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WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 20 - MORNING

Meet Ellen: Improving Software Quality through Personas
Alan Page, Microsoft

Track 1: 9:45 - 10:45

Users are the ultimate judge of the software we deliver.  However, as a tester, do you really understand their tasks, skills, motivation, and work style?  Are you delivering software that matches their needs and capabilities-or yours?  There are many approaches to obtain a better understanding of how customers use their software, and ways to use that information to influence test and development throughout the product cycle.   One effective method is to use customer personas.  Personas are a way to define user roles; they are imaginary characters that represent common sets of characteristics of different users.  Alan will share some of the methods used to collect customer feedback, and then show how a real team defined and used a persona named "Ellen" to help them design, develop, and test their product.  Alan will share what happened before and after Ellen joined the team.  Discover how to create and utilize an "Ellen" on your next project.

About the Speaker...
Alan Page began his career as a tester in 1993.  He joined Microsoft in 1995, and is currently a Principal SDET on the Office Communicator team.  In his career at Microsoft, Alan has worked on various versions of Windows, Internet Explorer, and Windows CE, and has functioned as Microsoft's Director of Test Excellence.   Alan writes about testing on his blog, Angry Weasel, was the lead author on How We Test Software at Microsoft, and recently contributed a chapter to Beautiful Testing.

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The Cloud and Software Quality: Getting Leverage
Steven Dykstra, Micro Focus

Track 2: 9:45 - 10:45

The continual pressure to deliver high quality software more quickly and at less cost is causing a renewed interest in test automation.  Today, you have to be good at automation or you risk being left behind. Automation however, has never been easy and many organizations struggle to get leverage.  To be successful, quality teams need to be able to automate not only tests but the creation of the application under test.  Some organizations are utilizing Cloud offerings to extend their test lab environments, break down barriers to agility, and achieve their software delivery goals.  Steven and Pete will discuss how organizations are utilizing the Cloud to fulfill business goals.  Learn where Cloud technology can be leveraged to immediate advantage Discover new capabilities being delivered by tool vendors and the impact they can have.  Finally, see how to break down barriers to agility using the Cloud.

About the Speaker...
Steven Dykstra is the Product Management Director for Micro Focus’s Silk Automated Software Quality solutions. Steven has worked on delivering solutions for Enterprise IT organizations for 21 years during which time he has held a number of positions both in product development and product management.  Steven is one of Micro Focus’ foremost experts in software delivery and quality management in the areas of test management, agile testing, performance testing and requirements management.

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Regression Testing: From Necessary Evil to Value-Added
Dana Armstrong, Nationwide Insurance

Track 3: 9:45 - 10:45

Regression testing is oftentimes viewed as a necessary evil to prove that the systems still functions properly.  It is not generally seen as providing any real added value.  Regression testing actually plays several different roles that may not be recognized.  How can you learn the systems you will need to test?  What functions do you need to test?  You can familiarize yourself with the systems by performing regression testing.  Regression testing also plays an important role in the estimation process.  Take a look at some successful projects.  How about the unsuccessful ones?  Was regression testing considered during your estimation process?  Lastly, with the increasing pressure for cost reduction through test automation, regression test beds become the prime candidates for that automation.   Learn how to change regression testing from a necessary evil to an integral component of a project’s success.

About the speaker...
Dana Armstrong has been a tester for Nationwide Insurance for the past seven years and was recently promoted to a lead testing role.  He began as a tester writing test cases and running regression tests.  When he assumed the lead role on Nationwide’s Break-Fix team, he began focusing his attention on test case writing.  Dana has trained and mentored other associates on testing techniques and how to write easy-to-follow test cases.

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WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 20 - AFTERNOON

Test Automation using Microsoft Visual Studio Test Professional 2010
Aaron Kowall, Imaginet Resource Corporation

Track 1: 1:30 - 2:30

Microsoft is a relatively new entrant in providing tools for functional testing with Visual Studio Test Professional 2010.  In this workshop, you will learn techniques and practices for performing test automation using this platform.  Discover how to create Microsoft coded UI tests based on action recordings of manual test scripts that can be reused across different levels of testing.  Join Aaron and learn how to apply test automation, how to organize automated tests into test plans and how to use Test Labs to build automation that will optimize your testing effort by enhancing your ability to continually assess software quality.

  • Apply test automation
  • Organize automated tests into test plans
  • Use Test Labs to optimize your testing

About the speaker...
Aaron Kowall is the ALM Practice Lead at Imaginet Resource Corp, a custom software development and ALM consulting firm founded in Winnipeg, Manitoba.  His current professional focus is mentoring organizations to improve their application life cycle management processes.  Aaron has over 16 years experience in the application development and IT arena.  His drive and determination have made him a sought after leader. He has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP in Visual Studio ALM.

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Building a Successful and Sustainable Testing CoE Ecosystem
Darshan Dave, Syntel Inc.

Track 2: 1:30 - 2:30

Within the testing world, the allure of a CoE has been hard to resist.  However, we are also seeing an increasing sense of disillusionment with the concept.  Benefits take too long to accrue and the savings, maturity, and innovation promised have been sporadic at best. The reason for this is that most organizations are in a hurry to reach the finish line and miss the point that a CoE is not so much of an endgame than the journey itself.  The CoE is about excellence and continuous excellence. The true mark of a successful CoE is its transformation into a strong and sustainable ecosystem.  A CoE ecosystem is a self governing, self sustaining entity that propels and progresses towards continual optimization.  It evolves and sustains on its own thereby reducing drain on corporate funding and resources. To successfully achieve this transformation, the CoE must be built through a careful and well thought out blueprint.

About the speaker...
Darshan Dave is a Practice Director for testing services at a leading global IT services organization. He is an accomplished testing practitioner with over 16 years of industry experience specializing in the set-up and management of testing business units, centers of excellence, and competency centers. He has global experience having worked in the United Kingdom, the United States, and Continental Europe on a variety of successful initiatives including the creation of testing models, practices, and strategies for a number of Fortune 500 organizations. He has rich cross domain experience in financial services, insurance, healthcare, travel and logistics.   Darshan holds a degree in engineering and a post graduate diploma.

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Web Accessibility Testing: It's a Legal Requirement
Ivan LeBlanc, Desire2Learn

Track 3: 1:30 - 2:30

The Internet must be accessible to everyone.  Access to the services, commerce, and entertainment on the web must comply to the same standards of accessibility as in physical spaces. The web can provide people with disabilities the capacity to perform many activities that would otherwise be challenging at physical locations. Technologies like the screen-reading software JAWS, for example, enable Internet use by converting web page text into computerized voice.  But, not all websites and web applications can be interpreted by these technologies.  In this presentation, you will learn the legal implications of the accessibility standards set by various governments including Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom.  Ivan will also discuss some of the law suits filed against companies whose websites failed to meet these standards. You will gain an understanding of the many different forms of disabilities along with the tools and methods to test for accessibility compliance.  Add accessibility testing to your test plan. It is actually easier than you think.

About the speaker...
Ivan LeBlanc is a Senior QA Analyst at Desire2Learn, an eLearning solution provider. Ivan has over 12 years experience in software quality assurance in various fields including network security, financial institutions, medical instrumentation, and education. Most recently, Ivan has been focused on developing and executing accessibility tests to meet the standards and guidelines set forth by different organizations and governments. Over this time, Ivan has become a passionate advocate for web accessibility after experiencing the benefits this work brings to those with disabilities.

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THURSDAY, OCTOBER 21 - MORNING

Creating Realistic Testing Estimates
Pamela Harris, enShore Testing, Inc.

Track 1: 9:45 - 10:45

Accurate estimates that you and your team can live with are one of the most important elements of the test plan.  Have you ever been at a loss to determine, with certainty, how to create correct estimates that reflect true testing timelines and still leave sufficient room to cover all testing as well as any unforeseen issues that may arise?  This presentation will give you the steps to construct accurate, realistic testing estimates for your test plan.  Pamela will discuss how to determine what must be tested to assess your confidence in code quality, how to calculate the estimates, and what constraints, dependencies, assumptions, and risks you must consider.  Join Pamela and start your next testing project with estimates you can depend on.

About the speaker...
Pamela Harris has held many senior roles in quality assurance consulting including QA management, project management, project management office, quality system coordinator, testing, documentation and support of major clients.  She is a Certified Software Testing Engineer and a Certified Software Quality Analyst.  Further, she is also a long-standing member of the Toronto Association of Systems and Software Quality.  Pamela holds degrees in both computer science and business and has over 15 years of Information Technology experience working for companies such as IBM, CGI, Rogers, and Bell Canada.

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Traditional Testing vs. SOA Testing: A Paradigm Shift
Sajjad Huq, Deloitte

Track 2: 9:45 - 10:45

Changing market condition is a key driver in the evolution from stand alone custom built applications to applications where loosely coupled services are consumed by well defined interfaces.  Our view of SOA does not restrict itself to defining a new technology platform. SOA has to address business strategies, processes, capabilities, sourcing, organization, and people. This broader approach to services is called Services Thinking. This is a paradigm that enables business transformation by embedding business logic into a broader organizational domain. While many organizations have touted SOA as a proven way to expedite the testing cycle in the SDLC, others have shared their lessons learned while implementing SOA into the testing cycle. In this session, we review the evolution, the definition and concept of Services Thinking, lessons learned, challenges, overall framework, and key considerations.

About the speaker...
Sajjad is a Manager within the Technology Consulting practice with over ten years of experience leading teams towards establishing best practices and maintaining quality standards for the successful delivery of mission critical applications.   As the lead of Deloitte’s Testing and Quality Assurance Community of Practice, Sajjad fosters learning and development of practitioners within the firm and continues to build Deloitte’s capability in Testing/QA.  Sajjad has delivered integration and advisory projects for Financial Services and Public Sector organizations.

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Why are Testing Practices so hard?
Neil Price-Jones, NVP Software Testing Inc.

Track 3: 9:45 - 10:45

This talk will focus on solving the ongoing problem of testing projects veering off track and what can be done to fix the problem.  The starting point will be the causes of the problems and from where they originate.  Once the causes have been identified, solutions for each one will be proposed. 

In particular the nature of testing and the fact that it is the first attempt to use a product in its entirety along with the fact that this stage or phase is usually the first chance the end user (payer) has to look at the product will be explored as the major cause of the issues that arise.  An exploration of the methods that can used for each of the problems will form the bulk of the talk.

3 Learning Points

  1. Why do problems arise in testing?
  2. How to identify or anticipate problems that will cause a problem for the testing.
  3. What methods can be used to address them?

About the speakers...
Neil Price-Jones has 24 years experience in software testing and implementation of automation in a variety of areas like financial, telecommunications, and pension administration. In 1993, Neil founded NVP Software Testing that provides testing expertise to numerous organizations. He has made presentations to many software quality organizations including Kitchener Waterloo Software Quality Association (KWSQA) as well as Toronto Association for System & Software Quality (TASSQ) and is on the board of TASSQ. Mr. Price-Jones has presented and exhibited at the International Quality Conference from 2003-2006. He has assisted in training many clients in the financial, provincial government, health and insurance sectors.

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THURSDAY, OCTOBER 21 - AFTERNOON

Inspiring Passion in Testing Teams
Lynn McKee, Quality Perspectives

Track 1: 1:30 - 2:30

Some of the most successful and highly regarded test teams are comprised of individuals passionate about their role and committed to performing at their best. Unfortunately however, testing is sometimes viewed as a less than fulfilling role, requiring little or no skill, and individuals enter the role underwhelmed and unaware of the positive and rewarding challenge it can bring. So, how can individuals be inspired to be passionate about their role as testers?  As managers, leaders, and colleagues committed to the success and excellence of the software testing industry, we play an important role in inspiring others.  How do we generate this inspiration? How do we maintain our own passion and motivate ourselves to continue to grow and stretch our definitions of excellence? This session will share how passion has its own energy, one that is observable and transferable, and how this energy can influence others to follow us in our pursuit to enhance the profession of software testing.

About the speaker...
Lynn McKee is an independent consultant with 15 years experience in the IT industry and a passion for helping organizations, teams, and individuals deliver valuable software.  Lynn provides consulting on software quality, testing, and building high performing teams.  An advocate of the context-driven perspective, her focus is on ensuring testing teams are enabled with effective, adaptive, and scalable approaches aligned with the organization's quality needs. Lynn is an active member of numerous software testing associations, speaks at conferences, writes articles, and contributes to blogs and forums. Lynn is the co-founder of the Calgary Perspectives on Software Testing Workshop.

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Succeeding with Agile Testing in a Global Company
Sanjay Srinivas, Bank of America and Sadhu Handa, Infosys Technologies

Track 2: 1:30 - 2:30

When a major financial institution that has successfully adopted Waterfall Methodology with Six Sigma principles decides to embrace an agile methodology, it poses several hurdles that the teams must overcome to adapt to a time boxed delivery structure.  This is especially true of the testing teams, who are now involved upfront in the project. In this real world example, Michael and Sadhu will give you an understanding of how the bank's testing teams overcame these challenges, ensuring smooth coordination between geographically scattered teams.  They will also discuss how planning tools were integrating with test management tools like Quality Center that evolved to meet the needs of iterative deliveries.  Finally, you will learn about their next steps in the agile arena.

About the speakers...
Sanjay Srinivas’ experience of more than ten years in software industry is a blend of development and testing skills. He has worked on diverse applications/platforms in India, Switzerland and USA, with methodologies ranging from traditional waterfall to Six Sigma based Waterfall and Agile / Iterative methodologies. Currently he is the QA Manager for testing a multi-generation portal based application at Bank of America. In this role he leads a team of onshore and offshore resources and manages Functional and Regression testing on multiple projects going on in parallel with some adopting Iterative and others following Waterfall methodologies. He is also actively involved in automated testing and coaching/mentoring teams to adopt Agile.

Sadhu Handa has been in investment banking and IT for the last 12 years.  Working as a Test Manager with Infosys Technologies Ltd., he holds an MBA and a FDPM from Indian Institute of Management in Ahmadabad, India.   Sadhu has extensive experience leading projects and testing in a variety of industries and technologies.  He holds CSQA and CSTE certifications, domain certifications from D&B in banking and IIBF, and a PM Elite certification.   Sadhu has presented multiple papers in the area of IT and investment banking.

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Performance Testing Best Practices
Lee Barnes, Utopia Solutions

Track 3: 1:30 - 2:30

In his presentation, Lee will focus on general best practices and ideas for those looking to implement performance testing in their organization. High level topics covered will include resource requirements, planning, scripting, data management, execution, and analysis. Lee will specifically discuss the importance of planning in performance testing. You will come away with a performance testing roadmap that you can use in your own organization to avoid common performance testing pitfalls thus enabling you to focus your efforts on the specific performance details of the systems you are testing.

About the speaker...
Lee Barnes has over 17 years of experience in the software quality assurance and testing field. He has successfully implemented test automation and performance testing solutions in hundreds of environments across a wide array of industries. He is a recognized thought leader in his field and speaks regularly on related topics. As founder and CTO of Utopia Solutions, Lee is responsible for the firm's delivery of software quality solutions that include process improvement, performance management, and test automation.

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