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QUEST Chicago 2008
Last updated: 05/05/2009

Best Practices Workshops


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Best Practices Workshops - WEDNESDAY, APRIL 22

Managing Interative Software Projects
Timothy Korson, Qualsys Solutions

Track 1: 2:30 - 4:00

Most corporations are still fairly traditionally structured even though many software development teams are heading full steam into modern, highly iterative, agile software development techniques. This leaves management coping with an organizational and technical paradigm shift that traditional project management practices are inadequate to handle. In the highly iterative, fast-paced environment characteristic of these modern software development projects, traditional approaches to budgeting, testing, quality assurance, requirements gathering, scheduling, and estimating break down. Managers trying to encourage best practices as recommended by CMMI and SPICE find themselves at odds with developers trying to adopt best practices as recommended by the agile manifesto. This workshop will explore practical ways to adapt the formal, heavy weight, process control inherent in CMMI recommendations to the lighter weight, more flexible practices of agile development, yielding a productive quasi-agile development environment.

About the workshop leader...
Dr. Timothy Korson has had over a decade of significant experience working on a large variety of systems developed using modern software engineering techniques. This experience includes distributed, real time, embedded systems as well as business information systems in an n-tier, client-server environment. Tim's typical involvement on a project is as a senior management consultant with additional technical responsibilities to ensure high quality, robust test and quality assurance processes and practices. Tim has authored numerous articles, and co-authored a book on Object Technology Centers, Object Technology Centers of Excellence. He has given frequent invited lectures at major international conferences and has contributed to the discipline through original research.

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The Business Value of Measurements
Patricia Eglin, David Consulting Group

Track 2: 2:30 - 4:00

The impact of measures and metrics is dependent on how closely they are linked to an organization’s business goals and strategy.  The closer the linkage, the higher the probability that value will be derived.  This workshop provides a measurement roadmap, based on real life experiences, to start you down the right path to measurement success. You will learn what to do and what not to do when starting or improving your measurement program.  You will hear about defining goals, project information, and key measures.  Finally, you will learn how to map these items back to your business goals.  This workshop will also provide the opportunity to practice what you have learned through a structured group activity.

About the Instructor...
Pat Eglin is an experienced consultant with The David Consulting Group.  Her background includes 13 years of experience working for a financial institution and 10 years experience working for a software development company.  She has extensive expertise in the areas of software process improvement, quality assurance, corporate process training, financial systems, and quality compliance protocols.  Her experience includes CMMI implementations, process design and development, training course development, and instruction. Pat has leadership and management experience and has headed several engineering process groups.  Pat specializes in software measurements, software process improvement, and agile methodologies.

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The Agile Game: An Experiential Workshop
Glenn Bernsohn and Michael Walkden, Redpoint Technologies

Track 3: 2:30 - 4:00

You've read about agile, heard about agile, and your company is probably using it in some form by now. Here's your opportunity to experience the rhythm of an agile project in action. Through participation in The Agile/eXtremeProgramming Game, this experiential workshop introduces Agile/XP in a non-threatening, non-technical, and fun way. Attendees will come away with an understanding of many of the best practices used to deliver high-quality software quickly. The workshop provides explanation of and experience in agile practices and concepts including Iterations, stories, roles on an agile team, test-driven development, refactoring, velocity, pair programming, and retrospectives. Experience how the various roles work together as on effective agile team: on-site customer, tester, developer, and business analyst. Learn the basic patterns and practices of agile projects and see how adaptive planning helps to deliver the highest value to the customer. Join Glenn and Michael and play the game!

About the workshop leader...
Glenn Bernsohn has over 25 years of leadership and software development experience helping organizations and teams effectively deliver custom applications.  As Agile Practice Manager for Redpoint, Glenn coaches delivery teams in making the best use of Agile project management and engineering practices, and develops and teaches agile workshops. He also guides clients in introducing agile practices in their organization and improving their delivery capabilities by establishing Agile Maturity and Organizational Transformation models. Over the past 10 years, Glenn has played a variety of roles including Agile Coach, Program & Software Development Manager, and Solution Architect. Some of his former clients include BP, Bank of New York, Volkswagen Credit, State Farm Insurance, and Bank of America.

Michael Walkden has 15 years of leadership and software development experience helping organizations solve their most difficult technology problems. As Client Principal at Redpoint, he is responsible for leading agile software development teams as well coaching organizations in order to maximize their technology investments utilizing Agile practices. He has extensive, cross-industry experience building enterprise applications that incorporate best of breed technology to meet objectives. Michael is a certified ScrumMaster and has held a role at IBM as a consultant and Enterprise Architect where he helped develop IBM's onDemand, SOA, and web hosting practices. He has also managed onshore/offshore software development divisions at multiple companies including TransUnion and Cognizant Technology Solutions.

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Test Planning in a High Paced IT World
Philip Ruth and Michael Van Boven, Deloitte Consulting

Track 4: 2:30 - 4:00

Good planning is always the cornerstone for driving long term success in any effort and testing is no different.  While at a minimum, a good test plan should cover three core topics - coverage, methods and responsibilities - there are other critical drivers to successful test planning.  In today’s high paced and ever changing IT landscape, many organizations often shortchange or struggle with various aspects of the test planning lifecycle.  These items include definition of test scope, establishment of a formal test planning methodology, development lifecycle involvement, resource and budget estimates, and design of high quality test plans and scripts. During this workshop you will participate in a series of interactive case studies and exercises to get a better understanding of the best practices frameworks, practical approaches, and key considerations involved with the art and science of the overall test planning process.  

About the workshop leader...
Phil Ruth is a Director in Deloitte’s Technology Integration practice and leads Deloitte’s Global Testing Practice Initiative. He has over 15 years of IT delivery leadership experience focused on large scale systems implementation including strategic planning, enterprise architecture and application development services, electronic commerce, multi-channel enterprise services, and end-to-end testing.  Phil has experience across health care/ life sciences, communications/media, and public sector industries. He was a speaker at HP’s 2008 Software Universe conference on the topic of Performance Validation and Optimization of Large-Scale Custom Enterprise Applications.

Michael Van Boven is a Senior Manager in Deloitte’s Technology Integration practice with over 10 years of experience in managing large, complex system development projects with a focus in software testing and quality assurance. Michael’s extensive testing experience includes conducting testing assessments, designing test strategies, managing end to end test program efforts, and establishing comprehensive Testing Centers of Excellence (COE) for large clients. Michael is also a leader in Deloitte’s Global Testing Practice Initiative helping to manage the build out of the overall practice, the advancement of testing focused marketplace solution offerings, and the development of detailed whitepapers.

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Exploratory Testing: Recording and Reporting
Michael Bolton, DevelopSense

Track 5: 2:30 - 4:00

One of the perceived obstacles against using an exploratory testing approach is that exploration is unstructured, unrepeatable, and unaccountable. A look at history, however, demonstrates that this is clearly not the case. Explorers and investigators throughout history have made plans, kept records, written log books, drawn maps, and have used these techniques to report to their sponsors and to the world at large. Skilled exploratory testers use similar approaches to describe observations, record progress, capture new test ideas, and relate the testing and product story to the project community. By focusing on what actually happens, rather than what we hope will happen, exploratory testing records can tell us even more about the product than traditional pre-scripted approaches. Michael invites you on a tour of his exploratory testing notebook and demonstrates more formal approaches to documenting exploratory testing.  These techniques can help exploratory testers to demonstrate that testing has been performed diligently, thoroughly, and accountably in a way that gets to the heart of what excellent testing is all about.

About the workshop leader...
Michael Bolton has been teaching software testing for the last eight years across five continents. He is co-author, along with senior author James Bach, of Rapid Software Testing, a course that presents a methodology and mindset for expert software testing in uncertain conditions and under extreme time pressure. Michael is the Program Chair for TASSQ, the Toronto Association of System and Software Quality, and a co-founder of the Toronto Workshops on Software Testing. He is a regular columnist for Better Software Magazine and also writes for Quality Software, a magazine published by TASSQ. Michael lives in Toronto, Canada, with his wife and two children.

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Best Practices Workshops - THURSDAY, APRIL 23

Inspections and Reviews for Improved Quality
Tim Baker, Calamos Investments

Track 1: 2:30 - 4:00

The goals of inspections and reviews are straight forward, that is to deliver software and technology changes that are both safe and effective.  Safe, in that they do not break or slow down existing customer or business processes.  Effective, in that they deliver what is needed by the customer when it is needed.  Inspections and reviews can take many forms.  Most organizations emphasize only a few of the possible techniques that are available.  Each review and inspection activity can help achieve a specific goal.  However, you must weigh the cost of the activity against the benefit you hope to gain or the risk you wish to mitigate.  This workshop will examine the various forms of reviews and inspections, the pros and cons of each, the logistics of performing the activities, ways to measure their effectiveness, and methods for “right-sizing” your own review and inspection process.    

About the workshop leader…
Tim Baker, CSQA, CSTE, is the Software Quality Manager at Calamos Investments, located in Naperville, Illinois.  He has 25 years experience in the IT field as a software developer, project manager, test team manager, and software quality manager.  Most of his career has been spent in the financial industry developing and later managing the testing of systems used for equity trading and risk management.  For the past 3 years, Tim has focused on improving the software development process and creating efficiencies in testing while adhering to the requirements demanded by Sarbanes-Oxley and ISO 9001:2000 audits.

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The 4 T's of Test Automation: Your Planning Guide to Success Workshop
David Dang, Questcon Technologies

Track 3: 2:30 - 4:00  

Many companies jump into test automation with visions of increased test coverage, decreased execution time, and easy maintenance. However, the reality is that test automation projects often fail due to lack of strategy and planning. The key to successful test automation strategy and planning is rooted in the 4 T's of Test Automation: Technology, Test Cases, Talent, and Timeline. Essentially, organizations must consider the compatibility of the automation tools and the technology they want to test, the content and relevance of the test cases to automation, skill sets needed to implement and maintain automation, and finally, the time it takes to properly implement a solid automation foundation. In David's workshop, through discussion and interactive activities, you will learn the intricacies of the 4 T's of automation so that you can leverage this understanding to enhance your own testing automation efforts.

About the workshop leader...
David Dang joined Questcon Technologies in 1999. David is a Mercury Interactive Certified Instructor (CI) for QuickTest Professional, WinRunner, and Quality Center. As Director of Automation Practices, David works with clients to assess, define, and implement automation strategies to maximize the clients' return on investment for automation tools and minimize automated script maintenance. He is the author of the QuestAssured ® Test Automation Methodology and the lead test automation instructor at the Questcon headquarters in Greensboro, North Carolina. David has been a featured speaker on test automation and related topics at numerous local and national QA and Testing conferences. David received his BS in Management Information Systems and BA in Psychology from the University of Buffalo.

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Applying Test-Driven Development Methodologies to Regression Testing
Kent W. Swagler, Metro St. Louis

Track 4: 2:30 - 4:00

Last year you heard about and studied agile development, test-driven development, and risk-based test design approaches here at QUEST. In this success story, Kent will explain how he took the methodologies that he learned at last April’s QUEST and initiated a teaming approach between his QA department and two application support teams. The teams were tutored in test driven development and risk-based test design methodologies and then these techniques were implemented as part of their software defect and enhancement resolution, regression testing, and closure processes. The results? A 67% improvement in the rate of software defect and enhancement resolution and closure during the last seven months. Learn how Kent did it by attending this informative session where he will discuss his collaboration methods with the development staff, a group that is traditionally reluctant to team with QA.

About the workshop leader...
Kent Swagler is the Director of the IT Quality Assurance and Office Services departments at Metro, the St Louis, Missouri and Southern Illinois regional transportation agency. Kent has over 22 years of software test and quality assurance management experience and has his CSTE and CSQA. Kent has built seven quality assurance departments in his Air Force and civilian work careers. Among his accomplishments, Kent was the test manager for the Air Mobility Command’s aircraft mission planning system, for four command and control systems that were implemented during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, and for the C-17 Globemaster, the Air Force’s premier transport aircraft.

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Addressing Performance Throughout the Life Cycle
Mike Koza, Compuware Corporation

Track 5: 2:30 - 4:00

Performance testing is traditionally an end-of-lifecycle exercise aimed at ensuring an application’s performance once it is deployed into a production environment.  Unfortunately, this exercise does not always go as smoothly as planned.  It may not even provide all the necessary information to make an informed decision as to whether the application is “ready” for deployment.  In this workshop, Mike will focus on best practices for those looking to implement performance testing throughout the software development life cycle.  Topics will include performance related requirements and the importance of identifying those requirements early, test planning and the determination of whether the application is in a state ready to be performance tested,  the importance of data management, and collecting and analyzing results both during and after the test.   After attending this workshop, you will have a better understanding of how performance testing can be implemented earlier in your own organization’s software development life cycle in order to increase application quality and avoid costly performance testing issues.
About the workshop leader...
Mike Koza is a subject matter expert at Compuware supporting its application development, software quality, and performance solutions.  He brings over 19 years experience in information technology ranging from application development to project management and consulting engagements with major organizations throughout the world.  He frequently speaks on a wide variety of quality topics aimed at producing increased application quality and performance.

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Best Practices Workshops - FRIDAY, APRIL 24

Out of Cope? A Stress Management Workshop
Toby Weber, Dynamic Transitions

Track 1: 1:00 - 3:00

Stress is a familiar and frequent component of every technology professional's work experience. Stress can be a creative force, or a negative and destructive force. This workshop presents knowledge and skills to help technology professionals at all levels maximize the energizing and creative forces of stress while reducing its destructive effects. Identify and assess your unique stress response patterns. Choose your battles - explore techniques for proactively changing those stressors that can be changed while coping more effectively with those that cannot. Learn and practice physical and cognitive stress reduction techniques. Become more energetic, enthusiastic, and effective professionally and personally by managing stress before it manages you! It is "life saving" to understand stress - its causes, physiology, psychology, and symptoms.

About the workshop leader ...
Toby Weber is President of Dynamic Transitions, Consultants for Organizational and Personal Effectiveness. Toby specializes in organizational development, coaching, and training projects designed to enhance her client's overall productivity, growth, and the effective management of change. She has a proven track record of collaboration with senior corporate and technical leadership to develop and implement innovative solutions to organizational change challenges. Along with her expertise in organizational and process assessment and re-design, Toby's clients value her ability to mediate conflicts as well as coach them in conflict resolution and performance management strategies

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Designing an Excellent IT Process Improvement Program
Larry Dribin, Pearl Street Group, Inc.

Track 2: 1:00 - 3:00

Excellent business organizations require highly effective and efficient IT organizations. Excellent IT organizations require processes based on "best practices." Implementing best practice processes can appear overwhelming for many IT organizations. As a result, the IT organization appears ineffective and inefficient. This workshop presents a process improvement framework to assist you in understanding process improvement best practice IT process frameworks and how they relate to IT performance. Larry will take you through a step-by-step organizational change management approach to design and implement process improvements. During the workshop you will do a self-assessment to determine your organization's readiness for embarking on a process improvement program. You will also participate in exercises to identify the core processes necessary to your organization.

About the workshop leader...
Dr. Larry Dribin is president of the Pearl Street Group, Inc. a process improvement consulting company. He assists clients to develop standards based process improvement programs using CMMI, ITIL, ISO9000, FDA, PMBOK, SAS70, and Six Sigma. Larry has worked in a wide variety of industries including banking, insurance, telecommunications and manufacturing.  He holds a Ph.D. in Organizational Psychology from the Illinois Institute of Technology, an MBA in Marketing from Loyola University and a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology. Larry is an adjunct Professor in Software Engineering at DePaul University; he is a past director with Chicago's Software Process Improvement Network (C-SPIN), and a member of ACM, CQAA and IEEE.

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Test Automation Frameworks Workshop
Paul Grossman, Technisource

Track 3: 1:00 - 3:00

This workshop features valuable lessons and live demonstrations of a sample test automation framework. You will begin with five common pitfalls encountered in test automation, taken directly from a real-life case study.  Issues include low stakeholder buy-in, overwhelming code maintenance, and the "100% automation" mandate. Each is presented with its consequences, balanced with mediation suggestions. Challenges will be identified as will lifelines needed to avert disaster. A simplified 3-step formula to quantify a project's estimated return on investment will be discussed and coding standards to improve readability and reduce maintenance will be covered. You will learn about some "Tools of the Trade" in test automation including recommended website resources.  Finally, unique applications of an automation framework will be demonstrated. Paul will discuss the advantages of project preparation, metrics tracking, and new approaches to test automation. Beginning, experienced, and advanced testers will all benefit from attendance at this workshop.

About the workshop leader...
Paul Grossman, Senior Consultant for Technisource, has been heading up test automation projects for over eight years. He is an HP Certified Instructor and an HP Accredited Software Engineer in Quality Center and QuickTest Professional.  He has Beta Tested the last two QTP product releases and often contributes to www.advancedqtp.com.  He turned around his first automation project and demonstrated a ROI of over two million dollars.  He has presented at PSTT/PSQT, Mercury World, HP Software Universe, and the 2008 QAAM Conference in Baltimore, Maryland. Paul's presentations are unique in that he delivers a different live demonstration at each conference.

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