Opening Keynote: A Leader's Guide to Building a Quality Culture
Presenter: Alan Page
For many of us, the days of functional organizations of testers are gone. The commonly adversarial relationship between test and development that existed years ago just doesn’t exist anymore. Many of us lead teams of “embedded testers”, who work deeply and collaboratively within a feature team to ensure that testing is done throughout the product cycle.
These modern organizational structures encourage quick cycle time and continuous testing. Software quality has, arguably, improved for many of our teams; but quality issues still occur much more than any of us would like.
When quality issues do arise, it’s never a good idea to put the blame on anyone. These days, we talk a lot about “whole team quality”, and expect everyone to do their part to create quality software. The team, as a whole, takes responsibility for quality together. A culture where everyone on the team holds a high quality standard is hard to imagine for some teams, but it’s not an unreachable feat. While it’s a fact that we can’t hold quality professionals responsible for product quality, perhaps we can hold them responsible (and accountable) for the quality culture of the team.
In this talk, twenty-five year testing veteran Alan Page shares his definition of quality culture; why it’s important for test and quality specialists to take ownership of the quality culture; gives example and stories about building and improving a quality culture (including what he’s seen that has worked well, and what has failed), and shares many proven ideas and practices you can use to build and improve a quality culture in your own organization.
MC: Managing the Modern Tester
Presenter: Alan Page
There’s little doubt that the approach to software quality is quite different than it was even a few years ago. Release schedules are faster; development approaches are different; and our customer expectations are changing. We’ve seen many software testers embrace these changes (and have seen a few others struggle as well). A topic critically important (but too often ignored) in these transitions is the role of the manager in leading software testers and software teams toward creating high quality software amongst all of this change.
Software quality veteran, and current Quality Director, Alan Page guides you through successful approaches to every aspect of managing and leading teams of 21st century software testers. Drawing heavily from the participant’s experiences and needs - as well as his own history of leading software teams, this workshop dives deep on topics ranging from one-on-ones; giving and receiving feedback; how to run successful team meetings; developing vision, mission and strategy; career growth; and evaluating performance.
Workshop attendees will leave with concrete examples of how to successfully manage and lead their teams and help them grow and succeed in today’s changing times.
MC: The Community Builder’s Guidebook
Presenter: Alan Page
“None of us is as smart as all of us”
― Kenneth H. Blanchard
There are countless attributes, activities, and aspects that can influence software quality. Far too many for any single person - or even a small number of people to fathom - especially on complex software products. However, finding a successful way to connect people and align them towards a common goal or vision is often the difference between software that “works”, and software that delights customers.
A community of any kind is an effective and efficient way for all of us to discover new information - but communities do not typically appear out of nowhere. They need a seed or a purpose - along with a nurturing environment in order to grow.
In this workshop, Alan Page, current Quality Director at Unity Technologies (and former leader of several test, quality, and engineering communities at Microsoft) discusses his experiences and approaches building successful, self-sustaining communities throughout his career.
This highly interactive workshop will draw heavily from input and context from participants, and will include discussions of community purpose; identifying and addressing skill gaps; creating training; kicking off and sustaining communities; and centers of excellence.
Participants will leave with guidelines, ideas, and examples of how and when to build community to help themselves and their teams grow and achieve more growth and success.
Alan Page has been a software tester for over 25 years, and is currently the Director of Quality for Services at Unity Technologies. Previous to Unity, Alan spent 22 years at Microsoft working on projects spanning the company - including a two year position as Microsoft's Director of Test Excellence.
Alan was the lead author of the book "How We Test Software at Microsoft", contributed chapters for "Beautiful Testing", and "Experiences of Test Automation: Case Studies of Software Test Automation". His latest ebook (which may or may not be updated soon) is a collection of essays on test automation called "The A Word: Under the Covers of Test Automation", and is available on leanpub.