|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!
Docker is an open platform for developers and sysadmins of distributed applications that enables them to build, ship, and run any app anywhere. Docker allows applications to run on any platform irrespective of what tools were used to build it making it easy to distribute, test, and run software. I found this 5 Minute Docker video, which is very helpful when you want to get a quick and digestible overview. If you want to learn more, you can go to Docker’s web page and start with this Docker intro...
May. 25, 2015 09:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,161
Enterprises are fast realizing the importance of integrating SaaS/Cloud applications, API and on-premises data and processes, to unleash hidden value. This webinar explores how managers can use a Microservice-centric approach to aggressively tackle the unexpected new integration challenges posed by proliferation of cloud, mobile, social and big data projects. Industry analyst and SOA expert Jason Bloomberg will strip away the hype from microservices, and clearly identify their advantages and d...
May. 25, 2015 07:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,211
The 5th International DevOps Summit, co-located with 17th International Cloud Expo – being held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the...
May. 25, 2015 05:30 PM EDT Reads: 4,428
Over the years, a variety of methodologies have emerged in order to overcome the challenges related to project constraints. The successful use of each methodology seems highly context-dependent. However, communication seems to be the common denominator of the many challenges that project management methodologies intend to resolve. In this respect, Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) can be viewed as powerful tools for managing projects. Few research papers have focused on the way...
May. 25, 2015 05:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,990
As the world moves from DevOps to NoOps, application deployment to the cloud ought to become a lot simpler. However, applications have been architected with a much tighter coupling than it needs to be which makes deployment in different environments and migration between them harder. The microservices architecture, which is the basis of many new age distributed systems such as OpenStack, Netflix and so on is at the heart of CloudFoundry – a complete developer-oriented Platform as a Service (PaaS...
May. 25, 2015 05:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,870
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...
May. 25, 2015 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 3,021
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 cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential. The DevOps Summit at Cloud Expo – to be held June 3-5, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City – will expand the DevOps community, enable a wide...
May. 25, 2015 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,464
There’s a lot of discussion around managing outages in production via the likes of DevOps principles and the corresponding software development lifecycles that does enable higher quality output from development, however, one cannot lay all blame for “bugs” and failures at the feet of those responsible for coding and development. As developers incorporate features and benefits of these paradigm shift, there is a learning curve and a point of not-knowing-what-is-not-known. Sometimes, the only way ...
May. 25, 2015 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,524
There is no question that the cloud is where businesses want to host data. Until recently hypervisor virtualization was the most widely used method in cloud computing. Recently virtual containers have been gaining in popularity, and for good reason. In the debate between virtual machines and containers, the latter have been seen as the new kid on the block – and like other emerging technology have had some initial shortcomings. However, the container space has evolved drastically since coming on...
May. 25, 2015 02:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,809
How can you compare one technology or tool to its competitors? Usually, there is no objective comparison available. So how do you know which is better? Eclipse or IntelliJ IDEA? Java EE or Spring? C# or Java? All you can usually find is a holy war and biased comparisons on vendor sites. But luckily, sometimes, you can find a fair comparison. How does this come to be? By having it co-authored by the stakeholders. The binary repository comparison matrix is one of those rare resources. It is edite...
May. 25, 2015 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,874
Cloud Expo, Inc. has announced today that Andi Mann returns to DevOps Summit 2015 as Conference Chair. The 4th International DevOps Summit will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City. "DevOps is set to be one of the most profound disruptions to hit IT in decades," said Andi Mann. "It is a natural extension of cloud computing, and I have seen both firsthand and in independent research the fantastic results DevOps delivers. So I am excited to help the great team at ...
May. 25, 2015 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,052
The 17th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. 17th International Cloud Expo, to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, Microservices, Security, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding bu...
May. 25, 2015 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 4,591
There is no doubt that Big Data is here and getting bigger every day. Building a Big Data infrastructure today is no easy task. There are an enormous number of choices for database engines and technologies. To make things even more challenging, requirements are getting more sophisticated, and the standard paradigm of supporting historical analytics queries is often just one facet of what is needed. As Big Data growth continues, organizations are demanding real-time access to data, allowing immed...
May. 25, 2015 12:30 PM EDT Reads: 3,287
T-Mobile has been transforming the wireless industry with its “Uncarrier” initiatives. Today as T-Mobile’s IT organization works to transform itself in a like manner, technical foundations built over the last couple of years are now key to their drive for more Agile delivery practices. In his session at DevOps Summit, Martin Krienke, Sr Development Manager at T-Mobile, will discuss where they started their Continuous Delivery journey, where they are today, and where they are going in an effort ...
May. 25, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,842
Container frameworks, such as Docker, provide a variety of benefits, including density of deployment across infrastructure, convenience for application developers to push updates with low operational hand-holding, and a fairly well-defined deployment workflow that can be orchestrated. Container frameworks also enable a DevOps approach to application development by cleanly separating concerns between operations and development teams. But running multi-container, multi-server apps with containers ...
May. 25, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,313
SYS-CON Events announced today that EnterpriseDB (EDB), the leading worldwide provider of enterprise-class Postgres products and database compatibility solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. EDB is the largest provider of Postgres software and services that provides enterprise-class performance and scalability and the open source freedom to divert budget from more costly traditiona...
May. 25, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,920
Do you think development teams really update those BMC Remedy tickets with all the changes contained in a release? They don't. Most of them just "check the box" and move on. They rose a Risk Level that won't raise questions from the Change Control managers and they work around the checks and balances. The alternative is to stop and wait for a department that still thinks releases are rare events. When a release happens every day there's just not enough time for people to attend CAB meeting...
May. 25, 2015 10:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,698
Buzzword alert: Microservices and IoT at a DevOps conference? What could possibly go wrong? In this Power Panel at DevOps Summit, moderated by Jason Bloomberg, the leading expert on architecting agility for the enterprise and president of Intellyx, panelists will peel away the buzz and discuss the important architectural principles behind implementing IoT solutions for the enterprise. As remote IoT devices and sensors become increasingly intelligent, they become part of our distributed cloud en...
May. 25, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,100
I’ve been thinking a bit about microservices (μServices) recently. My immediate reaction is to think: “Isn’t this just yet another new term for the same stuff, Web Services->SOA->APIs->Microservices?” Followed shortly by the thought, “well yes it is, but there are some important differences/distinguishing factors.” Microservices is an evolutionary paradigm born out of the need for simplicity (i.e., get away from the ESB) and alignment with agile (think DevOps) and scalable (think Containerizati...
May. 25, 2015 09:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,567
In this Power Panel at DevOps Summit, moderated by Jason Bloomberg, president of Intellyx, panelists Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at Akana; Lori MacVittie, IoT_Microservices Power PanelEvangelist for F5 Networks; and Troy Topnik, ActiveState’s Technical Product Manager; will peel away the buzz and discuss the important architectural principles behind implementing IoT solutions for the enterprise. As remote IoT devices and sensors become increasingly intelligent, they become part of ...
May. 25, 2015 09:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,881