$99 Training Days

The Social Psychology of Improving
Software Testing Processes Where You Work
by Cordell Vail, CSTE, CSBS

Friday, July 28 9:00am – 4:00pm

Honeywell Learning Center
14980 NE 31st Circle, Redmond, WA
North Entrance / Laguna South Building, (425) 376-2400


Hope you signed up…we’ll see you all there!


The concepts for this presentation were born out of frustration from going to seminars and national conferences but having no way to impart that knowledge to fellow employees or management upon return to work.

I have been in software testing for 10 years, but my original background was in Interpersonal Communications and Social Psychology. Eventually I moved from that field into the world of being a developer and then on to being a test engineer. I found that one of the most valuable skills I had in testing software was not just finding defects in applications, but in my ability to build relationships with developers, managers and co-workers.

We have all been in situations where the management or the developers considered us to be the advisory. When you are working in that adversarial environment, it is almost impossible to be a highly proficient test engineer. If your finding of defects is considered a personal affront to the developers ego or a menacing delay in release schedules by management, you work can not be effective. If you are only allowed to do the testing the day or two before release, rather than being invited to the software design sessions, your testing will only be able to point out very expensive defects. To change those things as a test engineer, you have to have influence. You have to have powerful influence as a respected testing engineer. That is what this workshop is about.


This workshop will help you learn how to build relationships. It will help you learn how to have an influence on your co-workers, developers and on management in such a way that when you learn new testing methodologies and concepts, they will gladly let you share the concepts with them. The principles in this workshop will help you build your reputation as a test engineer to the point that your testing advice will be sought after rather than ignored. You will find that using the principles of this workshop will help you learn how to change developer’s attitudes to where it will become one of not being willing to release the software until you have tested it rather than irritated that you have to.

This workshop will help you learn how to make communications an art form. A tool in your tool box that will be as valuable as anything else you do on a day to day basis. We have all been in situations where we had to work with an obstinate co-worker or a micro-managing boss. This workshop can make working with those people a fun game you will enjoy.

Who has not had a wonderful new idea on testing processes and procedures only to find out that your boss or co-worker learned what you were doing and presented that idea as their own to management. This workshop will help you learn how to take advantage of that situation rather than being discouraged by it.

This workshop will help you learn the 14 keys to conflict resolution. You will actually learn things that will help you manage a difficult manager or co-worker when necessary. Who would not want a more pleasant working environment? These concepts are tried and proven and will help you have a positive influence in your work environment in such a way that it will make you start looking forward to Monday mornings rather than Friday afternoons.

In this workshop you will learn how to make the best of any situation you happen to be in. You will see how you can easily learn to bloom where ever you are planted. You will learn how you can have a tremendous influence on your entire company. You will learn how one individual can make a difference and can help improve all the testing processes where you work.

The principles in this workshop will not only help you see a new sunrise in your software testing career, the principles will also help you in every part of your life. Life is made up of relationships. You will see that by using the principles in this workshop, when you cast your bread on the water, it can come back cake.

Who should attend?

This $99 day is about Influence. It is a seminar on learning how to have the influence to get yourself into a position to help improve and change processes where you work. It will have broad appeal to Test Engineers, Developers, Configuration Management, Project Managers and System’s engineers as well as Test Leads, and Managers. Any one who is involved in working with other people on a daily basis, especially on a team, where building relationships is important, will find the concepts of this seminar invaluable.

Why Attend?


There is much more to improving the testing process at work than just learning a better way to do the process. You have be able to get yourself to the place where you have the influence to do so. Every feel like no one is listening to you?


Following the principles of this seminar has the power to literally change every part of your life, not just your professional career. Everything we do in our life is a process. If we repeat it, we can improve how we do it.


Attendees will learn personal self improvement tips that will increase your value at work and your job security.


You will learn how to improve your employee evaluation scores.


There will be a great deal of information on team building techniques . These concepts will put you in a position to then help build solidarity in the team members and as a result be better able to help your company refine and improve the testing process.


You will learn an effective method of time management and practical ideas on setting and keeping goals that are realistic and actually do work.


If you are working in a difficult or unbearable working environment, you need to come to this seminar. Anyone who has need to learn conflict resolution at work will greatly benefit from this seminar. Who has not worked with a micromanaging boss, obstinate fellow employee, developer who resented being shown errors, fellow employees who’s work ethics were less than desirable? This seminar will help you learn to deal with those issues.


You will learn how to build relationships with Test Engineers, Developers, System Engineers, Managers, Vendors and Customers. Some times things are so obvious they are overlooked. Anyone can learn to make communications an art form. These methods are proven to work.


Who has not had a wonderful new idea on testing processes and procedures only to find out that your boss or co-worker learned what you were doing and presented that idea as their own to management. This workshop will help you learn how to take advantage of that situation rather than being discouraged by it.


If you have felt frustration when you attended a seminar or conference and then found when you returned to work that you did not have the necessary influence with management and fellow employees to convey the useful information you learned in a way that it improved your testing processes, then this $99 day is for you.


You will learn how you as an individual can make a difference. You will learn how you can become an expert at what you do. You will learn what you need to do to get ahead personally as well as help your company to be a more stable and long lasting place to work. That is not impossible, it is just a lot of work. No one said it would be easy, just worth it.


The day will be filled with practical exercises so you can also learn from others in attendance how they have dealt with these problems.

Workshop Sessions


Personal Development: From a Test Engineers Perspective

In this session you will learn

1. The value of personal perspective in our lives

2. How to obtain three great gifts: Self Esteem, Self Worth, and Self Confidence

3. The inter-relationships of different parts of our lives.

4. How learning to do one thing well will help you do other things well

5. How your perception of your self may be different that how others see you

6. How to set and actually achieve goals in the different roles in your life

7. The role that aptitude plays in your life as a test engineer, developer or manager

8. Using the principle of congruence in your life to get ahead as a test engineer

9. How to set priorities in your life

10. How being consistent gives you great influence.

11. Three Keys to personal development: Preparation, Commitment, Persistence

12. The value of mentors

13. Using lists to change your life for good


Eleven Keys To Increasing Your Value At Work: Making A Difference

In this session you will learn how to use the eleven keys to improving your value at work:

1. Become known in the field of software testing

2. Understand the politics of work

3. Personal attitude and demeanor

4. Responsibility and Ownership

5. Cross training, education and certification

6. Making a contribution

7. Goal Setting

8. The 5 F Priorities

9. Use time management principles

10. Be a team member

11. Leadership


Conflict Resolution: The Art of Developing Relationships

In this session you will learn

1. How to build relationships with co-workers

2. How to build relationships with developers

3. How to build relationships with managers

4. How to build relationships with vendors

5. How to build relationships with users

6. The 14 keys to managing your manager and hard to get along with co-workers

7. How to deal with micromanaging

8. How to keep others from taking your ideas and presenting them as their own

9. How to get a better employee evaluation score

10. How to make communications an art form and a valuable tool in your testing tool box


Process Improvement: Ability to Change The Enterprise

In this session you will use the eight keys to maturing the testing process where you work to learn:

1. How to become an expert in your field

2. Why you need to understand the culture of your work environment related to testing

3. The need to excel in the knowledge of the current process being tested

4. The necessity of repeatability

5. Why and how change involves risk

6. How to identify your company’s ideal testing process

7. That conformity makes or breaks processes

8. How to implement the ideal testing process where you work


1. Review

2. Seeing and believing that this is not the end, it is just the beginning.

3. Assignments on how to use this information when you get back to work to actually increase your power of influence.

About Cordell Vail, CSTE, CSBS – Quality Assurance Analyst

Cordell grew up in Utah. He graduated from the Brigham Young University and has completed two years of graduate school work at the University of Utah in Interpersonal Communications. He served as an Infantry Platoon Leader in Vietnam. He was an instructor at Ft. Benning, GA Infantry School for 2 years and achieved the rank of Captain before his discharge from the Army. His work experience includes being a Controller for International Exchange Students Inc, and Laser Image Systems Inc, Assistant Plant Manager at Designer Line Manufacturing Inc, Software Developer and Senior Systems Analyst at Nixdorf Computer Inc and Software Developer at Software Systems Solutions Inc. With this wide range of business experience, Cordell also brings to the presentation a test engineer’s perspective. He is a Certified Software Test Engineer and Certified School Business Specialist with ten years experience in manual and automated testing. He now lives in the Seattle Washington area, where he was a Software Test Engineer at Weyerhaeuser for 8 years, and for the past 3 ½ years has been a Quality Assurance Analyst with the Washington School Information Processing Cooperative. WSIPC is a cooperative of 280 Washington State school districts. Cordell has helped several Test Engineers pass their CSTE certification test. He has published 5 books and is currently writing a book on the Social Psychology of Software Testing. His humorous and memorable presentations have entertained and educated audiences across the continent from Vancouver, British Columbia to Orlando, Florida – from Toronto, Ontario to Los Angels, California. Some recent presentations have been:
My Turn To Win: Making your own luck: An all day self improvement workshop given numerous times across the United States and Canada

Managing Your Manager and Other Difficult To Get Along With Employees: The Art of Building Relationships: An all day workshop that has been given several times to software groups in the Seattle, WA area. Also presented as a one hour presentation at the QAI 25th Annual Software Testing Conference Orlando, FL in October of 2004

Load/Performance Testing Tools and Techniques: One hour presentation that will be presented to the Progress Exchange 2006 Software Conference in Las Vegas, June 7th, 2006

How to Pass the CSTE Exam: Gathering Your Own Body of Knowledge: Presented to GE Healthcare testing staff at the IDX tower in Seattle, WA March 3rd, 2006

Testing Tools That Will Increase Your ROI : Presented at the 2006 Software Quality Association of Denver (SQuAD), Friday, February 17, 2006, PPA Event Center, Denver, Colorado

Stress, Load, Volume, Performance, Bench Mark and Base Line Testing at a price you can afford! , Pacific North West Software Quality Conference October 11th, 2005 Portland OR

Includes breakfast, lunch, afternoon snack

General Event Information (the fine print)
You can register by sending email as soon as possible to 99days@sasqag.org and include in the email:

Number and names of attendees

Organization or company

Email address for confirmation

Daytime phone number (with area code).

Payment option (at the door or check by mail before event).

You will receive confirmation by return email. If you don’t hear from us, try again! Once registered, you are expected to pay and attend (see “the fine print” below)

In order to provide materials and food for the event, we must have your reservation and payment at least 3 working days before the event. Last minute reservations can be made via email at 99days@sasqag.org and we will let you know if there are any seats available.

The class costs $99 per person (that’s why we call it $99 training days)! Payment can be made by sending a check or money order (made out to “SASQAG”) to:


14201 SE Petrovitsky Rd

Suite A3-223

Renton, WA 98058

You can make arrangements to pay “at the door” if you contact 99days@sasqag.org and get a confirmation. Payments at the door can be made by either Cash or Check. Remember, we are not set up to take Credit Cards.

In order to provide materials and food for the event, we allow cancellations with a full refund up to 3 working days before the event. Refunds will be made by check within 30 days of the event. If you cancel within 3 working days of the event, refunds will be issued if we are able to sell your seat to someone else. If not, no refunds are made…our costs are frozen once we give a final count. Remember, you can always send someone else if you can’t make it at the last minute.

No Shows
Sometimes things happen and you are not able to attend the $99 Training Day Event and are not able to cancel your reservation ahead of time. If you make a reservation by email or mail and are not able to attend you will be responsible for the $99 fee unless you are able to make other written arrangements by mail or email (99days@sasqag.org) before the event. Of course, you can always get someone else to go and pay in your place. However, if you aren’t able to attend, we will bill you. Once you pay for the event, we will be glad to send you any materials handed out during the event. Remember, once we have a final count, our costs are frozen.

If you’re late
If you do not pay in advance, you can lose your seat if you are not processed by 9:10am. If there are “standby” people at the door that want a seat, we will sell your seat, first come, first serve. Again, if you have paid in advance and we have received your payment by 9:10am, you will not be bumped from the class. We strongly suggest pre-payment for all events to prevent disappointment if you are late. If you need to pay-at-the-door, please show up by 8:30am!

Food Service
We provide a light breakfast in the morning, a full lunch, and an afternoon break with the class. If you have special dietary needs, let us know (again, 3 working days before the class) and we will try to coordinate your needs with the Honeywell kitchen. We will send you email confirmation. Requests should be made by email to 99days@sasqag.org.

Event Cancellation
While we don’t expect to have to cancel any $99 Training day event, something might happen to either the speaker or the venue that would make it impossible or impractical to hold the event. SASQAG will make every attempt to contact you if we cancel the event and refund your $99 per person if you have already paid.

Directions to Honeywell Learning Center

14980 NE 31st Circle,
Redmond, WA 98052,


1. From I-5 or I-405 take the SR 520 exit eastbound.

2. Exit at 148th Avenue NORTH. The road will veer right at the stoplight. This is 148th Avenue.

3. Go over 520 and past the first light (past Azteca restaurant).

4. Take the next right. You will see a Microsoft Cedar Court sign and a building with #14860 on it. (This is 31st Circle NE, but there may be no sign there.)

5. Take a left onto the main side street at the Honeywell sign.

6. The Learning Center is located in the first building on your right (#14880). The entrance is on the north side.