13th International Conference on Software Quality

Software Division of
The American Society for Quality

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Tutorials - Thursday, October 9, 2003:

Full Day Tutorial Sessions:

7:00 a.m. - 8:00 a.m.    Continental Breakfast

8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.    Full-Day Tutorials

Noon - 1:00 p.m.            Lunch


TUT07: Using ITIL and CobiT for Improving IT Processes - Bill Curtis    CANCELLED

To help IT organizations understand how to use ITIL and CobiT for improving the performance of their operations.  To enlighten IT organizations on how to use the Process Maturity Framework that underlies the Software CMM and CMMI for introducing best practices and improved discipline into their operations. Topics include:

  • Overview of IT organizations and the standards that affect them. This introduction will briefly describe the typical components of an IT organization and some of the standards used to evaluate them. It will set the stage for the main topics of the tutorial.

  • CobiT provides organizations with a way to determine whether they are exercising proper governance over their IT operations. CobiT consists     of 34 control objectives with greater detail to explain how each one can be objective, can be implemented, and its performance evaluated. The tutorial will present an overview of the issues covered by CobiT.

  • ITIL is a collection of best practices in such areas as service delivery, service support, service security, infrastructure management, and application management. Although ITIL attempts to cover all areas of IT, its guidance is stronger in areas of service delivery and support than in application development. The tutorial will present an overview of the guidance offered by ITIL and the related British Standard 15000 for different IT areas.

  • Recommendations - An approach that integrates ITIL and CobiT into a process maturity framework for implementation in IT organizations will be described. Lessons learned from process improvement in IT organizations will be discussed. The tutorial will conclude with recommendations on how to best integrate these standards for improving IT functions.

 Bill Curtis' biography and information about his keynote.


TUT08: An Introduction to Context-Driven Test Methodology - James Bach

What happens when testers from different parts of the testing field come together and share experiences? Too often, they fight. They ridicule each other’s practices. What happens  when a company that has always done testing one way is faced with new competitive pressures, time pressures, new  technology, new regulatory requirements, or new people who don’t share the same practice culture? They adapt or they flounder.

Introducing context-driven test methodology, an approach to  testing that does not rely on canned ideas— best practices— to define how to test a product. Practices are useful to talk about, but the central focus of context-driven testing is the skilled practitioner. We focus on developing the judgment to see a testing situation, reason about it, discuss it, and decide how best to solve the testing problem in that specific context. Context-driven thinkers are better able to share ideas with people who come from different practical traditions, and better able to adapt their testing to changing project conditions.

It is easy to demonstrate that there are no best practices, only good practices in context. It is not so easy to take the next step, and answer the question, “Ok, how do you know what practices to use in which contexts?” Answering that question is a prime concern of context-driven test methodology. A principal tool we use to do that is the "heuristic."  A heuristic is a guideline that, in the hands of a skilled practitioner, helps him or her quickly and reliably work through the issues and construct a test approach that fits.

Context-driven testing does not reject traditional best practices of testing, it merely redefines them as “good practices in context” and seeks to deploy them wisely, or reinvent them when necessary. Taught by a founding member of the context-driven school, this tutorial will help you better articulate your test practices and reason about them.

James Bach's biography and information about his keynote.


TUT09: Everything Project Managers Need to Know About Requirements But Were Too Busy to Ask - Johanna Rothman

Many of us start projects with fuzzy requirements or  mandates: “Get me a blatz by next June,” where the only defined piece of the project is the ship date. Or, maybe you start projects with a demand for a feature by a certain date. You have to decide how many other features you have to fit into this release, how many people you need, and how good it’s going to be — all before you have any idea what the initial demand truly is.

Welcome to project requirements. By adapting product requirements techniques to the project, you can determine what you’re supposed to do, how quickly, how well, and with whom.

As a project manager, you don’t just have to know the project’s requirements, you also have to know enough about the product’s requirements to plan, monitor, and complete the project. We’ll discuss how to iterate between the project and product requirements to build a plan and  a schedule, and plan for measurements and for release.  Attendees will learn to:

  • Define project requirements and how they are similar to and different from product requirements

  • Quickly learn their project’s requirements

  • Improve starting projects for success

  • Prevent disconnect between themselves and management

  • Develop communication skills about the project with the technical staff and management.

 Johanna Rothman's biography and information about her invited speaker presentation.


TUT10: Stocking the Tester's Toolbox - Danny R. Faught    CANCELLED

Almost all software development organizations use tools to help with testing, if nothing more than a simple defect- tracking mechanism. Most organizations either do some amount of test execution automation or plan to introduce such automation. Introducing automation for test execution is a big step, and it doesn’t always succeed. But the most profitable investment in tooling may not come from automating test execution, especially in the short term.

Organizations need to consider the full range of tools that are available to testers. They also need to better understand how test execution fits into the picture, so that they’re more likely to get a good return on their tooling investment.

A feature of this tutorial will be the use of freeware test tools. Tool demonstrations during the workshop will use freeware tools wherever possible so that participants can immediately try the tools themselves when they return to the office. Participants will be invited to try some of the tools themselves during the tutorial. 

Danny R. Faught has ten years of experience with software quality. For the last several years he has focused on test tool issues, and has recently presented at Quality Week, the Software Test Automation Conference, and the local Software Process Improvement Network (SEI SPIN affiliate). He has published several articles in STQE magazine. Danny maintains a current CSQE certification and is a Senior Member of the ASQ.


TUT11: eXtreme Programming: What It Is and When to Use It - Herb Krasner

Gain an understanding of what eXtreme Programming (XP) is all about from an objective viewpoint. You will learn to make informed decisions about whether XP is right for your organization and projects, how it can fit into your current approach, and how to adapt XP to optimize your performance. You will be immersed in the details of XP, providing a clear, objective view of the value to be gained with these practices, and the associated costs you can expect to incur.  Topics include:

  • The agility movement and XP

  • XP background and history

  • XP and other modern approaches – a comparison

  • The values and principles of XP and the economics of XP success

  • Controlling the four success variables (cost, time, scope, and  quality) in an XP project

  • XP process model

  • XP roles of customer, developer, and management

  • The 12 XP practices – a cohesive collection of best practices

  • Certain key practices and techniques explored

  • To do XP or not: tradeoffs in determining whether XP is a  good fit for your projects

  • Implementation of XP projects: prerequisites for success

  • Industry case studies: successes, failures, and misunderstandings

  • Automated tools and other support for successful  implementation of XP

Her Krasner's biography and information about his invited speaker presentation.


Half Day Tutorial Sessions:

7:00 a.m. - 8:00 a.m.  Continental Breakfast

8:00 a.m. - Noon         Half-Day Morning Tutorial

Noon - 1:00 p.m.         Lunch *

1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.  Half-Day Afternoon Tutorial

* Lunch is included only with full-day or two half-day tutorials.


Half-Day Morning Tutorial:

TUT12: Career Challenges and Opportunities for Software Quality Professionals: Competing and Thriving in Today’s Economy - Eric Patel

Those of us who have been part of the software quality community for some time have witnessed numerous changes in our profession. Quality leaders have come and gone. Trends, fads, and methodologies have been invented, evolved, and repackaged. Companies have formed, changed, or disintegrated. In such a constant sea of change, how well have we navigated? And more important, what lies ahead for us in the near future? 

We are constantly faced with numerous career challenges and opportunities: new technology, new tools, and even new industries. With a cyclical, growing economy, how do you plan for short- and long-term strategy? Are career stability and success sure things? If not, what can we do to mitigate some of the inevitable risks and stay the course?

As a hiring manager, what should you be concerned with? Finding and retaining talent is vital. Yet most hiring managers, even HR professionals, do not do as good of a job as they can with these important tasks. Often the problem starts with the company not knowing its requirements: not knowing what it wants or needs in terms of staff augmentation. Without a goal, the journey can turn out to be a hard lesson learned with wasted time, effort, and costs. It’s more than just putting in the required time. Due diligence must be a conscious effort, refined, and practiced on an ongoing basis.

As a software quality candidate, what can you do to keep your career on track? With so many of us out of work, one would think that we have plenty of time to spend charting our next course. Yet many of us do not spend enough time – hardly any time, in fact – planning our careers. We go from job to job, hopping from position to position, with sometimes no more of a goal than to constantly increase our salary and/or improve our job title. There’s more to our work life than that, isn’t there? What about quality of life? Lifestyle? Actually enjoying our work and what we do? Come learn about how to compete and thrive in today's economy.

Eric Patel is Chief Quality Officer for RapidSQA, a software training and consulting solutions provider.  He is co-founder of the Nokia Quality Forum (NQF) Boston and the QAI Boston Federation Chapter, and also is creator of the RapidSQA methodology for Web testing. Eric has over 12 years of experience in software testing, management, and quality assurance. He has been certified by ASQ as a quality manager and software quality engineer, and by QAI as a software test engineer.

Eric is a frequent presenter at software quality conferences and meetings. As Regional Councilor for the ASQ Software Division Region 1, Eric maintains active memberships in ASQ and IEEE. Published in Software Quality Professional (SQP) and STQE, he also serves as a reviewer for SQP and The Journal of

Software Testing Professionals. In addition, Eric is co-founder and instructor with Northeastern University's new Certificate Program in Software Quality Assurance. He holds a BSEE from the University of Vermont.


Half-Day Afternoon Tutorial:

TUT13: Software Estimation - Bob Galen

The project and cultural dynamics of planning and estimating are a great challenge facing technologists today. There is ever-increasing pressure to “get things done,” so there is little time for estimation or planning. All too often, business-derived dates or unrealistic dates drive projects. In conjunction with this, teams lack solid estimating and planning skills.  This usually results in resorting to “quick best guesses.” We then compensate for poor estimates and plans by trying to work harder,  which has a low probability of success.

Tom Galen will introduce you to a variety of team collaboration and brainstorming techniques for leveraging the skills already within your team to produce and qualify your plans. Almost half the workshop is spent in exercises so attendees will learn to apply the techniques.

Robert Galen is employed at EMC Corporation in Research Triangle Park, NC as a Sr. QA & Test Manager. He has also recently started a consulting firm, RGalen Consulting Group, L.L.C., where he is Principal Consultant. Bob has held director, manager and contributor level positions in both software development and quality assurance organizations. He has over 20 years of experience working in the following domains:

  • Computer systems

  • Financial trading systems