• TLF

2017 Assurance Leadership Summit

Updated: Apr 20, 2019

April 2017, London

Opening Keynote: Rob Lambert, New Voice Media: "10 Behaviours Of Effective Employees"

The software industry is changing rapidly and traditional approaches to hiring and organising teams are rapidly out-dated. To attract the right people requires a different mindset from managers in many businesses. To become an effective employee requires a focus on attitude and behaviours, not just skills. In this fast paced and fun talk, Rob will walk through why having more than "skills" is necessary for success at work. Rob will explain how he deconstructed his best employees and focussed on hiring for behaviours rather than competencies. The 10 behaviours that will help employees remain relevant and managers hire the right people are:

1. Being Visibly Passionate

2. Being Aggressively Open-Minded

3. Stepping Outside Their Job Role

4. Becoming Company Smart

5. Customer Focused

6. Improving The Process

7. Do What They Say They Will

8. Communicate Effectively

9. Self Learners

10. Bravery

This is a fun and energetic talk and you’ll come away from it inspired to go forth and find effective employees.

Rob Lambert is Vice President of Engagement and Enablement at a fast paced technology company called NewVoiceMedia. Rob is also the owner of Cultivated Management, an online resource for those new to the challenging world of management. Rob started his career as a Software Tester, then an Engineering Manager and has now moved sideways in to HR. Rob’s mission is to inspire people to achieve great things in their careers and to take control of their own learning and self development. Rob is the author of Remaining Relevant And Employable, a book about remaining relevant and employable in today’s changing employment world. He’s on Twitter at @rob_lambert Rob is an advocate for many important social causes, is obsessed with technology in society and has written a number of books about software delivery, customer excellence and community building. He likes photography and classic Japanese cars. He is married with three kids and lives in historic Winchester, UK.

Vishal Anand, Cognizant Technology Solutions: "Automation in an Automated World"

The world is automating and automating fast. Be it self driven cars or Alexa the assistant. AI and machine learning are the catalyst. Combine that with the persistent demand of faster rollouts driven by customer and business needs, and we have a very challenging role of ensuring quality.

This session will focus on the key challenges that these new trends bring to QA function specially how quality can be improved without impacting the agility and also controlling the cost.

The session will be an open discussion on challenges, solutions and way forward without being prescriptive.

Vishal Anand has been a career tester before moving into the management positions which spans to setting up and managing teams, handling multiple accounts simultaneously and holding portfolios.

Harry Vazanias, Enfuse Group: "Governance is dead – long live governance!"

Long standing ‘best practice’ governance approaches and frameworks are getting in the way of producing software for business purposes. In today’s fast moving digital world governance is more important than ever, with an increased need for secure, always-on IT. However, long standing governance models are not only failing to meet this need, but are making things worse. Frameworks such as ITIL which have long been the model for most IT organisations are no longer fit for purpose, yet we are clinging to these, trying to adapt them, when in truth a completely fresh approach is needed. This talk is about the holistic challenges software delivery is facing, with real life examples, and will be presenting various thoughts and approaches to addressing this need

Harry Vazanias is an IT strategy and transformation expert. He is a prominent believer in the need for a new age IT function built on digital and DevOps principles. He has over 15 years’ experience in consulting, where he has lead and advised various business and IT transformations. He is co-founder and director at Enfuse Group, having previously worked at Accenture and North Highland, where he headed up their Business Technology consulting services in the UK.

Ani Gopinath, Sug Sahadevan & Mohamed Radwan, Testhouse: Blueprinting your DevOps Challenges

This will be a facilitated session looking at the challenges of adopting DevOps for Testers and Test Managers. The result will be a crafted problem statement that can be taken back to the participants businesses as a discussion point to help solve DevOps related issues. The session will be facilitated by Ani Gopinath (Head of Delivery), Sug Sahadevan (CEO) and Mohamed Radwan (Head of DevOps).

Sug is the founder of Testhouse. He started his working career as an Electronics Engineer with GCHQ, Cheltenham and gradually progressed into programme management while working for Digital Equipment Corporation, Bank of America, Centrica and Deutsche Bank. He founded Testhouse in 2000 and currently focusses on its global expansion. He serves as an advisory panel member for the Winmark Global CEO Network. Sug holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electronics Engineering from University of Ulster at Coleraine, Northern Ireland.

Mohamed Radwan – Visual Studio MVP & DevOps Practice Lead Mohamed is a Visual Studio ALM MVP and DevOps Practice Lead at Testhouse; he focuses on providing solutions for the various roles involved in software development and delivery to enable them to build better software through Agile Methodologies and utilisation of Microsoft Visual Studio ALM/DevOps Tools & Technologies. He excels in software practices and automation with 15+ years of professional experience spanning the different stages and phases of Software Development Lifecycle. He has helped various customers across the world in the UK, Denmark, USA, Egypt, Oman, KSA, Kuwait, and Libya, amongst others.

Ani Gopinath – COO and Head of Delivery Ani serves as the COO with overall responsibility of UK operations and project delivery globally. He has been involved with Testhouse since formation and started as a technical consultant specialising in performance testing. An experienced test practitioner and trainer with over 20 years of experience, Ani had led Testhouse project engagements with IBM Global Services , Capgemini , CSC and Logica CMG. Ani holds a bachelor’s degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering

Max Latey, HSBC: "Case Study: Shift Left and Agile in Banking"

The session will consist of two parts:

1. A presentation of a case study: implementation of Shift Left and Agile in a Treasury Risk project.

2. A round table discussion of the case study and strategies for introducing new concepts in testing to companies with established working practices.

The presentation will cover a recent attempt at implementing new working practices – including Shift Left – into a programme of business and technology change within Banking; an industry notorious for its aversion to change.

The round table discussion will give participants (and the speaker) an opportunity to discuss strategies for implementing new working practices or test approaches with both willing and unwilling users & stakeholders.

The discussion will also provide an opportunity for discussion of future trends in test management and assurance and the role we can play as champions of change.

Max Latey is a career test manager with a long standing focus on the user experience of testing and assurance.

Isabelle Cosar & Cliff Zattoni, FCA: "Continuous Evolution of Performance Test Assurance"

Over the past 18 months, our model for assuring the quality of Performance Testing has evolved. We have moved to a partnership relationship with our Performance Test suppliers and have changed our selection process to address a capability issue we had identified within the people delivering our Performance Testing. We have also moved to a supportive assurance mechanism with our suppliers rather than operate a governance based model.

We will explain how we currently operate this assurance model for Performance Testing in the Testing Department in collaboration with our Technical Operation partners.

Our organisation is moving to new delivery models where cycles to Production are shorter & feedback loops are quicker. We are wondering how to do less assurance, or quicker assurance or better targeted assurance in order to maintain quality. Is this possible?

With moving to a Continuous Delivery Pipeline & DevOps, we are at a crossroad where we need to rethink how we assure the Performance Testing we deliver is targeted, relevant, cost effective and in line with our stakeholders risk appetite.

Have your organisations tackled the problem of maintaining the quality of Performance Testing deliverables when delivery models have changed to CDM and DevOps?

· What challenges did you face?

· How have you evolved ?

· Did you manage to maintain quality or has it gone down ?

· And if you haven’t gone that road yet, how do you see your assurance model changing ?

Isabelle Cosar used to deliver Performance Testing at RBS, after a few years’ experience in automated testing. After she left RBS, she joined StarBase, a specialised Performance Testing consultancy, as Senior Consultant and then joined the FCA 4 years ago, and is responsible for the assurance of Non-Functional Testing.

Cliff Zattoni has had a hand in testing in almost every role held but primarily when running the Capacity function within Sainsbury’s for 6 years and now the FCA for the last 3 years. During this time he has helped shape and improve those test delivery functions to work seamlessly with Operations (run) and breaking the us/them blame culture that grows usually in that space.

Ben Fry, Armakuni, Comic Relief: "400 real-time donations per second, zero downtime, 100% success – and the ability to implement a change in production on event night in 15 minutes!"

Armakuni worked with Comic Relief to transform its legacy donations platform into a secure, highly scalable and resilient, micro-service platform, which functioned 100% successfully on the night. In moving from a legacy Java monolith to a cloud-native microservice architecture, Armakuni supported the transformation from water-scrum-fall to Test Driven Development and Continuous Delivery using Cloud Foundry as the PaaS. This significantly reduced the resources needed to build, deploy and run a fully tested platform.

The following presentation will take us through this and other case studies, analysing technical and cultural obstacles and points of resistance. We’ll also discuss why Continuous Delivery barriers are no longer accepted as too big to overcome.

Ben Fry - Armakuni (Bio to follow)

Goldfish Bowl discussion - Assurance in the digital age (Paul Gerrard / Mike Jarred)

· What are the attendees key challenges to assuring software delivery in the Digital era?

· What does assurance look like, who does it?

· What are the skills required, where do these people come from. Hire, redeploy, grow your own?

· What are the challenges with toolsets supporting software delivery in the digital age?

Thomas Barns, Capacitas: "Why you’re spending too much money on performance testing"

Everyone knows load testing is expensive – tests take a lot of effort to set up, a long time to run, and even longer to work out why you’re seeing issues. On top of that you need big costly environments and toolsets which eat through your budget in no time. We’ll look at a number of examples and discuss how we can reduce the cost of performance assurance through shifting left, designing smart tests and automating problem detection.

Thomas Barns is Risk Modelling and Performance Engineering service lead at Capacitas, responsible for service definition and ensuring consistent best practice across projects. Over the past 10 years he has worked on large projects providing capacity and performance expertise to clients and also owned the roadmap for developing Capacitas’ technical software solutions. During this time, he has seen a big shift in how software engineering is undertaken and viewed by the business, and has built on this to introduce more effective and efficient performance risk management processes. This has meant a focus shifting away from large scale system testing to a full lifecycle approach, alongside research and development in automated data analysis. Thomas is currently defining and governing Performance Engineering processes and standards for a multi-million-pound multi-vendor programme of work at a FTSE 100 company.

Andrew Ayres, Director, UK&I – ROQ: "Quality Assurance – A Strategic Imperative in the Digital Age"

Leading analyst firms such as Gartner, Forrester and others have recently outlined their strategic planning assumptions and CIO priorities for the year ahead. It’s clear that, as a proportion of discretionary spending, software investments are on the rise (on a global, cross-industry basis). This should come as no surprise – software is now fuelling many aspects of our personal and professional lives and leading firms are eschewing heavy IT infrastructures in favour of flexible, cost effective digital services that are ‘fit for the future’. But it doesn’t stop there – software is the driving force behind AI, AR, Blockchain and a wide range of other emerging trends. In this session, Andrew will highlight why developing software is not enough to compete anymore – it has to work, exactly as intended, first time around – and, when it does, the positive effects are there for all to see. Software that works (amongst other things) is a catalyst for digital transformation, a driving force behind enterprise collaboration & mobility, a way to delight customers and a source of internal efficiencies and heightened business performance. Therefore, testing and quality assurance is a strategic imperative and so, the extent to which testing professionals can impact business outcomes positively has greatly increased. In this context, testing and QA professionals are the final arbiters of delivered quality, the difference between success and failure, and – given the importance of high-functioning software – become key allies to CIOs and other senior leaders alike. The days when these activities were seen as ‘post hoc, necessary evil’ should be well and truly behind us now (sadly not always the case) – it’s time for testing to evolve and inject some new world thinking to spur real digital success.

Some of the key areas (not exhaustive) to be discussed are:

· How do we ensure our testing and QA approaches are truly fit for the future – including the following CIO level priorities relating to software quality

· Big Data, Business Intelligence and Analytics

· Cloud Hosted Services and Solutions

· Enterprise Mobility

· Enterprise-scale Applications

· Customer-facing Platforms

· The Internet of Things (IoT)

· Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality

· Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technologies

· What are the barriers and challenges that must be overcome to make this a reality?

· What can we do to drive greater levels of strategic alignment with business stakeholders and their objectives?

· How do we report on the business impact of QA and testing to underpin the need to shift-left and create more influence?

Andrew Ayres is Director - UK & Ireland at ROQ having previously held roles with leading information technology consultancies in the UK, Europe and the Middle East - working closely with Boards of Directors, CFOs, CIOs and their teams to make digital transformation a reality.

Isabel Evans, Independent: "Leading, following or managing? You can help your group thrive"

We work in teams. Teams that have goals, that work together to solve problems, that sometimes squabble and make up. How people in the group behave depends on the styles of leadership, management and followership adopted in the group, and on each of our individual behaviours.

Do we have a mentoring, coaching, managing or leadership role towards others? Are we following or learning from others? Do we influence our colleagues and organisations in public or behind the scenes? Are these interactions built into a formal hierarchy in our group? Have we informally adopted an interaction role? Or have we even been forced into a particular interaction role?

In order that we work together as efficiently and effectively as possible, we need to understand the range of approaches or styles for leadership and management, what styles we feel most comfortable with, and how we react to both being leaders and being led.

It’s not just humans who work in groups. Other animals can tell us about how we interact with individuals, teams, and groups both as leaders and followers. Isabel discusses animal behaviour, predators, animal groups, parasites and epiphytes, and the richness of symbiotic partnership.

Regardless of the project model/software life cycle model you use, you’ll need to understand these interactions, and when to adopt a leadership, mentoring, coaching, following or learning attitude in order to help your group thrive.

Three key points to take away:

· Gain an understanding of leadership styles and how you react to them

· Learn how the team organization and leadership style affects its effectiveness

· Understand when to use these approaches most effectively and efficiently.

Isabel Evans is an independent quality and testing consultant. Isabel has more than thirty years of IT experience in the financial, communications, and software sectors. Her work focuses on quality management, software testing and user experience (UX), She encourages IT teams and customers to work together, via flexible processes designed and tailored by the teams that use them. Isabel authored Achieving Software Quality Through Teamwork and chapters in Agile Testing: How to Succeed in an eXtreme Testing Environment; The Testing Practitioner; and Foundations of Software Testing. A popular speaker and story-teller at software conferences worldwide, Isabel is a Chartered IT Professional and Fellow of the British Computer Society, Programme Secretary of the BCS SIGiST, and has been a member of software industry improvement working groups for over 20 years.

Closing Keynote: Declan O Riordan, Testing IT: "Will Risk Transference outgrow Risk Mitigation?"

As testers we have traditionally worked in the identification, monitoring, and control part of risk mitigation. Financial matters such as the CBA are rarely our concern. Questions are now being asked about the effectiveness of technology versus how the technology spending is prioritised. Even as IT budgets drop in some sectors, the growth in overall spending on cyber-security continues to grow at between 5% and 7%. Surprisingly, the really fast growth area is risk transference. In some sectors cyber-insurance spending has grown by 63% annually. What could be the reasons for budget holders shifting their risk management approach from mitigation to transference? What are the implications for Testing and Testers? The facts don’t care about your feelings, but is there anything we should be doing to defend the value of risk mitigation, or could we find a place in risk transference?

Declan O’Riordan started speaking at conferences in 2014. Within nine months he’d won the EuroSTAR prize for best conference paper and was voted the ‘do over’ session delegates would most like repeated. In 2015 Declan won the prize for best conference paper at the USA’s STAR East conference, and was on the EuroSTAR programme committee for Maastricht. In 2016 he was joint winner of the EuroSTAR prize for best conference paper, and in 2017 an organiser of UKSTAR. He now devotes energy to rolling out SecDevOps initiatives using continuous real-time test instrumentation.

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