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The Next Decade of Agile Software Development and Test

J.B. Rainsberger, JBRAINS.CA
After almost fifteen years of history with agile practices, J.B. Rainsberger sees some alarming trends in our attitudes, practices, and even what we teach about agile. At the same time, he sees some progress in approaches and technologies—e.g., behavior-driven development, naked planning, and continuous delivery. Sadly, we still have maturity models, complicated process checklists, and unnecessary certification schemes. In the coming decade, unless we begin to focus on fundamental ingredients absent from many agile teams, J.B. fears we are doomed to miss many opportunities for getting better. It's not good enough anymore just to be a great agile tester. J.B. says testers, programmers, product analysts, and managers must encourage workplace transformations so we can take full advantage of new tools and techniques. He shares a vision of these transformations and calls on testers and test managers, who work with all stakeholder groups, to stand up and lead us into the next decade of agile.

How We NOW Test Software at Microsoft

Alan Page, Microsoft
In December 2008 when How We Test Software at Microsoft was first published, the software community appreciated the insight into many testing activities and processes popular at Microsoft. Six and a half years later, many companies—including Microsoft—have evolved and changed in a variety of ways, and now much of the book is outdated or obsolete. New products, new ideas, and new strategies for releasing software have emerged. Alan Page explores Microsoft’s current approaches to software testing and quality. He digs into new practices, describes changing roles, rants about long-lived ideas kicked to the curb in the past seven years―and might even share a few tidbits not fit for print and wide-scale distribution. To give organizations food for thought and ideas for growth, Alan reveals what’s new in quality approaches, developer to tester ratios, agile practices, tools, tester responsibilities—and lessons he’s learned along the way.

Build the Right Product Right: Transitioning Test from Critiquing to Defining

Gerard Meszaros, FeedXL.com
Do you find yourself with limited influence over what gets shipped on products you test? Is your report card on product quality often ignored? Do you think you can contribute more? Join Gerard Meszaros as he describes ways to transition from approaching quality with brute force testing to an enlightened and strategic perspective that will have real impact on product quality. Instead of criticizing the product, become an integral part of the development process and learn how you can help define what should be built. Gerard explores design for testability concepts and describes key testability requirements that will afford better, more efficient testing. He explains test design techniques that describe software functionality in layers of plain language tests. Gerard shows how a collaborative approach for building the right product results in much better outcomes from both quality and schedule perspectives. Stop rushing through multiple test-and-fix cycles that result in a less than quality product. Be part of the solution!

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.
Toronto, ON | Canada
Toronto is North America’s fourth-largest city and will be the host city for STARCANADA 2016. Toronto offers an edgy metropolis with a variety of culinary options. More details on the conference's hotel location coming soon!
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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