Northern Lights

Wednesday 27 April 2016

9.00am - 5.00pm

Capita IT Professional Services, 5th Floor, Churchgate House, 56 Oxford St, Manchester, M1 6EU
Close by Oxford Road and Manchester Piccadilly rail stations.

£50 for BCS Members and £60 for non-members (inc. VAT)

Event details:

This one day conference from the BCS Software Testing Specialist Group (SIGiST) is aimed at software testing practitioners who are interested in future trends in software testing. Learn how to prepare yourselves for the revolutions of digital transformation and DevOps. Find out why test automation just got more complicated and what you can do about it. Enjoy an interactive session facilitated by Chris Ambler to examine the future trends that are starting to shape our testing profession. Discover a potential new decision making framework for testing (Cynefin) that has been making waves in the agile and LEAN communities.

With a strong programme, many local speakers and an opening keynote from the chairman of the SIGiST (Dr Stuart Reid) we are sure you will make time in your busy schedules to come and see the “Northern Lights”.

Final Programme

BCS Software Testing Specialist Group - Manchester 27 April 2016 “Northern Lights”

  • 9.00am - Welcome, introductions and networking
  • 9.30am - Stuart Reid - Digital Transformation and Testing
  • 10.30am - Gordon McKeown - Tools. Techniques. Trouble?
  • 11.30am - Coffee/Tea break
  • 11.45am - Stuart Taylor - DevOps is coming. Are you ready?
  • 12.45pm - Lunch break and networking
  • 2.00pm - Chris Ambler - Transitioning from 'Technology Driven Consumerism' to 'Consumer Driven Technology'
  • 3.00pm - Coffee/Tea break
  • 3.30pm - Duncan Nisbet - Cynefin - A decision making framework for testers?
  • 4.30pm - Stephen Allott - Summary of the day, things to take away
  • 5.00pm - Close

Presentation abstracts and speaker bios

Digital Transformation and Testing

The world is going through a digital transformation; today’s consumers expect to be securely connected, wherever they are, 24 hours a day. To compete in this changing world organizations are successfully using new technologies, such as mobile, cloud, big data and analytics. But from a testing perspective there is a danger of getting left behind and being unable to meet customers’ increasing expectations for quality. In response, testing budgets have increased dramatically (from 18% in 2012 up to 35% in 2015 according to one global survey). However, simply increasing the proportion of the IT budget used for testing cannot go on unchecked – our testing must be more efficient and more effective.

We must ensure that our testing makes full use of the latest available technologies, including those that are causing some of our biggest challenges. This talk will present the main challenges facing software testing and show how new technologies and practices can help to resolve them. A number of ideas will be considered, including cloud-based testing, testing centres of excellence, crowd testing and a/b testing.

Stuart Reid is CTO at STA Testing Consulting. He has over 30 years’ experience in the IT industry, working in development, testing and education. Application areas range from safety-critical to financial and media. Stuart supports the worldwide testing community in a number of roles. He is convener of the ISO Software Testing Working Group, which is developing the new ISO 29119 Software Testing standards, and founded the International Software Testing Qualifications Board (ISTQB) to promote software testing qualifications globally.

PDF Icon Digital Transformation Article

PDF Icon Digital Transformation & Testing

Tools. Techniques. Trouble? Why test automation is getting more difficult and what can be done about it.

Software testing is becoming more challenging whilst the volume of testing required is increasing. The key to testing effectively is automation but this in turn is becoming more difficult. This is partly due to organisational and economic factors like the increasing number of suppliers involved in delivering systems and the desire for frequent releases. Technology changes are also making life difficult with diverse application clients running on multiple platforms and the increased use of mobile technology that has made testing with variable network conditions a significant requirement. The “Good Old Days” of simple test scripts for web applications is long gone as client software is now multi-threaded, asynchronous and secure and may use bespoke data formats and protocols. In the age of the “mix-in” even defining the System Under Test may prove to be a challenge!

The presentation will examine these challenges and make some suggestions as to how they might be overcome.

Gordon McKeown is Group Product Management Director at TestPlant and has been involved with the creation of software testing tools for nearly two decades, working with major private and public sector organisations. Gordon was one of the original designers of the eggPlant Performance tool and is a Fellow of the BCS.

PDF Icon Tools. Techniques. Trouble?

DevOps is coming. Are you ready?

Many organisations are embracing DevOps as an enabler; allowing them to deploy whole environments using many of the tenants of continuous delivery. They believe that in order to achieve DevOps they must "automate all the things", creating magical glue that will unify Development and Operations teams, thus preventing infighting, and guarantee collaboration forevermore. All of that "glue" is code. This creates many new challenges for the testing team:

  • If the network is defined entirely by software, how do you test it?
  • Netflix use their famous "chaos monkey", but what does it do, and how does it help?
  • For DevOps to succeed, the team need to build for failure. How do you successfully test for failure?

These and more challenges will be discussed and some possible solutions highlighted. DevOps is coming, are you ready?

Stuart Taylor is the Head of I/O (Infrastructure & Operations) for one of the UK’s busiest travel websites, an ISEB certified Test Practitioner, Change Agent and Agile Evangelist.

Transitioning from 'Technology Driven Consumerism' to ' Consumer Driven technology'

The world is changing. We are moving from the 'Industrial Revolution' into the new 'Digital Revolution’. So what does this mean for testers? Our masters have always been the IT heirarchy with the effort being around identifying the technical issues around application and system development. We are starting to see that ownership is changing and our direction is starting to come from the consumer, supported by marketing. Many Digital Testing Groups are owned by CMO’s (Chief Marketing Officers) and are more about consumer needs with IT only playing a supporting role. This interactive session will discuss and debate:

  • Is this the future and how can we influence it?
  • How does this change our roles as testers?
  • Will our current methods and tools still be fit for purpose?

Looking at technology today and what is on the horizon, what we saw as the future only a short while ago is now the present and this is the opportunity for you to give your thoughts and ideas on how we work in this new exciting world.

Chris Ambler - As Director for Digital Entertainment for Edge Testing and a Fellow of the British Computer Society, Chris has a software testing career spanning over 35 years. His experience covers a huge variety of projects in many industries including banking, insurance, defence, telecoms, transport and gaming. He set up Microsoft Game Studio’s European video games testing division and prior to that he was the European QA Director at Electronic Arts. Chris is a highly regarded thought leader in the industry and is a regular keynote speaker at international conferences, speaking about software testing and video games development. Committed to quality at the right price, Chris is dedicated to creating a professional approach to testing and quality delivery:

Cynefin - A decision making framework for testers?

Cynefin is a decision making framework starting to make traction in the Lean & Agile communities. Liz Keogh has done / is doing lots of work into Cynefin for software development as a whole, but this presentation asks how can the framework be used for Testing?
Issues discussed include:

  • The Cynefin Framework
  • How it fits in software development (according to Liz Keogh)
  • How it fits into testing, including dealing with bugs
  • Shallow dive into Complexity Thinking.

Duncan Nisbet is a Tester who believes development teams & the larger business can be smarter at working together. He coaches Testers, Programmers & Business folk on how they can help each other communicate & collaborate in order to deliver software which will actually help to solve the problem. His efforts are focussed both during the everyday development and in team workshops which he facilitates. Duncan also blogs at & lurks on Twitter @duncnisbet.

PDF Icon Cynefin - A decision making framework for testers?