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Innovation: From the Tester’s Viewpoint

Jason Arbon, appdiff.com
Innovation is not usually associated with testing or quality assurance. For our field to tackle the quality issues of modern applications and remain relevant, we must innovate. The good news is that there are lots of opportunity to innovate today. Sharing hard-earned tips and tricks, Jason Arbon describes how to identify low-hanging fruit for innovation, how to innovate with or without programming skills, how to fail gracefully, how to tell if what you are doing is actually innovative, and how to present innovation to your company and maximize adoption while getting credit for your work. Discover how to find time to innovate when your manager isn’t supportive or when you think you are too busy with your real job. Innovation isn’t just cool—it’s necessary for job security and career aspirations in today’s fast-moving world. Jason draws on real world experiences at Google, Microsoft, Applause.com/uTest.com, and his work with many top testers. You need to innovate—now more than ever. Find out how.

Deliberate Testing in an Agile World

Dan North, Dan North & Associates
In the decade since agile has gone mainstream, testing has received more emphasis—and in many organizations an automated test suite is now a prerequisite for delivery. For the first time, testing is a core activity within an integrated dev team rather than a downstream activity to be commoditized or outsourced. However, when you scratch the surface of agile testing, it seems we have lulled ourselves into a false sense of security. In an era of “automate all tests,” testing on agile projects broadly falls into two categories: automated deterministic testing provided by TDD, BDD, ATDD, and friends; and manual exploratory testing, carried out by expert testers. However rigorously we apply these methods, entire classes of tests aren't being considered, and entire groups of stakeholders are falling through the testing net. Not all automated testing should be deterministic; not all testing should be automated. Dan North helps identify the gaps in your testing approach. By considering testing as a risk management exercise viewed through the eyes of multiple stakeholders, Dan hopes you will share his mild panic about how much testing we aren't doing.

Lightning Strikes the Keynotes

Lee Copeland, Software Quality Engineering
Throughout the years, Lightning Talks have been a popular part of the STAR conferences. If you’re not familiar with the concept, Lightning Talks consists of a series of five-minute talks by different speakers within one presentation period. Lightning Talks are the opportunity for speakers to deliver their single biggest bang-for-the-buck idea in a rapid-fire presentation. And now, lightning has struck the STAR keynotes. Some of the best-known experts in testing will step up to the podium and give you their best shot of lightning. Get multiple keynote presentations for the price of one—and have some fun at the same time.

Blunders in Test Automation

Dorothy Graham, Software Test Consultant
In chess, the word blunder means a very bad move by someone who should know better. Even though functional test automation has been around for a long time, people still make some very bad moves and serious blunders. The most common misconception in automation is thinking that manual testing is the same as automated testing. And this thinking accounts for most of the blunders in system level test automation. Dorothy Graham takes us on a tour of these blunders, including: the Stable-Application Myth (you can’t start automating until the application is stable), Inside-the-Box Thinking (automating only the obvious test execution), the Project/Non-Project Dilemma (failing to treat automation like a project by not funding or resourcing it, and treating automation as only a project). Other blunders include Testing-Tools-Test, Silver Bullet, Automating the Wrong Thing, Who Needs GPS, How Hard Can It Be, and Isolationism. Different skills, approaches, and objectives are needed or you’ll end up with inefficient automation, high maintenance costs, and wasted effort. Join Dot to discover how you can avoid these common blunders and achieve valuable test automation.

The Future of the Software Testing Profession

Mike Sowers, Software Quality Engineering
The world of testers and test managers—like most professions—continues to evolve. Some say the more things change, the more things stay the same; others say that testing as a profession is dying. These divergent views raise compelling questions. Are we approaching the era of minimal defects in which testing is diminished? Or is testing on the brink of becoming the most important aspect of software development as the risk of failure grows exponentially? What role will testers play on development teams? What critical skills will testers need in the future? After taking a hard look at where testing has been, Mike Sowers presents his and others’ views of the key drivers that are shaping the future role of software testers and test leaders. Mike explores how testing is impacted by technology (cloud, mobile, wearables), process (development and testing methodologies), and innovation. He then shares observations on and recommendations for staying competent, competitive, and relevant as a results-driven dev/test team member in your organization.
Renaissance Orlando at Sea World®
Immerse yourself in luxury while attending STAREAST 2016 at the Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld®. Their deluxe accommodations and premier location across from SeaWorld® and near LEGOLAND® inspire unforgettable experiences. Well-appointed guest rooms offer ample space for relaxing and boast thoughtful and comfortable amenities for a sound night's sleep or productive business day. Bringing the family? Children in your party can splash around at R Aqua Zone, a waterpark built to excite, while grownups can break a sweat in our state-of-the-art fitness center. Five restaurants, a Starbucks® and ice cream shop will please all palates. Pamper yourself in style at the full-service Neu Lotus Spa and enjoy a massage, facial or scrub. Looking to explore Orlando like a local? Ask our friendly Navigator for tips about hidden gems and plan your next big adventure at Renaissance now.
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"I liked the passion of all the people involved. People were excited to share their knowledge and help other people solve their problems. Very nice community of testers."
Lindsay King, Software Release Engineer
"1st time at a conference. So interesting to learn about the various topics—wonderful speakers. Loved it! Thank you."
Sheila Pike, Business Systems Analyst
"Tons of great ideas and concepts I can take back with me and share with my organization. I loved networking with other QA to discuss problems and solutions."
Brian Kitchener, Software Quality Engineer III
"The tutorials were top-notch content and an excellent value."
Will Foy, QA Team Lead