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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Wednesday, March 28, 2018: Buckets of Testing – working in a multi-project environment

Speaker: Phil Kirkham

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Topic: As the sole exploratory tester in a company with multiple projects going on I had to work out how to work efficiently and to make teams aware of how I could help them. The current Agile literature didn’t seem to fit in with my particular needs so after some trial and error we came up with a plan where teams asses the size of the testing ‘bucket’ they think they will need. My talk will explain the challenges that we had and the plan we came up with to make the most of my expertise and use it across the company. For a sole tester working in a company this talk should help give them some ideas on how they can survive and flourish. For other testers this talk might give them an idea of how they could be working with developers in a high-quality environment.

Bio: After working as a developer I moved to being a tester and then moved from England to Michigan. Currently working as the sole exploratory tester at Atomic Object, working on a range of projects from mobile to web to embedded.

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Wednesday, February 28, 2018 – Senses Working Overtime: Improving Software Quality Through Accessibility and Inclusive Design

Speaker: Michael Larsen

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Topic: Accessibility makes it possible for those with various disabilities to access information and services. Inclusive Design focuses on making choices so that software and services are usable by as many people as possible. They are distinct but complementary facets of software development and delivery, and they are difficult to add to software after the fact. Making software Accessible using Inclusive Design principles at the start, or as early as possible, makes it easier to develop software that can be used by more people, and allows the development team to deliver better quality, better user experience, and happier users all the way around. In this talk, I will demonstrate principles and processes that you can use to help make Accessibility and Inclusive Design a natural part of your development and testing activities.

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Wednesday, January 31, 2018: Shift-Left & Shift-Right Performance Testing for Superior End-User Satisfaction

Speaker: Arun Kumar Dutta

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Topic: These days, end-user satisfaction is the most important factor for both traditional and digital business. End-user satisfaction can be provided with enhanced features quickly and with improved performance. This will not only satisfy them but also convince them to remain loyal and influence others. Though an application’s speed, scalability, stability and availability are not the only parameters for superior end user satisfaction, they are the most important factors.

In a shift-left performance testing approach, testing is moved to the left in the software development life cycle. Instead of doing performance testing at the pre-production stage just before release, performance testing needs to be started at early stages of SDLC. This will assist project team to avoid big losses and reduce overall cost.

In a shift-right performance testing approach, testing is moved to the right. This is done in production for E2E real user experience in terms of performance – speed, scalability, stability, availability, fail-over by controlled experiments and with continuous monitoring. This is like late testing but it is very powerful for end-user satisfaction.

Proactive shift-left and shift-right performance testing ensure superior end-user satisfaction by providing enhanced features at a faster rate with excellent performance. This talk will assist us to know the value that shift-left & shift-right performance testing can bring, why both of them are required for superior end-user satisfaction, and what are the things that we need to remember while making it as an ongoing process for enduring in market.


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Wednesday, May 31, 2017: The Drive-Thru Is Not Always Faster: Re-Thinking Your Testing Practice

SPEAKER: Mike Lyles


How many times have you sat in line at the drive-thru window waiting and waiting? You watch as some people park their car, walk inside, buy their food, and then leave…..all while you are still in line.

The drive-thru window was created to speed up the process and make things faster. However, many times that process is not as fast as a different way.

How many times have we done the same thing with testing? We focus on what we believe is the best and fastest process and we don’t allow ourselves to consider alternatives that might work just as well, or better.

You are not alone. And it would likely surprise you that many others in the testing community share the same struggles and needs for re-thinking.

In this session, Mike Lyles will share his findings in talking to various leaders and practitioners in testing, their struggles, their strategies to overcome them, and their creative approaches to providing alternative solutions to make their testing organizations successful.

Key Takeaways:
• Survey responses from testers from all over the world
• A discussion on the common problems every test team will face today
• Suggestions from the community on how to approach and resolve the daily challenges
• Strategies that can be implemented immediately in your team


Mike Lyles is a QA Director with over 24+ years of IT experience in multiple organizations, including Fortune 50 companies. He has exposure in various IT leadership roles: software development, program management office, and software testing. He has led various teams within testing organizations: functional testing, test environments, software configuration management, test data management, performance testing, test automation, and service virtualization.

Mike has been successful in career development, team building, coaching, and mentoring of IT & QA professionals. He has managed multiple high impact programs simultaneously, on time, and under budget.

Mike has been an international keynote speaker at multiple conferences and events, and is regularly published in testing publications and magazines. He is the President of his corporate Toastmasters Club. Mike’s passion to help others improve and grow, in the field of testing, leadership, and management, is his key motivation. His first published book on leadership will be released this year.

See for a listing of all conference speaking, webinars, podcasts, and articles.

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Wednesday, April 26, 2017: Mobbing, and Pairing, and Bug Bashes, Oh, My! Spreading Tales of Testing Practices

Speaker:  Jess Lancaster


Are there software testing practices that you would like to try in your organization, but you don’t know where to start? Have you had challenges getting others to try new practices?

Finding time to learn test techniques, mentor other testers, grow application knowledge, and cross-train your team members is a daunting task. That’s where collaborative testing techniques can help! Testers on our teams try new testing techniques regularly and in this presentation Jess will cover tips and experiences from the trenches with a focus on Mob testing, Pair testing, and Bug Bashes. Let’s build the courage to try new techniques together!


Jess Lancaster is the QA practice manager at TechSmith, the makers of Snagit, Camtasia, and other visual communication software applications. He coaches and equips testers with the skills to be quality champions on agile teams. With more than twenty years of information systems and software development experience, Jess has been a consultant, test lead, and test manager with government, financial, insurance, and commercial software organizations. Jess is passionate about getting into the trenches with other testers, exploring software, and trying new testing techniques. Cofounder of the Lansing Area Software Testers meetup, has also helped grow the next generation of software testers by teaching software testing courses at Lansing Community College.

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February KWality Talk: Jerry Penner – The ‘Automate Everything’ Conversation

Your boss has given you the “Automate Everything” directive. Is he expecting to reduce costs? Implement the latest silver-bullet tool that will save the company? Increase test coverage to avoid future embarrassment? How do you respond? Jerry Penner shows you how to manage expectations by asking the right questions and framing the capabilities of computer-aided testing in business terms. He talks about what should and should not be automated so you can find more of the important bugs faster. He then presents a list of free and nearly free tools and gives examples of where & when to use them. You’ll leave with a toolbox filled with tips and strategies you can take back to the office right away to make your testing life easier.

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January 25th, Mike Kaufman Presents The Red Bead Experiment

Come on out to UW DC1302 on January 25th at 11:30am to see Mike Kaufman Present the Red Bead Experiment:

The White Bead Corporation is looking for Above Average Employees for expanded production. On the job training provided. Earn bonuses! The White Bead Corporation is a proud producer of shiny, perfect, white beads. We work hard to meet our customer’s exacting demands and won’t settle for anything less than perfection. We need Willing Workers who are Above Average Employees to handle this rigorous task in an inspiring environment. Apply within.

Come watch, and participate, in the classic experiment made famous by Dr. Deming. Let’s explore the link between typical management techniques, human factors and overall quality.

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November 23rd KWality talk with Jason Little

Come on out to see Jason Little:

The Structure of Your Organization Limits Your Level of Quality

“How to we make testing more agile?” Have you heard people say this? I sure have. It’s not a shock to say that most organizations still use a manufacturing metaphor when it comes to software quality. That is, let’s make testing more agile in order to inspect quality in during our agile testing phase. Most organizations I’ve worked with focus on making their existing structures more agile instead of re-organizing their structure to support an agile way of working. In this session we’ll explore why making testing more agile is the wrong approach, and what we can do about it.

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