Recording: Building a Successful Test Center of Excellence – STPCon 2013

I am happy to share with you a link to a recorded session of a 75 minute presentation i did for STPCon in Phoenix, AZ in October 2013.

This presentation was one of many that I had with the conference, and it covered “Building a Sucessful Test Center of Excellence”. 

I would love your feedback on this presentaiton and any inputs you have on it.  But I hope it helps you in your testing roles.

The link can be found at the STP site below:

http://www.softwaretestpro.com/Item/5872/Session-503-Building-a-Successful-Test-Center-of-Excellence/Quality-Assurance-Teams-Management-Software-Test-Professionals-Conference

Thanks to all of my followers for keeping up with me on this site!

Ask The Tester – December 2013 Issue – Is Out!

Thanks to everyone that provided inputs to the Ask The Tester column.

We had some great questions for Melissa Tondi, and I invite you to take a look at the finished article at the STP site below:

http://www.softwaretestpro.com/Item/5878/

When you got there, you can sign up for a free membership if you are unable to read the article.

Get ready for our next article.  I will be interviewing Keith Klain — stay tuned to this site for the upcoming opportunity to ask him questions.

STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING – and Sign up for this Webinar!

You are not going to want to miss this webinar on Tuesday, December 17 from 11am-12pm EST.

Do you believe in metrics?  I mean do you REALLY believe in them?  Or do you think they are stupid, useless, and cause more damage than good?

Does your company use metrics that are telling the wrong story?  Are they causing misinterpretations?  Or do you have the best metrics in the business and feel that others should be like you?

Well, its very likely that the number of people that are for and are against the value of metrics is split down the middle.  And I have always said that “BAD Metrics are worse than No Metrics at all”.

I’m on a mission —- I want to engage with various views on this topic, and, thanks to XBOSoft, we have setup a webinar for Tuesday, December 17 which will include Rex Black and Jay Philips in a panel discussion with me on various topics related to Metrics and Measurement.

You will not want to miss this, and we will be planning to take questions from the audience…..COME JOIN US FOR THE FUN!

Here is the link to sign up – do it now before you forget — it’s easy and you are in, and most importantly its FREE!

https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/667518358

Hope to hear from you soon!  Below is a description of the webinar that I wrote…….and some of the takeaways:

“The Good, The Bad, and the Metrics”

Webinar presented by XBOSoft

Panel: Mike Lyles, Jay Philips, Rex Black

Has your organization ever considered replacing a tester that did not write, for example, 15 test cases per day? Is the testing team blamed if defect leakage is greater than 5% into production?  What drives decisions like these?  The common thread in these examples is “Test Metrics”

Test Metrics… Everyone has an opinion about them. Some believe they are the most valuable way to communicate the results of testing. Some think that they are useless, misleading, and damaging to the communication of test results. Some believe that without measurement you are not managing the effort. And some believe that bad metrics are worse than no metrics at all.

Where does your organization fit in the metrics and measurement debates?  Is your team aligned?  Do you agree with the team?  Do you use a reporting process for test results?  Are you forced to report on metrics you don’t believe are valuable?  Do you have dozens of metrics that you are reporting periodically that no one looks at, and when they do look at them, there is room for misinterpretation?

In this webinar, Mike Lyles will challenge a panel of experts to discuss the topic of metrics and measurement, review multiple viewpoints on the topic, and address many of the questions that organizations have today around metrics and measurement.

Join us as we open for questions from the webinar audience in a highly interactive webinar that will benefit all skill levels from beginner to expert.

Key Takeaways:

  • Top metrics that are misused or misunderstood in most every organization
  • What metrics should you get rid of ASAP?
  • Best and Worst metrics – based on opinions of the panel & audience
  • Metrics that everyone should use – and how they compare to your organization’s metrics
  • Tools and processes that can help your organization better measure your testing

My Latest Article (part 1 of 2) – Tea Time with Testers

I’m happy to announce that my latest article “Are You Smarter than a Test Manager”, has been published this week in the testing magazine, “Tea Time with Testers”.

This will be a two part series, with part two coming next month.  The first month contains some information on test management, and interviews with some of the well known names in testing.

Check out the article at the link for the magazine below:

http://www.teatimewithtesters.com/

Your feedback and input is appreciated!  Let me know what you think!

What is the “State of Testing” today?

Have you ever looked back and realized how much IT has progressed in the past 5-10 years?  It seems like we have used ipods for much longer than the October 2001 release of the device.  The iphone didn’t come out until 2007, the Samsung Galaxy until 2009, and the iPad was not a household name until April 2010.

I’m not telling you this because I keep up with Apple history.  What I want you to realize is that while technology has grown so quickly through the years, especially the last 5-10, so has the advances in the testing community.  I, myself, have seen the most changes in the last 2-5 years.  However, we don’t have a good historical view of the advances that we have experienced

If you have been in testing for any amount of time, you know there has been a lot of activity, evolution, and advancement over the last 5-10 years.  However, this information is not centrally stored and recorded.  I recently learned that Lalit Bhamare with Tea-time with Testers., and Joel Montvelisky (his blog is found at QA Intelligence – a QABlog) were creating a survey to review the state of testing, and to attempt to centralized the advances in the testing world over the last 5-10 years.

The survey is in progress, and it is going to run for 10 days.  Don’t miss out to let your voice be heard.  Your input is so greatly crucial to helping this project be as successful and accurate as it possibly can!

Please go out immediately and take this survey.  Hundreds have taken it already, and you can be part of it too!  The link is below:

TAKE-THE-SURVEY-HERE

But there’s more that you can do!  Share this link on all of your social media sites and help these guys get more of the testing community involved.

While I’m not involved in creating this survey, analyzing the results, or compiling the report, I do strongly support this and hope that you can too!

Happy Thanksgiving 2013

Happy Thanksgiving to all my blog followers!  Through the past few years, my connections on this site, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social media has grown so fast – consisting of family, friends, co-workers, new friends met in the testing world, leaders, speakers, and some folks who have decided to follow me (and make me feel like I’m someone important!)

In 2013, I am so thankful for:

  • My family for supporting me all of my life & encouraging me, most importantly for understanding all the times I put into my career and my speaking/writing
  • My long time friends – especially ones that have been there many years!  I wouldn’t take anything for the times I had growing up.  I met so many great friends – most of you are here on Facebook now!
  • My church friends – thanks for welcoming our family in with open arms and for giving me so many opportunities to be part of it
  • My new friends – who have became very close friends – my network of friends is growing so fast that it’s hard to believe sometimes.
  • My co-workers – who make work fun instead of just a “job”.  We’ve had ups and downs over the years, but after a long time, it feels good to love the work we are doing – and we’re just getting started on great things!
  • My testing friends – I have learned so much from so many – and I hope that in the past few years I have been able to return the favor
  • The publications and magazine folks – who gave me a change to write, even when I was not even known in testing and the literary world
  • The conference folks – who gave me a chance to speak for them, especially to STP for giving me the opportunity to teach an all day course and most importantly on the opportunities that are coming in 2014!

I love the many quotes of Zig Ziglar, especially the ones around being grateful.  He had a quote that said “Among the things you can give and still keep are:  Your Word, Your Smile, and A Grateful Heart“.

I pray that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving – be grateful for what you have today and throughout.  I’m thankful for each of you in my life and I look forward to what 2014 brings us!

How Aligned Is Your Test Organization?

Disagreement-b1The testing profession has been around for many years – and we live in a world where change is constant.  Technologies are moving at the speed of light, new approaches are being introduced for planning, developing, and testing products.

In the rush to keep up, have we lost the control over the alignment in the team?  How many of us are unsure of the perfect answer to some of the questions and hot topic discussions today?  Are there areas where your group is not in alignment?  The answer is probably yes. Being a testing practitioner requires understanding the many schools of testing and who is supporting those schools.  It is important for testing professionals to understand the common topics where organizations are not in sync.

I am compiling expanded examples for two upcoming conferences I am speaking for in October.  As I prepare for these presentations, I am compiling hundreds of responses I received in a testing survey I took in early 2013.  Some of the area folks felt their teams were not aligned were:

  • Metrics – which are core to supporting test managers and the team?  Are they useful?  Misleading?
  • Test Certifications verses self-disciplined training (blogs, articles, consulting, etc.)
  • What is the role of the testing team in the decision to move a release to production?
  • Automation verses Manual testing – various sub-topics
  • Top 3 ways to show the value of the testing organization to the rest of the company

I NEED YOUR HELP!! => I would like your inputs, this week, ASAP, on other areas where you see teams are not aligned – and they may be split in their beliefs.  I appreciate any comments and postings you provide here, and I thank each of you in advance!

Ask the Tester – August 2013 – Taking Questions NOW through 9/13/2013

Thanks to everyone that submitted questions for our article last month.  The interview with Jari Laakso from YOPESO was just published – you can see the updates at the following link: Ask The Tester July 2013

However, it’s time for our next article… and I need your help.  If you’re a test practitioner, leader, or simply have testing related questions for my August 2013 candidate, please submit a comment to this blog.  If selected, your question will be published in our next Ask The Tester column.  I will be taking questions here through Friday, September 13th.

Submit your comment / question as soon as possible and increase your chances of being part of our article!!  So let me tell you a little about Melissa Tondi……

  • Melissa has been in the Software Test/QA/Quality Engineering field for more than 15 years.
  • She has focused on organizing Software Testing teams around three major tenets: efficiency, innovation, and culture.
  • In her current role, she is the Vice President of Mobile practice for ProtoTest
  • She is the founder of Denver Mobile and Automation Quality Engineering (DMAQ) community.
  • Her previous roles have been as:
    • Director of Software Quality Engineering for a 150+ person org for the world’s largest education company
    • QA Consultant for healthcare, finance, and software-as-a-service (SAAS) industries
    • President of Colorado’s Software Quality Association of Denver (SQuAD).
  • In her role with ProtoTest, she is building a Testing practice in the innovative world of Mobile where the concentration is on Functional, Performance, Security and User Experience and the innovative testing techniques that are rising in the Mobile Testing arena.

Follow Melissa on Twitter @melissatondi

Please submit your questions below as comments to this blog.  Please add the following so that we can include in the article:

  • Your Name
  • Title
  • Company / group
  • Geographical location

Melissa will now take your questions!

Ask the Tester – July 2013

It’s been four months since my last article with STP – but we are published again today!

Please take a look at my latest interview with Jari Laakso.  And thanks to each and everyone who contributed to the questions.

I will be creating a new blog this weekend to open up for questions for my next interview ‘victim’, Melissa Tondi.

Here’s the link to the article published today – I hope you enjoy it!

Ask the Tester – July 2013

And check out the STPCon Conference, coming this October in Phoenix, AZ.  Please try to attend!