July 2019 QASIG Recap

Quality Assurance as Risk Management

Presented by: Roy McMillion, IT Quality Assurance Manager, Delta Dental of Washington.

Security concerns are an ever-present factor in software development. With the increasing visibility on breaches, how can SQA add value to an organization outside of the traditional testing role? Non-technical testers or testers without specific security focus can contribute to the security standing of the organization by understanding the various frameworks that are available and adding these frameworks to their test effort.

May 2019 QASIG Meeting Recap

Experience Report: Building Test Speed and Confidence in a Continuous Delivery Model

Presented by Andy Peterson, QA Manager, Costco Travel

Learn how a growing organization has gone from a five-week release cycle with three sprints to a single two-week sprint release cycle. Andy shares the challenges that the testing organization had to overcome in order to test things quicker, earlier and more frequently as their culture changed to a more continuous delivery model. This was done not only with traditional only functional testing, but also the larger non-functional testing such as security and performance. These teams were able to raise the confidence of build candidates as they moved from 10 releases a year to 26 and the other benefits associated with a more frequent release cadence.

About our speaker: Andy Peterson has spent more than 20 years in IT roles with more than the last dozen in a QA specific role including SDET, lead, and manager.  He is currently the QA manager for Costco Travel’s Products and Markets group. Before that, he was the QA Lead for initiatives such as their platform and international efforts. He is from Michigan originally and moved out to the Pacific Northwest in 2006. Since then he has been through a lot of the regional hobbies like mountain climbing and winemaking. Currently, he is busy trying to keep up with two daughters.

March 2019 QASIG Meeting Recap

In March we had 3 speakers present Lightning Talks about QA/Test/Career Building:

Cindy Ponko, Quardev
Partnering with Recruiters during your job search

Cindy Ponko, Partnering with recruiters during your job search

Whether you are selectively considering a new role, or unemployed and actively interviewing, leaning on a team of reliable recruiters can help relieve some of the pressure. Not to mention, help open doors to you that would otherwise stay closed. Cindy will share a few tips on how to partner with Recruiters during your job search to help improve your chances of landing a best next step for your career. Learn ways to vet recruiters to find the one that’s right for you and the best steps to building a partnership that will last your career long.

Aaron Volosin, Tableau
Offer employees career change test drives with temporary visitor programs

Aaron Volosin, Offer employees career change test drives with temporary visitor programs

You’re smart. You’re curious. What do you do when curiosity is focused on a career change? After more than a decade in Software Testing, Aaron was curious about a new discipline – UX design. He contemplated making a change but didn’t want to jeopardize his current team and career with a wrong decision. So he did what most test engineers would do. Aaron will share his experience working with the head of his company’s UX department to create a temporary “Visitor Program” – an internal intern program that enables people who are passionate about growing their career by moving to new disciplines to test drive it in a stress-free environment for all involved.

Aaron has spent the better part of 20 years testing software of all shapes and sizes. It as started at Wizards of the Coast when he was approached to test the first version of Magic the Gathering: Online. From there he went on to test other games, online marketing engines that integrated into Amazon, Windows Mobile, Zune, and most recently Tableau.

Jim Frazier, Quardev
What does Quardev do when they aren’t hosting the QA-SIG?

Jim Frazier, What does Quardev do when they aren’t hosting the QASIG?

It sounds like a funny question, but it was one that came up during a discussion that I had during our last event. Although we try to focus the QA-SIG on the subject matter of the day, for this event, we will spend a few minutes talking about how we cater solutions for our clients using projects, and individually contributing resources.

Although we like our methods, we’ll be curious to hear how the audience thinks that we can improve… we’re always open to constructive ideas!

January 2019 QASIG Meeting Recap

Transformational Leadership for the QA Influencer

Presented by Pat Loughery, Quality Assurance Manager, Starbucks

Link to slides:

Recommended reading:

First, this paper: Transformation Leadership: A Quick Start Guide


Leadership by Robert Montgomery Burns

Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek

A Practical Guide to Testing in Devops by Katrina Clokie

The Manager’s Path: A Guide for Tech Leaders Navigating Growth and Change by Camille Fournier


A huge predictive factor in software delivery and high performing teams is having leaders with strong transformational leadership traits – but what does this mean and what are these traits and how can quality assurance team members influence their leadership from any position on the team?

Pat Loughery, Software Quality Assurance Manager at Starbucks, will address all of these questions at our November QASIG meeting in an interactive chat about Transformation Leadership for the QA Influencer. You will walk away from this presentation with a solid understanding of what this leadership style is and what you can do to bring more of it into your organization so that you can reap the benefits for your teams.

About our speaker:  Pat Loughery has led and managed software test teams for more than 25 years including time with Microsoft, Quardev, startups, and consulting companies. He now manages QA for Starbucks retail systems in a team that is undergoing a DevOps and Lean transformation. In 2011 he earned a Doctorate in Ministry, studying Transformational Leadership for the Global City.

September 2018 QASIG Meeting Video

CI/CD: An Experience Report
Our Quest for the holy grail of software delivery

Presented by Leonard Vaughn and Joy Shafer, The Climate Corp

Climate has been working to achieve CI/CD with varying degrees of success for at least three years now. Although we are not “there” yet, we have made great progress toward that goal.

We’d like to share what we’ve learned:

How do we define CI/CD?
What does our process for getting there look like?
What is working for us?
What has not worked for us?
What is left for us to do? Why aren’t we “there” yet?
In this presentation, Joy and Leonard talk about the victories and setbacks, the Climate Corporation has experienced in its quest for the holy grail of software delivery.

Should your team embrace continuous delivery or bravely run away?

About our speakers:

Leonard Vaughn has been testing interesting software, from operating systems to apps, “for a long time.”

For the past 6 years, he’s been a Test Engineer with The Climate Corporation as it grew from a single-product, 100-person insurance company to the leading global digital agriculture platform. Along the way, Climate moved steadily* towards a Continuous Delivery model for their service and web stacks, and timely, frequent releases of both iOS and Android applications that today are critical to many farmers’ success.

*more like fits and starts, actually. But that’s where the story gets interesting!

Joy Shafer has been a software test professional for more than twenty years and has managed testing and testers at many diverse companies, including Microsoft, Alaska Airlines, and Quardev. She is currently a Test Engineering Manager at The Climate Corporation. Joy enjoys participating in community QA and Agile groups. She holds an MBA in International Business from Stern Graduate School of Business (NYU). For fun, she writes fiction and enjoys wilderness adventures (while drinking wine).

May 2018 QASIG Meeting Video – Blockchain Overview and Discussion

Blockchain Overview Slide Deck

Blockchain Technology Overview and Discussion

Presented by Jim Frazier & Parke Blake, Quardev

Jim Frazier, one of Quardev’s Business Development Managers and self-confessed tech geek, and Parke Blake, Senior Test Lead, will provide a brief history of Blockchain technology: what it is, what it isn’t, where it is being used today and a discussion about where it might be going in the future.

Being firmly rooted in the technology sector, we at Quardev are always curious about exploring the latest trends in technology, and in finding solutions to help our clients leverage that technology to stay ahead in this rapidly changing environment, which is IT.

Please join us for a casual evening at our office for this month’s edition of the QASIG as we explore where Blockchain is today, and where it might be going tomorrow.


Blockchain technology is poised to disrupt the software industry as we’ve come to know it, and some go so far as to say, it will ultimately make for a bigger change than the Internet. These are the very early days in blockchain technology development, and the many ways in which it may be employed is as unknown to us today as the Internet was in the early Nineties. In this discussion, we’ll take a look at what blockchain technology provides, why it is important, and also provide an overview of how it works. We’ll also look at some interesting examples of how the technology is currently being employed, and hopefully, stimulate a discussion with the audience on what some key testing concerns might be.

There are few who can be called experts in blockchain technology, and we make no such claims, but we are excited to learn more about this important, emerging technology and happy to share what we’ve found so far. It is our hope that this talk will stimulate you to explore further on your own, and possibly, return one day with thoughts of your own.

About our speakers:

Parke is a software professional with over 25 years of experience in the industry. He has been recognized for strong problem solving and leadership skills in many areas of the software lifecycle, including programming, software testing, and QA Management. He has worked at Quardev for over 8 years, working as a Senior Test Lead and advising clients on several key projects. His work has included test planning, test case development, metrics analysis and reporting, and QA process recommendations. In addition, Parke has performed work as an SDET for Quardev, working on both front-end and back-end test case automation in C#, and using both standard and custom automation frameworks.

Jim is one of Quardev’s Business Development Managers and self-confessed tech geek and an 18-year veteran in supporting the IT Consulting Community in the Seattle market. He says that one of his favorite things about the industry is that he has been able to work with so many of the same clients year after year as their businesses have grown, all while keeping his eye on the latest trends and emerging technologies in this dynamic environment.

March 2018 QASIG Meeting

Thank you to all who attended our meeting on Wednesday, March 14th. It was a great discussion!

Test Leadership Panel Discussion

We are excited to welcome esteemed leaders in the test community speaking about how they build and develop teams, including hiring, team composition, goal setting, and performance evaluation and growth.

We look forward to welcoming to the following colleagues:

  • Chris Wiswell, Software Test Manager, Insititute for Disease Modeling
  • Jamie Campbell, Senior Manager Engineering, Tableau Software
  • Sallie Davis, Transition Program Manager, Quardev Consulting
  • Michelle Gutierrez, Engineering Manager, Adobe

Additional panelists will be announced soon and discussion will be moderated by our own Kris Minkel, Recruiting Manager.

January 2018 QASIG Meeting

Adventures in Modern Testing

Presented by: Alan Page, Director of Quality for Services at Unity Technologies

Alan’s Slide Deck

Software testing has always been changing and evolving; but the changes, advancements, improvements, and shifts in the last few years feel much bigger to many of us.Depending on your context, these changes may be massive – or they may be trivial; but the path forward for software quality is clear, and relying on what many of us learned in the 1990s just isn’t going to help us anymore.

Independent test teams are fading in favour of testers embedded into the development team. Large portions of automation are now owned by developers. Data analysis and monitoring are taking on a prevalent role. Technical skills well beyond writing code are becoming critical knowledge. Coaching is becoming a more important skill. The scope and breadth of test and quality roles are requiring more and more expertise and depth of knowledge.

Alan Page has led (and is leading) teams through transformation to modern, advanced testing. In an interactive talk filled with experiences, anecdotes, and practical examples – as well as warnings about potential traps, he shares everything he knows (or at least everything he can fit into this session) about modern testing and what it means to every software tester.

About our speaker: Alan Page has been a software tester for over 25 years, and is currently the Director of Quality for Services at Unity Technologies. Previous to Unity, Alan spent 22 years at Microsoft working on projects spanning the company – including a two year position as Microsoft’s Director of Test Excellence.

Alan was the lead author of the book “How We Test Software at Microsoft”, contributed chapters for “Beautiful Testing”, and “Experiences of Test Automation: Case Studies of Software Test Automation”. His latest ebook (which may or may not be updated soon) is a collection of essays on test automation called “The A Word: Under the Covers of Test Automation”, and is available on leanpub.

Alan also writes on his blog (, podcasts (, and shares shorter thoughts on twitter (@alanpage).

September 2017 QASIG Video :: Joe Basirico, Security Innovation

Building a Collaborative and Social Application Security Program

Presented by: Joe Basirico, Security Innovation, VP of Professional Services

In today’s environment, there is no arguing that a comprehensive secure development process is necessary. Fitting tools, technology, and security reviews into our current development cycle has become table stakes for companies building the software of tomorrow.

Breaking the “find and fix” vulnerability-based assessment cycle so that software is developed with security in mind from start to finish is critically important, but doing this without leveraging a collaborative and social security program that leverages bug bounty programs, security researchers, and every aspect of vulnerability disclosure misses a huge opportunity. In this talk, I will explore how your security program can reach beyond the Secure SDLC.

About our speaker:  As the VP of Services, Joe is responsible for leading the Professional Services business at Security Innovation. He leverages his unique experience as a development lead, trainer, researcher, and test engineer to direct the security consulting team in the delivery of high-quality, impactful risk and software assessment and remediation solutions to the company’s customers. His ability to blend deep technical skills with risk-based business and compliance analysis is a powerful combination.

Joe has spent his career analyzing application behavior with respect to security. He has researched how software development organizations mature over time from a security perspective. Through this research, he has developed an understanding of application threats, tools, and methodologies that assist in the discovery and removal of security problems both software and process related.