Presenters (Day 2: Keynote and Talks)

Fiona Charles (Keynote)

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What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
Software is everywhere, permeating our society and influencing every aspect of our lives. It can and does bring enormous benefits, but it can also do great harm.

Decisions once made by humans are now often made by algorithms, prompting one writer to comment that, “We are increasingly…abdicating our power to make decisions based on our own judgement, including our moral convictions.” Yet many of the models and criteria used in AI systems to assess human behavior and motives are unproven at best and at worst, based on junk science.

An algorithm decides if you should get a job interview or if your CV should go on the discard pile. If you get that interview, another AI system may analyse your words and facial expressions to decide if you are a trustworthy person. Meanwhile, a workplace surveillance system could be making judgements about your productivity and interactions with your co-workers, and ultimately determining your compensation, promotional prospects, and future with the organisation.

More critically, software systems on two Boeing MAX 737 planes interpreted the signal from a faulty sensor and decided on a course of action that crashed the planes, killing hundreds of people.

What can testers do to help maximize the benefits and minimize the harms of all this software? First we ask, “What could possibly go wrong?”

Join Fiona Charles to explore what else we can do and what other questions we can ask.

Bio: Fiona Charles is an independent consultant and international keynote speaker specialising in the human side of software quality and testing. She teaches organizations to manage their software quality risk, and software practitioners practical human skills essential to thrive, excel, and lead on any kind of software team. Fiona conducts interactive workshops at conferences, online, and in-house for clients; has recorded several webinars, and published many articles in quality-related publications. She edited “The Gift of Time” (2008), a book of essays celebrating the work of Gerald M. Weinberg. 

Follow her on twitter @FionaCCharles.

Albert Gareev (Presenter)

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Topic: Assessment. Commitment. Execution. Lessons Learnt in A.C.E.-ing Digital Accessibility

Description: Digital Accessibility stands for making any software usable by the widest possible audience. In the USA and Canada there are also laws that mandate treating accessibility as one of the Human Rights.

Implementation of Digital Accessibility is often spoken about in terms of design techniques and coding tricks, but there are also organizational and personal challenges for organizations and teams. The talk addresses such cases of struggles and challenges, and provides a few practical ideas on how to successfully overcome them.

Workshop style of the talk, with content rich with examples and micro-exercises engaging the audience, is aimed to create an immersive experience for the participants and let them draw their own “lessons learnt.”

Bio: An IT veteran, with over 20 years of total experience, I practice holistic and craftsmanship approach to testing and Quality Assurance. My journey in digital accessibility began in 2012. Since then, I fulfilled leading roles in accessibility and AODA compliance for large high-profile 24/7 publicly accessed applications and sites, such as – ServiceOntario Service Finder, Newborn Registration, Birth/Marriage/Death Certificates; – City of Toronto Elections, MyToronto Pay, Toronto Ombudsman, COVID-19 Updates, Toronto Children’s Services; – LCBO eCommerce (core lcbo.com and LCBO Vintages).

I enjoy sharing my experiences and engaging audience in discussions.

Prior speaking experiences include talks and workshops at KWSQA conferences and AST conferences.

Damian Synadinos (Presenter)

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Topic: Is This [Joke] Appropriate?

Description: “Don’t poke the bear” is an old saying that usually means “Don’t do things that are likely to cause trouble”.

Can jokes cause trouble? Sometimes. But when, and how can you know?

This talk intends to address this topic and these questions…and make it all applicable to you and your job.

Join me as I explore Risk Analysis in a different, fun way!

Bio: For more than 25 years, Damian Synadinos helped to “build better software and build software better” through testing. Now, through his company Ineffable Solutions (Ineffable-Solutions.com), he helps “build better people”. Damian is an international speaker and trainer, delivering keynotes, talks, and workshops that are focused on fundamental topics and people-skills, based on real-world experience, and supplemented with deep research. His diverse experience spans many roles, industries, and companies, including CompuServe, NetJets, Abercrombie & Fitch, Nationwide Insurance, and Huntington Bank. Damian also helped organize the “QA or the Highway” testing conference (QAortheHighway.com) from 2014-2020, has over 10 years of theatrical improv experience, authored and illustrated a children’s book, “Hank and Stella in Something from Nothing” (HankAndStellaBooks.com), and draws strangers for fun (IDrawStrangers.com).

Dave Westerveld (Presenter)

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Topic: So You want to test your APIs?

Description: “We need to do some more API testing.”

Of course, since we all have so much free time available, we jump on it and a few days later have a suite of API tests running.

Right?

Or maybe the world that you live in is a little more like mine. You think it would be a great idea, but how do you find the time for it and how exactly should you go about testing an API? In this talk, I’ll help you get started with answering these questions. We’ll talk about some important testing practices and how to apply them in the context of API quality. We will also look at the role automation plays in API testing and how to get started with it. In addition we will look at how you can use API testing to enhance your existing testing so that you can find the time to do more API testing.

You will walk away excited about API testing and with the confidence that you need to immediately dive into testing APIs.

Testers, developers, or anyone looking to get a better understanding of how to test an API can all benefit from this talk.

Bio:

I’m a software tester, quality enthusiast, father to 3 wonderful children, husband, author, blogger and avid learner.

I write speak and teach because I love learning and I find that sharing what I know is one of the best ways to learn. I have written a book on API Testing and Development with Postman and have created several different video courses on software testing. I blog far too sporadically at https://offbeattesting.com.

I live in beautiful Ontario, Canada and I have a passion for helping testers across the world learn the skills they need to stay relevant in a constantly changing industry. I care deeply about making the world a better place and one way to do that is by having better quality software. I think testers play a key role in producing good quality software and want to do what I can to empower testers to do better testing.

Glenn Anderson (Presenter)

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Topic: Energize Your Team’s Performance & Think Like an Improv Actor

Description: Yes, And. Two words that form the foundation for performing good improvisational comedy. These same two words applied in the business world will sharpen teamwork and collaboration. Who knew? Using numerous stories and examples, this session teaches leaders how to create a team that practices open communication. Thinking “Yes, And” builds a culture that celebrates diverse opinions and ideas. Laugh and learn and apply “Yes And” thinking to exceed your organizational goals.

ATTENDEES WILL LEARN HOW TO:

  • Utilize “Yes, And” thinking to exceed your team’s goals
  • Create an organizational environment that affirms and builds
  • Develop trust among team members
  • Turn your team into a collaborative ensemble

Bio:

Glenn Anderson is the Performance Catalyst Speaker – the catalyst between missed goals and achieved goals. Glenn’s presentations and webinars combine decades of corporate experience and teaching with his passion for performing improvisational comedy. The result – your audience is energized and equipped to better communicate, collaborate and lead.

Glenn knows what it takes to capture attention in the business world. He enjoyed a long career with IBM – in sales, management, training and event speaking. He produced IT conferences and was a featured speaker for thousands of people.

As a graduate of Player’s Workshop of Second City and with his experience performing improvisational theater, Glenn excites your audience with teaching experience and improv techniques that energize communications and create a collaborative team environment.

Gregory Paciga (Presenter)

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Topic: A Tester’s Journey into DevOps

Description: As QA experts on agile product teams, our priorities align very well with the principles behind DevOps. We also have a huge impact on how well a product team performs when viewed through that lens.

In this talk I will share how I leveraged my testing expertise into a DevOps-focused role, and what I discovered there that might change the way you approach testing. I will present some insights gained from working with several different product teams on their testing and DevOps journeys, including the factors that put testing at the core of determining whether a team was really “agile” (or not). I’ll talk about metrics we used, the kinds of reactions and discussions they sparked, and the issues they highlighted in the way we work.

As a tester, you’ll learn how your work overlaps with DevOps, how to recognize your own contribution to your team’s agility, and the ways that you can use DevOps concepts to help accelerate your team. For those already familiar with DevOps and the book “Accelerate”, consider this an experience report in exploring the gap between “high performers” and the rest of us, including the critical role that each team’s own context played in evaluating what “agility” means.

Bio: Gregory got into testing and QA somewhat accidentally after a career as a research astronomer. (Talk to him if you’d like to know what testing has in common with studying star formation in the early universe.) He now specializes in test automation, after dabbling in roles spanning from scrum lead to software engineer. He’s a firm believer that testing and development are not different things, so focuses on building effective pipelines that work for the whole team.

Hilary Weaver-Robb (Presenter)

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Topic: Socializing for Heuristics: How Social Media Made Me a Better Tester (and Human)

Description: Social media isn’t useless. It’s not just for seeing what people are eating or watching, or networking with friends, colleagues, and acquaintances across the globe. While I have met some amazing people on Twitter and other social platforms that have changed my life, I have also gained something even better for my career as a tester: heuristics. Heuristics are the “rules of thumb” that, as a tester, allow us to find common bugs more quickly – the more ways bugs appear that we experience, the more heuristics we have to find them, and the better we are at our jobs as testers. A wonderful side effect of these heuristics is we gain more empathy for people with backgrounds different from ours, as we see more of the world and what people experience on a daily basis. While we absolutely need more diversity in tech, unless people see themselves represented or supported in the software they use, they won’t feel they belong.

In this talk, I’ll share how I’ve found a great “life hack” to getting more heuristics with social media, and how these heuristics have helped me in my testing. We’ll cover some common themes I’ve found where our users may struggle with our applications, and I’ll share tips to expand your social media consumption to include more diverse backgrounds so you, too, can socialize for heuristics.

Bio: Hilary Weaver-Robb is a Sr. Software Engineer in Test near Detroit. She is a mentor to her fellow testers, makes friends with developers, and helps teams level-up their quality processes, tools, and techniques. Hilary loves to help train folks in API testing and automation, using static analysis to inform our testing, and has always been passionate about improving the relationships between developers and testers, and evangelizes software testing as a rewarding, viable career.

She runs the Motor City Software Testers user group, working to build a community of quality advocates. Hilary tweets (a lot) as @g33klady, and you can find her thoughts and experiences in the testing world, at g33klady.com.

Jenna Charlton (Presenter)

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Topic: Risk or Fear: What drives your testing?

Description: Risk or Fear: What drives your testing? Many say they do risk-based testing, but walking the walk is showing to be more challenging than organizations realized. Teams are finding they end up testing “everything” which is counterproductive to a risk-based approach. The testing community must apply a truth telling question: What motivates your test coverage decisions? Fear or Risk?

Many teams are realizing after implementing a risk-based strategy, they continue to test from a place of fear as opposed to calculated risk. Others never reassess or renegotiate risk as their application matures.

As the application under test matures, so must your strategy. In this session we’ll discuss:

  • Discernment: Test decisions, what is your real motivator?
  • Embracing the concept, “What is good enough quality?”
  • Reassessing risk by integrating new data
  • How to overcome bias created by fear and previous failures

Bio: Jenna is a software tester and product owner with over a decade of experience. They’ve spoken at a number of dev and test conferences and is passionate about risk-based testing, building community within agile teams, developing the next generation of testers, and A11y. When not testing, Jenna loves to go to punk rock shows and live pro wrestling events with their husband Bob, traveling, and cats. Their favorite of which are the 2 that share their home, Maka and Excalipurr.

Jerry Penner (Presenter)

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Topic: “Can You Test Any Faster?” How I Used the Pareto Principle to Slash Final Acceptance Testing Time

Description: Imagine a company with a 30-year-old flagship desktop product with a high price tag and limited audience. Limited Developer and Tester resources, over 850 test cases created to cover features built and bugs fixed in that time. Annual product releases with Final Acceptance Testing taking 36 tester-weeks.

Imagine a Dev Manager approaching the Senior Tester with a mandate to reduce the testing time without punishing product quality, with no added testing hardware or personnel.

Imagine you’re that Senior Tester. What is your approach? Can the test case count really be reduced by 80%? Can the time-to-complete really be cut to a third without adding more bodies or hardware?

Join me to discover my thought processes in radically redesigning how my company executes F.A.T., and how customers responded.

Bio: Jerry Penner is a passionate tester who has been helping ridiculously smart people build better software for over 16 years. One of his favourite testing tasks is helping developers and testers find important bugs faster with less effort. He has delivered talks at Desire2Learn, the KWSQA Quality Conference and STARCanada. He has assembled two test teams from the ground up, implemented Good Practices at two more companies, and is currently helping the fine folks at Waterloo Hydrogeologic.

Larissa Rosochansky / Rafael Navarro Cintra (Presenters)

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Rafael Navarro Cintra Profile Image

Topic: Instilling the Built-in Quality mindset into a dev team

Description: Built-in quality is a natural outcome of a continuous improvement mindset. Even more, built-in quality is one of the SAFe core values and a core principle of the Lean-Agile Mindset. It states that quality is everyone’s job and must be preventive, not reactive. How can we help our teams to understand that quality is not the QA’s work, and must be distilled in every action, every line of code, every single little commit the team does?

In this talk, Larissa will explain what is Built-in Quality, Lean and SAFe vision, give practical advice on the benefits of actually using the practices of built-in quality, and guide a team to adopt some practices and use the QA as a guide for the built-in quality, and not for its guardian, so the whole team can, together, instill quality, and make a better product and User Experience! Built-in quality is a natural outcome of a continuous improvement mindset. Built-in quality is one of the SAFe core values and a core principle of the Lean-Agile Mindset. It states that quality is everyone’s job and must be preventive, not reactive.

This talk will explain what Built-in Quality, Lean and SAFe vision is. Continuing, we will give practical advice on the benefits of using the built-in quality practices and guide the team to adopt them. Lastly, we will show how to use the QA as the guide for the built-in quality, as its guardian, so the whole team can instill quality and make a better product and User Experience!

Larissa’s Bio: Senior IT Executive with over 20 years of experience in IT, Larissa is used to leading large operations since 2014 driving its strategy, growth, P&L, and operation metrics. Moreover, Larissa is also a worldwide speaker on Quality and Agile, primarily focused on delivering value to the customer by using Lean Digital Transformation and Agile Engineering.

Nowadays Larissa is a Delivery Principal at Thoughtworks, and before that, at CI&T, she was a Senior Digital Transformation Delivery Manager delivering a digital product used by more than 2k users. At Avanade, she led the Intelligent Automation Offering for Brazil Market achieving revenue and sales targets. At IBM Brazil, as the Global Automation Brazil Program, Test Practice, and its Go to Market activities, she was responsible for the biggest deal for Test Practice Brazil.

Rafael’s Bio: Solutions Architect focused on DevOps and Continuous Testing experienced with multidisciplinary and co-located teams on medium and large-sized companies. Extensive experience within financial services working with banks going through an agile and digital transformation while applying DevOps and Continuous Testing principles.

Mazin Inaad (Presenter)

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Topic: The 8 ‘Commendments’ for Maintainable Test Automation

Description: Have you ever had a project where more time was spent on maintaining the automated tests than doing actual test work? Have you had a project where the automated tests fail constantly? Like many fellow testers, I have experienced the pain of spending more time analyzing the test failure than I would have spent manually testing the functionality.

This is a talk inspired by test automation efforts that were started with much enthusiasm but failed hopelessly due to low maintainability. Luckily, I also found inspiration in successful projects where maintainability was at the core of its implementation. In this talk, I will share my thoughts and tips on how to create maintainable automated tests.

After a short summary of the most common issues that I identified in the failed automation efforts, I will touch upon how to avoid these issues by setting up a solid test automation architecture with layers of abstraction where each layer has its own responsibilities. The key takeaway of this talk will then be the 8 ‘Commendments’. Commendments being a wordplay on recommendations and commandments.

These commendments will cover how to write maintainable tests, what to define in each layer of your test and how to manage your test data. For each commendment I will show practical examples using Java, Cucumber and/or Gherkin.

Bio: Born and raised in the Maldives, Mazin moved to the Netherlands at age 13. In High School he was infected by the automation virus when he discovered programming on the graphical calculator. That is where the passion for automation was first kindled. Despite this unconscious attraction towards IT, Mazin went on to study Aerospace Engineering. He soon realized that planes and rockets were not his passion, he was still more fascinated by the automation side of everything. So, he started picking up extracurricular activities and part-time jobs where he could automate various processes. With one of these jobs, he discovered his second passion: teaching. Mazin was trained to teach Physics and Math to High School students.

After graduating from his studies, Mazin combined both these passions in his work within Capgemini. As a Test Automation Engineer, he can automate to his heart’s desire, and as a Trainer for the Capgemini Academy he teaches courses related to Test Automation.

René van Veldhuijzen (Presenter)

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Topic: Forget Shift Left and Shift Right. Let’s Shift Back !!

Description: Many Test Automation efforts these days are still struggling or horrible failing because they started the wrong way. At the start of a Test Automation implementation two things are imperative; start with the “Why” and build a solid Architecture.

Together we will explore the aspects under the “Why”; which discussions must be avoided, and which decisions will have to be taken at the start of any Test Automation implementation. After many workshops with our customers we spotted four definitive categories: the technical aspects, important organizational aspects, test aspects (obviously) and indispensable preconditions.

Now that we are clear on why it is going to be used, we can zoom in on building a reusable and solid architecture for your Test Automation. There is the way the lovely people from ISTQB see it and there is our practical solution on what Test Automation Architecture is, how you set it up, maintain it and how you make sure the Architecture is useful.

Bio: René van Veldhuijzen has been active as a Test Specialist since 1998. With various roles in between such as Academy Coach, Unit Manager and Oracle Alliance Manager, his passion has always remained Software Testing, from politically sensitive projects in Test Management roles to creating test scripts using Oracle ATS or Selenium. René calls himself the Testimist (meaning: someone who provides insight into quality through testing or in other words a Test Positivo). Combining ubiquitous testing principles with Test Automation and Robotic Process Automation into integrated automation solutions for customers. Talking about Test Automation Architecture has brought René on stage at Accelerate (Tricentis in Vienna), SeeTest (Bucharest), Test Automation Days (Rotterdam), EuroSTAR (Copenhagen) and as a keynote at TAPOST (Riga).