September 2012 QASIG Meeting

QA in Scrum: Beyond mere hand waving

Presented by: Uriah McKinney, Deloitte Digital

QA in Scrum, Presentation Slide Deck

Scrum is a tremendously powerful framework for prioritizing tasks, exposing risks, and generally getting things done. However, it has very little to say with respect to quality assurance and testing. While not a problem in and of itself, this lack of guidance can result in any number of dysfunctions in team dynamics and role expectations.

This session will use our current approach to QA integration as a backdrop to discuss some of the most significant challenges we’ve faced in this area and how we overcame them (or didn’t).

About our speaker:

Uriah McKinney has been deeply involved in mobile quality assurance since the beginning of the 3rd mobile revolution (circa 2008). Throughout his tenure with Deloitte Digital (formerly, Übermind), Uriah has balanced client engagements on iOS, Android, and mobile web projects with developing a methodological framework for quality assurance specifically tailored to the intersection of mobile and agile development. Uriah is one of the founding members of the Center of the Agile Universe meetup (; the Product Owner of the upcoming Mobile Agile Quality Conference (; and apparently not above shameless cross-promotion.

July 2012 QASIG Meeting

On Combinatorial Testing

Presented by: James Bach, Satisfice, Inc.

NOTE: James will be presenting from Orcas Island and streaming live – you can catch it at our usual location at Quardev where we’ll be providing pizza and beverages as usual or access remotely.

Combinatorial testing is the process of testing the interactions between multiple variables in a system. But few testers know how to approach it systematically. I will talk about how to do that, touching on some of the mathematics while focusing mostly on the pragmatics. May also include information on Gray Code, de Bruijn sequences, and all-pairs coverage along the way.

About our speaker:

James Bach is founder and principal consultant of Satisfice, Inc., a software testing and quality assurance company. In the eighties, James cut his teeth as a programmer, tester, and SQA manager in Silicon Valley in the world of market-driven software development. He is a pioneer of agile, rapid, and exploratory approaches to software testing. He is the author of Lessons Learned in Software Testing and Secrets of a Buccaneer-Scholar.

May 2012 QASIG Meeting

Managing Quality Debt

Presented by: Chris Sterling, Founder and CTO of Agile Advantage, Inc.

Software debt slowly creeps into applications and platforms when integrity is not asserted and verified on a frequent basis. Quality debt is a type of software debt that can be managed and monitored separately from the other types (technical, configuration management, design, and platform experience debt). This session will cover some processes and practices to help manage quality debt effectively such as:

  • Acceptance Test-Driven Development
  • Test-Driven Development
  • Behaviour-Driven Development (BDD)
  • The Three Amigos Pattern (common pattern titled by Bob Payne and George Dinwiddie)
  • Push Button Release
  • Asserting quality with Definition of Done
  • Identify Quality Debt earlier with Tools and Dashboards

About our speaker:

Chris Sterling is founder and CTO of Agile Advantage Inc. where he works with clients as a Technology Consultant, Agile Coach, and Certified Scrum Trainer and creates tools to help Agile teams improve their performance. Chris is author of the book “Managing Software Debt: Building for Inevitable Change” and writes about his real world adventures in technology on the popular “Getting Agile” blog. As a trainer and speaker, Chris enlivens technical topics with his deep passion for software development and a touch of humor. In his spare time, he is a regular contributor to multiple open source projects.

March 2012 QASIG Meeting

The Science of Being Happy and Productive at Work

Presented by: Scott Crabtree

Grounded in solid scientific data, this award winning presentation delivers steps everyone can act on to be happier on the job. Various studies show that happier people are more productive, creative, insightful, engaged, resilient, healthy, and more. This presentation covers dozens of techniques to increase job happiness, organized around themes of goals, relationships, and attitude.

About our speaker:

Scott Crabtree earned a B.A. in Cognitive Science from Vassar College in 1988. Immediately afterward he worked on artificial intelligence software including expert systems. He started working at the first of several game development companies in 1996. Serving as a Software Engineer, Game Designer, Producer, and Entrepreneur, Scott is proud to have worked on game development with companies including Microsoft, Mattel, Disney, LEGO, Nike and more. He’s published games for PS2, Xbox, PC, and mobile phones including the iPhone. He joined Intel in 2005 as an Engineering Manager focused on video game developers. He is currently Tech Strategist for the Intel Atom Developer Program. He is fascinated by and passionately studies organizational development, human psychology, neuroscience, and the science of happiness and well-being.

While happier than he used to be, Scott is NOT one of those over-the-top always bubbly happy people that can be so annoying to the rest of us! 🙂 Scott lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife, young daughter, and mutt. He loves spending time with them, especially in nature, and also enjoys playing with his band Mister Fisk.

Please see Scott Crabtree’s Website for more information and to contact him for slides or with questions:

January 2012 QASIG Meeting

Pairing Developers with Non-Developers

Presented by: Lanette Creamer, Independent Software Testing Consulting and Coach

Pairing in the world of software development traditionally brings up an image of two developers working together in person, creating code at the same time. This practice is often used by agile teams and teams doing extreme programming. Many teams currently may pair coding testers with coders who are working on product development. The vocabulary gap is much smaller when everything is in the same language, code, but what happens when the business needs aren’t understood or well communicated? In the last three years, Lanette has been working with software testers, experimenting on the fringes of pairing. Come learn some ways to pair programmers with non-programmers at specific strategic times for the purpose of more collaboration and efficiency. Learn how handoffs, bug demos, and psuedo code can offer new types of pairing, and tips for making them practical rather than mandated.

About our speaker:

Lanette Creamer is an independent software testing consultant and coach from Seattle, WA. Known in the blogging community as TestyRedhead, her blog can be found at Her presentations are known for being candid, including cat photos, and being focused on the human side of software testing. Recently focused on Agile Testing and Pairing with Developers, in the past her papers and presentations have focused on combining automated checks with exploratory charters, and group collaborative testing techniques.

Pairing Presentation Slide Deck: PairingWDevelopers_QASIGJan11

Novemeber 2011 QASIG Meeting

Google’s Approach to Test Engineering

Google takes a holistic approach to quality involving developers (SWEs), developers in test (SETs) and a lesser talked about role called test engineering (TE). This talk outlines the role and responsibility of the Google Test Engineer and details the tools and techniques they use to ship high quality software to millions of users on a daily basis. Learn about the process of Attribute, Component, Capability (ACC) analysis and risk assessment used to ship a number of Google products and find out how you can get access to the tools Google TEs use.

About our speaker:

Dr. Whittaker is currently the Engineering Director over engineering tools and testing for Google’s Seattle and Kirkland offices where he manages the testing of Chrome, Chrome OS, Google Maps and other web applications. He holds a PhD in computer science from the University of Tennessee and is the author or coauthor of four acclaimed textbooks. How to Break Software, How to Break Software Security (with Hugh Thompson) and How to Break Web Software (with Mike Andrews). His latest is Exploratory Software Testing: Tips, Tricks, Tours and Techniques to Guide Test Design and he’s authored over fifty peer-reviewed papers on software development and computer security. He holds patents on various inventions in software testing and defensive security applications and has attracted millions in funding, sponsorship, and license agreements while a professor at Florida Tech. He has also served as a testing and security consultant for dozens of companies and spent 3 years as an architect at Microsoft. He is currently writing How Google Tests Software.

Meeting Slide Deck: TestEngineeringatGoogle

September 2011 QASIG Meeting

Sabotaging Quality

Presented by: Joy Shafer, Consulting Test Lead, Quardev, Inc.

From the very beginning of the project there have been discussions about quality. The team has unanimously agreed it’s important-a top priority. Everyone wants to deliver a high-quality product of which they can be proud. Six months after the project kick-off, you find yourself neck-deep in bugs and fifty-percent behind schedule. The project team decides to defer half of the bugs to a future release. What happened to making quality a priority?

One of your partners is discontinuing support for a product version on which your online service is dependent. You have known this was coming for years; in fact, you are actually four releases behind your partner’s current version. For some reason an update project has been put off repeatedly, until now-the last possible moment. Now the team is scrambling to get the needed changes done before your service is brought down by the drop in support. You are implementing the minimum number of features required to support the newer version. In fact, you’re not even moving to the most current version-it was deemed too difficult and time-consuming to tackle at this point. You are still going to be a release behind. Are you ever going to catch up? Is minimal implementation always going to be the norm? Where is your focus on quality?

Do these scenarios sound familiar? Why is it sometimes so difficult to efficiently deliver a high-quality product? What circumstances sabotage our best intentions for quality? And, more importantly, how can we deliver quality products in spite of these saboteurs?

One of the most common and insidious culprits is the habit of sacrificing long-term goals for short-term goals. This can lead to myriad, long standing issues on a project. It is also one of the most difficult problems to eradicate. Other saboteurs can take the form of competing priorities, resource deprivation, dysfunctional team dynamics, and misplaced reward systems.

Joy will show you how to recognize these saboteurs and assess the damage they are causing. She will discuss practical strategies for eliminating these troublesome quality-squashers or at least mitigating their affects.

Joy Shafer is currently a Consulting Test Lead at Quardev Laboratories on assignment at Washington Dental Services. She has been a software test professional for almost twenty years and has managed testing and testers at diverse companies, including Microsoft, NetManage and STLabs. She has also consulted and provided training in the area of software testing methodology for many years. Joy is an active participant in community QA groups. She holds an MBA in International Business from Stern Graduate School of Business (NYU). For fun she participates in King County Search and Rescue efforts and writes Fantasy/Sci-fi.

Meeting Slide Deck: Sabotaging Quality Slide Deck

Quality Assurance Special Interest Group