2017 QA or the Highway Speakers & Sessions



Louise Elliott

Louise Elliott, Founder of CareerPowerShift, LLC, is a leadership coach who works with successful leaders to discover their uniqueness, tribe, and cause so that they can impact their families, workplace, communities, and beyond.

Louise’s technology centered career spans twenty-seven years. It included significant projects in technology acquisition, solution design, full system transformation and integration, project planning and management, marketing, application development, testing, Q/A, digital analytics and launching initiatives that had significant bottom line impact. She’s held many leadership positions in management, led governance, implemented change, empowered others, and fought for her team while jumping on grenades when necessary. Louise has seen 100s of scenarios and led teams through the gnarliest of challenges.

Louise is hugely committed to the success and growth of others with strong compassion. Her innovative and honest style brings energizing perspective for professional career growth through workshops, keynote speaking, and individual/team coaching. Louise was on track to be a technology executive of a Fortune 100 financial institution, when her passion for accelerating the success of her colleagues led her to leave her position and dedicate her life to the success and growth of others.

Louise’s vocational shift has enabled her to lead and coach 100s through career upgrades and shifts. Louise now pursues energizing and motivating people to discover the joy within and to realize true success. It is Louise’s dedication to embrace the fuel inside you that is greater than any obstacle. She is passionate about empowering individuals to overcome their self-limiting obstacles through self-investment strategies to achieve career success. Whether you are an individual, a manager, or an executive, Louise can help you to overcome struggles and gain clarity in your career path.

At Career Power Shift, Louise offers leadership and career development programs, which help to enhance an individual’s value. Workshops and coaching services build on communication, leadership, and personal growth. Louise has a BS in Management Information Systems and currently pursuing an MA in Industrial Organizational Psychology. She is a Certified Coach, Trainer, & Speaker, a Member of The John Maxwell Team, Founding Partner on The Deeper Path Team, & a certified Dream Job Coach.

Business Contact Email: LouiseElliott@CareerPowerShift.com

Business Website: http://www.CareerPowerShift.com

Step Up and Take Flight – Presentation Here

Do you know what the ultimate question is? The question to which separates one person from the next in a crowded room. Are you a LEADER or a FOLLOWER? You could also be both; it all depends on the situation. There are times you can step up to lead and most other times you will follow others.

Many people assume that a leader requires a title or preface or abbreviations after their name. It is not always the case. People should not assume that managers or directors are automatically leaders and equally those with no titles are not leaders. Management and Leadership are not mutually exclusive but they can separate.

Every successful organization requires great products, great customers and great employees but most the important ingredient to success is having great leaders for a bright future.

No matter what position or level you are in the hierarchy, you can be a good at leading others. What exactly does it mean to be a leader? In simple terms, it is about influence and motivation. Influencing the behavior of others to accomplish a task in a manner you desire.

John Maxwell says “Leadership is influence, nothing more and nothing less”

Join Louise on a journey to being a good leader in any situation or circumstance.



Jess Lancaster

Jess Lancaster is the QA Practice Manager at TechSmith, the makers of Snagit, Camtasia, Jing, and other visual communication software tools. He has tested software and led testing teams since the mid-1990’s with experience in consulting, government, financial, insurance, and commercial software organizations. Jess regularly speaks on software testing at local meetups, industry events, and conferences. In addition, Jess has created software testing courses and served as adjunct faculty at Lansing Community College and is the co-founder of Lansing Area Software Testers.

Let It Go!: Your Traditional Testing Role, that is.
Our roles as software testers are changing whether we want them to or not. We can attempt to push against this raging current of changing roles…and get swept away. Or we can choose to embrace the change, participate in it, and allow it to shape us into the relevant testers this age needs. Jess will share his insights and experiences with our industry’s transformation and arming you with this information he will help you Let It Go!

  • The ways in which our traditional testing roles are changing
  • Practical tips on how we as testers can embrace that change
  • Key methods to reinvent yourself as a relevant tester




Alan Koch

Automated Testing – DevOps Enabler (Presentation Here)
“Automate everything you can.” This DevOps principle propels automated testing into a primary enabling position for any organization that embarks on a DevOps journey. No longer an option. No longer something we *should* do. Either we automate testing or the bright promise of DevOps will remain out of reach.


In this session, we will examine the multiple ways that automated testing is the lynchpin that enables the flow of software through the DevOps pipeline. And we will see how it changes – but does not eliminate – manual testing. (After all, “everything you can” is not everything.)



Anne Hungate

NextGen QA…Today!
Quality teams are proud to see what other teams do not see, to experience the software as a customer would, and to search until the root cause of every problem is found. We are a special brand of professionals who ensure our organizations deliver on the brand promise.

With the wide-scale adoption of Agile, DevOps, and value chain automation, companies are enforcing the practices we have championed. Much of our work is being automated and the number of defects we find is shrinking.
Now, we need to refocus our tireless pursuit of software goodness in new directions. As we allow algorithms embedded in our cars, phones, microwaves, and watches to tell us where to go, where to park, how long to cook our food, and how many steps we took; how do we redefine our purpose? As valuable contributors to the brand promise, what do we do now?
Join Anne and be inspired by the improvements in software engineering. Re-envision your career as a quality professional. Get closer to the customer, closer to the technology, and learn more from your data. Take the reins of your career and embrace shift left engineering.

Key Learning Points:

  • Understand where you are now and how the environment is changing
  • Redefine the value proposition for your team with increased automation
  • Learn how to expand roles on your team
  • Imagine and define new roles for quality professionals




Bradley Temple

Testing Microservices
While microservices may be easier to develop and maintain due to their small size, the only thing that matters to the user is what happens when the applications work together. Make your tests deterministic by:


  • Keeping apps up-to-date with production automatically
  • Managing data across services
  • Controlling integrations with third parties, and much more!


Brian Bayer

Brian Bayer

Confessions of an Inside Trader: How I Use My Dev and QA Skills and Knowledge to Cheat the System (Presentation Here)
As a recovering developer now in QA, my dev background often allows me to understand and focus on the true risks and narrow (aka REDUCE) the testing. This has allowed me to “eat the elephant” by shrinking it when all those stories drop into the “Ready For Testing” column on the last day of the sprint.

How do I shrink the elephant? I shrink the elephant by looking at the system under test’s code – or better yet, its unit and integration tests – or by knowing that I can trust the developer and have asked the right questions.

And I keep asking questions. Can I get involved in developing the unit and integration tests? Can I get involved in the design of the feature? The requirements? And if I can get involved, what do I do to tip the quality scale in my favor. How do I use this opportunity to “game the system.”

I reduce the amount of testing by trimming scope and reducing permutations. I can trim scope by knowing the real boundaries of the system under test. I can reduce permutations by understanding where the actual dependencies are. Permutations are the killer. I can reduce permutations even more if I am involved in the design and implementation and can eliminate dependencies before they are added. This all makes the elephant of testing more bite-sized.

As developer, my QA experience at first changed how I developed software. Later it changed the very software that I wrote. It started with always setting up some sort of test “framework” around whatever I was working on just so I could sleep better at night. Eventually Test Driven Development changed the code that I wrote so that it required less tests.

This presentation is a frank and open confession of my methods and practices with a no-holds-barred question and answer session to follow.




Cassandra Faris

Career Growth Questions You’re Afraid to Ask
As a technology professional, you’re constantly bombarded with job opportunities. Some even sound like super exciting things you’d like to do! How do you know if they’re actually right for you? Even if you’re not actively seeking a job, this is an important question that you’ll eventually need to answer. Drawing on real-life examples, this session will walk you through the opportunity evaluation process. It will cover topics including benefits questions, intellectual property concerns, and assessing company culture. Most importantly, it will help you identify your career growth priorities and whether that seemingly shiny new opportunity meets them.





Dante Vilardi

The Feds Are Ahead! DevOps Quality Assessment for Big Programs
The US federal government has largely been playing catch-up in the Agile world. One notable exception: the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). For most of this decade, the agency’s visionary CIO has let USCIS through an Agile transformation that’s been recognized nationwide.


In this presentation, Dante Vilardi — a Columbus-based Agile coach commuting on site to DC for the last two years, explains how plain vanilla Agile at USCIS has given way to DevOps, microservices – and a growing commitment to data-driven improvement activity. Dante has been coaching on the agency’s largest, most risky and politically charged program under an IV&V contract, so he’ll explain in depth where he sees measurement, program evaluation and coaching intersecting – in highly regulated environments, and beyond.


dmitry sharkov

Dmitry Sharkov

Testing software comes with no shortage of challenges in the best of times. Concerns including behavior checking, data management, concurrency, component isolation, metrics gathering, race conditions, and system integration present testers with technical hurdles on a daily basis. The effort to overcome them is largely dependent on software testability. Yet testability is often neither discussed nor ensured during development, when it should be considered a required property of the system! This talk will dive into multiple concrete examples of how technical decisions can affect a system’s testability, both favorably and adversely.



Dustin Williams

Improving Test Team Throughput By Improving Test Architecture (Presentation Here)
A lot of modern testing teams are built from people with some automation experience, developers, and people who think code is something used to open a safe. These diverse backgrounds bring a diverse set of ideas, but don’t always find optimal division of work. With some fairly small changes in automated test design, we can leverage the best skills of all team members to not only improve throughput, but to end up with a better overall product. These design principles help isolate truly challenging code problems and help separate the concerns of test structure and test execution. If your team has ever said (with sad faces) “We’re still automating that”, then come discover how tomorrow you can exclaim “That’s Done!”


Bringing the Hacker Mindset into Requirements and Testing (Presentation Here)
Security requirements and testing are different from functional requirements & testing. In security testing the goal is to find out if the system can stand up to abusers. So the test scenarios may not be realistic from a common user standpoint. Being able to think of these requirements requires a different mindset than that used for traditional functional requirements. Anticipating and planning for these scenarios is vital for security testing.
Security requirements and testing requires an adversarial mindset, a “what if” mindset, i.e., the same one hackers use to break into systems.



Eric Kessler

Curating Your Cukes (Presentation Here)
Cucumber is a popular tool that is commonly used for writing and running functional tests that can drive the BDD (Behavior Driven Development) process on a project development team. Just as commonly, what started as a nice little garden of cukes can become overgrown and difficult to manage as a project’s life advances. This talk will cover several useful tools that can help you keep your Cucumber suites in shape.




Jared Sheffer

Automated Mobile Testing: The Roller Coaster Ride Which Is Appium (Presentation Here)
Tools such as Cucumber, Watir, and Selenium have been helping to automate the testing of projects from around the world for years. In the mobile space there have been relatively few tools that allow cross-platform test automation. One new contender that has emerged in the past few years is Appium.Appium is an open source tool which allows you to create automated test scripts, essentially in the language of your choice, for both iOS and Android. In this talk, we will go over some high and low points which Appium has had in recent years. We will speak to the advantages which Appium has over Calabash, as well as discuss why Appium suggests using a tool called Flaky when testing.


True North Testing™: Keeping Your Projects On Course With A Metrics-Based Methodology (Presentation Here)
Only 2% of software projects realize all of their goals. And as user expectations grow more stringent, the increasing importance of software quality is putting a burden on testing teams that lack a metrics-based methodology. Without a consistent methodology to guide development, software projects face a rocky road to release—riddled with costly defects, lengthy delays, and crippling budget overruns.

In this presentation, you’ll learn:

  • How the 3 Perils of Software Development™ blow projects off course
  • How to increase quality, reduce delays, and cut costs by applying a consistent, metrics-based testing methodology
  • How to dramatically improve your test planning, efficiency, and consistency—in both Agile and Waterfall environments
  • What data you should be capturing—and the tools you should be using to do so




Jeremy Davis

Innovative Cucumber Test Process and Web app with Drag and Drop Test Creation
The automation team at Franklin University has created a Sinatra based web app to assist in the process of storing, reporting, re-running and creating Automated Cucumber tests. This is more than a web app as it involves following a very efficient process of creating tests, running tests, triaging the failures and storing the results in a way that is easy and efficient. Tests can be written using a drag and drop Gherkin Builder. The app is really a collection of innovative process ideas such as having a test that fails in the same environment with the same reason tell you why it failed last run. The app also gives users a convenient way to view their coverage of features. We are not selling this application but think that showing it to the world can help elevate the expectations of what is possible in the Cucumber Automation space. The presentation will focus on how the process we follow along with the help of an application tailored to your process allows one Automation Engineer to be as effective as a some entire teams.




Joe Beale

Page Object from the Ground Up (Presentation Here)

If you work in the field of testing/QA then it is likely that you have encountered test automation in one form or another. Maybe you have embraced it and have gained expertise. Or maybe you’ve avoided it because you’re hoping it’s a fad that will fade away. I’m guessing most of you would like to learn it but don’t know where to start.

My goal is simple: to demystify the subject by taking a novice tester with no coding experience through the process of writing a simple automated test using the Page Object framework in Ruby/Cucumber. I will take a volunteer from the audience and transform that person from an ordinary QA professional (or whatever their occupation) into an automation engineer in one short hour.

Don’t be afraid; the code will not bite. Much.


joseph ours

Joseph Ours

Metric Free Test Management (Presentation Here)
Most testers are quite familiar with standard test metrics: defect counts, test pass rates, defect removal efficiency, etc… In fact, most status reports are replete with metrics and graphs galore. But do metrics really help you manage your testing effort and are they really the best means to communicate with executives. Come learn about how I manage testing efforts without leaning on metrics as a crutch or a shield.




Kelsey Shannahan

Making a Mock (Presentation Here)
Testing within a closed system is easy. Everything is generally accessible and can be interacted with freely. But what happens when the application requires integration with one or more third parties in order to function? In unit tests, we can use mocks and there are many Ruby libraries to make that happen. However, this doesn’t help us much when we’re testing deployed code in end-to-end scenarios or exploratory tests. The solution I found was to build a mock application to mimic the third party. This talk will cover the process and tools used to build the application, the advantages/disadvantages it provides, and explain how this mock is utilized in real-world situations.


ken desouza

Ken De Souza

The bare minimum you need to know about web security testing in 2017 (Presentation Here)
Security testing is a huge topic. In this talk, Ken will discuss his experience working for small companies where security testing is a requirement, but often gets overlooked. Ken will explore some of the basic things a tester should know about web application security, such as the resources available from OWASP. As part of this talk, Ken will live demo the following tools:

  • OWASP Zed Attack Proxy
  • Microsoft Thread Modeling tool
  • Wireshark / tcpdump
  • sqlmap (SQL exploitation tool)

Attendees will take away:

  • A quick overview of some tools that you can use on a daily basis today
  • Resources to learn more about security testing
  • Ways of practicing it in a safe environment


matt eakin

Matt Eakin

Defect Triage (Presentation Here)
Test automation has become a critical part of most testing efforts. When a highly trained team is creating and maintaining a powerful test automation framework, and Quality is a team practice, and infrastructure teams help create a solid test environment, and database teams help build a production-like test database, each run is clean with few defects found. Unfortunately, test automation runs are almost never clean. Figuring out what went wrong can be time consuming and tedious. Did 1/2 of your tests fail because the environment is just flaky? Or are there real performance or connectivity issues which need to be addressed? The defect might be a ghost hunt as the problem might have been caused by something that will never happen again. In this presentation, Mr. Eakin will discuss how a well thought out defect triage methodology can significantly help any team member triage failed tests. A customized reporting system can also help.



Newton Olivieri

Testing and Checking… potentially adding a new layer to your perspective (Presentation Here)
At some point, some people decided to give “error”, “defect” and “bug” slightly different meanings for a slightly more detailed context. For some time now, some folks have been trying to do the same with “testing” and “checking”. Let me attempt to share that point of view and together, let’s see if our perspective changes…





Paul Meeker

More Than a Tester: Involving QA throughout the Agile Process
It’s easy to get focused on your test cases, automation suite, gherkin, cucumber, acceptance criteria etc. and miss the big picture. This talk will focus on the importance of QA being involved in ALL aspects of the Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC) from inception to support. As product owner, I advocate for EVERYONE on the team to own the product. This approach results in higher quality, higher customer satisfaction, and higher team morale. In this talk I will address:



  • How QA can get more involved throughout the whole SDLC
  • How managers can encourage QA to be more involved throughout the whole SDLC
  • How agile can help QA be more holistic
  • Tools and techniques that have facilitated a more holistic approach
  • What it really looks like for QA to own the product

Attendees will come away with a new outlook on the QA role and ideas on how to implement positive change in their organization, whether they are QA or a leader of QA.


Pradeepa Narayanaswamy

Pradeepa Narayanaswamy

Create Testing Commandos for Creative Problem Solving! (Presentation Here)
As testers, you are truly playing a role of creative problem solver in your teams. How often are you able to turn on your creative brains easily? It’s Not easy! Although there are techniques you can use to to get there.
In this highly practical and fun workshop, Pradeepa Narayanaswamy will introduce the attendees to a variety of simple games and techniques. Attendees will practice and take back variety of ideas and concepts to creatively solve your testing problems. You can also use these techniques as a way to creatively collaborate with other testers and team members to create rich ideas.Learning Outcomes:
Audience will:

  • Understand the usage of games being a vehicle for engaging teams towards creative problem solving
  • Practice these games within the session as a medium to improve collaboration and create richer ideas with their real life teams
  • Immediately apply these games at work to uplift their team’s capability to solve problems in a creative manner



Richard Douglass

Quality Assurance & User Experience: Friends or Foes? (Presentation Here)
Is it possible for User Experience (UX) and Quality Assurance (QA) professionals to work well together? At times, both can struggle to effectively communicate what they need in order to do their jobs well. However, opportunities exist for the two to work well together. For example, QA professionals often struggle to obtain quality requirements in order to write effective test cases. Whereas, UX professionals typically struggle when after they do their work early in the project they often hand off their work only to find it mangled in the final stages of the project when they are no longer involved.Yet, great things are possible when UX and QA teams work together. The UX professionals can ensure that requirements are well written early in the project when they are heavily involved in the project. In addition, QA professionals can be very helpful by making sure UX team members are invited to review the final product before it goes live and are part of the final reviews.


CoverMyQuality: Implementation of a New Quality Program (Presentation Here)
Follow the Quality Assurance journey taken by CoverMyMeds as it transitioned from a start-up to a growth company. Founded in 2008 with a mission to help patients get the medication they need to be healthy, CoverMyMeds has doubled its staff and revenue every year since inception. As the company expands, quality processes have become paramount in protecting Patient Health Information (PHI) and mitigating risk. Implementing Juran’s concept of Big Q, CoverMyMeds has begun its journey in creating its own quality center of excellence.



Rob Bowyer

Dev-Ops Under the Microscope
Much of what we read and hear about DevOps is at the enterprise level. However, at that level, there are a lot of factors at play that can make or break the initiative – budgets, re-organizations, and the overall politics that can come into play in a large organization.It’s not just enterprise organizations that are making the transformation either. While many new and start-up organizations can start with an eye towards implementing DevOps practices out of the gate – there are many small to medium businesses that are making the transformation as well.I work in one such organisation – we’re a reasonably small web development organization that is implementing DevOps practices. This has given me the opportunity to observe the transformation on a smaller scale and allows me to see some of the real challenges at the heart of it.In this session I will reflect on some of the challenges we have encountered while adopting DevOps practices such as communication, lack of shared understanding and language, and overall time constraints. I’ll also be focusing on the skill-sets, attitudes and cultural changes that I believe are necessary to make a DevOps transformation a success.


Digital transformation continues to drive IT strategy, How is QA and testing positioned? (Presentation Here)

Organizations under pressure to deploy new digital products and services are finding it tough to strike a balance between quality and speed of development, particularly when it comes to deploying IoT technology. This year’s share of the IT budget devoted to quality assurance (QA) and Testing has dropped to 31% after a significant and worrying increase from 18% to 35% during the preceding four years. Despite this year’s reduction, there is an overall prediction that spending will increase to 40% in 2019. Attendees will learn about:

  • Digital Transformation
  • IoT and Security
  • Agile and DevOps
  • Industrialization and TCoE
  • Test Environments and Test Data Management
  • QA&Test Budgets And the recommendations for QA to act on