|By Jennifer Moebius||
|August 19, 2009 11:29 AM EDT||
In the latest installment of our “Testing the Limits” series, we sat down with Andrew Muns (@amuns) the President of Software Test & Performance (of STP Magazine and STPCon fame), to discuss how testers are perceived by execs and developers, the future of media companies, and the changes that are underway at STP. This is the first half of our chat; check back Thursday for part two.
uTest: STPCon is being held this October in Cambridge, MA… what do you have in store for the attendees this year?
Andrew: This is the first conference that will have been planned start to finish by Redwood Collaborative Media and was designed according to our very simple philosophy: “ask your audience what they want and give it to them.” The show’s program was designed largely based on a survey in which we asked two things, what topics are most important to you and who do you want to hear from.
The most requested topics among our readers were Test Automation, Performance Testing, Test Management and Agile. We’ve built a five track program with specialized training and workshops for each of these four areas, plus a track we call “FutureTest.” The concept of FutureTest is to take a look ahead to emerging tools, technologies and practices – to help our members stay on the cutting edge of the testing industry.
We’ve got only all-stars here (check out the full roster) plus a keynote by a NASA astronaut, Mike Mullane, who will talk about leadership and the organizational culture that led to one of the most tragic QA mistakes in history: the O-ring of the space shuttle Challenger. Michael Bolton, will then use this story as a launching point (pardon the pun) to talk about test leadership. It’s going to be a phenomenal event.
uTest: You recently launched STPCollaborative.com. Tell us the purpose of this site and what’s so different about it.
A: The media business is undergoing a dramatic shift, and the STPCollaborative site was built as a platform for our member-focused model. Somewhat dramatically perhaps, I call this a Copernican shift because today’s media companies now realize things don’t revolve around them. Our focus is on members of the software testing community, in which we’re just one of many participants.
In a way, this isn’t new to us and is based on the very successful model developed by Ron Muns, my father, our Chairman, and founder of HDI (previously the Help Desk Institute). HDI was a membership organization for technical support professionals founded before the current trendiness of social networking and web-based communities emerged. His company built a vibrant community for a group of professionals that didn’t get much respect, and really helped to create professional standards and be a vocal advocate for the profession. We are working to build STP Collaborative into a membership organization that provides that same sense of community, that facilitates knowledge sharing and education, and that helps testers reach their professional goals.
STP Collaborative is the information resource platform for our members. It brings the previously static content from Software Test & Performance into a more interactive web-based format, and informs members of new educational content, whether in the form of online content or live events and conferences. Of course the best is yet to come, and we’re working diligently behind the scenes to increase the interactivity of our site and to roll out some truly world-class online and offline educational resources for testers.
uTest: By the way, who tested the site before launch?
A: First off, uTest was extremely helpful to us in preparing for launch (thanks!). We’re a start-up in many ways and as such have an extremely lean team with limited resources, so having the uTest community assist us was invaluable. In fact, two of the bugs you guys found would have been real show stoppers!
Before this, however, the testing was done largely by Igor Balos at Wildbit (our developer team), our own staff (everyone participated), and a few members of the testing community who volunteered to help. Our contributing editor Matt Heusser was also particularly helpful. Best of all, I actually got to test software myself!
uTest: So based on what you’ve seen so far at the helm of STP Collaborative, how close-knit is the software testing community compared to other professions?
A: Well, as a newcomer to the space, my first impression is that the profession is fairly Balkanized. People talk a lot to me about “schools of software testing” and many of the consultants and thought leaders in the industry feel very passionately about their “school.” This is partly because software testing is by definition concerned with a very fuzzy and philosophical concept called “quality,” and partly because “software” itself has so many incarnations that people in different fields can have radically different perspectives.
In spite of this, I believe that very tight bonds exist among testers. There is a strong community here that identifies with common professional and interpersonal issues. I attended Jerry Weinberg’s session at the recent CAST conference and we did a role-playing exercise where a tester was arguing for equal pay with the developers. The outpouring of support from the group for the woman playing the role of the tester was incredible.
uTest: What’s been the biggest challenge in creating STP Collaborative?
A: Let’s see, we’re a start-up in a highly-cyclical industry undergoing dramatic change, in one of the most challenging economic situations of our lifetime. Where should I start?
Joking aside, I’m amazed at what we’ve accomplished in the face of some very strong headwinds. In the last eight months, we’re reinventing our business from a one-to-many traditional media model to a member-centric, highly interactive listening and learning model. We’ve built a world-class strategic advisory board. We’ve launched a terrific new website focused on building a community; and we’ve redesigned our magazine. The biggest challenge has been managing the chaos associated with this pace of change!
uTest: Your background has included stints in finance, teaching, as well as the Peace Corps. Ever think you’d end up in the world of software testing?
A: Yeah, I’m pretty sure I’m the only person on earth to have worked teaching math in Central Africa, done IT consulting in Venezuela, worked on a distressed debt trading floor in New York, helped Carl Icahn shake up corporate boards, and run a new media company. Looking back, though, any role I’ve ever been good at was really just teaching. Sales done properly and honestly is an educational endeavor, and business is really relationship building and sales no matter what field you’re in.
In fairness, no one would hire me to be a software tester. That said, I have an open mind, I’m very humble, I listen to people, and I love to learn. I’m told the best software testers bring in diverse perspectives, and learn and adapt constantly. If that’s the case, my involvement with the testing world should be a great fit!
uTest: Testers and developers: Friends or foes?
A: I’m sure this varies from company to company and team to team, but I’d wager a sum of money that teams where the two are friends dramatically outperform teams where they’re foes.
Check back tomorrow for part two of our chat with Andrew. Have other questions for him about the state of the testing industry, the next big thing in QA, or STP’s plans for world domination? Don’t be shy — drop a comment and ask away!
The causality question behind Conway’s Law is less about how changing software organizations can lead to better software, but rather how companies can best leverage changing technology in order to transform their organizations. Hints at how to answer this question surprisingly come from the world of devops – surprising because the focus of devops is ostensibly on building and deploying better software more quickly. Be that as it may, there’s no question that technology change is a primary fac...
Jul. 6, 2015 08:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,112
DevOps Summit, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development...
Jul. 6, 2015 07:45 PM EDT Reads: 732
Live Webinar with 451 Research Analyst Peter Christy. Join us on Wednesday July 22, 2015, at 10 am PT / 1 pm ET In a world where users are on the Internet and the applications are in the cloud, how do you maintain your historic SLA with your users? Peter Christy, Research Director, Networks at 451 Research, will discuss this new network paradigm, one in which there is no LAN and no WAN, and discuss what users and network administrators gain and give up when migrating to the agile world of clo...
Jul. 6, 2015 07:45 PM EDT Reads: 555
This week we're attending SYS-CON Event's DevOps Summit in New York City. It's a great conference and energy behind DevOps is enormous. Thousands of attendees from every company you can imagine are focused on automation, the challenges of DevOps, and how to bring greater agility to software delivery. But, even with the energy behind DevOps there's something missing from the movement. For all the talk of deployment automation, continuous integration, and cloud infrastructure I'm still not se...
Jul. 6, 2015 07:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,811
Why Docker Is Not Enough By @Bart_Copeland | @DevOpsSummit @ActiveState #DevOps #Docker #Containers #Microservices
I want to start by saying that, at ActiveState, we absolutely love Docker. We think it's phenomenal technology that is really becoming the global currency of the cloud. We've written about Docker a lot on the ActiveState blog – we've celebrated its birthday, discussed evolving technologies surrounding it, and shown how we've integrated Docker into Stackato. But, I wanted to share with you why we feel Docker alone is not enough for the enterprise. First, I'm going to discuss two underlying prob...
Jul. 6, 2015 06:45 PM EDT Reads: 548
[session] Dark Art of Container Monitoring By @Sysdig | @DevOpsSummit #DevOps #Docker #Containers #Microservices
Containers are revolutionizing the way we deploy and maintain our infrastructures, but monitoring and troubleshooting in a containerized environment can still be painful and impractical. Understanding even basic resource usage is difficult – let alone tracking network connections or malicious activity. In his session at DevOps Summit, Gianluca Borello, Sr. Software Engineer at Sysdig, will cover the current state of the art for container monitoring and visibility, including pros / cons and liv...
Jul. 6, 2015 06:15 PM EDT Reads: 765
SYS-CON Media announced today that CloudBees, the Jenkins Enterprise company, has launched ad campaigns on SYS-CON's DevOps Journal. CloudBees' campaigns focus on the business value of Continuous Delivery and how it has been recognized as a game changer for IT and is now a top priority for organizations, and the best ways to optimize Jenkins to ensure your continuous integration environment is optimally configured.
Jul. 6, 2015 05:30 PM EDT Reads: 560
The last decade was about virtual machines, but the next one is about containers. Containers enable a service to run on any host at any time. Traditional tools are starting to show cracks because they were not designed for this level of application portability. Now is the time to look at new ways to deploy and manage applications at scale. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Jake Moshenko, Product Manager at CoreOS, examined how CoreOS + Quay.io fit into the development lifecycle from pushing gi...
Jul. 6, 2015 05:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,513
I recently attended and presented at the east coast version of the Jenkins User Conference held this year in Washington, DC. The weather certainly fit the theme of the conference: The heat was continuous. The humidity was fully integrated with the heat. And, most importantly as you can see above, SWAG was out in full force. Right from the opening keynote by the founder of Jenkins, Kohsuke Kawaguchi, this conference was jam-packed with all the latest capabilities of Jenkins, including discussi...
Jul. 6, 2015 05:15 PM EDT Reads: 938
Announcing @ProfitBricksUSA to Exhibit at @CloudExpo Silicon Valley | #IoT #API #DevOps #Microservices
SYS-CON Events announced today that ProfitBricks, the provider of painless cloud infrastructure, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. ProfitBricks is the IaaS provider that offers a painless cloud experience for all IT users, with no learning curve. ProfitBricks boasts flexible cloud servers and networking, an integrated Data Center Designer tool for visual control over the...
Jul. 6, 2015 05:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,474
The 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 17th International Cloud Expo - to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - announces that its Call for Papers is open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than
Jul. 6, 2015 05:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,033
One of the charter responsibilities of DevOps (because it's a charter responsibility of ops) is measuring and monitoring applications once they're in production. That means both performance and availability. Which means a lot more than folks might initially think because generally speaking what you measure and monitor is a bit different depending on whether you're looking at performance or availability*.
Jul. 6, 2015 05:00 PM EDT Reads: 522
The most often asked question post-DevOps introduction is: “How do I get started?” There’s plenty of information on why DevOps is valid and important, but many managers still struggle with simple basics for how to initiate a DevOps program in their business. They struggle with issues related to current organizational inertia, the lack of experience on Continuous Integration/Delivery, understanding where DevOps will affect revenue and budget, etc. In their session at DevOps Summit, JP Morgenthal...
Jul. 6, 2015 04:15 PM EDT Reads: 491
"Plutora provides release and testing environment capabilities to the enterprise," explained Dalibor Siroky, Director and Co-founder of Plutora, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @DevOpsSummit, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
Jul. 6, 2015 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 575
In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Simone Brunozzi, VP and Chief Technologist of Cloud Services at VMware, reviewed the changes that the cloud computing industry has gone through over the last five years and shared insights into what the next five will bring. He also chronicled the challenges enterprise companies are facing as they move to the public cloud. He delved into the "Hybrid Cloud" space and explained why every CIO should consider ‘hybrid cloud' as part of their future strategy to achie...
Jul. 6, 2015 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 668
DevOps tends to focus on the relationship between Dev and Ops, putting an emphasis on the ops and application infrastructure. But that’s changing with microservices architectures. In her session at DevOps Summit, Lori MacVittie, Evangelist for F5 Networks, will focus on how microservices are changing the underlying architectures needed to scale, secure and deliver applications based on highly distributed (micro) services and why that means an expansion into “the network” for DevOps.
Jul. 6, 2015 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,652
SYS-CON Events announced today that WHOA.com, an ISO 27001 Certified secure cloud computing company, participated as “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo® New York, which took place June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. WHOA.com is a leader in next-generation, ISO 27001 Certified secure cloud solutions. WHOA.com offers a comprehensive portfolio of best-in-class cloud services for business including Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Secure Cloud Desk...
Jul. 6, 2015 02:45 PM EDT Reads: 535
One of the hottest new terms in the world of enterprise computing is the microservice. Starting with the seminal 2014 article by James Lewis and Martin Fowler of ThoughtWorks, microservices have taken on a life of their own – and as with any other overhyped term, they have generated their fair share of confusion as well. Perhaps the best definition of microservices comes from Janakiram MSV, Principal at Janakiram & Associates. “Microservices are fine-grained units of execution. They are designe...
Jul. 6, 2015 02:15 PM EDT Reads: 560
ISS to Exhibit at @CloudExpo Silicon Valley | #Cloud #IoT #M2M #API #Microservices #InternetOfThings
SYS-CON Events announced today that Intelligent Systems Services will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Established in 1994, Intelligent Systems Services Inc. is located near Washington, DC, with representatives and partners nationwide. ISS’s well-established track record is based on the continuous pursuit of excellence in designing, implementing and supporting nationwide clients’ ...
Jul. 6, 2015 02:15 PM EDT Reads: 566
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo in Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading in...
Jul. 6, 2015 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 703