the organization. So Maria decided to make “Visualizing Testability” the mission for year 2014, thus moving testability forward to a common awareness and ownership.

Maria will share:
- Why she thinks testability is important.
- The problems lack of testability caused.
- How techniques used to visualise testability helped her team.
- How helping non-testing peers understand testability helped her team.

avatar for Maria Kedemo

Maria Kedemo

Consultant and Founder, Black Koi Consulting
Maria is the Conference Chair for CAST 2019. She is also a Board Member of the Association for Software Testing. She has a vast experience within Software Development where she focuses on the holistic approach to Quality Engineering and Software Testing. She has spoken at several... Read More →

Tuesday August 4, 2015 3:00pm - 4:15pm EDT
Ambassador West

4:45pm EDT

A leap towards Context Driven Testing
Early 2012, at a multinational telecom company, Erik Brickarp joined a new team. The orders were clear: “the team's output must stay the same as everyone else’s.” Output meant, among many things, big document templates and loads of test cases.

In the end the team had for its context, a lightweight and open test process where various flavors of exploratory testing were a common approach.

But it took quite an adventure to get there.

avatar for Erik Brickarp

Erik Brickarp

Teacher in Software Testing, House of Test
Erik Brickarp is a consultant working for House of Test, Sweden. He's currently responsible for a 1½ years software testing education but his commitment to the context-driven community goes way beyond his work. In his spare time he's an enthusiastic student of testing, mentors... Read More →

Tuesday August 4, 2015 4:45pm - 6:00pm EDT
Vandenberg B

4:45pm EDT

Bad Metric, Bad
Metrics have always been used in corporate sectors, primarily as a way to gain insight into what is an otherwise invisible world. Not only that, "standards bodies", such as CMMi, require metrics to achieve a certain maturity level. These two factors tend to drive organizations to blindly adopt a set of metrics as a way of satisfying some process transparency requirement. Rarely do any organizations apply any statistical or scientific thought behind the measures and metrics they establish and interpret.

In this talk, we'll look at some common testing metrics and discuss why they fail to represent what most people believe they do. We'll discuss the real purpose of measures, issues with measure and metric programs, how to leverage measure and metrics effectively, and finally specific measure and metric pitfalls organizations encounter.

avatar for Joseph Ours

Joseph Ours

National Quality Assurance and Testing Service Lead, Centric Consulting
As Centric Consulting's National Software Quality Assurance and Testing Service Offering Lead, Joseph Ours has nearly two decades of career experience in Information Technology and Certified Project Management consulting. He believes in finding ways to harmoniously work with all... Read More →

Tuesday August 4, 2015 4:45pm - 6:00pm EDT
Vandenberg A

4:45pm EDT

Growing Testers from the Ground Up
Megan was a former tester.  Now, she trains testers.

She is responsible for her QA department’s three-year-old New Employee Orientation program.  Her job?  She runs a week-long curriculum that immerses new employees into her company's software, and then, introduces them to basic testing concepts. 

The successes?  New employees are more prepared to contribute right away, according to management.  All employees now have a common base of knowledge upon which they are expected to be able to build.

The challenges?  Many new employees have no experience testing.  The class size might be one employee, or ten. If an employee falls behind early in the week, catching up can be difficult.

The plans?  Expand the program.  Offer classes and workshops for new employees over a six-month span.  Create classes in performance testing, working with databases, and a pair testing workshop.  Use tester games to help teach testing fundamentals. 

The fledgling program helps create better-equipped testers.  Let Megan share how.

What you can expect from this session:
  • Ideas on how to educate brand-new testers
  • Stories of what worked and what didn’t
  • An outline of their program
  • How her team keeps department leadership “in the loop”

avatar for Megan Studzenski

Megan Studzenski

QA Education Trainer, Hyland
Megan Studzenski is a Quality Assurance Education Trainer, which is an official way of saying she teaches people to be better testers. She is responsible for teaching introductory testing skills to new employees, as well as devising testing workshops and experiences for more skilled... Read More →

Tuesday August 4, 2015 4:45pm - 6:00pm EDT
Governors Room

4:45pm EDT

Using Feedback to Reduce Truthiness
“My team is great! They all love what they’re doing and we work together as a really cohesive
unit.” Are you a testing manager that would use similar words to describe your team? What
evidence or facts do you base your description upon? If your answer includes references to your intuition or “gut,” then you are practicing truthiness - stating what you wish or believe to be true, rather than the facts.

As a leader, facts and reality should far outweigh truthiness. Feedback is an essential and
powerful tool to use to determine what is real – for you as well as your team.

Join Jeffrey as he shares his thoughts on seeking, giving, and receiving feedback. Topics to be included:
● Truthiness in the context of testing and leadership?
● Developing the feedback habit
● Heuristics to use to improve the feedback you give and receive
● Creating a culture of feedback can strengthen a team

avatar for Jeffrey Woodard

Jeffrey Woodard

Senior Manager, Quality Engineering, Salesforce
Jeff Woodard is a Senior Manager in Quality Engineering at Salesforce in Indianapolis, Indiana. He has been performing software testing in a variety of roles in a variety of industries for over 20 years. In his current role at Salesforce, he leads a team of testers focused on data... Read More →

Tuesday August 4, 2015 4:45pm - 6:00pm EDT
Ambassador West
Wednesday, August 5

11:05am EDT

Experiences from Asking Outsource Partners to Shift to Context Driven Testing
A continuing trend in software development is the move to outsourced developers and in our case specifically, testers. Usually this is done for cost measures and has little to do with the effectiveness or quality of the testers employed.  Many of these test organizations have a set strategy they use for testing.  Their testing paradigm attempts to account for the lack of timely communication and physical proximity by utilizing a "more is better" philosophy with little thought put into testing in a risk-based or context driven approach.

Phil and Carl will share a journey on how HomeAway attempted to move three outsource partners from traditional testing paradigm to the Context-Driven School of software testing. 

This talk will present actions taken to educate these partners, the challenges that were
presented, the tooling that was leveraged, and the final outcomes.

How many outsource partners do you think were successful in making this transition?

avatar for Phil McNeely

Phil McNeely

Senior QA Manager, HomeAway
Phil is currently a QA Manager for HomeAway.com in Austin, TX. His start in testing came over 17 years ago in a game startup run by a close friend. While the game failed to post enough sales to keep it viable, it did open the door to the world of testing and ignite a passion for... Read More →
avatar for Carl Shaulis

Carl Shaulis

Director of Quality Engineering, HomeAway
Carl Shaulis is the Senior QA Engineer at homeAway.com.  Prior to 2000, Carl was a chemist managing an air laboratory in Austin, Texas.  In 2000 a close friend encouraged Carl to enter the dot-com boom and apply his analytical skills as a tester for Excite@Home.  Carl’s passion... Read More →

Wednesday August 5, 2015 11:05am - 12:20pm EDT
Governors Room

11:05am EDT

Reason And Argument For Testers
A key part of a tester’s skill is the ability to convince others that the information they are presenting is true. This skill can be enhanced by the tools of analytical philosophy, which make up a framework for rigorously converting everyday rhetorical conversation into formal arguments that can be analyzed and discussed rationally. In this talk, we will present basic argument analysis: distinguishing between validity and soundness, identifying the type of reasoning used in an argument, and signs of common fallacies. We will also demonstrate that disputes are often a result of hidden or misidentified disagreements and how to use rational argument as a method of improved discourse. Finally, we will present some ideas in epistemology: belief, justification, and knowledge. The topics covered will be illustrated with examples from real-world experiences that Thomas & Scott have encountered in the software testing community and in their professional experience.

avatar for Scott Allman

Scott Allman

Managing Partner, Complex Systems Management
Scott Allman is an independent software consultant specializing in software integration and testing. He has taught all the BBST classes, regularly presents at SQuAD (Software Quality Assurance of Denver) and has taught software engineering as an adjunct professor at the University... Read More →
avatar for Thomas Vaniotis

Thomas Vaniotis

Product Manager, Liquidnet
Thomas Vaniotis has over ten years of experience as a tester, developer, and product analyst. At NYC-based institutional brokerage Liquidnet, he is the product manager for internal and external customer tools that manage multiple complex trading applications. He is interested in... Read More →

Wednesday August 5, 2015 11:05am - 12:20pm EDT
Vandenberg A

11:05am EDT

The World's First CDT Education
This track session is about the world’s first Context Driven Test-education that runs over one and a half year is currently ongoing with two classes in Sweden and this presentation is about the thoughts behind and the challenges creating such an education. It is also about the results we could see from our students and the value they could provide from day one.

There are government sponsored professional educations that focus on specific needs of the industry and this year the Software Testing-education has been remade after a CDT-model. When structuring the education one thing was clear: One and a half year is really not that much time for covering even the most common test contexts so we had to limit ourselves and focus on the core of testing, giving a solid foundation for the students to develop their skills on.

avatar for Martin Nilsson

Martin Nilsson

Consultant, House of Test
Martin is a consultant at the firm House of Test. He started out his testing career working when applying by mistake for a position to test mobile platforms. He refers to this mistake as the best one he has made his in his professional life because working with testing has suited... Read More →

Wednesday August 5, 2015 11:05am - 12:20pm EDT
Vandenberg B

11:05am EDT

The Art and Science of Questioning

As skilled testers, asking good questions about the object under test is of the utmost importance. However, asking just any random questions will not do. How do we, as testers, decide what questions to ask? Social science, specifically the practices used in qualitative research, can provide testers with methods to ask more revealing questions, enhancing our testing process and providing our stakeholders with better information to make decisions about the product.

Attendees of this talk will learn about specific questioning techniques, such as becoming more mindful of harmful assumptions, embracing doubt, and examining themselves and their non-testing experiences as generative to their own testing process.

avatar for Jess Ingrasselino, Ed.D

Jess Ingrasselino, Ed.D

Director of Quality Assurance at Salesforce.org (USA)
Dr. Jess Ingrassellino is the Director of Quality Engineering at Salesforce.org, where she developed and implemented the testing philosophy. She is active in the education community as a member of the Industry Advisory Board for CUNY Techworks, and teaches Python and testing to participants... Read More →

Wednesday August 5, 2015 11:05am - 12:20pm EDT
Ambassador West

1:30pm EDT

Beyond the UI: Becoming a More Technical Tester
Exploring the User Interface (UI) gives us a solid view of how software is functioning from the perspective of our users.  But if this is our only view, how do we really know what’s going on under the hood?  Each of us has the ability to become a stronger, more well-rounded tester, and the journey begins with admitting that there’s something more to learn.  Some testers are apprehensive about becoming more technical because they do not know how to learn the skills, or because they lack confidence in their own ability to do so. 

During this talk we will explore how to encourage ourselves and others to ask better questions, how to seek help from others, and how to learn about common tools used in testing.  This session will give the encouragement to help testers as they take their next steps toward moving beyond the UI.

avatar for Erica Walker

Erica Walker

Senior Software Quality Engineer, Salesforce
Erica Walker is a Senior Software Quality Engineer at Salesforce, and has been working in tech for seven years.   She managed a project team for a learning management system, then managed a testing and support team, and is now testing full time.  Erica is also the co-leader... Read More →

Wednesday August 5, 2015 1:30pm - 2:45pm EDT
Governors Room

1:30pm EDT

Visual Testing: It's Not What You Look At; It's What You See
How many mundane tasks do we do in a day that, if we think about them, we don't actually  remember anything about doing them? Our mind was in a different place and we were functioning on autopilot. Sometimes our eyes are so familiar with the things we see every day, our brains do not recognize when something has been taken or moved to a new location.

The TV show “Brain Games” is based on the premise where the audience is asked to pay attention and focus on what is happening.  Focusing on a specific area or activity prohibits the audience from seeing things that are going on around them.  This “inattentional blindness” causes key details to be missed.  Our brain is the most complex tool we have in our possession.  However, with a highly complex tool comes the need to ensure that it is used appropriately and to its full potential.

In testing, such focused concentration leading to “inattentional blindness” can impact the product being delivered.  We must find a way to constantly challenge our visual images and prohibit our brain from accepting that there are no changes which could impact the quality of the product.  It is critical to be aware of the entire surroundings of the testing activity and to be able to recognize and call out changes that may be easily overlooked without an attention to detail.

In this session, Mike Lyles will challenge participants to “think outside the box”.  There will be specific exercises to show how that the human mind sometimes overlooks details when they seem visually insignificant or unrelated.  We will examine how testers can become better prepared for such oversights and discuss strategies that can be used immediately in your organizations.  The key to eliminating the risk of oversight and missed problems is learning how to identify the areas where we may have originally ignored a focused effort.

Key Takeaways:
  • An understanding that no matter how good we believe we are as testers, we have to realize that there is the possibility of being so familiar with a product that our eyes do not notice changes that sneak in.
  • Tips to recognizing patterns and potential gaps that many visual testing activities may miss.
  • Techniques that can be used in becoming a better visual tester.

avatar for Mike Lyles

Mike Lyles

DIrector of QA & PM, Bridgetree
Mike Lyles is a Director of IT, international speaker, and author. He has over 25 years of IT experience in software development and testing. His motivational book, “The Drive-Thru is Not Always Faster” was released in Nov 2019. Find out more on the book at www.TheDriveThruBo... Read More →

Wednesday August 5, 2015 1:30pm - 2:45pm EDT
Vandenberg B

1:30pm EDT

Fomenting Change

Many companies are risk averse, especially when the risk is to human life and/or involve significant financial impact. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) builds, launches and operates spacecraft that flyby, orbit and roam planets, moons and asteroids in our Solar System. Loss of a mission and the scientific knowledge that can be obtained by the mission is the highest concern, and engineers focus their talents on obtaining high science return by ensuring spacecraft safety. In addition, because spacecraft are unique and can cost billions of dollars to build and operate, the loss of a spacecraft is very costly. The development and operations environments for missions are process heavy and risk averse, yet change is necessary to reduce costs and improve the quality of software used for the missions. It is difficult to marry change and risk aversion. An approach for changing software, software testing and processes include:

1. understanding the application and use cases
2. brainstorming ideas with yourself and/or with others
3. performing changes incrementally
4. obtaining approval or asking for forgiveness instead of permission
5. implementing the changes

This presentation will describe changes in the software testing at JPL (including pictures and videos) as well as describing the processes that leads to those changes.

avatar for Barbara Streiffert

Barbara Streiffert

Senior System Engineer, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Barbara Streiffert is a Senior Systems and Software Engineer at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) specializing in the development of software approaches for use in ground data systems for spacecraft missions. She has worked in all aspects of systems and software development for commercial... Read More →

Wednesday August 5, 2015 1:30pm - 2:45pm EDT
Ambassador West

3:00pm EDT

Beyond the UI: Using Tools to Improve Testing
As testers we have a wide range of tools that can help us gain a deeper understanding of the application being tested, and better understand the source of observed failures. When we observe defects in the UI, we may be uncertain whether the failure is a result of an errant request or an issue with processing by the middle tier.  If the API is available for testing before the UI, we can lose valuable time by waiting for front-end code. In this session we will focus on using browser consoles, testing APIs, and validating results in a database. 

Each section will be divided into a brief description, examples of application, and common tools and practices.  Many tools are available at low or no cost within the browser, and these tools will help us provide more details to developers and management as we document issues.

avatar for Jeremy Traylor

Jeremy Traylor

Sr Software Quality Engineer, Salesforce
Jeremy has been testing software for a decade, and strives to expand his skill set with each passing year. He moved to ExactTarget (now Salesforce Marketing Cloud) in the summer of 2010, and found an experience much different than prior software testing jobs. Where before the focus... Read More →

Wednesday August 5, 2015 3:00pm - 4:15pm EDT
Governors Room

3:00pm EDT

Testing with a Zone Defense
At one time or another, every tester hears the dreaded question, “Why didn’t you guys catch these bugs?” We all have some standard responses (and they are most likely true), but what can we learn about our testing when we look beyond the easy answers? Pamela Gillaspie proposes that the key to improving your testing is determining the areas where bugs are slipping past your defenses. When you group the bugs into “zones”, you can devise a strategy to cover these zones more effectively.

Join Pamela as she shares her experience as defensive coordinator, addressing the developers’ playbook (What kinds of recurring problems do we see?), trick plays (The user is doing what?), and penalties (That wasn’t in the requirements!)

avatar for Pamela Gillaspie

Pamela Gillaspie

Managing Test Engineer, TestPlant
Pamela Gillaspie is a Founding Mother and Managing Test Engineer at TestPlant, maker of the eggPlant range of test-automation tools. At TestPlant, Pamela does functional testing of load-testing tools, integration-testing of mobile-testing tools, and a little bit of everything... Read More →

Wednesday August 5, 2015 3:00pm - 4:15pm EDT
Vandenberg B

3:00pm EDT

Why Should I Hire You
As a test manager, coach and mentor, Rob has been involved in the careers of numerous testers. As a lifelong learner he tried to capture and absorb as much information about career development as he can.

Over time, he has cultivated a wealth of practical advice on managing and developing a career in software testing.

In this session he will share much of what he has learned over the years. So whether you’re just starting out in software testing, looking to transition your career or just want to add to your tool kit, this session will have something for you.


Wednesday August 5, 2015 3:00pm - 4:15pm EDT
Ambassador West

4:45pm EDT

Driving Adoption of Chartered Exploratory Testing In An Agile Organization
Pivotal is adding the practice of explicit, directed exploratory testing to our work on Cloud Foundry. We have dedicated explorers who rotate through development teams. We use charters to organize exploratory efforts; PMs prioritize them in backlogs along with chores, bugs and features using Pivotal Tracker. Programmers pair with explorers on execution of charters, and explorers with programmers on feature delivery. We're developing charter writing and execution as skills throughout our development staff.

This experience report will discuss the adoption and integration of exploratory testing in the Cloud Foundry project at Pivotal. It will focus on challenges we've encountered and practices we've found effective in the context of Pivotal Labs' opinionated and refined agile process, which is rooted in Extreme Programming. We'll discuss how exploratory testing’s been used to inform stakeholders, how they've recognized the business value of the practice, and techniques to make exploratory work something distinct from checks programmers write in TDD.

avatar for Jesse Alford

Jesse Alford

Senior Software Engineer, Pivotal
Jesse Alford is an Exploratory Tester (no really, that's the job title, slightly embarassing though it may be - he would rather be called an "Orbital Drop Shock Tester" but no one will go for that and it's nonsense anyways) for Pivotal in San Francisco. His principle goal is to... Read More →

Wednesday August 5, 2015 4:45pm - 6:00pm EDT
Vandenberg B

4:45pm EDT

Waterfall, Agile and Beyond: The Power of an Exploratory Tester
This talk is about how testers skilled in exploratory testing can help any software project, no matter which development methodology is followed in the project.

Do you face a situation where the customers are expecting more in less time? Is your project stuck and teams are playing the blame game? Are customers finding important bugs before your test teams report? Are your testers struggling to cope up with the changes in testing models being used? Do you agree that though the models have evolved, the problems seem to reappear.

If you answered yes to above, meet Ajay Balamurugadas, a student of context-driven school of testing who answers these five important questions about ‘The Power of an Exploratory Tester'.

  1. What is Exploratory Testing and how is an exploratory tester more powerful?
  2. Who can do exploratory testing?
  3. Why exploratory testing is suited for most kinds of projects?
  4. When exploratory testing should be performed?
  5. Where do tools fit in exploratory testing?

avatar for Ajay Balamurugadas

Ajay Balamurugadas

Ajay Balamurugadas, goes by the handle ‘ajay184f’ in the testing community and is continuously reinventing his testing methodology. He co-founded Weekend Testing - a worldwide movement for skilled testing, authored six small books under the theme "What If" downloadable at his... Read More →

Wednesday August 5, 2015 4:45pm - 6:00pm EDT
Vandenberg A

4:45pm EDT

When Cultures Collide
What do these books have in common – “When Cultures Collide”, “Understanding Cultural
Differences”, “Beyond Culture”? Yes, it involves people from different cultures trying to interact with each other and sustain in this diverse corporate environment which we now call – Our Workplace.  This session is based on our real life experiences interacting, observing and working with people from different cultures, backgrounds, race, and religion in a corporate environment.

As testers, we had to understand and study how different verbal, oral and behavioral patterns are interpreted in different ways by different people. In this session, we try to highlight these different communication patterns with examples. We will show how understanding and recognizing these patterns can help testers to sustain and collaborate with others. As the saying goes, “Solutions are often simple but getting to it is complicated”. Come join us as we share our research and experiences, and discuss how software testers can become more effective communicators.

avatar for Raj Subramanian

Raj Subramanian

Principal Consultant, ChaiLatte Consulting LLC
Raj Subramanian, a former developer for a payroll processing company, moved to testing to focus on his passion. Raj currently works as a mobile test lead for a large product and services company. He also provides consulting and training on mobile testing for different clients. He... Read More →
avatar for Carlene Wesemeyer

Carlene Wesemeyer

Project Lead, Requordit
Carlene Wesemeyer is a Project Lead at Requordit in downtown Chicago. She works with customers and technical resources to create robust software solutions, combining job roles such as project manager, technical lead, and business analyst. Carlene lived abroad as student, and later... Read More →

Wednesday August 5, 2015 4:45pm - 6:00pm EDT
Governors Room

4:45pm EDT

Taking Control Of Your Test Environment

Most of us have had to deal with red builds blocking our testing or have been told to test on flaky environments where half the issues you find would ‘never happen in production’. As a tester, I used to think this wasn’t my problem.

What happens though when a thinking tester decides this is her problem and wants to be part of the solution?

This talk exposes some of the possible causes why builds stay red or an environment is “flaky”. For instance:
1. There are bugs in your build.
2. You are dependent on a third-party system that is not functioning correctly.
3. Your deployment may have gone awry, something may be missing.
4. Your environment is not set up in a consistent way.

We’ll look at some approaches that target each of these causes and show testers how they can acquire the skills necessary to take control of their test environment.

In case of bugs in existing functionality, you need to ask yourself: Are you running automated checks against the build? If yes, either you don’t have the right checks in place, are ignoring failed checks, or, even worse, the issue is intermittent. Testers that seek out a deep technical understanding of their product can be capable of chasing an issue down the whole technology stack without relying on a developer.

Stubbing out a third-party service can counteract uncertainty about the functionality of your own product. To deal with the real issue though, a tester can communicate directly with the third-party team, providing information to and from both sides.

Testers can get involved with the automation of both the deployment and environment setup, which are traditionally Operations roles. This is also often the realm of “magic scripts” that are not considered part of the deliverables and are not properly tested. A tester’s input can be very valuable here.

avatar for Ioana Serban

Ioana Serban

Software Engineer in Test, eBay
Ioana Serban started working as a Software Engineer in Test in 2011. With a strong leaning towards the more technical side of testing, she’s interested in learning all aspects of the craft and is a big fan of challenging assumptions of what a tester is or isn’t “supposed... Read More →

Wednesday August 5, 2015 4:45pm - 6:00pm EDT
Ambassador West