2016 Sessions and Speakers

2016 QA or the Highway Speakers

Opening Keynote

Karen Johnson

Karen N. Johnson has worked as a software test consultant for several years. While focused on software testing and predominantly working with the testers throughout an organization, Karen helps teams and organizations improve quality overall. Her professional activities include speaking at conferences both in the US and internationally. Karen is a contributing author to the book, Beautiful Testing by O’Reilly publishers. She is the co-founder of the WREST workshop, the Workshop for Regulated Software Testing. She has published numerous articles; she blogs and tweets about her experiences. Find her on Twitter as @karennjohnson (note the two n’s) and her website: http://www.karennicolejohnson.com


Keynote: How Nancy Drew Prepared Me to Become a Software Tester

Karen grew up reading Nancy Drew mysteries. The mysteries, the adventures, and the sleuthing of it all! Now many years later Karen recognizes how the irresistible thrill derived from solving mysteries is helpful in being a tester. The parallels from the sleuthing activities of Nancy Drew to software testing are more than Karen’s nostalgic views, consider: Software testers frequently need to test new software that is unlike anything they have tested before, this means we frequently need to devise tactics that are fresh and new by applying knowledge from the past but often in new and creative ways. Nancy Drew never solved the same mystery; we too are never solving the same challenge.

Nancy rarely solves a mystery alone, she has friends and meets new people on each “case” and those people become helpers in different ways. Software testers may feel they work alone especially when they work as the only tester on the team but our projects – just like with Nancy’s mysteries – we meet new developers, product owners and others who become our helpers. Testing software is a team sport especially on Agile teams. We may be the lead for the activity but we are not alone. We learn together and we solve the challenges together.

Join Karen for a somewhat nostalgic but definitely inspirational presentation as she highlights the parallels between the thrill-seeking detective work and today’s software testing work.

Closing Keynote

Bramha Ghosh
Test Engineer
Bramha Ghosh is a Test Engineer at Google in Mountain View, CA. Bramha just completed his 3rd year as a Googler, where he is currently working on making it is easier for engineering teams to build, test and deploy components of Google’s ad serving infrastructure. A proponent of all things open source, he recently was half of the 2-person team that built and open sourced Martian Proxy (https://github.com/google/martian), an HTTP/S proxy designed for common end-to-end testing scenarios (pull requests are welcome!). Before working on ads infrastructure, he worked on tools to make it easy for companies to design and deploy social ad campaigns on Wildfire.Prior to joining Google, he was the QA Architect at Grange Insurance in Columbus where he helped build out the technical testing practice.Raised in Columbus, Ohio, Bramha is an alum of The Ohio State University, where he earned a B.A. in English.Keynote:  Ensuing What is Grounded in Why
Let’s talk about “why do we do this?”.  This keynote discuss what the various engineering practices we have collectively decided are good engineering practices.  We say let us implement continuous integration, high test coverage, BDD, unit testing, etc…  We talk about the what and emphasize that we “should” do something.  However, have we ever stopped to ask “Why?” Why is continuous integration a good idea again? High coverage? BDD? Unit tests? Let’s get back to basics and understand the “why’s” of all the “what’s” that we have all decided are best practices. And what if we’re wrong? What does that look like?


Session Leaders

Speaker Talk (in no particular order)

Brian Bayer

Developing a Successful Test Automation Strategy
There is much more to test automation than just standing up a Gherkin/Cucumber/Ruby framework and there is much more to developing a test automation strategy than just filling in a template. Test automation can be a game-changer in terms of profitability, time to market, and culture or it can be complete boondoggle. It is the successful automation strategy that will make the difference.We will examine the business, cultural, and technological factors that should be considered in developing a successful test automation strategy. We will consider different starting points in applying automation from a greenfield project to a legacy product with no tests at all. We will apply the principles of the Test Pyramid to identify and determine the best layers at which to apply automation. We will examine eXtreme Programming Test Driven Development and Behavior Driven Development practices as they pertain to creating an automation strategy. We will also survey different automation frameworks and their technology stacks for their various strengths and weaknesses. Finally, we will put this all together in the context of the business needs and organizational culture in order to produce a strategy that improves quality, reduces risk and lowers costs.

Bhupesh Dahal

 Automation Architecture-One that works!
Most organizations have realized the benefits of and need for test automation—but is your investment being wisely utilized? Are you unknowingly building a test automation suite that will end up costing more than your actual product? Are you building a legacy test automation framework that may be ready to retire before you reap the benefits?
This presentation will discuss few consideration that will help your organization answer these questions and mitigate risks that they bring into light.
matt eakinMatthew Eakin (Almost) Everything I know about testing I learned playing poker
When I was in High School I always enjoyed weekly poker games with my friends. Little did I realize back then that those weekly matches were preparing me to be a software tester. As I began my career, I realized many poker skills learned years ago in my youth are similar to skills I need to be a good software tester. In poker resource allocation (betting with chips) is easier knowing if your opponent has won a World Series of Poker bracelet or if they are a novice. In testing it helps to know how much business, testing and technical knowledge each team member has so you can allocate resource efficiently and effectively. After every turn of the cards and bet I was conducting risk assessments; planning how I wanted to play every hand and adjusting when needed (but not following a plan to the letter) was critical to my success. Improving your poker skills makes you a stronger tester.
Craig Stuntz The Limits of Unit Testing and How to Exceed Them
Your unit tests pass and your code coverage looks great, so you can just hit “Deploy” and head out for the weekend, right? Unfortunately, passing tests, while useful, do not guarantee that your system works correctly. We can do better! Techniques such as property based testing, fuzzing, dependent types, and manual testing can be combined with unit testing to ensure highly reliable software. How do you know when you are really, truly “covered” by a unit test and when you must employ other techniques? You will learn precisely what unit testing really does, what it can never do, and how to create the best plan for ensuring the overall quality of your application.
Stan Jónsson Testing Web Services
This session will cover various tools, frameworks and techniques for testing Web Services.  We will take the open source SoapUI, JMeter and REST-assured for a spin, and learn how they can be used for smoke testing, load testing, performance testing, acceptance testing, probing and mocking Web Services.  Examples will include SOAP and RESTful Web Services using XML and JSON.  Some general tips will be provided on Web Service development.  There will be some code examples in Java, but the session should benefit anyone struggling with Web Service testing.
Pradeepa Narayanaswamy Discover the Power of Pair Testing!!!
In agile teams, it’s inevitable that team members are expected to be more cross-functional and produce high quality product for their customers. How can agile team members become more cross-functional and take ownership of quality? Often times there seems to be a scarcity of testing talents in agile teams. How can agile teams attain highest quality product when working with very few or no testing talents?For agile team members to take ownership of quality, Pradeepa Narayanaswamy exposes the power of “Pair Testing” that greatly supports providing faster feedback and producing high quality product all along as a team. For the scarce testing talents and an effective way to become more cross-functional, one approach is for team members to pair up on various (unit, integration, exploratory and several other) testing efforts that ensures the shared eye on quality and learning. Pradeepa talks about several pairing options and opportunities between various specialties in an agile team. She also talks about some “non-typical” pairing opportunities with DevOps, Operations, Sales, Marketing and Support members to name a few.As a new or an experienced agile team member, learn how to spearhead this technique in your team at various levels and spread the buzz to other teams. As a tester, learn how to get the non-testing talents excited and experience the value of pair testing.This is a general outline of the presentation flow.1. Introduction to Pair Testing
2.A time-boxed activity to experience the pairing- I will be using a slightly modified version of this game. http://tastycupcakes.org/2011/10/pairing-for-non-programmers/
3. Pair testing options and opportunities with team and non-team members
4. What about? – I have a dozen pre-identified questions that can trigger conversation and discussion among the participants. I expect this to be a very interactive section. I will have participants share their personal experience if any
5. Benefits and Challenges in Pair testing
matt heusserMatthew Heusser Agile-Test Evolution:  Changing Test Strategy Over Time
After years of consulting and conferring with teams from Activate to Zappos, Matt Heusser has seen more that how teams test – he has seen how test strategy changes over time to support more ambitious development approaches.That vantage point gave Matt the opportunity to put together a playbook – a guide to the recurring patterns of success, and failure, that he has for teams on the page of continuous improvement. Teams that moved from heavily documented process to light, to executable examples and exploration, and, for some, one-piece flow and continuous delivery tend to experiment with technique — some techniques seem to work, and others, not so much.Come benefit from the experience of others as we discuss a move to a fluency model for Agile-Testing, with real examples. Take home ways your team might evolve … and perhaps a few things to avoid.
Rob Bowyer & Erik Davis How Do I Reach the Congregation When I’m Preaching to the Choir
Professional development is important – everyone attending this conference knows that. What about those that aren’t attending conferences, reading books or following testing thought leaders online?Erik and Rob have had a variety of experiences working with those that are absolutely energized about their career and those that sometimes seem to only just want a job and nothing more.In this interactive session we will reflect on some of our own experiences and successes. As well, we’ll facilitate a group discussion on topics such as:
– How do we reach more testers
– How do we “sell” professional development
– Should we “sell” professional development
kelsey shannahan

Kelsey Shannahan

Sustainable Automation Frameworks
There comes a time in every automated tester’s life when they are presented with a test framework that is so riddled with poor design decisions, incomprehensible code, and ‘just make it work’ hacks that the easier option would probably be to just tear it down and start over.  Most of the time, these abominations result from a need to get automated testing up and running, without a concrete idea on what the end framework will look like.  This talk will discuss going beyond those first few automated scripts and cover topics such as the page-object model, step definition reusability, data management, and other topics that will help ensure that your next framework isn’t one that people will curse the day you were born over.  This talk will be geared towards a beginner level of experience with automated testing.

Donavan Stanley

Docker for Test Engineers
Over the past two years Docker has grown from a little-known technology to “the new hotness” every data center needs.  In this talk we’ll explore how Docker can streamline and scale your test automation.  Over the course of this talk we’ll cover some Docker basics before standing up a rails app within a Docker container and testing it using a “dockerized” Selenium Grid.
joseph ours

Joseph Ours

Building Competency Through Social Science
Too often in our industry, we find many professionals who did not end up here by choice.  Many come from stellar backgrounds, asked to do testing because they are the foremost expert in a particular application or business area.  Other end up in testing because they were a problem that a manager wanted to push off on someone else.  In both cases, we often see individuals who enter the testing field with little training, knowledge, and experience.  Training isn’t as simple as taking a course and assume instant retention and ability to apply knowledge in practice.  However, that is what many managers expect.  How do we build a competency within an individual that is lasting?  In this talk, we’ll look at a model for developing competence and discuss real world examples of how you can tell when individuals have achieved a certain level of confidence.
joe beale

Joseph Beale

Feeding Your Automated Tests: A Practical Demo
Many testing groups have turned to automation frameworks to make their tests more consistent and efficient. However, once you move past doing simple operations into repeatable scenarios you often run into the problem of how to effectively insert multiple sets of data into the test without hard-coding it.Using the Ruby/Cucumber framework, I will demonstrate five different ways of feeding automated tests with data: scenario outlines, inline tables, YAML files, external CSV files, and external spreadsheets. In the process of doing so, I will also do a quick overview of Ruby’s Array and Hash object types. Although the code shown is specific to one technology, the concepts will apply to almost any type of automated test.Note: If you were present for last year’s “”Cucumber from the Ground Up””, this talk picks up right where that one left off.This will be a live demonstration and the sample code is free for anyone to use. Bring your machine and follow along or just sit back and enjoy the show. I am here to enlighten, entertain, encourage, and inspire.
dmitry sharkov

Dmitry Sharkov

A Paradigm Shift in Quality Engineering
The last few years have seen a shift in how organizations that produce software are approaching quality. As testing and overall quality assurance rise to first-class citizenship in the world of agile development, those working “in the trenches” find themselves needing to adapt or be left behind. This talk will look at how the QA landscape is shifting, how certain technology giants are molding it, what effects the shift has on their ability to produce, and what it means for developers and testers as roles transform, merge, or disappear.

Warren Watkins

 Interview Hustle–stand out by being better prepared than your competition
“The interview for your dream job shouldn’t be the first interview you’ve had in a while.” Interviewing is a skill (you use it or loose it) that requires a bit of luck, preparation, and showbusiness–two of which you can control. Once your resume scores you the interview, you can be more prepared and more polished that your job competition; and be ready for whatever the hiring manager might ask you. This presentation from an IT hiring manager can help you be prepared to ace the interview for your dream job, and have tools that make you perform better than your competition.

Aditya Garg

 Big Data – Hadoop and MapReduce  – new age tools for aid to testing  and QA
BigData with its slew of technologies and terms has been the most talked about area in last couple of years. This has evolved in Big Data Science, Analytics and now on the IoT and automation side. There is a need for testers and QA team to not only get used to this new age digital transformation area but at the same time embrace the technology to their own advantage. We have experimented and successfully used Big Data Technologies – Hadoop and MapReduce for a recent testing engagement. The actual application was implemented using classic technologies like CentOS and C++. Testing team implemented Hadoop and MapReduce to help in quick turnaround for the testing.
We would like to showcase the entire case study on how the tools and technologies came in handy for a High Frequency Trading (HFT) application and had we not implemented the same what would we have missed.
We would also share the entire CentOS/Hadoop/MapReduce VM with the participants. This would require the attendees to bring their own laptop with at least 4GB RAM (Available) so that they do some hands on exercises that we would like to share.
Panel Discussion Making QA Strategic – Let’s Get Real
In most companies, most of the time, there is no quality (or test) person at the table for strategic planning. Instead, the role of testing is tactical at best, a cost center that is barely understood at worst. The Agile movement involves the whole team in testing and moves it earlier in the process; yet testing and quality tends to remain team level. Organizations that have directors and Vice-Presidents of test tend to focus on management of technical staff, without much involvement in strategic planning or objectives, leaving an unclear promotion path beyond.In some cultures – even pockets of local culture – Quality is viewed as core to the mission, with the CEO serving a role as quality officer. Too often, though, it is delegated, or purchased as a commodity to the lowest bidder.This is a tough issue, a cultural issue. Join a panel of great lakes test leaders, taking away both quick conversation wins, but also deeper, organizational change ideas, as we discuss the role of testing and quality in the organization – and how to change it!

Ramesh Krish

Mobile Test Automation – Laying the right foundation
With access to reviews and customer feedback, today’s users have it easy on decision making – to buy or not to buy an App. After all the careful planning and time that has gone into developing a mobile device / application, the success of it is determined by the feedback flying all over the internet a few minutes into the product’s release. Here is where the Quality specialists’ skill comes in – to ensure the product does what is promises to do.How are we, as these specialists, going to ensure Quality and Test Coverage considering the rate at which these Apps are hitting the market? Test Automation is the answer but there are several challenges. Development methodologies have changed crunching the Test Cycle Times. We have couple of builds in a day if not more! The only way out would be, we will have to lay the foundation right. The right tool, a good framework and a defined scope will have to be decided upon.When we speak of Test Automation, there certainly are some challenges to overcome and when we speak about it in combination with Mobile devices, we have to be sure to straighten out the creases at as early a stage as possible to make sure the project is successful. Some of the items to consider before the Automation project is kicked-off would be: Diversity in devices, operating systems & browsers, Jailbreaking / rooting of devices, Source-code requirement, Libraries to be added to the source-code, etc. Once we get past this stage, the wise thing would be is to choose a stable, extendable Test Automation Framework. A good framework should be easy to use – script / execute, flexible & customizable, hybrid and most importantly churn out easy to read reports that are dynamic. Based on the Application Under Test, other factors like support on the Cloud, etc. will also have to be considered.This presentation targets at converting this theory into practicality and to help the development team achieve good quality Mobile applications tested at rapid speed.Kay takeaways:
• Mobile Test Automation in a nutshell
• How to overcome challenges in Mobile Test Automation
• An efficient approach that will help achieve assured quality
• The need for a good framework
• Support / easy maintenance for a dynamically growing Automation Suite
jess lancaster

Jess Lancaster

The 30 Best, Free Testing Tools in 60 Minutes
Yes, you heard that right… 30 of the best, FREE test tools in 60 minutes! Get that shot clock ready! In this session we’ll introduce top testing tools every tester should know about so they can pull them from their toolbox when the time is right! We’ll focus on really useful tools that make your testing so much better – especially those power tools! Once we’re through my list, we’ll crowd-source the rest to drive home our 30 in 60. So make sure to bring a few of your favorites with you to share with other testers!Note: I “”tested”” this session at our Lansing Area Software Testers meetup group and it was our highest ever meetup attendance.
shawn wallace

Shawn Wallace

Test Automation in the “”Microservice”” Oriented Enterprise
The industry has seen a shift for service-based architectures towards a smaller, more focused concept of “micro-services”. A benefit of this approach is to treat each microservice as a separate application that can independently be deployed, scaled, and maintained. These new system boundaries can increase testing complexity and must be managed effectively.In this talk we:
* introduce microservice terminology
* discuss some approaches to managing the testing of these loosely coupled but still interdependent systems
* demonstrate service based testing techniques

Bramha Ghosh

Integration testing is hard
Integration testing is hard. At some point you want to test across that system boundary, and if your systems are talking HTTP, then an HTTP proxy is a convenient tool to have in your toolbox. I’ll introduce Martian Proxy (https://github.com/google/martian), and demonstrate it’s usage in common testing scenarios, including Android (maybe even iOS). I’ll also discuss the direction we’re going with Martian, and encourage you to contribute!