Conference Presentations

Get It All Done: A Story of Personal Productivity

You procrastinate. You worry that you may be making the wrong choice. You spend time on the irrelevant. You don't select the most important tasks from your many "to do's." You can't get things done on time. Join James Martin as he shares his experience with analysis paralysis, procrastination, and failure to deliver what others expect. After a look at why we procrastinate, James turns his attention to his personal story of a "bubble" of super productivity in which he delivered more relevant work in a two-week period than he believed possible. Along with the techniques and tips you would expect from a productivity boosting experience report, James explains the state of mind that will help you distinguish important from trivial tasks, reduce waste in your work, and discover the most important thing to do next. You can get It all done in record time-and with less angst than you ever dreamed possible.

James Martin, RiverGlide
Transform Your Innovation Thinking

Innovation is a word tossed around frequently in organizations today. The standard clichés are "Do more with less" and "Be creative." Companies want to be innovative but often struggle with how to define, implement, prioritize, and track their innovation efforts. Using the Innovation to Types- model, Jennifer Bonine will help you transform your thinking regarding innovation and understand if your team and company goals match their innovation efforts. Learn how to classify your activities as "core" (to the business) or "context" (essential, but non-revenue generating). Once you understand how your innovation activities are related to revenue generating activities, you can better decide how much of your effort should be spent on core or context activities.

Jennifer Bonine, Up Ur Game Learning Solutions
Managing Across the Miles: The Keys to Leading Offshore Test Teams

Is your company experiencing difficulty and frustration with its offshore project teams? Are your teams not consistently performing well? Are the results not what was expected? Gerie Owen shares her experiences in managing offshore test teams through each phase of the project cycle-from selecting the team and executing the project through presenting and documenting its results. Gerie explains how to assess the team’s knowledge and skill level. Because your offshore team members often are new to you, it is critical to recognize and handle training issues as early as possible. With the challenges of time zones, language, and cultural differences, Gerie addresses the critical issues of providing explicit direction and expressing clear expectations.

Gerie Owen, NSTAR, Inc.
When to Ship: Determining Application Readiness

When do you ship an application and expose it to your customers and users? The answer seems simple-you ship it when it's ready. However, there are many possible definitions of "ready." According to Peter Varhol, customers, users, and development teams must all agree on what this term means-before work begins on the project. Otherwise, you may be tempted to deploy an application before its product goals are met. Peter Varhol presents different approaches to determining when an application has the required quality to be ready to ship. He describes how to determine and track quality measures, so that the team actively works toward getting the application ready to deploy and knows what needs to be done to ensure fitness for deployment. Learn what factors on which to base your ready-to-ship decision so that the project team and the business will know whether to continue working or declare, "Ready."

Peter Varhol, Seapine Software Inc
Agile Development Conference & Better Software Conference East 2011: Seven Deadly Habits of Ineffective Software Managers

As if releasing a quality software project on time were not difficult enough, ineffective management practices when dealing with planning, people, and process issues can be deadly to a project. Presenting as a series of anti-pattern case studies, Ken Whitaker describes the most common deadly habits-and ways to avoid them. These seven killer habits are: mishandling employee incentives; attempting to make key decisions by consensus; ignoring processes and releasing too early; delegating absolute control to a project manager; taking too long to negotiate a project’s scope; releasing an “almost tested” product to market; and hiring someone who is not quite qualified-but whom everyone likes. Whether you are an experienced manager struggling with some of these issues or a new software manager, you’ll take away invaluable tips and techniques for correcting these software management habits-or better yet, avoiding them altogether.

Ken Whitaker, Leading Software Maniacs
STAREAST 2012 Keynote: Bridging the Gap: Leading Change in a Community of Testers

When Keith Klain took over Barclays Capital Global Test Center, he found an organization focused entirely on managing projects, managing processes, and managing stakeholders—the last most unsuccessfully.

Keith Klain, Barclays Capital Global Test Center
STAREAST 2012 Keynote: What Managers Think They Know about Test Automation—But Don’t

Managers play a critical role in the success or failure of test automation. Although most testers and some test managers have a realistic view of what automation can and cannot do, many senior managers have firm ideas about automation that are misguided—or downright wrong.

Dorothy Graham, Independent Test Consultant
Better Testing through Cultural Change

Even though you employ the best testing processes, techniques, people, and tools, the overall effectiveness of your testing effort will always be bounded by your organization's commitment to quality. Cliff Morehead describes techniques he uses for assessing an organization's quality culture and shares approaches for influencing positive cultural change. Organizations have two major dimensions that determine if change takes hold: the driving force-top-down versus bottom-up-and the quality focus-externally oriented versus internally oriented. Cliff discusses specific tactics you can use to increase the effectiveness of your test improvement efforts for different organization types, with a focus on how front-line team members can influence their organization's culture. Take back the lessons Cliff has learned from his experiences in improving testing-what has worked for him and what hasn't.

Clifford Morehead, ThoughtWorks Inc
Be the Tester Your Dog Thinks You Are

Most of us grew up wanting to be firemen or astronauts or teachers-not testers. Eric Jacobson, an average guy and not incredibly technical, loves software testing and his career in testing as much as his dog loves him. Using videos and candid photos of his test team at work, Eric shares the top ten skills and practices he’s developed and honed over the years to make himself a test leader. He explains how he helps his team establish reasonable goals and then meet them. Find out why testing broadly first and deeper later keeps the programmer busy and takes some of the guesswork out of test estimation. Watch Eric as he shows you how to use white boarding to explore technical systems and help programmers find their own mistakes. Take back to work ten ideas you can employ immediately to help you be the tester your dog thinks you are.

Eric Jacobson, Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.
Peer Reviews at PepsiCo: Finding Defects Early

Establishing a structured review process offers a simple yet cost effective way to identify, document, and correct requirements and design defects before they create problems later in the project. Chris Clark shares the Peer Review Process that PepsiCo implemented and that continues to operate successfully today. Chris has worked within PepsiCo to ensure that the process is fully integrated into their development lifecycle. He shares tips on how to keep the process alive and how to increase process visibility by leveraging metrics captured during the reviews. Learn about the types of peer reviews-informal walkthroughs and technical inspections-and the role of testing in the review process. See real world examples of peer review results and how the process is being used to improve the value of testing at PepsiCo.

Christopher Clark, PepsiCo


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