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Panel Discussion

Expert Panel: Challenges and Successes in Implementing a Testing Center of Excellence

Track 2: 3:00-4:30

What is the role of a testing CoE? What is its value and how do you implement such an organization successfully? Come to this in-depth panel discussion and gain insight into how CoEs are designed to meet the unique challenges and goals of the companies they serve.

On the Panel...

Ayal Bida, Aviva Canada
Jane Connor, BMO Financial Group

Carol Cruise, EDS, an HP Company
Stephen Reiff, Enbridge Gas Distribution


The Moderator...
Nancy Kastl, Kaslen Group, Inc.

Ayal Bida, Aviva Canada

About the panelist...

In his current role at Aviva Canada, Ayal Bida is Manager for Quality Assurance of the newly implemented Testing Centre of Excellence.  This group's mandate is to ensure adherence to testing methodology and to assist business units and projects alike to successfully implement code with minimal impact to the user community. In past roles, Ayal worked to implement an IT development life cycle process and later provided compliance oversight to ensure adherence to the new process framework. Ayal has also taught Computer Studies at Seneca College, working for 5 years as an Instructor in the Continuing Education department


Jane Connor, BMO Financial Group


About the panelist...

Jane Connor is a skilled QA professional with over ten years of experience in software testing and test management.  She began her career as a junior tester and has risen through the ranks at a variety of companies to her current role as Senior Quality Assurance Specialist at BMO Financial Group. In this role, Jane has successfully leveraged her wide-ranging experiences in consulting, coaching, and support of software development projects.  She actively participates in conducting internal process adherence audits, managing improvement initiatives for testing, and enhancing testing course offerings. Jane teaches BMO's Foundations for Functional Testing course. Jane possesses a strong knowledge of process fundamentals and testing methodology that has helped her to become a recognized expert among her peers and senior leadership at BMO.


Carol Cruise, EDS, an HP Company

About the panelist...

Carol Cruise is a Testing Architect with the EDS Testing Practice and has worked in IT for 36 years. She provides leadership and expertise in test consulting, particularly in the areas of testing assessment and strategy, and plays a key role in testing process improvement initiatives for clients. Carol is a Certified Software Engineer (CSTE), Certified Tester Foundation Level (CTFL) from ISTQB and has the Competent Toastmaster designation from Toastmaster's International. Carol worked with both the Canadian and U.S. teams when EDS set up their first CoEs in North America and regularly works on projects with CoEs from around the globe.


Stephen Reiff, Enbridge Gas Distribution


About the panelist...
Stephen Reiff is a technical specialist at Enbridge Gas Distribution where he is focused on testing and quality assurance. For the past fifteen years Stephen has provided guidance and mentorship to teams in the development of testing process and procedures as well as providing training in the use of the EGD tool Suite. He is an HP Quality Center 9.0 Product Specialist as well as a Software QA Specialist and has a background in Adult Education and Staff training. Stephen is currently engaged in the development and implementation of a QA CoE for Enbridge.

Nancy Kastl, Kaslen Group, Inc.

About the moderator...
Nancy Kastl, CSQA, is President of the Kaslen Group, a Chicago based IT consulting firm. She is an accomplished professional with over twenty-five years experience as a consultant, manager, facilitator, and instructor. She brings her expertise to management teams in strategic planning, measurement, quality management, software testing, process re-engineering, program management offices, and project management. She is a former VP of Quality Assurance at Harris Bank and is the founder and President of the Chicago Quality Assurance Association. Nancy is a frequent conference speaker and has served on the Purdue University's IT Advisory Committee.

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