The following 2007 PNSQC Conference full-day workshops were held on Monday, October 8, 2007.
W1. Using Lifecycles to Design Your Project
If you are dreading the next project – because you know it will be a disaster, or at the very least uncomfortable – it is time to think about designing your next project. We are accustomed to thinking about designing products or tests, but projects?
Is it really possible to design a project? Yes.
Lifecycles, those idealized approaches to organizing projects allow us to design a project – just the way we want the project to unfold. Johanna will explain the four major types of lifecycles using examples, when each is useful, and when to combine lifecycles so that you don’t have to dread your next project.
What attendees will learn:
Johanna Rothman consults, speaks, and writes on managing high-technology product development. As a consultant, she has assisted managers, teams, and organizations become more effective by applying her pragmatic approaches to the issues of project management, risk management, and people management.
Johanna has helped Engineering organizations, IT organizations, and startups hire technical people, manage projects, and release successful products faster. Her action-based assessment reports have helped managers and teams improve their projects, products, and financial results. She is a sought-after speaker and teacher in the areas of project management, people management, and problem solving.
Johanna is the coauthor of the popular and pragmatic Behind Closed Doors, Secrets of Great Management and author of the highly acclaimed Hiring the Best Knowledge Workers, Techies & Nerds: The Secrets and Science of Hiring Technical People. Her upcoming book Successful Project Management: Modern, Pragmatic Techniques That Work will be available April 2007. Johanna is a host and session leader at the Amplifying Your Effectiveness (AYE) conference.
W2. Mastering Agile Requirements: Principles and Processes
The Andrea Group
An agile software development approach is designed to accommodate changing project priorities and unstable or emerging requirements with minimal impact to budget or schedule. An agile requirements process further aims to minimize the effort specifying requirements, without introducing risk or waste.
This delicate balancing act is even more challenging when the process does not fit the team perfectly. A critical success factor in adopting an agile process is recognizing that every project has different needs, goals, and constraints; one size of requirements process does not fit all agile projects.
Jennita’s workshop will help you master agile requirements by learning how to tune any requirements process to fit your unique set of project characteristics.
The workshop is designed to deliver a deep and lasting learning experience by taking advantage of the fact that adults learn best – by hands-on experience, examples, anecdotes, discussion, and personal reflection. Participants will learn:
Jennitta Andrea has expanded the vocabulary and imagery associated with agile methods to include Cinderella, step sisters, dental floss, sushi, fingerprints, and self-cleaning ovens. When she joined her first XP project in 2000, Jennitta wondered: “Will we stop using UML and use cases completely?”; “Will the analyst and tester roles become extinct?”; “Where do user stories come from”; and “What does an effective functional test really look like?”
As a multi-faceted hands-on practitioner on over a dozen different agile projects since then, Jennitta has been a keen observer of teams and processes, and has discovered answers to these types of questions. She has written many experience-based papers for conferences and software journals, and delivers practical simulation-based tutorials and in-house training covering: agile requirements, process adaptation, automated functional testing, and project retrospectives.
Jennitta is especially interested in improving the state of the art of automated functional testing as it applies to agile requirements; she applies insights from her early experience with compiler technology and domain specific language design. As a strategic partner at clearStream, Jennitta is responsible for business development through assessments, presentations, and responding to request for proposals (RFPs). Jennitta is serving her second term on the Agile Alliance Board of Directors, is a member of the Advisory Board of IEEE Software, and has assisted on several conference committees. She has a B. Sc., Computing Science (Distinction) from the University of Calgary.
W3. Getting Traction on Test Automation the Agile Way
Test automation is a big and often scary mountain for most testers and their teams to climb. With the short iterations of agile development, automation may be an even more visible and critical task than in traditional projects. The agile challenge of automating all regression tests strikes fear into the hearts of many testers. Many of us struggle with test automation when we have long cycles and places to hide during a long development cycle. How do we succeed at it when we have to release every two weeks?
Lisa will answer this question, laying fears to rest, or at least giving participants more courage to face them, with a strategy she and her teams have used successfully. By combining a collaborative team approach with an appropriate mix of open-source tools designed for agile teams, you can, over time, automate 100% of your regression tests, and continue to automate all new tests during each programming iteration. Lisa will explain how agile test tools can help you get traction on test automation, even if you are a tester on a more traditional project without the support of programmers on your team. No tool is a silver bullet, but simple tools that offer a step-by-step approach allow even non-geeky testers to do useful automation, not only for tests, but for tedious tasks associated with testing.
Group exercises, examples and lecture/discussion will help participants understand barriers to test automation and how to use agile values and practices to overcome them. Lisa will gather and address specific automation questions and problems from the participants.
Lisa Crispin is the co-author, with Tip House, of Testing Extreme Programming (Addison-Wesley, 2002). She is currently a tester on an agile team using Scrum and XP at ePlan Services Inc. in Denver, CO, and has worked on agile teams developing web applications since 2000. You can often find Lisa at agile- and testing-related conferences, user group meetings, and seminars in the U.S. and Europe, helping people discover good ways for agile teams to do testing, and for testers to add value to agile teams. She contributes agile testing articles to publications such as Better Software Magazine, Methods and Tools and Novatica.
W4. Mastering the Art of Change
One challenge that change agents face in technical organizations is that change involves two components: A technical component and a people component. The technical component is often logical, linear, and straightforward. Technical change agents are usually skilled at designing the technical components of a change.
The people component is not so straightforward. Change agents, especially ones whose expertise is in technology, often find themselves overwhelmed at the messy, chaotic, unpredictable responses that happen whenever real change bumps up against real people.
In Dale’s hands-on workshop you will learn and practice powerful tools for positive change. Some tools help you design change efforts to account for the messier parts of change. Others help you sort through the chaos to tap the energy and information hidden within. Yet others help you stay focused, flexible, and sane as you guide the important improvements you envision for your organization.
Dale Emery helps software people lead more effectively to create greater value for their customers, for their colleagues, and for themselves.
Dale has worked in the software industry since 1980, as a developer, manager, process steward, trainer, and consultant. Since 1995, he has consulted to IT and software product development organizations about leadership, software development, process improvement, software testing, project management, and team and interpersonal effectiveness.
Dale’s personal mission is to help people create value, joy, and meaning in their work. He especially enjoys helping people discover and apply untapped talents to serve their deeply held values.
W5. Agile Inspection
The most serious problems in a project can often be traced back to documents that are:
This can be very expensive – misunderstood requirements can cost thousands in rework and retesting. Inspection, the most powerful type of review, can remove these problems very early and very cheaply. But “full-blown” inspection may be “over-kill” – especially for agile projects.
How can you get the benefits of a proven effective technique in an economical way? This agile approach takes the essential and most critical aspects of inspection, applying them immediately and flexibly.
Dot’s workshop introduces the minimal concepts needed to understand how to get started. Attendees then apply this to their own documents (bring them with you to the workshop). At the end of this workshop, delegates will be able to use Agile Inspection to measure and improve the quality of their documents or code.
Dorothy Graham is the founder of Grove Consultants, which provides advice, training and inspiration in software testing, testing tools, and Inspection. Dot is co-author with Tom Gilb of “Software Inspection” (1993), co-author with Mark Fewster of “Software Test Automation” (1999) both published by Addison-Wesley, and co-author with Rex Black, Erik van Veenendaal and Isabel Evans of “Foundations of Software Testing: ISTQB Certification” Thompson, 2007.
Dot was Programme Chair for the first EuroSTAR Conference in 1993. She is on the editorial board of the Better Software magazine. She was a founder member of the UK ISEB Software Testing Board, which provides Foundation and Practitioner Certificates in Software Testing. She was a member of the working party that produced the ISTQB Foundation Syllabus, and is a member of the UK Software Testing Advisory Group. She is a popular and entertaining speaker at international conferences worldwide. Dorothy received the European Excellence Award in Software Testing in 1999.
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