|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!
Read the original blog entry...
Let's just nip the conflation of these terms in the bud, shall we?
"MIcro" is big these days. Both microservices and microsegmentation are having and will continue to have an impact on data center architecture, but not necessarily for the same reasons. There's a growing trend in which folks - particularly those with a network background - conflate the two and use them to mean the same thing.
They are not.
One is about the application. The other, the network. T...
Jul. 24, 2016 04:15 AM EDT Reads: 3,269
If you are within a stones throw of the DevOps marketplace you have undoubtably noticed the growing trend in Microservices. Whether you have been staying up to date with the latest articles and blogs or you just read the definition for the first time, these 5 Microservices Resources You Need In Your Life will guide you through the ins and outs of Microservices in today’s world.
Jul. 24, 2016 12:45 AM EDT Reads: 3,777
Before becoming a developer, I was in the high school band. I played several brass instruments - including French horn and cornet - as well as keyboards in the jazz stage band. A musician and a nerd, what can I say?
I even dabbled in writing music for the band. Okay, mostly I wrote arrangements of pop music, so the band could keep the crowd entertained during Friday night football games. What struck me then was that, to write parts for all the instruments - brass, woodwind, percussion, even k...
Jul. 24, 2016 12:30 AM EDT Reads: 2,045
This digest provides an overview of good resources that are well worth reading. We’ll be updating this page as new content becomes available, so I suggest you bookmark it. Also, expect more digests to come on different topics that make all of our IT-hearts go boom!
Jul. 24, 2016 12:00 AM EDT Reads: 3,419
DevOps at Cloud Expo – being held November 1-3, 2016, 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 world's largest enterprises – and delivering real results. Am...
Jul. 23, 2016 11:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,109
SYS-CON Events announced today that Isomorphic Software will exhibit at DevOps Summit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Isomorphic Software provides the SmartClient HTML5/AJAX platform, the most advanced technology for building rich, cutting-edge enterprise web applications for desktop and mobile. SmartClient combines the productivity and performance of traditional desktop software with the simp...
Jul. 23, 2016 11:30 PM EDT Reads: 836
When people aren’t talking about VMs and containers, they’re talking about serverless architecture. Serverless is about no maintenance. It means you are not worried about low-level infrastructural and operational details. An event-driven serverless platform is a great use case for IoT.
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Animesh Singh, an STSM and Lead for IBM Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, will detail how to build a distributed serverless, polyglot, microservices framework using open source tec...
Jul. 23, 2016 11:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,229
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices 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 business opportuni...
Jul. 23, 2016 10:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,439
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
Jul. 23, 2016 08:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,418
Jul. 23, 2016 06:15 PM EDT Reads: 3,545
"We provide DevOps solutions. We also partner with some key players in the DevOps space and we use the technology that we partner with to engineer custom solutions for different organizations," stated Himanshu Chhetri, CTO of Addteq, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Jul. 23, 2016 05:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,550
In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo, Yoseph Reuveni, Director of Software Engineering at Jet.com, will discuss Jet.com's journey into containerizing Microsoft-based technologies like C# and F# into Docker. He will talk about lessons learned and challenges faced, the Mono framework tryout and how they deployed everything into Azure cloud.
Yoseph Reuveni is a technology leader with unique experience developing and running high throughput (over 1M tps) distributed systems with extre...
Jul. 23, 2016 05:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,002
There's a lot of things we do to improve the performance of web and mobile applications. We use caching. We use compression. We offload security (SSL and TLS) to a proxy with greater compute capacity.
We apply image optimization and minification to content.
We do all that because performance is king. Failure to perform can be, for many businesses, equivalent to an outage with increased abandonment rates and angry customers taking to the Internet to express their extreme displeasure.
Jul. 23, 2016 02:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,346
SYS-CON Events announced today that LeaseWeb USA, a cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. LeaseWeb is one of the world's largest hosting brands. The company helps customers define, develop and deploy IT infrastructure tailored to their exact business needs, by combining various kinds cloud solutions.
Jul. 23, 2016 09:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,041
Adding public cloud resources to an existing application can be a daunting process. The tools that you currently use to manage the software and hardware outside the cloud aren’t always the best tools to efficiently grow into the cloud. All of the major configuration management tools have cloud orchestration plugins that can be leveraged, but there are also cloud-native tools that can dramatically improve the efficiency of managing your application lifecycle.
In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, ...
Jul. 23, 2016 08:30 AM EDT Reads: 750
SYS-CON Events announced today that Venafi, the Immune System for the Internet™ and the leading provider of Next Generation Trust Protection, will exhibit at @DevOpsSummit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Venafi is the Immune System for the Internet™ that protects the foundation of all cybersecurity – cryptographic keys and digital certificates – so they can’t be misused by bad guys in attacks...
Jul. 23, 2016 07:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,065
Ovum, a leading technology analyst firm, has published an in-depth report, Ovum Decision Matrix: Selecting a DevOps Release Management Solution, 2016–17. The report focuses on the automation aspects of DevOps, Release Management and compares solutions from the leading vendors.
Jul. 23, 2016 06:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,584
SYS-CON Events has announced today that Roger Strukhoff has been named conference chair of Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo 2016 Silicon Valley.
The 19th Cloud Expo and 6th @ThingsExpo will take place on November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"The Internet of Things brings trillions of dollars of opportunity to developers and enterprise IT, no matter how you measure it," stated Roger Strukhoff. "More importantly, it leverages the power of devices and the Interne...
Jul. 23, 2016 04:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,966
This is a no-hype, pragmatic post about why I think you should consider architecting your next project the way SOA and/or microservices suggest. No matter if it’s a greenfield approach or if you’re in dire need of refactoring. Please note: considering still keeps open the option of not taking that approach. After reading this, you will have a better idea about whether building multiple small components instead of a single, large component makes sense for your project.
This post assumes that you...
Jul. 23, 2016 03:15 AM EDT Reads: 3,835
Sharding has become a popular means of achieving scalability in application architectures in which read/write data separation is not only possible, but desirable to achieve new heights of concurrency. The premise is that by splitting up read and write duties, it is possible to get better overall performance at the cost of a slight delay in consistency. That is, it takes a bit of time to replicate changes initiated by a "write" to the read-only master database. It's eventually consistent, and it'...
Jul. 23, 2016 12:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,034