F13-Pre-3: Are You Smarter Than a Test Manager?

Track: Test Strategy, Process and Design

In the popular TV game show, “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader”, we watch contestants, which have moved far beyond fifth grade, feeling confident that answering questions at a 1st to 5th grade level should be simple. The realization is that the questions are tough, and knowing the right answer is not always that easy. In fact, by the time they reach fifth grade level questions, they are usually guessing, and hoping they are getting the answer right.

This is likely the same case in testing organizations. How many of us are beyond the entry into the testing profession, but are unsure of the perfect answer to some of the questions and hot topic discussions today? Are there areas where your group is not in alignment? The answer is probably yes. Being a testing practitioner requires understanding the many schools of testing and who is supporting those schools. You will find that it becomes important to understand the roles of the testing professionals in your organization.

This tutorial will cover a wide perspective of topics – from interviews with testing experts on test managers as well as discussion topics taken from Twitter, LinkedIn, and blog sites. It will also include the results of a survey taken by over 275 testing professionals and their inputs on many topics, including discussions of struggles that testing organizations face, areas of improvement, and most importantly, areas where everyone feels that teams are not in agreement and aligned.

You’re encouraged to attend this highly interactive tutorial to discuss, debate, and understand the common topics where organizations are not in sync. Your personal experiences, your beliefs, and your inputs will be critical to group discussions. We will also compare the experiences of the class with those inputs previously taken from the experts, the blogs, and the survey.

The goal of this tutorial is to build awareness around the differences that are common in every organization. We will encourage the class to be open minded, to listen to the opposing thoughts on the topics, and to evaluate the pros and cons of each side. The goal will be to either make you more confident of your stand on a topic or provide you with the information to constructively allow you to cross to the other side.

You will leave this tutorial with the tools that will enable you to speak effectively on the hot topics of misalignment plaguing organizations as well as build, in the class, a toolbox of information that you can use to effectively convince or support those in your organization on the common topics in the testing world.

During the course, tutorial attendees will vote and select the topics.

Some examples would be:

  • Metrics – which are core to supporting test managers and the team? Are they useful? Misleading?
  • Test Certifications verses self-disciplined training (blogs, articles, consulting, etc.)
  • What is the role of the testing team in the decision to move a release to production?
  • Automation verses Manual testing – various sub-topics
  • Top 3 ways to show the value of the testing organization to the rest of the company

Session Takeaways:

  • Notes from interviews with experts/leaders in testing, blogs, LinkedIn, and Twitter
  • Results of a survey taken by 275+ test professionals
  • Detailed notes taken from the workshop discussions, debates, and findings.
  • Workshop deliverables that will support you when the discussions come to your organization

This is the course that you are literally going to be talking about for a long time!

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Please Note: The presentations are intended for attendees only. The presentations page is password protected – contact info@softwaretestpro.com for verification of attendance and the password to access the presentation.

Session Speaker:

Mike LylesMike Lyles – QA Manager, Lowe’s Companies, Inc.
Mike Lyles is a QA Manager. He is a 1993 graduate from Appalachian State University with 19 years of IT experience, working in various roles over the years – from technical support to programmer, to Program Management Office, to Solutions Development Manager, to Testing/QA. His current role includes Test Management responsibilities for a major company domain covering Store Systems, Supply Chain, Merchandising, and Marketing.