PNSQC Slides and Paper Are Up

My thesis defense is tomorrow which is why I haven’t posted in a couple of weeks.  If all goes well, I’ll be posting a link to that in the next week.

This is just a quick post to say that my paper and  presentation have been added to the PNSQC web-site, along with everyone else’s paper and presentation: click here and have fun exploring.

Since I don’t read from powerpoint slides, you won’t find much in the way of explanatory verbiage in the slides, but I’m happy to answer questions if there’s something you’d like me to clarify.  Ideally, I would download the paper, and read the paper while you have the slides up.  They told me to make all of the pictures for the paper extremely small and grayscale…sigh.  Kind of kills the whole visualization aspect of my paper, but I understand they had good reasons for asking.  This is exactly why Edward Tufte took out a 2nd mortgage on his house, and self-published his first book.  I would write more about that because it’s a post in and of itself, but my recursion ain’t workin’, gotta go!

Submitted an Abstract to PNSQC

I’m posting the abstract I just submitted to PNSQC. It’s also the abstract of the thesis I’m writing for my Masters. I’ve submitted a poster to the Grace Hopper Conference, but never before have I submitted a full-on paper requiring a full-on presentation. I chose PNSQC for 2 reasons: the focus is more on the practical side, unlike some of the ACM conferences and the conference is in Portland, Oregon. God, I love Portland.

Anyway, here is what I submitted:

Visualizing Software Quality

Moving quality forward will require better methods of assessing quality more quickly for large software systems. Assessing how much to test a software application is consistently a challenge for software testers especially when requirements are less than clear and deadlines are constrained.

For my graduate research and my job as a software tester, I have been looking at how visualization can benefit software testing. In assessing the quality of large-scale software systems, data visualization can be used as an aid. Visualizations can show complexity in a system, coverage of system or unit tests, where tests are passing vs. failing and which areas of a system contain the most frequent and severe defects.

In order to create visualizations for testing with a high level of utility and trustworthiness, I studied the principles of good data visualizations vs. visualizations with compromised integrity. Reading about these lead me to change some of the graphs that I had been using for my qa assessment and to adopt newer types of visualizations such as treemaps to show me where I should be testing and which areas of source code are more likely to have defects.

This paper will describe the principles of visualization I have been using, the visualizations I have created and how they are used as well as anecdotal evidence of their effectiveness for testing.

Software Testing Conferences

In my work as a 1 woman test team, figuring out best practices in testing has taken some work. Books help a lot. Advice from friends at my company who also test has helped out too, but I have a need to connect with other testers most of whom probably work on teams with much more structured testing guidelines. As if that weren’t enough, I have this master’s thesis I’m putting together that will deal with testing, and I’m looking for places to submit as a presentation or a poster.

Attending the Google Test Automation Conference last year opened my eyes to the fact that it is important to keep up with the best practices of other companies. Talking with other professionals in testing helped me gauge what I’ve been doing right at my job and where I can stand to improve. I’ve been looking around for other conferences to attend, and have found a few of them. Reading the blog posts of people who have attended or presented at these conferences is also interesting. In addition to including the links for some testing conferences, I’m also including links to some blog posts about those conferences (when I could find them).

Obviously my list is not exhausitive and will probably get dated over time, but I don’t mind adding to it. Likewise, if you have blogged about a testing conference you enjoyed or have comments about one of the conferences I listed, feel free to leave a comment.

Star East
Star West: JW on Test
PNSQC: Testy Redhead
CAST: Adam Goucher
GTAC: You can read my other posts or, for something completely different, check out The Automated Tester
Swiss Testing Day