November 2012 QASIG Meeting

Leaping into “The Cloud”: Rewards, Risks, and Mitigations

Presented by: Ken Johnston and Seth Eliot, Microsoft

Seth and Ken’s Presentation Slides

The cloud has rapidly gone from “that thing I should know something about” to the “centerpiece of our corporate IT five-year strategy.” However, cloud computing is still in its infancy. Sure, the marketing materials presented by cloud providers tout huge cost savings and service level improvements—but they gloss over the many risks such as data loss, security leaks, gaps in availability, and application migration costs. Ken Johnston and Seth Eliot share new research on the successful migrations of corporate IT and web-based companies to the cloud. Ken and Seth lay out the risks to consider and explore the rewards the cloud has to offer when companies employ sound architecture and design approaches. Discover the foibles of poor architecture and design, and how to mitigate these challenges through a novel Test Oriented Architecture (TOA) approach. Take back insights from industry leaders—Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, and Netflix—that have jumped into the cloud so that your organization does not slam to the ground when it takes the leap.

About our speakers:

Seth Eliot is Senior Knowledge Engineer for Microsoft Test Excellence focusing on driving best practices for services and cloud development/testing across the company. He previously was Senior Test Manager, most recently for the team solving exabyte storage and data processing challenges for Bing, and before that enabling developers to innovate by testing new ideas quickly with users “in production” with the Microsoft Experimentation Platform ( Testing in Production (TiP), software processes, cloud computing, and other topics are ruminated upon at Seth’s blog at and on Twitter (@setheliot). Prior to Microsoft, Seth applied his experience at delivering high quality software services at where he led the Digital QA team to release Amazon MP3 download, Amazon Instant Video Streaming, and Kindle Services.

Ken Johnston is a frequent presenter, blogger, and author on software testing and services. Currently he is the Principal Group Program Manager for the Bing Big Data Quality and Measurements team. Since joining Microsoft in 1998 Johnston has filled many other roles, including test lead on Site Server and MCIS and test manager on Hosted Exchange, Knowledge Worker Services, Net Docs, MSN, Microsoft Billing and Subscription Platform service, and Bing Infrastructure and Domains. Johnston has also been the Group Manager of the Office Internet Platforms and Operations team (IPO) and for two and a half years (2004-2006) he served as the Microsoft Director of Test Excellence. He earned his MBA from the University of Washington in 2003. His is a co-author of “How we Test Software at Microsoft” and contributing author to “Experiences of Test Automation: Case Studies of Software Test Automation.” To reach Ken contact him through twitter @rkjohnston.

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

Quality Assurance Special Interest Group