Albert Gareev-  Trading Test Case Sheets for Trello Cards: Transition to Agile in a Regulated Environment

Albert Gareev

The following is a success story and an experience report.
So, a team of testers, used only to a typical “Waterfall QA”, urgently needs to adapt to Agile sprints, while remaining compliant in a heavily regulated environment. As a testing practice lead “parachuted” to help, what do you do, where do you start? How do you streamline ongoing testing feedback much needed in Agile development environment? How do you ensure carrying on liabilities, such as test cases, and other heavy documentation? How do you blend in automation, performance, and regression testing activities? Last, but not least, how do you work with people, supporting them in this difficult transition? This talk is aimed to unfold the story and provide a number of tricks that helped to make it successful.

Albert Gareev is a software testing craftsman and practice lead; Toronto based consultant and contractor. With over 20 years of diverse industry experience, Albert organized testing for challenging projects and successfully implemented complex test automation. Albert is a founder-organizer of Toronto Testing Meetup and also facilitator for the Americas chapter of Weekend Testing. Visit his blog at and follow @AGareev on Twitter.

Arlan Nugara- DevOps in the Cloud for Software Development & Testing


During this talk, we will review how you can easily provision and manage a Dev-Test environment in the cloud, move existing environments into the cloud for testing, then back to on-premises datacenters with relative ease, less complexity and comparatively small cost. All of this will help you meet the needs of your teams faster and manage Dev-Test environments with more visibility and control.

How the cloud can accelerate traditional software development and testing:
• Maximizing return: The game changing scale and economics of the cloud
• Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) vs Platform as a Service (PaaS)
• Connecting on premise resources to the public cloud
• Securing cloud infrastructure using existing investments and processes
• Automation – saving time and money managing infrastructure deployment
• How cloud apps are different: elastic capacity, redundancy, backup and recovery
• Addressing organizational concerns: security, cost, and control
• Deploying to the Cloud: tackling release management at scale
• Promises vs Pitfalls: How to avoid the most common and costly mistake that
companies make in the cloud

Arlan Nugara has been a web developer and software architect for over 15 years at Alvarnet Corporation. He has spent most of his time working with the Microsoft technology stack and applying it to the technology needs of large corporations such as financial institutions, telecommunication and wireless equipment companies. He has a real passion for ALM (Application Lifecycle Management), Agile Methodologies and DevOps and is always looking for ways to work smarter and not just harder.

Christin Wiedemann: Automation for the People

Christin Weidemann

Why are you automating your testing? Automation is more likely to be successful if we’re clear on the objectives we’re trying to accomplish, and those objectives need to be aligned with what the team needs to build a quality product – not constrained by what the tools can do.

When discussing automation in the context of testing we often limit ourselves to talking
about using tools to control the execution of tests, but the potential of automation is much greater – and rarely fully exploited. We also tend to contrast automated and manual testing, whereas in reality these are complementary and should support each other.
To take full advantage of the possibilities of automation we need to first define what
automation is, and understand what tests-related tasks can be automated compared to
what tasks should be automated. We also need to understand that manual and
automated testing are not opposites but strongly coupled and interdependent – there
really is only testing!
Automation is for the people, but who are those people? What skills do you need to be
able to contribute to the testing on a team that uses automation? Personas help us
realize that there is room for different skill sets, and that quality truly is a team effort.

Christin Wiedemann: After finishing her PhD in Physics at Stockholm University, Christin Wiedemann started working as a software developer for the Swedish consulting company HiQ. Christin soon discovered that software testing was more interesting and challenging than development and subsequently joined the Swedish test company AddQ Consulting. At AddQ, she worked as a tester, test lead and trainer, giving courses on agile testing, test design and exploratory testing throughout Europe. Christin developed a course on exploratory testing, and is a co-creator of the exploratory testing approach xBTM.
Christin currently lives in Vancouver, where she joined Professional Quality Assurance
(PQA) Ltd. in 2011. In her current role as Chief Scientist, she drives PQA’s research and
method development work. She continues to use her scientific background and
pedagogic abilities to develop her own skills and those of others.

Christine McGarry-  Slowing Down to Speed Up: The Benefits of a Custom Test Automation Framework


With today’s ever-decreasing software release cycles, products need to be tested quickly and reliably. In addition, we are often building the next generation product, while maintaining the legacy products. This makes test automation challenging. Christine McGarry will describe how she automated tests for dataset comparison for data stored in substantially differing SQL database schemas. Through this case study, you will learn the test strategy and tactics for testing datasets output from distinct versions of an application. You will gain insight into the reasons behind the decisions to create a custom automation framework, the tooling upon which the test system is built, and the implementation hurdles that were overcome. Finally, you will discover the advantages the entire development team experience from having such a system in place.

Christine McGarry is a passionate testing professional who currently works at Magnet Forensics. She believes that a well designed and thought out automation system  is a huge advantage for both testers and developers. This allows for the development team as a whole to have the freedom to experiment and get early feedback on new ideas and the confidence to implement them into the products.

Dave Westerveld- Breaking out of the mold: Software testing stories

Dave Westerveld

Has anyone ever told you that X is what a software tester does? Did you agree? Strong opinions about what software testers should do seem plentiful and sometimes contradictory. Rather than adding another opinion to the pool, I’ll share with you some of my experiences as a software tester. Some of them might be familiar to you and some of them might be strange, but either way there will be something to get you thinking. The goal of this talk is to have my experiences stimulate you into thinking about what testing mold you are in and how you could break out of it. Whether this happens through seeing something new or by nodding your head in agreement, you are invited to explore with me the idea of what value a tester can bring to the team through the following stories of a software tester:
– The bug slayer – The day I killed my first bug.
– The talker – Learning to speak early and speak often.
– The toolmaker – The ways creating a tool changed my perspectives
– The stoic – Letting go of things I can’t change (for now)
– The visionary – How I want to grow in using my skills to help the team

Dave Westerveld started testing software 8 years ago. At the time it just seemed like a good job for a new grad to get started with, but now it is something he is passionate about and loves to do. He has spent the last 8 years learning many things. He has been through many changes and worked on different projects ranging from well established products, to being involved in the early stages of major new initiatives. He has also been involved in many different aspects of the testing role including being a bug hunter, helping build out an automation framework, running testing skills training and many other activities. Dave has a desire to see teams efficiently producing high value software and is enthusiastic about doing whatever it takes to see the team improve.

Jarret Nickerson

Jarett Nickerson and Keith McIntosh- Changing Lives with Software Testing – The PLATO Testing Story

Across Canada Aboriginal people are faced with an unemployment rate almost twice the national average.  Meanwhile, vacant ICT positions continue to rise across the country, with an expectation to hit 182,000 openings by 2019.At PLATO Testing, we are developing and leveraging a network of Aboriginal software testers across Canada to help solve these problems.

Software testing provides an excellent opportunity for Aboriginal people to enter the ITC industry.  The program starts with intensive lab-based training, followed by an immersive internship, and leads to full time employment with PLATO Testing as professional software testers.  As this initiative grows, so does the ability to capture large testing contracts currently being sent offshore.  It allows us to keep testing in Canada.  To work in the same time zones, in the same language and with the same standards.

This presentation will feature the story of PLATO Testing, how it is changing the lives of Aboriginal people across Canada and how it is changing the overall software testing marketplace. The content will be of interest to anyone seeking a new testing partner, anyone interested in entrepreneurship within the software testing industry and anyone looking to drive positive change in Canada.

Jarett (Jay) Nickerson is a business growth specialist based in Fredericton, New Brunswick, who has been bringing simplicity and clarity to a range of industries over the last decade.  With experience on the international stage spanning five continents, Jay has led strong business development through focused promotional efforts and on-site initiatives.  A sturdy foundation in marketing & economics lends to him being the catalyst for efficient and timely growth within an organization.  Jarett is currently managing the marketing and sales strategy of PLATO Testing, a new initiative to bring software testing contracts back to Canada by training and employing a network of Aboriginal software testers.

Jay was recognized as one of the top 50 leaders under 40 in Atlantic Canada in 2015 and, along with a BBA from the University of New Brunswick, holds certifications in Pragmatic Marketing and Mastering Business Development Inc.  With the vision of a future in Atlantic Canada full of thriving and profitable local business, Jay is driven by the nature, family and community he was raised in.

When not rolling out new marketing efforts or lecturing at conferences, Jay can be found digging in the garden with his family, playing beach volleyball, or bartending special events.

Jeff Abshoff- Better Together: Group Exploratory Testing


Jeff Abshoff faced a most difficult challenge in 2015. His team size tripled, with testers of varying skill levels spread across six sites worldwide. The product was moving to a more frequent release cycle, was of poor quality, and had multiple key stakeholders. Features were incomplete, defects were not discovered until late in the cycle, and downstream stability and feature integration problems were common. Join Jeff as he shares his experience with Group Exploratory Testing, and discusses the positive impact this approach has had on his team and the ANSYS product. Jeff gives practical details on the tools used (web collaboration and a virtual lab approach) and the people involved (developers, product managers, writers, and testers). Jeff explains the many benefits that Group Exploratory Testing offers—improved collaboration, cross-team training, earlier and faster feedback, and better product quality.

Jeff Abshoff is a testing manager at ANSYS, Inc., a global developer of engineering simulation software. At ANSYS for more than eleven years, Jeff has worked on projects ranging from small, single team features to large cross-business-unit feature integration. With a strong emphasis on exploratory testing, he still regularly participates in testing new features. Jeff leads an international team of ten testers who are responsible for certification, performance, automated regression, integration, and exploratory testing. Jeff works to empower his team members to significantly impact product quality through early engagement in the design process; collaboration with peers, developers and other stakeholders; and exploration of the software under test.

Keith McIntosh- 25 Years of Testing Through the Words of a Rockstar


A fun presentation with music and lyrics to relate my experience in testing over the last 25 years and perhaps a glimpse into the future. From punch cards to windows to mobile devices, there have been a lot of changes in how we test but yet many of the challenges are human issues and they remain the same in every environment. The talk will give insight into the thinking at PQA and where we are trying to take our testing company.

Keith McIntosh is a leader in the software testing industry. Founding Professional Quality Assurance (PQA) 19 years ago, Keith has pioneered software testing as a profession in the Maritimes and across Canada. Currently Co-CEO and President of PQA, Keith drives the charge to help organizations produce higher quality software solutions with greater efficiency and lower risk. Most recently, Keith launched PLATO Testing to provide professional training and meaningful employment in software testing to Aboriginal people across Canada.
PLATO Testing aims to fill the gap in domestic large-scale testing services, as the ICT industry continues to see a growing shortage of its workforce. Through his work in software testing, Keith is focused on making an impact on the world through elevating the importance of testing and creating valuable jobs in Canada. His leadership continues to shape PQA, PLATO Testing and the software testing industry as a whole.

Kevin Malley- DevOps – Adoption Strategies for the Big the Small and Those In Between

Kevin Malley

3rd times a charm right? 3 companies, 3 DevOps implementations later, what works and what doesn’t, I’ve lived a few of them. Along the way I’ve made very few mistakes, however I made a lot of opportunities for improvements. Dev-Ops is more than just development and operations working together it’s a cultural change that impacts your entire IT organization and business. It’s a facilitator to continuous integration, a disruptor and a game changer. My experience with imitating Dev-Ops across multiple organizations has lead me to develop a map used to initiate discovery and implementation. We will walk through the map and the various components referencing my experiences to help put context to each of the components. We will explore experiences with a focus on how you can initiate or improve Dev-Ops in your shop. We will explore some common tooling but won’t go as far as to demo them.

Kevin Malley: Do what’s necessary to get the right stuff done is how Kevin describes his various roles across his 15+ year career. “Much of what I do is not in any way shape or form related to my job description”. Kevin believes this is perfectly acceptable and places little emphasis on roles, rather he places his emphasis on agility, providing teams with the necessary support and tools to provide incremental value to the customer in short order with quality as the top priority. Kevin has spent much of his career transforming teams, he contributes much of his success to the ability of teams to adopt practices that instill quality from the get go and teams that have the resilience and agility to adopt change and innovate.

Kyle Lewis: The Folklore of Test Automation


The Test that Cost Everything.

The Suite that Grew Too Big.

The Emperor’s New Framework.

We all have stories that we share with our peers,that help guide us in our careers. This talk teaches you some of the anti-patterns, heuristics, and lessons I’ve learned on my journey into the land of automated testing.

Kyle Lewis can typically be found working around development teams as a tester, although in the past 15 years his attention has wandered into the nearby realms of development. He has enjoyed positions at a variety of tech companies, from VMware, to Blackberry, to Magnet Forensics. His most recent gig is as a Test Developer at Economical Insurance.

Lee Manchur- Planning for Poised Performance


Consumers of web-based applications demand to have fast and responsive experiences, but ensuring this level of performance, both under normal load and during usage spikes, is a non-trivial exercise.  We will demonstrate how you can quickly achieve a valuable and long-standing performance and load test plan by implementing a strong test strategy in front of open-source tools such as JMeter, and low-cost infrastructure services.  OCAS’ learnings in developing our performance test strategy to combat an annual 3,000% usage increase spike every January (as the college application deadline approaches) will be used as an example.

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 test practices with scalable automated test solutions.

Phil Kirkham- SLICING UP FUN

Phil Kirkham

When testing a mobile app there is a lot to think about – interfaces, interactions, interruptions, battery life, network connections, screen sizes etc etc.  In my talk I present a mnemonic, “I SLICED UP FUN” that helps a tester to think about testing coverage for a mobile app.

For example, how does data affect your app and what different sorts of testing can be done with data? My talk will explain this when it comes to the letter D.

Real world examples of bugs in the wild both from projects I have worked on and tales from the test community will be used to help show how each letter in the mnemonic can be used for test ideas. I will also show how it can also be used to provide a focus for the product areas most at risk.

There will be some audience participation, plenty of slides, a couple of British jokes and an illustration of why a reliance on total automation can lead to problems being missed.

Phil Kirkham is developer who changed fields to testing several years ago and then changed his country from England to the US when he moved to Michigan to work for Atomic Object as an exploratory tester. He helps run the Software Testing Club website ( and is still trying to find a place that sells proper English bacon.