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April Conferences with DCG Software Value

Conference season is back in full swing! This month you'll find us at two different conferences - coincidentally held in the same city, on the same dates! Both of these conferences are ones we return to year after year, so we can be sure that this year's events will not disappoint.

QUEST conference

First up is the QUEST conference (Quality Engineered Software and Testing). The conference features an exhibition hall, presenters and workshops/tutorials with a focus on testing. Tom Cagley, our Vice President of Consulting, will present, "Budgeting, Estimation, Planning and #NoEstimates - They ALL Make Sense for Agile Testing!," on Wednesday, April 20, from 11:15am-12:15pm. Tom will explain the difference between budgeting, planning, and estimation, as applied to testing in an Agile environment, and when they make sense, when they don’t, and in what combination for testing.

He will also teach a workshop, "Agile Estimation," on Monday, April 18 from 8:30am-4:30pm. The course focuses on providing QA managers, test analysts, and test automation engineers with an in-depth understanding of the principles and methods of estimating leveraged in an Agile development environment, through a combination of lectures with hands-on technique practice.

DCG is also a sponsor of the event.

Date: April 18-22, 2016
Location: The Renaissance Chicago Downtown; Chicago, IL

IT Financial Management

The second place you'll find us is the IT Financial Management Association’s (ITFMA) Financial World of IT Conference. The focus of this event is how to improve IT financial management capabilities. Harrison Zipkin, our Director of VC/M&A, will present "Shifting Operating Expense to Equity Value," on April 20th in the afternoon. His presentation will discuss how to convert operating expenses to equity value, highlighting current methodologies in IT and finance to enhance ROI.

Date: April 18-22, 2016
Location: Palmer House Hilton Hotel; Chicago, IL 

So, that's where we'll be in April! After each conference the presentations will be available for download - we'll be sure to post the links on the blog (they'll also be in our newsletters).

Our full event calendar is available here.

Written by Default at 05:00

Visit DCG at the QUEST Conference!

QUEST2015

We're headed back again this year to the QUEST conference - this time in Atlanta! Not familiar? QUEST is the best source for new technologies and proven methods for Quality Engineered Software and Testing. Thought leaders, evangelists, innovative practitioners, and IT professionals from across North America gather together for a week of events.

From April 20-24th, you'll be able to find DCG representatives all around the conference.

The easiest place to find us is at booth #12 in the exhibition hall! We urge you to stop by to see what we're giving away at our booth and to hear a little bit about how you can use the TMMi framework to give you more time and more money for other things (including a cup of coffee!).

We'll also be giving an EXPO Talk, "A Cross Section of TMMi Survey Results 2014." So if you're interested in learning more about how other companies have progressed through TMMi Maturity Level Three, don't miss out! We'll provide a profile of the level of capability found in a typical testing organization, areas of the model that tend to give respondents the most trouble and a general pattern of progression.

Finally, don't miss Tom Cagley, VP of Consulting & TMMi Accredited Assessor, when he gives his presentation on April 22nd at 11:00am. "Scaling Agile Testing with TMMi" will discuss how to effectively tailor and use the TMMi model in plan-based and Agile environments and how to measure the results.

Have we piqued your interest about TMMi? Take this high-level evaluation of how your organization's testing compares to the TMMi. Tom Cagley will personally follow up with your results - and you can always stop by our booth at QUEST to chat some more!

See you in Atlanta!

Written by Default at 05:00

Software Testing and the Fuzzy End of the Lollipop

LollipopDavid Consulting Group graciously invited me to attend the Quality Engineered Software Testing (QUEST) conference with them last week. As one of their partners, I jumped at the chance! It has been quite a while since I last attended a conference centered on software testing, and this experience was both refreshing and a little bit disappointing.   

The Refreshing Moments

The refreshing part of the conference was the people! I met a lot of software testing professionals who were eager to learn how to improve their personal knowledge and skillset in software testing, while also looking to elevate the software testing strategies used within their companies.

Aside from the participants, there were many vendors (i.e. DCG) in the conference exhibit hall and speakers offering a breadth of solutions to help companies better understand their testing processes and to provide strategies for evolving them. There was a lot of interest in TMMi, Test-Driven Development (TDD) and implementing a strategy to integrate automation to build software better, faster and cheaper. There was also a lot of chatter on how Agile development methods are being used in testing, with studies suggesting in excess of a 50 percent savings in cost and schedule when employed.

I also had the opportunity to meet with some of the automation testing technology vendors and there are some pretty nifty technologies available that leverage big data analytics and crowd-sourcing paradigms to help testing as a discipline to scale the complexity power curve. Innovation abounds in testing, from process, technology and overall methodologies. 

The Disappointment

The disappointment I felt from the conference came from the unfortunate fact that software testing always seems to get the fuzzy end of the lollipop, and that really hasn’t changed over the years. What do I mean by that? Well, let’s be honest, when issues start to occur during the development schedule, engineering, not quality assurance, gets the priority, and testing becomes a “nice to have” or, at best, a “we’ll only do as much as we can afford.” 

What I found from talking with the testing professionals at the conference, is that testing is still too often implemented as the last activity of the development cycle, instead of continuous integration throughout the lifecycle. Testing shouldn’t be the “hail Mary pass” at the end of the game. 

I’ve said it before, but we live in a software intensive world. From the moment we wake up, to the time we go to bed at night, our lives are touched by 100(s) of millions of lines of code. Don’t believe me? Think about it for a second: your car, electric toothbrush, water heater, dishwasher, stoplights, EZPass, transit system, elevator, cell phone, tablet, computer, television, cable box, refrigerator, corporate ID badge – all of these things are driven by software. These systems are complex, and yet, in general, software testing is still considered a “nice to have” when it’s crunch time. 

There are many software disasters that illustrate this point. The most recent and most visible example of this is, of course, The Affordable Care Act. I had high hopes that the congressional hearings regarding the software implementation of the ACA would yield policy on the liability that software intensive systems represent, which perhaps would have led to cascading changes throughout the testing world. However, I believe we all were sadly disappointed in the outcome. It underscores the point I’m trying to make here – that software testing is often overlooked and rarely prioritized.  Our use of software is increasing, but our focus on the quality of that software is seemingly stagnant.

So What?

If you’re a software testing professional, it’s well worth your time to plug into the greater community at one of these conferences. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, you’re probably connected to tons of software testing professionals via LinkedIn or other social media platforms. However, those platforms don’t beat the experience of getting out of your lab and pressing the flesh with others in your profession.

Events such as this one allow you – and me – to gain perspective about what lies in the realm of the possible – that which perhaps you previously thought was impossible. Stretch your legs and your mind at the same time! Oh, by the way, this conference had a booze cruise one of the evenings! C’mon, you can have fun and fill your mind with new testing knowledge at the same time!     

All in all, I ended up having a great time at the conference. I was happy to connect with true testing professionals that, despite my disappointment of the testing paradigm only moving perhaps inches instead of feet over the years, I was reassured by the people I met who were excited, enthusiastic and eager to carry the torch and continue to move our industry forward. 


Rob Cross
Vice President, PSC

Written by Rob Cross at 05:00
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See you at QUEST!

QUEST2014

April 7-11 David Consulting Group will be stationed in Baltimore for the Quality Engineered Software and Testing (QUEST) Conference.

We attend the conference every year – it’s one of our favorites – and we look forward to learning more about how other companies are approaching software testing, as well as sharing our own experiences.

This year, we’ll have a booth in the EXPO hall, so definitely come visit us at booth #12 (hint: we’re giving away an iPad mini this year!). But, we’ll also be participating in the conference as speakers.

On April 8, Tom Cagley, Agile Practice Manager, will present the half-day tutorial, "Make Integration and Acceptance Testing Truly Agile." Read the full tutorial description.

On April 10, David Herron, Vice President of Software Performance Management, and Pat Eglin, CMMI Instructor and TMMi Service Provider, will co-present, "Using TMMi to Measure, Improve, Deliver Higher Quality Software." Read the full presentation description.

Tom Cagley will also deliver an EXPO Talk, "DCG and Agile Immersion." Attendees will learn how DCG has combined Agile project management and Agile testing processes to reduce risk and ensure delivery.

More information on what we’ll be up to at QUEST is available here. If you plan to be there, leave a comment and let us know. We love to hear from fellow attendees to see what they’re looking forward to at the conference!

Written by Default at 05:00

"It's frustrating that there are so many failed software projects when I know from personal experience that it's possible to do so much better - and we can help." 
- Mike Harris, DCG Owner

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