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SOFTEC Asia 2013 interview: Test automation in agile and complex systems

AvantiKumar | Aug. 21, 2013
Travelling from Sweden to Malaysia for SOFTEC Asia 2013, Ericsson's software testing senior specialist Dr Sigrid Eldh previews some themes she will present as one of the event's expert speakers.

Computerworld Malaysia asked Ericsson's senior specialist, software test, Dr Sigrid Eldh, for a brief rundown of her topic at this year's SOFTEC Asia event, which will be held in Kuala Lumpur in September 2013.

Having held many positions at Ericsson, HP, Governance and other type of companies, she is now working at Ericsson AB at Radio System & Technology in Sweden with test strategies and research, an adjunct lecturer at Karlstad University and is also associated as an expert at Mälardalen University. She is also a co-founder of software testing certification bodies SAST, ASTA, ISTQB and SSTB.

Dr Sigrid - Ericcson modified

Photo - Dr. Sigrid Eldh, Senior Specialist, Software Test, Ericsson, Sweden

First: what areas will you be addressing at this year's SOFTEC?

It is going to be exciting this year as it is the first time that it will be held on a regional level. Themed, 'Test the Walk', this year's conference will see more than 25 international speakers participating. The line-up comprises of thought-leaders and experienced practitioners in various fields related to software testing and requirements engineering vocations.

I will be speaking on the topic of Test Automation in Agile and Complex Systems as well as conducting a full-day workshop on Test Strategies from day to day problem solving towards long-term testing improvements.

What can participants expect from your session, 'Test Automation in Agile and Complex Systems'?

Most businesses have already, or are in process, of transforming to some more light-weight, lean or agile methods. It seems it is possible to change even for large complex systems, since it is more a development philosophy and an integration approach.

In this transformation, we have learned several valuable lessons, and have still some more to discover, when we share both advantages and discuss development opportunities of the resulting quality in the context of agile methods.  The focus in this session is on the practice of Test Automation, including "radiators", which is a part of continuous integration: What are benefits, problems and solutions to test automation in this context. We also describe some of our research on Test Automation.

The key points or takeaways would be lessons learned on testing complex systems in an agile way, the advantages and development opportunities with agile testing approaches as well as the benefits, problems and solutions of test automation with continuous integration.

What will the workshop on long-term test improvement cover?

It will be an active participation workshop/tutorial, where participants get tools and know-how to solve some of the more difficult questions in software testing such as:  What should I do when? Do I have a plan - but what happens when it changes? Why do our customers find so many faults? Are we finding enough faults in our testing? How do I convince my management/test team to test better? How do I know which test techniques I should select? Do I have a vision of my own development as a tester?  How can I help my organisation or my company improve in testing? How good are we, really? And so forth.

A series of different test strategies will be discussed, from the day to day perspective, towards a long- term test improvement and vision. There will be a review on some real cases and learning methods to handle different test strategies.  The focus will be on how to solve some of these problems, and create strategies that will challenge the organisation and decision makers. At the same time there will be research subjects.

In a broad perspective, the key takeaways from this workshop would be methods to create a test strategy for short, mid and long term perspectives, approaches to analyse and decide alternative solutions to different quality problems, how to evaluate different cases and define improvement strategies and tactics to sharpen personal skills as a tester and test manager.

Hosted and organised by the Malaysian Software Testing Board (MSTB) under the auspices of the Malaysia Software Testing Hub (MSTH) initiative, SOFTEC Asia 2013 will be held at the Sunway Resort Hotel and Spa from 2-5 September. MSTB has been organising SOFTEC as a national-level conference since 2008.


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