Conference Presentations

Cosmic Truths about Software Quality

Although everyone wants to build and use high quality products, software people often debate the meaning of "quality" and how to achieve it. Karl Wiegers has identified ten principles about quality that apply almost universally to software products. Learn why any software team that really cares about quality needs to understand these principles and implement development approaches consistent with them. These principles include: Quality begins with the requirements; Quality has many dimensions; Customer involvement is the greatest determinant of software quality; Both internal and external quality are important; Developer discretion has a great influence on quality; Quality must be a conscious project priority; You can pay now, or you can pay a lot more later; Iteration is a key to software quality; Long-term productivity is the result of high quality; If you don't design for quality, you won't get it.

Karl Wiegers, Process Impact
Building Great Teams

What allows some teams to deliver results that far exceed expectations? How do these groups differ from most others? What can group members and leaders do to enable these extraordinary experiences? Geoff Bellman, along with his partner Kathleen Ryan, spent four years diving deeply into self-declared fantastic teams. They interviewed people from sixty great teams, added their own experience as managers and consultants, and came to ground-breaking conclusions documented in their book, Extraordinary Groups: How Ordinary Teams Achieve Amazing Results. Geoff presents their discoveries about what makes for exceptional performance. Sharing the eight indicators that his study shows are key, Geoff offers up the primary needs people fulfill by interacting in groups and suggests ways of meeting those needs within work teams.

Geoff Bellman, GMB Associates, Ltd.
Making Sense of Extroverts and Introverts

Have you worked with someone whose communication style or behavior frustrates you? Extraverts and introverts exhibit significant differences in interaction preferences and work styles; they also differ in what, when, and how they communicate. Such differences can cause frayed nerves, misunderstandings, reduced productivity, and poor results. The good news is that extraverts and introverts who understand this dynamic can form powerful teams, benefit from each other's strengths, and laugh about their differences. Naomi Karten helps you broaden your awareness of introversion and extraversion and dispel your misconceptions about why “they” behave as they do. Learn exactly how these personality types perceive each other–the positives and the negatives–and gain insight into your own behavior and how it may affect others.

Naomi Karten, Karten Associates
Freshen Up Your Software Testing Skills

As software testers, how do we keep our skills fresh and up-to-date? In our line of work, there is always another build to test, more testing than we have time for, and small training budgets. Selena Delesie explains why skills improvement is critical for both individuals and organizations to succeed, and explores ongoing opportunities for you and your team to learn and practice new test skills. While improving skills requires time and effort, the benefits far outweigh the costs as you expand your career, improve the quality of your work, reduce time-to-delivery, and improve your reputation and your team’s value to the business. Learn some off-the-beaten-path ways you can enhance your skills, and discover the fun and benefits of hands-on learning. Selena demonstrates how crowdsourced and open source projects are excellent learning environments for testers.

Selena Delesie, Delesie Solutions
The 2011 Survival Guide: Lessons for Test Professionals

When we are in dangerous situations, we need a well-thought-out survival guide to help save ourselves and others. These lifesaving principles and skills provide the basic necessities for life and help us think straight, navigate safely, signal for help, and avoid unpleasant consequences of interactions with our environment. Julie Gardiner shares her 2011 Survival Guide for testers and test managers living in today's challenging business and technical environments.

Julie Gardiner, Grove Consultants
Embracing Change: Transforming Ideas and Challenges into Opportunities

Why are managers so poor at bringing about change? Why do people often resist and sometimes reject necessary changes? The reality is that people at all levels, from test managers to senior executives, often use flawed practices when trying to implement improvements and necessary changes. Many ignore, trivialize, or fail to act on the human element-the impact of the change on the people affected. Naomi Karten shares practices she has successfully employed to introduce changes and manage improvement efforts, often helping people turn the challenges of change into personal and company successes. In this serious yet lighthearted presentation, Naomi describes the stages many people go through when adjusting to challenging change-from the appearance of a change, to their sometimes-turbulent response, and their ultimate adjustment and acceptance.

Naomi Karten, Karten Associates
Sleeping with the Enemy

Unfortunately, traditional software delivery models are often based on a lack of trust among stakeholders. Because the business doesn't trust developers, testers are asked to provide independent validation. Because developers don't trust testers, everyone wastes a lot of time arguing about whether a problem is in the code or in the tests. And testers-they are taught not to trust anyone! All of this distrust even though we share the same end-goal-delivering a product that satisfies our customers. Gojko Adzic describes why independent testing should be a vestige of the past. He explains how testers engaging with developers and business users gives testers opportunities to accomplish things they cannot do otherwise.

Gojko Adzic, Neuri Ltd.
How to Win Friends and Influence People - and Deliver Quality Software

Since first published, Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People has motivated generations of aspiring leaders to polish up their people skills. Yet imagine the reaction of a typical software quality assurance or test professional opening the book and reading the first principle: Don't criticize, condemn, or complain. "Don't criticize? Isn't that a tester's job!" They turn to the next chapter to find: Give honest and sincere appreciation. "Honest feedback, perhaps, but appreciation with the buggy code we get from the developers?" Concerned, they check out the third chapter: Arouse in the other person an eager want. "Now wait a minute. That sounds like something that would get me called into HR!" It's easy to discount and even parody the lessons from Dale Carnegie's work.

Andy Kaufman, Institute for Leadership Excellence & Development, Inc.
Risk Identification, Analysis, and Mitigation in Agile Environments

Although risk identification, analysis, and mitigation are critically important parts of any software project effort, agile projects require non-traditional techniques that are much quicker and easier to use than classical risk techniques. James McCaffrey focuses-not on theory-but on realistic risk analysis methods agile teams can readily implement with lightweight tools. James explains and demonstrates how you can employ taxonomy and storyboarding methods to recognize project meta-risks and identify product risks throughout the development lifecycle. Using “central moment” and “PERIL” techniques, you'll learn to analyze these risks and develop management and mitigation strategies dynamically, while the project is underway.

James McCaffrey, Volt VTE
Scrum: The Basics

Too many software projects spend too much time and money delivering too little, too late. Projects drag on for months, either thrashing from the chaos of ever-changing requirements or rigidly rejecting legitimate changes. If they deliver at all, they deliver products with too few features and too many bugs. Customers blame developers for not meeting their commitments. Developers blame customers for not knowing what they want. Dale Emery presents the better way-Scrum-a simple approach for managing complex projects. Scrum succeeds by breaking the development process into monthly or daily-or shorter-delivery cycles. Within every monthly cycle, a Scrum team plans, develops, and delivers new features with high quality and high business value. Every day, the team reports progress and coordinates its work. Scrum builds rapid action-oriented feedback into every step, guiding the team to stay on track.

Dale Emery, DHE


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