Seattle Area Software Quality Assurance Group

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Past Meetings 2008

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A Panel: Quality Challenges and the Future of Software Manufacturing

Nov 2008

  • Keith Stobie

  • Tracy Monteith

  • Tom Gilchrist

A Panel of distinguished QA/QC experts bring together over a century of experience to elucidate likely challenges of software manufacturing. With crystal balls in hand, these prognosticators will lay out the landscape and challenges we will face in the future. Bring your thoughts, questions, and assumptions for our panel since our questions will be coming from our audience.


Oct 2008

Web application Security is becoming a hot topic these days. �Today over 80% of attacks against a company�s network come at the �Application Layer� not the Network or System layer.�

Companies today are moving more and more of their mission-critical applications and data into Web browsers. Unfortunately, many of the features that make browsers so convenient also make them incredibly insecure. As a result, hackers are able to use web applications to penetrate enterprises and access private customer databases. The resulting identity theft has become a major concern to corporations and consumers alike.

Topics discussed will include�

a.. Web application penetration testing methods (easy ways)
b.. Enumerating False Positives
c.. Constructing Cases
d.. Methods to report the identified bug

PowerPoint Slides

Dr. Ravi Kiran Raju Yerra
ARSIN Corporation



Dr. Ravi Kiran Raju Yerra holds a doctor of science in internet security management and has a thirteen years of experience in delivering application security, product security, information security and software testing(QA) across numerous sectors including mobile and fixed telecommunications, banking, publishing, broadcasting, pharmaceutical , government and education. Since 1995, Ravi is involved in multiple information security projects and played a vital role in establishing various government information security initiatives, which includes mentoring, delivering and managing information security and Quality Assurance initiatives

Now, as a practice head and vice president of security solutions, he helps teams realize the benefits associated with information, application, network and mobile security solutions. He is also a renowned international speaker, who presented contradictory topics such as Smart Cloning, GSM Spoofing in Hack in the box, Information Security World etc. and also he participated in various university researches such as establishing Centre of Excellences

What Makes SQA a Waste of Time

Sept 2008

For many people in software, QA is testing running code and anything else is a waste of time.  Why does there seem to be a �disconnect� between process improvement initiatives, quality assurance, and the real work of getting software out the door?  Does it seem that every hour spent on improvement efforts is just an hour less we have to get the product out the door?  This presentation looks at the problems and concerns with current quality assurance and process improvement efforts in the "real world".  Solutions/ideas are offered that can be implemented incrementally to better define and measure quality in both small teams and large, complex systems environments.

PowerPoint Slides

Tom Gilchrist, CSQE, CSQA
Associate Technical Fellow, CAS, Boeing 

Tom has worked at Boeing for the last 25 years as a senior software engineer, and is currently an Associate Technical Fellow in the field of software quality assurance for Boeing Commercial Aviation Services (CAS). Before his work at Boeing, he worked as the principal in a number of software development startup companies and has worked as a software development consultant.  Tom is a member of the American Society for Quality (ASQ), and serves as the ASQ software division's Region 6 counselor.  Tom is currently involved in the University of Washington's Extension Software Testing Certificate program both as an instructor and as a member of the advisory board.  He is the current chair of the Seattle Area Software Quality Assurance Group (

Acceptance Testing and QA's Role in the Agile World
Aug 2008

The advent of agile methodologies have caused concern
and confusion in many an SQA organization; are agile practices like Test Driven Development and Acceptance Testing about to drive the SQA teams and practitioners into irrelevance? To the contrary, with a little adjustment SQA actually emerges in a leading role in software development process! This talk will show how lean/agile methodologies, by their nature, reassign SQA a leading role in software development through the practice of Acceptance Testing and Test Driven Development. We will:
   * Present some motivations for agility, and
   * the challenges agility presents the SQA team.
   * Explain Test Driven Development, and
   * define acceptance testing.
   * Summarize by discussing the resulting adjusted role of the SQA.
   * Discuss how to proceed from here

Target audience.
Anyone involved with software development, especially SQA practitioners. The level of acquaintance with agility is not important.

Link to Presentation (pdf)

Amir Kolsky, NetObjectives  
July 2008

No Meeting This Month


Choosing the Right Certification for your Career

June 2008

With so many options available how can we select certifications that benefit our career paths? Choosing a certification can be an intimidating task, but making the right choice depends on how well you understand where you are at the moment and most importantly, where you want to be.

The right certification will reinforce and validate your current expertise and can help you broaden your skills to move on to the next stage in your career. Come and learn what certifications are best suited for your career path.

Alejandro Ramirez

Software Development Engineer in Test, Microsoft Corporation

Alejandro Ramirez began his career 10 years ago as a software developer and then moved into software testing and quality assurance in 2000. Alejandro has worn the hats of leader and individual contributor and has worked for small organizations as well as Fortune 500 companies like GE, Anheuser-Busch, GMAC, and Microsoft.  He was co-founder and chairperson of the St. Louis Quality Assurance Association and is SASQAG's QAI certifications chair since last year.  Whether at work or outside, he has been sharing his love for his field through training and presentations all along his career.


May 2008

Emulation tools are particularly suited to software development for embedded applications. Early emulators were based on hardware, limited in resources, and proprietary. They were poor tools to develop code, and just about useless for testing. Processor performance has improved tremendously and the situation is much better today. A prime reason is targets can now run a conventional desktop operating system. Dan will describe several important benefits from this for Development as well as Test, and what it takes to make infrastructure based on emulation workable. There will be a demonstration comparing emulator operation with the real target for a portable entertainment product. Emulation encourages automated test, and several examples will be shown.

PowerPoint Slides (1.7mb)

Dan Voss, Varolii Corp


Dan has been involved in software projects for many years as a developer, project manager on small teams, and for the past 9 years, in testing.  Most of his experience is in embedded control applications that used emulation in some form.  This included test instrumentation at Fluke, computer system peripherals at Tally and Avocent, and most recently, wireless consumer products at Varia Mobile.  He just started in a quite different direction in database applications QA at Varolii Corp.  Dan earned a BSEE from Santa Clara University and an MSEE from the UW.  He has CSTE certification and is a registered EE in Washington

Software Load and Stress Testing

April 2008

Why does my perfectly working application crash and burn in  Production?  The reliance on Outsourced and 3rd party applications bring an even greater risk and need for Performance and Load testing. This presentation introduces the need and business justification for load/stress testing, walks through information needed in order to set up a successful test, and provides an overview of the tools and system monitoring tools needed.  Examples of real world impacts, typical performance bottlenecks, lessons learned, and success stories will be detailed.

PowerPoint Slides (54k)


Matt Kramer

Senior Program Manager for Boeing for the Scalability Test Lab

Matt Kramer has worked in Software Quality Assurance since 97 and has been in QA leadership since 99.  While in QA Management he has built two QA departments  from scratch being a single resource and expanding to a maximum of 15 staff with firm processes and a load test program.  Matt has worked in small start up's, at Microsoft, AT&T, and in medical information companies.  He has been running load and stress programs for Boeing programs for the past two years.


Lights Out Testing


March 2008

Testing approach for an ERP application is very different from that of a Custom built application. The ubiquity and the sheer scale of an ERP system along with the kind of business process knowledge it demands, make the Quality Assurance of the ERP system a highly complex flow. When operating within the constraints of time, effort and cost it is a really tough challenge to ensure the quality of the system at the highest level.

A strategy called the �Lights Out Testing� addresses these challenges and it works with the diligent use of automation in test execution and validation to improve the scope of testing and reduce the testing cycle time. The solution is a three pronged approach where it focuses on the Knowledge Management, the QA Process and Test Automation which can again be tackled in the forms of automated and configurable execution and validation.

PowerPoint Slides (2.8mb)


Danis Yadegar, President

Arsin Corporation

Danis has more than 25 years experience in all aspects of software design, development, and testing with special emphasis on integration, scalability testing, database, and user interface development and he has pioneered the development of testing strategies and test automation solutions for complex SAP implementations. Prior to Arsin Danis held various management positions at Hewlett Packard, Tandem Computer and Micro Focus. Danis holds a bachelor's degree in Computer Science, and attended graduate school at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign


Combinatorial Analysis:

A pair-wise testing primer

February 2008

Fault analysis reveals that interaction between the variables of dependent parameters is a source of failure in complex systems. Imagine you are assigned to test a feature with 20 parameters that are interdependent. There are 5 possible variable states for each parameter. The total number of possible combinations is greater than a half trillion; which means that at one test per millisecond it would take more than 3000 years to test all possible combinations. Which combinations do we test? Pair-wise testing is a systematic procedure to effectively reduce the total number of tests by selecting a set of tests that evaluates every pair combination because historical and root cause analysis shows the majority of errors caused by the interaction of variables occurs between 2 parameters rather than interaction between the variables for 3 or more parameters. This talk compares orthogonal arrays to pair wise analysis, and then provides a detailed example of how to use one of the most powerful combinatorial analysis tools available today (Pair-wise Independent Combinatorial Testing, PICT) from Microsoft to systematically test complex interdependent parameters. Attendees will discover:

         The difference between orthogonal arrays and combinatorial testing

         How to logically decompose and model a feature set for combinatorial testing

         How to customize a model file for smart combinatorial testing

         How to use custom features of the PICT tool such as weighting, conditional and unconditional constraining, negative testing, seeding and output randomization


Bj Rollison, Test Architect, Microsoft, Inc.

Bj Rollison is a Test Architect with Microsoft�s Engineering Excellence group where he develops technical training curriculum, and teaches testers and developers at Microsoft various testing techniques and methodologies. Bj also teaches software testing courses at the University of Washington, and sits on the advisory boards for testing certificate programs at the University of Washington, the University of California Extension Santa Cruz, and Lake Washington Technical College, and is a frequent speaker at international software testing conferences

A Testers Guide to Aristotle�s Theory of Virtue:  A Model of the Happy Tester

January, 2008


This talk will introduce you to Aristotle�s (rather strict) Theory of Virtue, a theory that not only informs the Declaration of Independence but can guide the professional life of all testers. We will show how you can apply Aristotle�s principles to strategic decisions you may face as you choose to invest in emerging testing techniques and technologies.


Note: There were no slides... the presenter used the whiteboard.  Photos of the whiteboard are included in the On-Demand presentation.

  Michael Corning, Microsoft

Michael Corning  joined Microsoft in early 1997 a week after his first book, �Working with Active Server Pages� was published by Que. The book went on to smash records at Borders and stayed on the bestseller list for almost two years (10 months being an accomplishment in high technology publishing circles). He joined Microsoft�s Developer Support Group to help nurture the market for ASP. He recognized the potential of the next emerging technology, XML, in 1998, and in 1999, he joined the product team building Application Center to use XML to solve a perennial issue in Test: how can we keep test specs in sync with test code?

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Mailing Address:
Seattle Area Software Quality Assurance Group (SASQAG)
14201 SE Petrovitsky Rd
Suite A3-223
Renton, WA 98058