Conference Presentations

Embracing Uncertainty: A Most Difficult Leap of Faith

For the past couple of years, Dan North has been working with and studying teams who are dramatically more productive than any he's ever seen. In weeks they produce results that take other teams months. One of the central behaviors Dan has observed is their ability to embrace uncertainty, holding multiple contradictory opinions at the same time and deferring commitment until there is a good reason. Embracing uncertainty lies at the heart of agile delivery and is one of the primary reasons organizations struggle with agile adoption. We are desperately uncomfortable with uncertainty, so much so that we will replace it with anything-even things we know to be wrong. Dan claims we have turned our back on the original Agile Manifesto, and explains why understanding risk and embracing uncertainty are fundamental to agile delivery-and why we find it so scary.

Dan North, Lean Technology Specialist
Adaptive Leadership: Accelerating Enterprise Agility

Agile practices have proven to help software teams develop better software products while shortening delivery cycles to weeks and even days. To respond to the new challenges of cloud computing, mobility, big data, social media, and more, organizations need to extend these agile practices and principles beyond software engineering departments and into the broader organization. Adaptive leadership principles offer managers and development professionals the tools they need to accelerate the move toward agility throughout IT and the enterprise. Jim Highsmith presents the three dimensions of adaptive leadership and offers an integrated approach for helping you spread agile practices across your wider organization. Jim introduces the “riding paradox” and explores the elements of an exploring, engaging, and adaptive leadership style.

Jim Highsmith, ThoughtWorks, Inc.
Games Software People Play: Reasoning, Tactics, Biases, Fallacies

As engineers and doers, we make rational, well-thought-out decisions based on facts and figures. Or do we? Philippe Kruchten has identified not so rational strategies and tactics software people use while developing new, bold, and complex software-intensive systems. In addition to strategies such as divide-and-conquer, brainstorming, and reuse, Philippe has observed some strange tactics, biases, and reasoning fallacies. If not understood and managed, these “games”-intentional or not-can creep in and pervert the software development process. They go by simple, funny, and sometimes fancy names: anchoring, red herring, elephant in the room, argumentum verbosium, and others. Philippe shares an illustrated gallery of the games software people play and shows you how they combine to become subtle and elaborate political ploys.

Philippe Kruchten, Kruchten Engineering Services, Ltd.
Prime Directive: Improve Dev Testing Skills

In many development organizations today, quality is the responsibility of everyone on the project-both developers and testers. However, getting devs fully engaged in this testing continues to be a challenge. Andrew Prentice describes two approaches-blitz testing and mentored testing-that help Atlassian’s developers gain the skills they need to improve code quality before the testers get their hands on the application. He shares how they structure and organize blitz tests-group test sessions, the various roles participants play in them, and how to foster their viral adoption. Andrew also describes mentored testing, including its potential risks and mitigation options. He examines the skills and tools testing teams need to implement these techniques with their devs.

Andrew Prentice, Atlassian
Security Testing: Thinking Like an Attacker

Compared to traditional functional testing, security testing requires testers to develop the mindset of real attackers and pro-actively look for security vulnerabilities throughout the software development lifecycle. Using live demos, Frank Kim shows you how to think-and act-like a hacker. Rather than just talking about issues such as Cross Site Scripting (XSS), SQL Injection, and Cross Site Request Forgery (CSRF), Frank shows-live and in color-how hackers abuse potentially devastating defects by finding and exploiting vulnerabilities in a live web application. Find out how attackers approach the problem of gaining unauthorized access to systems. Discover the tools hackers have that you don't even know exist and how you can find critical security defects in your production apps. In this revealing session, you'll learn how to become a better tester and find serious security vulnerabilities in your systems before the bad guys do.

Frank Kim, ThinkSec
The Metrics Minefield

In many organizations, management demands measurements to help assess the quality of software products and projects. Are those measurements backed by solid metrics? How do we make sure that our metrics are reliably measuring what they're supposed to? What skills do we need to do this job well? Measurement is the art and science of making reliable and significant observations. Michael Bolton describes some common problems and risks with software measurement, and what we can do to address them. Learn to think critically about numbers, what they appear to measure and how they can be distorted. Improve the quality of the information that we're gathering to understand the relationship between observation, measurement, and metrics. Evaluate your measurements by asking probing questions about their validity.

Michael Bolton, DevelopSense, Inc.
A Test Manager's Transformation Toolkit

If you have had your testing window reduced or you are being challenged to do more with less, this session is for you. Mari Kawaguchi shares how she and her team embraced these challenges to transform their testing operating model. Sharing her extensive experience, Mari details the road map that elevated her testing organization to a valued and strategic partner within the organization. Mari describes the strategic components of testing-people, process, and technology-and shares how to assess your team’s skills, build subject matter experts, and ensure the right mindset to drive innovation and change. From a process and technology perspective, she outlines early testing engagement and collaboration, risk based testing, root cause analysis of escaped defects, and performance scorecards. Take back a new toolkit of ways to transform your test team into strategic business partners.

Mari Kawaguchi, Bank of America
The Vital P's of Testing: Purpose, People, and Process

When building a testing organization, where do you start? Technical skills? Domain knowledge? Testing experience? The cheapest resource? A set of testing tools? A formal test process? Mike Hendry suggests that before looking for staff or tools, you must ask-and answer-fundamental questions about the planned organization. Drawing on the collective wisdom of many management, leadership, and testing gurus, and on his experience building three testing centers of excellence in the past ten years, Mike shares his successes and failures, tips and traps in building a successful team. This includes determining the purpose of the organization, the types of people needed, and the test processes to be used. Although every organization is different, and what works in one organization may not work in another, Mike is confident that at least one of his “learnings” will resonate with you.

Michael Hendry, UNUM Corporation
Forgotten Wisdom from the Ancient Testers

In our increasingly agile world, collaboration is the new buzzword. But collaboration is hard to do well. Testers are challenged to work directly, effectively, efficiently, and productively with customers, programmers, business analysts, writers, trainers-and pretty much everyone in the business value chain. There are many points of collaboration including grooming stories with customers, sprint planning with team members, reviewing user interaction with users, whiteboarding with peers, and buddy checking. Rob Sabourin and Dot Graham explain what collaboration is, why it is challenging, and how to make it better. Learn how forgotten but proven techniques can help you work more efficiently, improve your professional relationships, and deliver quality products. Join Dot and Rob to hear how “ancient” techniques apply in today’s world, with stories of how these techniques work now.

Dorothy Graham, Consultant
Journey to Agility: Leading the Transformation

How far can you take agile within an organization? Is it enough to just focus on agile development practices such as Scrum and XP or is something more needed? Agile is much more than just a development methodology. Beyond product development, it can become an organizational strategy for increased success. Skip Angel shares an example of one company's journey from no knowledge of agile to an organization of high agility. He answers many of your questions about transformation that can help your company on its journey to agility, especially how to get started. Skip describes the preconditions a company must be ready to accept-significant organizational changes and the major activities and events that happen during the transformation process. Agile changes organizations in terms of who they are, how they think, and what they can achieve.

Skip Angel, BigVisible Solutions


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