Wednesday, October 30, 2019 – Reality Driven Testing

Speaker: Rob Sabourin

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Topic: Many agile teams rework previously deployed stories, even after plenty of in-sprint testing. Well groomed, refined, stories framed with typical, alternate and error scenarios, gracefully described in well formed gherkin, continue to encounter all sorts of bugs. Software engineering consultant, Rob Sabourin, often sees rework in over 20% of deployed stories. In this presentation Rob shows how agile teams can drive rework down dramatically, often achieving near Zero rework after a story is DONE. Rob teaches teams to identify and implement relevant testing activities above and beyond those derived from well formed requirements. Rob shows agile team members how to identify tests based on reality. He seeks out relevant testing ideas based on what is really being changed in the technological solution. He finds ideas based on what the user really does in the workplace and he discovers rich test ideas based on the real target environments. Delegates learn many excellent strategies to identify, prioritize, and implement reality driven testing. They will ferret out important bugs that really matter eliminating the need for downstream rework.

Bio: Robert Sabourin, P.Eng. has more than 37 years management experience leading teams of software development professionals to consistently deliver projects on-time, on-quality and on-budget. As a respected member of the software engineering community, Robert has trained and mentored literally thousands of top professionals in the field. Robert is an Adjunct Professor of Software Engineering at McGill University who often speaks to conferences around the world on software engineering, Software Quality Assurance, testing and management issues.

Time: Doors open at approximately 11:30 am. Announcements and discussion start at approximately 11:50 am. Meeting ends at approximately 1:00 pm.

Lunch: provided on a first-come, first-served basis

University of Waterloo,
William G. Davis Computer Research Centre,
Room DC1302

Maps and directions: See

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Wednesday, May 29, 2019 – Measuring Quality: Take Your Escaped Defects Count and Stuff It

Speaker: James Spere

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Topic: Managers are weird – they like to have metrics on everything. The same is true for product quality. So how do you measure quality? If you’re looking for how to track escaped defect counts and testing find rates, this isn’t the talk for you. I’ll take you through how to start with the customer and work your way backwards – measuring the things that actually impact them. Find out the 2 measurements that really matter, how to actually track them and strategies for enabling your entire company to enable the changes required to really move the quality needle.

Bio: Over his career, James Spere has continually built strong connections between his development teams and customer support, sales and clients with a customer-first approach to software development, deployment, and communication. James uses an open and honest style that has enabled these strong partnerships across multiple industries which he hopes to share during this session.

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Wednesday, May 1, 2019 – KWSQA/LAST Collaboration

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Topic: Collaboration with Lansing Area Software Testers (LAST)

Have you got a tough problem at work that you haven’t been able to solve yet? Feel like you could use some fresh perspectives? Then this is the meeting for you!

This month KWSQA teams up with LAST to provide a unique collaborative test clinic. Bring your toughest testing problems to share and draw on the talent and experience of two regions of software quality professionals!

We will provide a video conference link and an online platform (Google Docs) to collaborate. Bring your phone and/or laptop to participate online or just bring yourself to video chat and try to solve those gnarliest of testing problems!

Bio: LAST is dedicated to furthering the software testing community. We do this in a variety of ways by organizing monthly meetups to discuss software testing techniques, experiences, trends and more. The format of our meetups range from Lean Coffee style, presentations, workshops and social meetups.

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Wednesday, April 3, 2019 – Making the Web a Little More Accessible

Speaker: Samantha Campbell

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Topic: Making the Web a Little More Accessible

Accessibility is so much more than adding ALT tags to images. It should be a consideration in all of our digital interactions – writing an email, making a visual presentation, posting a tweet, or coding a website.

This session will go over the current state of web accessibility. Not just what you are required to do under AODA, but how you think about all digital interactions.

Some food for thought:

Have you ever heard a screen reader try to decipher a string of emoji?

Can you apply web accessibility principles to PowerPoint presentations?

Do you REALLY need to have captions for all of your videos?

Let’s talk about it.

Bio: Samantha is a software developer obsessed with the web and the way people use it. It all started with Neopets, and now you can find her hanging out on tech twitter (@MsSammieRose).

She’s also the community organizer of Girl Geek Dinners WR – a networking and dinner series for people interested in STEM. She’s passionate about community building and providing accessible networking and education opportunities.

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Wednesday, February 27, 2019 – I Feel the Need, the Need for Speed! Enabling Your Team Testing Efforts to Focus on Automation

Speaker:  Maciek Konkolowicz

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Topic: Modern software delivery requires quality and agility at levels of speed which break the sound barrier. Unfortunately, not all teams come prepared with battle plans, and equipment for a fair fight. Listen to Commander Maciek “IceMan” Konkolowicz describe the journey which took his group of inexperienced manually focused team members, and converted them into “the best of the test”.

Maciek will focus on the process and tools which enabled a mindset change toward “Automating All the Things”. Starting with training, moving to driving communities, and finishing with test automation, Maciek will share the dogfights, new equipment, and even some flameouts, that helped his team members (regardless of role) participate and succeed in the struggle for a reliable, scalable testing process.

As an attendee, you will be subjected to the idea that testing is everyone’s responsibility, and will take away processes that will help you push this mentality in your own organization.

Don’t miss this story of cross functional quality awesomeness, and cheesy 80’s movie references!

Bio: Maciek has been a quality champion his entire professional life. For many years, he’s been focusing on learning, implementing, showing and spreading the idea of quality championship to whoever he can corner, be it Dev, QA, BA, or even Project Managers. He’s a passionate technologist who loves to externalize his thoughts to gain perspectives of others. He tries to document his lessons learned at and his bad jokes on twitter (@mkonkolowicz). He has spoken at local meetups and conferences and loves to share his passion for the quality crusade.

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Wednesday, January 30, 2019 – In Praise of the Generalist

Speaker: Matthew Middleton

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Topic: Michael Bolton calls software testing “Applied Epistemology.” To me, this suggests that those who wish to practice the art and science of testing need to study broadly, to better understand the contexts in which they work. In this presentation, I’ll be discussing the need for generalists versus specialists, why I think cross-pollination is critical to the testing community as well as the other communities we interact with, and some examples of observations I’ve made with regards to overlapping challenges faced by the cyber security and software testing communities.

Bio: Matt is a QA/QC Analyst for Radient360, and has been a black box software tester for a decade, helping developers catch their bugs before they get out into the wild. He’s primarily been influenced by James Bach, Michael Bolton, and Cem Kaner, and subscribes to the Context-Driven School of Testing. He has taught software testing online, through the Association for Software Testing, as well as the inaugural Miramichi class for PLATO Testing.

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Wednesday, November 28, 2018 – Big Data and Analytics for QA

Speaker: Sarah McKenna

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Topic: At a Web scraping company covering 3,000 (and growing) websites, staying on top of changes to scripts and target third party sites was a constant struggle until we started logging each http call and response to an easily queried nosql db and built real time error analytics and error handling. Was not expensive or particularly hard yet made a huge impact on overall quality.

Bio: Passionate quality evangelist with 20 years experience leading QA in numerous NYC startups, corporations and government settings, mostly building test operations from scratch to cover functional, security and performance testing. Focused now on ways to introduce AI into automated functional testing.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2018 – “Well-stated, half-solved:” Effectively Reporting, Triaging, and Managing Defects

Speaker: Lauren Weber

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Topic: The quotation “A problem well stated is half-solved” is from American inventor and businessman Charles Kettering [1]. This axiom can be applied to defect reporting, especially when defects are complex, hard to reproduce, or cross several layers of software. A defect report that is complete and accurate can help development correct a problem faster, with fewer log gathering and test-fix cycles, resulting in better quality software delivered faster. In this presentation we discuss construction of effective defect reports, we examine techniques to move defects through their lifecycles efficiently; we also consider ways QA professionals can go beyond reporting defects to debugging them in-depth, and fixing them.

Bio: Lauren Weber has worked in the telecommunications industry since 2003, testing software and leading test teams. He has worked with embedded and real-time systems such as wireless modems, protocol stacks, and video processing solutions, often specializing in verifying standards compliance. He enjoys troubleshooting complex problems, learning from his mistakes, and reading Dilbert comics.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2018 – Everything I Know About Test Automation I Learned From A Developer

Speaker: Lee Manchur

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Topic: Effective test automation requires using the same principles and practices as “real” software development, but often QA teams are expected to write and maintain their own test automation frameworks without a development background. With this in mind, we asked our company’s developers to take a hard look at our automated test architecture, and were amazed at the efficiencies they found! This presentation will explore developer-initiated ideas for functional Selenium and API test suites which helped our team increase our coding efficiency by 50%, and, overall, become more effective testers (and developers). We will explore, in the context of automated tests, effective Object Oriented Design use (but no, this not “yet another” Page Object tutorial!), using abstract classes to maximize code reuse, quickly compare data sets with reflection, and using delegate patterns and methods to generate data. These ideas might be obvious to developers, but are new design patterns to add to the toolbox for most testers.

Bio: Lee Manchur is the QA Manager at OCAS, the application service for Ontario’s public colleges. Since 2014, he has been responsible for testing and guiding software quality practices throughout all of OCAS’ products, after spending nine years testing mobile applications at BlackBerry. A career-long software tester, Lee strives to establish comprehensive test suites within his teams by balancing exploratory and heuristic test practices with scalable automated test solutions.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2018 – Testing Through Time And Space: NASA’s Twenty-Year Mission to Saturn

Speaker: Andrea Connell

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Topic: NASA’s Cassini mission to Saturn launched in 1997, and orbited the ringed planet continuously for thirteen years until the mission ended in 2017. Throughout this time, the Mission Sequencing Subsystem team at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory developed software used to design and validate the spacecraft’s science activities. As we learned more about the Saturn system and as the spacecraft aged, software changes were needed. Automating tests for software that was initially developed before modern architecture and testing methodologies existed posed many challenges. The limited-funding and risk-averse environment of a flagship planetary mission heightened these challenges. This talk will discuss the strategies taken and lessons learned from nearly two decades of flight.

Bio: Andrea Connell has held many roles in her ten-year technical career, including Software Developer, Database Administrator, Certified ScrumMaster, and Test Engineer. Andrea earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse and Master’s Degree in Computer Science from the University of Hawaii at Mānoa. She previously worked for, and is now a Software Engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

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