Conference Presentations

The Dirty Little Secret of Business

Regardless of your role in the software lifecycle, there are challenges and roadblocks that stand in your way. How can you deal with difficult people who are obstacles to your ability to deliver? How can you influence someone to act on your priorities even when you don't have the organizational authority? How can you find time to network when you're overwhelmed with day-to-day work? Andy Kaufman shares "The Dirty Little Secret of Business." You won't learn this secret in school, yet it is critical to your success. The secret is simple-it's all about relationships. Andy describes the key relationships you must develop to advance your projects and career. Discover how understanding different personality types will improve your ability to build rapport, influence people, and control situations. Learn what networking is-and isn't-and how to increase the effectiveness of your networks with less effort.

Andy Kaufman, Institute for Leadership Excellence and Development
Some Not-So-Crazy Ways to Do More with Less

When the world goes sideways, most people freeze, waiting for some clear signal of what to do. That's a really bad idea! Tim Lister suggests that within today's craziness are great opportunities to make big changes in everything-how you are organized, what you work on, how you set priorities, the whole shebang. Now is the best time to change the less than wonderful part of your organization’s culture. For instance, everyone has heard of Faster, Cheaper, Better. How about Slower, Cheaper, Better? Go on a project diet and limit the number of projects that can run concurrently; no new project can start until one actually finishes. And how about assigning an experienced developer to review the specification as it is being written? Many organizations have a sign-off when the specification is done. By then, it is way too late. Also, its time for every team to have it's own personal assistant.

Tim Lister, The Atlantic Systems Guild Inc
A Test Offshoring Model that Works

USG is a Fortune 500 building products manufacturer with over fifty North American locations. USG has effectively managed to integrate their offshore and local test teams to provide support for a major ERP implementation and subsequent software releases. Brook Klawitter describes how they established a strategy for selecting work to be completed locally versus offshore; developed management capabilities locally and offshore; enhanced the technical and functional testing capabilities of the offshore team; and leveraged the strengths of each team to establish a culture of continuous improvement that encourages team member growth. Learn practical techniques to integrate an offshore team with your local test team, developers, and users. Find out how to select onshore and offshore team members who will be a good technical and cultural fit and learn ways to develop offshore team members for leadership roles.

Brook Klawitter, USG, Corp.
STAREAST 2009: What Price Truth? When a Tester is Asked to Lie

As testers, our job is to report the current state of software quality on our projects. But in the high-stakes, high-risk business of software development, some may pressure us to distort the message. When projects are late or quality is poor, software managers' reputations-even their jobs-may be on the line. Our testing progress report could be the biggest obstacle to a "green light" project status report or an on-time delivery. When testers see project disconnects-rosy status reports and repeatedly late delivery; managers shutting down open discussions of project risks; managers trying to close down testing that is exposing major bugs; or suggestions to "get creative" with the metrics-we need to beware. Fiona Charles discusses the reasons testers must refuse to compromise reality, how to secure detailed records of project progress and status, and the possibility of having to "blow the whistle"-regardless of the consequences.

Fiona Charles
STAREAST 2009: Improving the Skills of Software Testers

Many test training courses include the topic of "soft skills for testers," specifically their attitudes and social behaviors. Testers are told that to be effective they need a negative mindset and a negative approach. Krishna Iyer and Mukesh Mulchandani challenge this belief. Having trained more than 5,000 testers in testing skills and more than 500 testers in essential thinking skills, Krishna and Mukesh demonstrate that testers must be creative rather than critical, positive rather than destructive, and empathetic rather than negative. Join them as they lead exercises in creative thinking, critical writing, and collaborative speaking to improve your eye for detail, nose for sniffing out defects, and ear for bias. Eliminate the old beliefs that hinder testers and find out how to deconstruct them and inculcate new, more powerful ones into your test organization.

Krishna Iyer, ZenTEST Labs
STAREAST 2009: Five Things Every Tester Must Do

Are you a frustrated tester or test manager? Are you questioning whether or not a career in testing is for you? Do you wonder why others in your organization seem unenthusiastic about quality? If the answer is "yes" to any of these questions, this session is for you. Julie Gardiner explores five directives to help testers make a positive impact within their organization and increase professionalism in testing. Remember quality-it's not just effort, it's effort and quality; it’s date and quality; it's functionality and quality. Learn to enjoy testing and have fun-the closest job to yours is blowing up things in the movies. Relish your testing challenges-it;s you against the software and sometimes, it seems, the world. Choose your battles-take a stand on issues that are vital and let the small things go. And most importantly, remember that the only real power we have springs from our integrity-don't sell that at any price.

Julie Gardiner, Grove Consultants
project portfolio chart No: Such a Difficult Word

When people begin to get overworked, it's common to fall back on blaming the old chestnut "time management." But the problem may have less to do with how you allocate time to projects than your inability to say no to some of those projects in the first place. In this article, Johanna Rothman takes a look at the difficulty of saying no and offers some suggestions for overcoming it.

Johanna Rothman's picture Johanna Rothman
Adapting Inspections to the Twenty-first Century

How do you adapt inspections to a twenty-first century distributed workforce? A key part of the inspection process is the team meeting, which provides peer pressure to participate and consensus on defects. Teams working in multiple time zones have limited opportunities for the team meeting. A list of requirements and the functions needed to solve this problem based on real-world experiences should help anyone faced with this problem.

Ed Weller's picture Ed Weller
Predicting the Past

Developing an accurate prediction process is complex, time consuming, and difficult. But, basing predictions on causality rather than correlation and learning how to "predict the past" can help us gain confidence in the validity of our work.

Lee Copeland's picture Lee Copeland
Avoiding Half-baked Discovery

It can be difficult to explain to your customer why cutting half of the features doesn't cut half of the time and cost. Every software project has fixed costs that often get overlooked in project planning—setting up development environments, ramp-up, building frameworks, and setting up configuration management to name a few. Read on for some ideas on how you can position this with your customer.

Didier Thizy's picture Didier Thizy

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