Faster time-to-market and reducing cost to improve the overall bottom line have created pressure to increase productivity, especially in traditional software testing activities. The demand for high software quality using less resources in more compressed timelines is driving changes in Quality Assurance processes and tools. Agile development, virtual environments, and mixed technology environments all have an impact on the QA practice.

TesTrek 2011 Symposium in Toronto November 7-10 brought to you by the QAI Global Institute and sponsored by Microsoft will explore these topics, beginning with a panel of distinguished thought leaders addressing tough questions surrounding the future of software quality assurance processes and tools.

In advance of TesTrek 2011, Microsoft and QAI invite you to participate in a five part webcast series on the evolving nature of Quality Assurance.

Visit TesTrek for a special offer for webcast attendees.

Getting Agile with Testing

As we emerge from the greatest recession of our lifetimes, organizations are striving to involve their stakeholders, and apply modern, agile engineering practices when developing software. Indeed, in many organizations, the questions have shifted from Why Agile to How and How Fast can software be produced.

Testing is central to the success or failure of any organization adopting the Agile Consensus. A modern testing approach can be a great enabler of value flow, transparency and the reduction of waste. An outmoded testing approach can be a huge impediment and source of unending conflict. As testers, it's important that we be on the right side of the consensus and be the enablers. The alternative is untenable. In this session, we will explore fundamental principles of agile project delivery and discuss the impact on the QA lifecycle.

Date: September 22, 2011
Time: 1:00 p.m. ET

Featuring: Sam Guckenheimer, Group Product Planner, Microsoft Corporation

Sam Guckenheimer is a noted authority on software testing and the author of Agile Software Engineering with Visual Studio®. Sam has 28 years of experience as an architect, developer, tester, product manager, project manager, and general manager in the software industry in the US and Europe.

Manual Testing Evolved

Manual software testing can involve tedious and repetitive tasks, often resulting in feedback to the development team that is incomplete or lost in translation. To support this integral part of the QA process, automation at any level can help testers execute and capture feedback to improve quality and speed. This session will use exploratory methods and demonstrations to show how a solution offering a rich set of capabilities can help QA organizations improve collaboration and drive deep insights into software quality while improving efficiency.

Date: September 28, 2011
Time: 1:00 p.m. ET

Automating Virtual QA Environments

One of the most time-consuming aspects of software delivery is bringing application source code from the version control system to a running system in a testing environment. Enabling QA teams to automate this process can help accelerate the development lifecycle. This session will work through real world scenarios to explore solutions that can enhance the efficiency of the QA process with virtualization automation.

Date: October 5, 2011
Time: 1:00 p.m. ET

Raising Your Technical Debt Ceiling...Or Not?

What if your software defects were half of industry norm? What if they were two times industry norm? How would you know? How can we better understand causal drivers of software defects? What is the impact on software testing? Is there a way to predict the number of defects and their code, to plan your testing workload? In this session you will gain a better understanding of the sources of technical debt and organizational issues that may be forcing you to raise your debt ceiling. Michael Mah will present case studies and industry research from QSM's international database of more than 10,000 completed projects. You will learn about the dynamics of software quality and how they impact your testing strategy.

Date: October 12, 2011
Time: 1:00 p.m. ET

Featuring: Michael Mah, Managing Partner, QSM Associates Inc.

With over 25 years of experience, Michael Mah teaches, writes, and consults to technology companies on estimating and managing software projects, whether in-house, offshore, waterfall, or agile. He is the director of the Benchmarking Practice at the Cutter Consortium, a Boston-based IT think-tank, and served as past editor of the IT Metrics Strategies publication.

Quality Assurance in Mixed Technology Environments

One of the challenges faced by QA teams is execution of the QA process in mixed technology environments. It is very common to have .NET and Java solutions coexisting with multiple vendor development and test tools. Smooth execution requires integration among tools from different vendors. In this session, we'll explore how the QA toolsets from Microsoft and HP can work together for a more optimal QA environment. Those familiar with HP Quality Center will learn advantages and opportunities to leveraging Microsoft's QA solution.

Date: October 19, 2011
Time: 1:00 p.m. ET

Using Requirements for Test Automation

Business and system requirements are complex because of the many moving parts (documents, process flows, use cases, test cases, etc.) that must all be synchronized and because of the interrelationships and interdependencies among various requirements. To manage requirement complexities, an integrated set of requirements management and software development tools explicitly designed to work together is essential. The concept of linking requirements with testing is well known and the benefits are clear – deliver software on time, with the required features and sufficient quality. Involving QA teams at the start of the project to define/review test cases at the same time as requirements are created helps to identify complexities and risks before they are imbedded into requirements, where they will be harder to find and costly to correct. For QA teams to effectively evaluate requirement complexities and risks, requirements need to be clear, unambiguous, integrated and properly managed.

Date: October 26, 2011
Time: 1:00 p.m. ET

We look forward to seeing you on the webcasts and having you join us at the TesTrek 2011 Symposium to continue the conversation.