STAREAST 2012 on Software Testing

Yes, SmartBear was scoping out the STAREAST Conference in Orlando last week. It was a well-organized and well attended event. As an attendee put it – “I had budget to attend one conference this year and I chose this one because of the community. It is the community of testers that makes events like this exciting and worth attending.”

One element of this mix is the opportunity to hear and mingle with community leaders like Michael Bolton, James Bach and Scott Barber. Hello, performance testing!

The other is to drink coffee and have corridor conversations with real people bothered with real testing problems who also want to learn from their peers, from the presenters and yes – from us vendors too.

So what was the buzz all about?




Business Value of Software Testing

Are we recognized by our executive management as a value-add to the key business processes, or are we dead-weight that is always behind, always reactive, never appreciated? Do we believe that we add value? Yes? Then communicate!

Keith Klain, Director at Barclays Capital addressed the topic in his keynote: Bridging the Gap: Leading Change in a Community of Testers. His message was clear: “If they (managers) are not listening, you’re not speaking their language”. Check the synopsis on the Test Side Story.  It is absolutely worth the time.
While at it, take a look at the following blog by our very own leader at SmartBear, Ian McLeod: 5 Reasons Why Software Quality Matters to your Business.





Agile Testing

Please don’t say: “We have unit tests and everything is going great.” Agile is more than a development process. One can’t keep delivering content and not have an efficient and engaged business process around it including other aspects of testing – functional / system testing, performance and load testing. This is the challenge I heard over and over again from attendees during the conference. How can we engage available resources who don’t write application code to be effective and productive, and add value while being synchronized with the rhythm of the development team? Agile is here to stay. How can we make system testing, or performance testing more agile? … And still have money to invest in that coffee machine we’ve been talking about for a while…

Mobile Testing - Mobile Everything

It is quite likely that you are reading this blog post on your new Android tablet, or on an iPad. If you don’t have one, wouldn’t you mind getting one as a birthday present? Just recently I ran across this blog post by Susan Huynh from Forrester who wrote that: Mobile Internet Users Will Soon Surpass PC Internet Users Globally. Hey, this means you will probably get that birthday present!

Does this trend have an impact on testing? You bet. Mobile was a hot topic at STAREAST, lots of questions are being asked, many still need to be answered. What do we do? When and how to test? How to deal with all the different devices, carriers, operating systems? What technologies are available? Without going too much into this topic, let me just throw in a question about types of testing being done and test automation. Mobile devices use web services and they need to be tested. How about monitoring traffic after deployment? Here is a link for further reading: Testing, 1, 2, 3… Can you hear me now?

Having Fun

We love to hear you talk about our products and how they help you address real business issues and improve your everyday professional life. Like for example, when Keith Klain answered a question about tools being used at Barclays Capital, when he mentioned that his teams build test frameworks that work with TestComplete, or when Eric Gee from Raymond James during his session on Performance Testing Earlier in the Software Development Cycle suggested for small teams to start testing performance on an API level with a tool like loadUI. Your feedback motivates us and drives us forward. Thank you very much for that!

Your SmartBear team at the STAREAST Conference.


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