Seattle Area Software Quality Assurance Group

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Past Meetings 2002

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Agile Testing.  What Is It?  Can It Work?
November 2002

Software testers and quality professionals have mixed reactions to Extreme Programming and other agile development methodologies that favor speed over process. Do they provide better ways to deliver software? Or are they simply licenses for hacking? Bret Pettichord will review these trends and discuss his experiences working as a tester on agile projects. He'll present what testers can learn from agile techniques and values regardless of whether they are working on agile projects themselves.

Pettichord believes they present a unique opportunity to develop a practice for agile testing that uses tests as a way of communicating intention and expectation throughout the project team. Agile methods currently say little about the role of the tester. Come hear his discussion of how testers can help ensure smooth sailing on agile projects.
PDF slides 146KB

Bret Petticord

Bret Pettichord is a consultant and trainer who specializes in software testing and test automation. He is co-author of Lessons Learned in Software Testing, a Jolt Award finalist. He is the editor of and a columnist for He is currently researching testability, tests as specifications and relationships between testers and developers.

Bret is based in Austin, Texas.

Software Process Reviews and Audits:
How, When, and Why
October 2002
A good software development and maintenance manager uses processes to be successful.  Once processes are defined and documented, someone needs to see if they effective and useful.  If they aren't, they need to be modified.  Of course, it's always a good idea to see if they are being used before setting off to improve them.  This presentation will outline what process reviews/checks are, how they are done, and what you do with the findings and observations.  Unlike audits done in well defined environments (like accounting), software process checks need to be tailored to the ever-changing risks of the program they are monitoring.  If you do process engineering, manage, lead, or do measurement, this presentation will give you some ideas to do your job more effectively and predictably.
PowerPoint slides 239KB

Tom Gilchrist, CSQE, CSQA
Mr. Gilchrist has worked at Boeing for the last 19 years as a lead software engineer, senior software engineer, and is currently an Associate Technical Fellow in the field of software quality assurance for Boeing Commercial Aircraft Group, Information Systems. He currently is a program focal for Accreditation and Quality Assurance for a large, factory software improvement program.  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 as both an instructor and as a member of the advisory board.  He also is the chairman of the Seattle Area Software Quality Assurance Group.

Overview of Six Sigma in a Software Company
September 2002
Lean how to apply Six Sigma quality control techniques to software to improve customer satisfaction and development productivity.
PowerPoint slides 127KB

Russ Albright, Director of Six Sigma, Microsoft
Mr. Albright is responsible for determining the effective use of Six Sigma, driving key improvement projects and Six Sigma training and mentoring for the Microsoft product teams.  Prior to joining Microsoft in 1997, Russ served as Senior Director of Finance and Productivity at Nabisco, Inc. where he held a variety of positions including merger and acquisition integration and launching a major productivity initiative.

The Change Agent: Leveraging the Testing Role
August 2002
How can you help change your corporate culture to appropriately regard the role of testing?  Learn to position testing as a valued part of the project team.  Since testers provide the expertise in such critical areas as defect detection and prevention, their meri can be leverage simply by making their function understood by other project team members.  You'll learn to:
Publish a framework model that makes testing visible and clear to your audience.
Balance your approach among the 3 P's: People, Process, and Project.
Implement standardized techniques in soliciting & organizing test requirements.
Change Agent slides PDF 67KB
QA Test Planning diagram PDF 70KB
QC Framework diagram PDF 157KB
SDLC Components and Roles diagram PDF 12KB
Example Test Requirements PDF 94KB

David Capocci, CSQA, CSTE
Senior QA/QC Consultant, SAFECO Insurance
Mr. Capocci serves on the Advisory Board for the University of Washington Software Testing Certificate program and has taught classes for the program.  He coordinates Seattle exams offered by QAI through SASQAG.  He has presented at QAI's International Software Testing and Extrement Testing conferences, and at the STAR conference.

A Database Testing and QA Roadmap
July 2002
"This talk will give you a top-down checklist for covering database testing and quality assurance issues."

Database testing is an often-overlooked area of the testing process. This talk presents the essential checkpoints for testing the back end database as a stand-alone module, and as a component of an application. 
PowerPoint Slides (160KB)

by Ron Talmage  
Mr. Talmage heads Prospice, LLC, a database consulting firm based in Seattle. Ron is current president of the Pacific Northwest SQL Server User group, a Microsoft SQL Server MVP, and co-editor of the PASS newsletter. He writes for SQL Server Magazine, and SQL Server Professional, and has a series of articles on testing SQL Server in CoDe magazine. Ron has presented at numerous conferences, most recently at Microsoft Tech Ed Europe in Barcelona, Spain. You can reach him at rtalmage at

Working in Open Space: A Special Guided Tour
June 2002

In these times of swirling change, conversation qualifies as real work and is essential for powerful, profitable action. As specialization and customization increase, complex webs of relationships and information emerge, pressure for frontline decision-making and on-time delivery rises, and individual control seems to be slipping away, it's never been more important to be deeply connected with our partners at work. Open Space Technology is a simple, powerful way to catalyze effective working conversations and truly inviting organizations to thrive in times of swirling change. 

During the presentation, John will be soliciting suggestions on how to make SASQAG more relevant and useful to you, our membership. If you would like to join the discussion (and even it you don't), please plan to join us for this special event. Be prepared for something different and exciting you can take back and use in your working environment.

PowerPoint Slides (not used at meeting...for further info)150 KB

Reports from Open Space (Word,) 86 KB

by John Napier  
Mr. Napier is an independent software quality consultant with multiple certifications from the Quality Assurance Institute, the American Society for Quality, IEEE and the Project Management Institute. John is no stranger to SASQAG.  Athough he has not recently been a member of the SASQAG leadership team, he was one of SASQAG's founders, the first public meeting speaker and our first Membership Chair, BB (before Berit).

Special Support from: 

Peggy Holman, The Open Circle Company




Ten Guaranteed Ways to Fail at Improving Software Quality and Ten Better Approaches
May 2002
The software business has suffered from decades of optimistic delusions about methods for getting control of quality and deadlines. Many methods and tools are enthusiastically tried for a while, but do not deliver and fade away. Some methods persistently deliver if used correctly - but we have a habit of not using our best methods correctly - and they fail in that case too. In addition many people assume that quality means few bugs - yet real software quality is a large number of quality dimensions such as reliability (which is NOT bug density, of course), maintainability, portability, usability, adaptability, interconnectivity, testability. So we are going to argue that tools which are only focused on bugs, and which cannot directly deal with all other dimensions of quality will fail to get us the qualities our stakeholders need.

Get the slides in 
PowerPoint (2MB) or PDF (2MB) format

by Tom Gilb
International Software Consultant, Author, and Lecturer

Mr. Gilb was born in Pasadena in 1940, emigrated to London 1956, and to Norway 1958, where he joined IBM for 5 years, and where he resides when not traveling. He has mainly worked within the software engineering community, but since 1983 with Corporate Top Management problems, and 1988 with large-scale systems engineering. He is an independent teacher, consultant and writer. He has published eight books, including the early coining of the term "Software Metrics" (1976) which is the basis for SEI CMM Level 4. He wrote "Principles of Software Engineering Management" (1988, now in 13th printing), and "Software Inspection" (1993). Both titles are really systems engineering books in software disguise. His pro-bono systems engineering activities include several weeks a year for US DoD and Norwegian DoD, and Environmental (EPA) and Third-World Aid charities and organizations.

The IEEE Computer Society's
Certified Software Development Professional Exam
Overview and Discussion
April 2002
The IEEE has recently approved a certification examination for a Certified Software Development Professional (CSDP).  The exam is targeted for mid-level software engineers with 9,000 hours of experience in the exam body of knowledge.  The initial pilot of this exam was conducted in the spring of 2001.  The test window for the first regular exam is April 15 - June 30, 2002.  The test window for the second regular exam is October 5-26, 2002.

This presentation will provide an overview of the application process and CSDP certification requirements, taking the exam, the examination day, and what happens after the examination.  Mr. Tripp will discuss the general body of knowledge along with recommended bibliographical reference resources, and the value of those resources.  You will learn how many people have taken and passed as well as general criteria for passing the exam.

Get the slides in PowerPoint format (102KB)

by Leonard Tripp
Chairman, IEEE Professional Practices Committee

Mr. Tripp works as a Technical Fellow at The Boeing Company in the areas of software engineering processes, standards, and certification.  He is the chair of the Professional Practices Committee of the IEEE Computer Society.  Leonard served as the 1999 President for IEEE.  He has developed software engineering standards since 1982, including being chair of the IEEE Software Engineering Standards Committee from 1992 to 1998.  From 1993 to 1998 he served as the US Head of Delegation to the ISO committee on software engineering standards.  He has authored three books and 45 technical papers.


Debate on Metrics (BTSSB or CWOT)
March 2002
Are software metrics the Best Thing Since Sliced Bread (BTSSB), or a Complete Waste Of Time (CWOT)?
"What gets measured gets done."  Is this true in software?  Come join a debate on the relevance of metrics in software.  There will be plenty of time for the audience to pose questions to the panel, so think of some good ones.  Come prepared to cheer on your favorite side and "boo and hiss" the opposition.  These debates are popular and fun and you're almost certain to learn something.

by Steve Neuendorf (and others)

Mr. Neuendorf has spent eighteen years in software engineering metrics and process improvement, and the 15 years before that in various consulting, teaching, industrial engineering, and cost and management accounting positions. He is experienced with Function Point Analysis (FPA). He has designed and implemented processes that use FPA for management and improvement of activities and processes. Steve is well versed in the Software Engineering Institute's Capability Maturity Model. He is familiar with ISO 9000 standards and their use and has worked extensively with ASME commercial and nuclear quality standards.

Patterns of Software Test (PoST)
February 2002
This talk will give a brief overview of patterns.  It begins with Alexander and his architectural patterns and gives as an example the "window place" pattern.  Example patterns from the Design Patterns book will be presented.  You will learn about work on software testing patterns including Binder's book.  The Category-Partition pattern will be used as an example.  Finally  you'll hear about the Workshop on Patterns of Software Test, including a brief discussion of how to write patterns and examples such as the Architectural Achilles Heel and Test Result patterns.

Get the slides in Adobe PDF format (417KB)


by Keith Stobie
ASQ-certified Software Quality Engineer

Mr. Stobie works as a Test Architect at Mcrosoft where he plans, designs, and reviews software architectures.  He currently works on a web services runtime for .NET.  He directed and instructed in QA and test process and strategy at BEA Systems, including project work on BEA WebLogic Collaborate and WebLogic Enterprise.  With over 20 years in the field, Kieth is a leader in testing methodology, tools technology, and quality process.  He is a qualified instructor for systematic software testing and software inspections.  Keith is active in the software task group of ASQ and participates in IEEE 2003 and 2003.2 standards on test methods.  He has published several articles and presented at many quality and testing conferences.  Keith has a BS in Computer Science from Cornell University.

Process Improvement While Management Isn't Looking
January 2002
Many of the presentations and articles that talk about process improvement state that upper management support is crucial to a successful process improvement initiative.  But what if you don't have that support?  The presenter wil offer several strategies to get your process improvement started while management isn't looking.  These strategies will included data collection and presentation methods, forming alliances, getting the information you need, and establishing a corporate memory.

Get the slides in PowerPoint format (110KB).

by Earl Beede, Senior Process Architect ,  Construx Software

Mr. Beede leads several of Construx's public and on-site seminars.  He has worked over the past 13 years in the telecommunications, aerospace, and defense industries.  He is a member of the IEEE Computer Society.


Email questions about SASQAG or this web site to webmaster at

Email questions about SASQAG or this web site to: webmaster at

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