|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!
Puppet Labs is pleased to share the findings from our 2015 State of DevOps Survey. We have deepened our understanding of how DevOps enables IT performance and organizational performance, based on responses from more than 20,000 technical professionals we’ve surveyed over the past four years. The 2015 State of DevOps Report reveals high-performing IT organizations deploy 30x more frequently with 200x shorter lead times. They have 60x fewer failures and recover 168x faster
Sep. 3, 2015 05:15 PM EDT
It’s been proven time and time again that in tech, diversity drives greater innovation, better team productivity and greater profits and market share. So what can we do in our DevOps teams to embrace diversity and help transform the culture of development and operations into a true “DevOps” team? In her session at DevOps Summit, Stefana Muller, Director, Product Management – Continuous Delivery at CA Technologies, answered that question citing examples, showing how to create opportunities for ...
Sep. 3, 2015 05:15 PM EDT Reads: 531
To support developers and operations professionals in their push to implement DevOps principles for their infrastructure environments, ProfitBricks, a provider of cloud infrastructure, is adding support for DevOps tools Ansible and Chef. Ansible is a platform for configuring and managing data center infrastructure that combines multi-node software deployment, ad hoc task execution, and configuration management, and is used by DevOps professionals as they use its playbooks functionality to autom...
Sep. 3, 2015 05:15 PM EDT
SYS-CON Events announced today that G2G3 will exhibit at SYS-CON's @DevOpsSummit Silicon Valley, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Based on a collective appreciation for user experience, design, and technology, G2G3 is uniquely qualified and motivated to redefine how organizations and people engage in an increasingly digital world.
Sep. 3, 2015 05:00 PM EDT Reads: 545
All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades. With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo, November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and e...
Sep. 3, 2015 04:15 PM EDT Reads: 103
Containers are not new, but renewed commitments to performance, flexibility, and agility have propelled them to the top of the agenda today. By working without the need for virtualization and its overhead, containers are seen as the perfect way to deploy apps and services across multiple clouds. Containers can handle anything from file types to operating systems and services, including microservices. What are microservices? Unlike what the name implies, microservices are not necessarily small,...
Sep. 3, 2015 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 141
Whether you like it or not, DevOps is on track for a remarkable alliance with security. The SEC didn’t approve the merger. And your boss hasn’t heard anything about it. Yet, this unruly triumvirate will soon dominate and deliver DevSecOps faster, cheaper, better, and on an unprecedented scale. In his session at DevOps Summit, Frank Bunger, VP of Customer Success at ScriptRock, will discuss how this cathartic moment will propel the DevOps movement from such stuff as dreams are made on to a prac...
Sep. 3, 2015 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 261
ElasticBox, the agile application delivery manager, announced freely available public boxes for the DevOps community. ElasticBox works with enterprises to help them deploy any application to any cloud. Public boxes are curated reference boxes that represent some of the most popular applications and tools for orchestrating deployments at scale. Boxes are an adaptive way to represent reusable infrastructure as components of code. Boxes contain scripts, variables, and metadata to automate proces...
Sep. 3, 2015 03:30 PM EDT
Docker containerization is increasingly being used in production environments. How can these environments best be monitored? Monitoring Docker containers as if they are lightweight virtual machines (i.e., monitoring the host from within the container), with all the common metrics that can be captured from an operating system, is an insufficient approach. Docker containers can’t be treated as lightweight virtual machines; they must be treated as what they are: isolated processes running on hosts....
Sep. 3, 2015 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 189
SYS-CON Events announced today that DataClear Inc. 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. The DataClear ‘BlackBox’ is the only solution that moves your PC, browsing and data out of the United States and away from prying (and spying) eyes. Its solution automatically builds you a clean, on-demand, virus free, new virtual cloud based PC outside of the United States, and wipes it clean...
Sep. 3, 2015 02:45 PM EDT Reads: 480
SYS-CON Events announced today that HPM Networks 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. For 20 years, HPM Networks has been integrating technology solutions that solve complex business challenges. HPM Networks has designed solutions for both SMB and enterprise customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Sep. 3, 2015 02:30 PM EDT Reads: 962
Introducing Containers & Microservices Bootcamp at @CloudExpo Silicon Valley | #Containers #Microservices
SYS-CON Events announced today the Containers & Microservices Bootcamp, being held November 3-4, 2015, in conjunction with 17th Cloud Expo, @ThingsExpo, and @DevOpsSummit at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. This is your chance to get started with the latest technology in the industry. Combined with real-world scenarios and use cases, the Containers and Microservices Bootcamp, led by Janakiram MSV, a Microsoft Regional Director, will include presentations as well as hands-on...
Sep. 3, 2015 02:15 PM EDT Reads: 416
Microservice architecture is fast becoming a go-to solution for enterprise applications, but it's not always easy to make the transition from an established, monolithic infrastructure. Lightweight and loosely coupled, building a set of microservices is arguably more difficult than building a monolithic application. However, once established, microservices offer a series of advantages over traditional architectures as deployment times become shorter and iterating becomes easier.
Sep. 3, 2015 02:15 PM EDT
The pricing of tools or licenses for log aggregation can have a significant effect on organizational culture and the collaboration between Dev and Ops teams. Modern tools for log aggregation (of which Logentries is one example) can be hugely enabling for DevOps approaches to building and operating business-critical software systems. However, the pricing of an aggregated logging solution can affect the adoption of modern logging techniques, as well as organizational capabilities and cross-team ...
Sep. 3, 2015 01:30 PM EDT Reads: 438
Puppet Labs has announced the next major update to its flagship product: Puppet Enterprise 2015.2. This release includes new features providing DevOps teams with clarity, simplicity and additional management capabilities, including an all-new user interface, an interactive graph for visualizing infrastructure code, a new unified agent and broader infrastructure support.
Sep. 3, 2015 01:30 PM EDT Reads: 576
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies leverage disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advance...
Sep. 3, 2015 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 370
In today's digital world, change is the one constant. Disruptive innovations like cloud, mobility, social media, and the Internet of Things have reshaped the market and set new standards in customer expectations. To remain competitive, businesses must tap the potential of emerging technologies and markets through the rapid release of new products and services. However, the rigid and siloed structures of traditional IT platforms and processes are slowing them down – resulting in lengthy delivery ...
Sep. 3, 2015 12:45 PM EDT Reads: 639
The web app is agile. The REST API is agile. The testing and planning are agile. But alas, data infrastructures certainly are not. Once an application matures, changing the shape or indexing scheme of data often forces at best a top down planning exercise and at worst includes schema changes that force downtime. The time has come for a new approach that fundamentally advances the agility of distributed data infrastructures. Come learn about a new solution to the problems faced by software organ...
Sep. 3, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 138
Any Ops team trying to support a company in today’s cloud-connected world knows that a new way of thinking is required – one just as dramatic than the shift from Ops to DevOps. The diversity of modern operations requires teams to focus their impact on breadth vs. depth. In his session at DevOps Summit, Adam Serediuk, Director of Operations at xMatters, Inc., will discuss the strategic requirements of evolving from Ops to DevOps, and why modern Operations has begun leveraging the “NoOps” approa...
Sep. 3, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 457
17th Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterprises ar...
Sep. 3, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,603