STARWEST 2004 - Software Testing Conference


STARWEST 2004: Testing Dialogues - Technical Issues

Is there an important technical test issue bothering you? Or, as a test engineer, are you looking for some career advice? If so, join Esther Derby and Elisabeth Hendrickson, experienced facilitators, for "Testing Dialogues - Technical Issues." Practice the power of group problem solving and develop novel approaches to solving your big problem.

Facilitated by Esther Derby and Elisabeth Hendrickson
STARWEST 2004: The Business Case for Software Quality

Software quality is first and foremost a business issue, and testing is often the last line of defense. The staffing, tools, and processes that we use to support our customers are fundamental to achieving quality-and their business objectives-in a cost-effective manner. Significantly improving software quality in an organization is a major project and not for the faint of heart. Such an improvement project must have a positive return on investment and a good likelihood of success.

Richard Bender, Bender RBT Inc.

Test Automation using Scripting Languages

Unless you have an automation tool for functional testing, you probably do not have time to execute all the manual tests you should. Even if you have such a tool, you may not have the quantity of licenses necessary for reaching your desired level of efficiency. An alternative is to automate tests using scripting languages, such as VBScript, Ruby, or Perl. Scripting languages are at your fingertips every time you sit in front of your computer and are imbedded in many popular, commercially available automated test tools.

Dion Johnson, DiJohn Innovative Consulting
Test Harnesses for API Testing

Automated testing in most QA organizations involves capture-playback tools in combination with manual testing. But these types of tests often suffer from well-known implementation and execution problems. One way to enrich the set of automated tests is through the use of API-level testing. Because APIs tend to be more stable than GUIs, many of the GUI-related test problems disappear, and API tests can be constructed earlier in the process.

Michael Sonshine, Intuit Inc
Testers and Testing in the Agile Development

You have heard about agile software development techniques such as eXtreme Programming (XP), Scrum, and Agile Modeling (AM). The industry is buzzing with everything from "this is the greatest thing ever" to "it's just hacking with a fancy new name." Comments like "there is no place for testers because developers and users do the testing now" and "testers play an important role in the agile methods" are both common.

Scott Ambler, Ronin International, Inc.

Testing and Thriving in an FDA Regulated Environment

As for all life-critical software, the FDA guidance document on software validation emphasizes defect prevention, complexity analysis, risk assessment, and code coverage. Additionally, all software changes must be managed carefully and tested extensively. Based on his many years of experience testing biotech products, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and various healthcare systems, Jim Bedford discusses the practical software tools and practices he has used to meet these stringent expectations.

Jim Bedford, Metreck Corporation
Testing in an Outsourced World

Many of us have worked on projects where some or all of the development is done by third parties, sometimes in a different country. While cost savings may make such arrangements attractive, projects face significant new challenges in an outsourced world. Rex Black offers a testing perspective and lessons learned from his involvement in successful-and not-so-successful-- outsourcing projects.

Rex Black, Rex Black Consulting

Testing In Session: Making Exploratory Testing Accountable

Like the music in a jam session, exploratory testing is supposed to be non-scripted and spontaneous. Its unstructured nature makes it an effective test method when requirements are lacking, time is short, or other methods are not yielding important bugs. But some project managers dismiss exploratory testing because the traditional implementation does not have mechanisms to measure progress and does not meet the need for traceability back to requirements.

Jon Bach, Quardev Laboratories

Testing Software Builds Automatically Using Virtual PC Software

When they receive a new software build, testers usually start their automated testing runs. Instead, what if they could execute tests automatically at the end of the build process? Using Microsoft Virtual PC 2004 as the example tool, Geoff Stewart shares his experiences using virtual PC software to configure, baseline, and isolate a test environment and automatically execute tests as part of the build process. By using virtual machine software via a command line interface, anyone can run tests without knowledge of the testing tool.

Geoff Stewart, Itron Inc
The Four Schools of Software Testing

Testing experts often disagree. Why? Different testers have different understandings of the role and mission of software testing. This session presents four schools of software testing, each with a different understanding of the purpose and foundation of testing. One school sees testing based on mathematics. Another sees it as an activity that needs to be planned and managed. A third sees it as a basis for understanding and improving software process. And the fourth sees it as an intelligence service, providing actionable information.

Bret Pettichord, ThoughtWorks


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