Seattle Area Software Quality Assurance Group

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Past Meetings 2006

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Penetration Testing Demystified

Nov 2006

Think like an attacker is the new catch phrase for security testing but in actuality, such na�ve advice does very little to help you find security bugs in your products. Instead, you need to think like a tester and be armed with some advanced knowledge about security vulnerabilities. This talk is for experienced testers who want to learn how to find security bugs and James will discuss what you need to know to take your testing skills and turn them to the dark side.

Presentation  (2.7mb)


James A. Whittaker,  Microsoft

James A. Whittaker, now a Security Architect at Microsoft, has spent his career in software testing and security. While a professor at Florida Tech, he created the largest academic software testing research center and made testing a degree track for undergraduates. Before he left Florida Tech, his research group had grown to over 60 faculty and students and had won over $12 million in research awards and contracts. He has several security-related patents for defense against viruses and worms and is the creator of the highly acclaimed runtime fault injection tool Holodeck.

Dr. Whittaker received the Ph.D. degree in computer science from the University of Tennessee in 1992 and is the author of How to Break Software, How to Break Software Security (with Hugh Thompson), How to Break Web Software (with Mike Andrews) and over 50 peer-reviewed papers on software development and computer security. He currently works at Microsoft on the Trustworthy Computing Initiative.


From QC to QA and Beyond

Oct 2006

The discipline of testing is maturing from an infancy and adolescence of test execution, defect detection and quality control, to a mature discipline of defect prevention, thorough analysis, and quality assurance.

As the discipline of software testing reaches full maturity, we will require engineers with advanced technical skills and access to continued training.  Software testers will no longer be second class citizens, and will have significant impact on the way software is engineered.

Presentation  (361kb)

On-Demand audio quality not the best, but a great listen!  Also, Q&A was edited out because of audio quality.


Alan Page, Microsoft

Alan Page is a Test Architect on Microsoft's Engineering Excellence team. Among other things, this means Alan teaches testers how to be better testers and works with test teams to reach their goals.

Alan has been a tester for almost fifteen years. The last eleven of them have been at Microsoft, where he beat on various flavors of Windows, from Windows 95 to Windows CE. Now that he is with Engineering Excellence he is not directly responsible for testing any specific product but rather is charged with helping all of Microsoft test better.


Open Space Event On Software Quality

Sept 2006

We will be holding an Open Space event with the general topic of Software Quality. The exact topic or topics will be decided by the people who show up. If you have a topic, question, or concern this event is for you if it concerns the broad topic of SW Quality.  It can be about testing, quality assurance, metrics, improvement, LEAN, etc.  We have done Open Space events at SASQAG in the past, but this is the first time we have decided to let the participants decide on the specific topic or topics for discussion.  Since this Open Space is only scheduled for 60 minutes, we call it a "Mini-Space" event!

If you are unfamiliar with Open Space Technology, here is a short explanation of Open Space Events which contains links to other can also just Google to Open Space.

Slides selected from the SASQAG, June 2002 presentation were used as the process overview before the event.

Facilitated Event Results

There were three topics chosen by he attendees for further discussions.  We broke into three teams to work on these topics.

  • How do I convince management of the value of a SQA group in  small SW Company? (Flynn)

  • When you�re testing, where/how do you get your �ideas�? (Jon)

  • Why so many Process Improvement Methodologies? (Sada)




Creating a Successful QA Department

Aug 2006

Putting together an effective and productive Quality Assurance organization is not easy.  While the road to success may be different for each organization, there are key competencies need.  Mr. Wieland's presentation will include some of these areas including process management, manual and automated testing, environment management and business/system acumen.  The presentation will also include how to "put QA in it's place" including how to elevate QA to a strategic level within the enterprise.  Other implementation ideas will be presented including host to make organizational structure work or you, and how to string together small successes to gain commitment.

Presentation  (20kb)


Kelly Wieland, Director of QA, Safeco Insurance

Kelly Wieland is Director of QA for Safeco Insurance.  He started in testing 10 years ago, spent 5 years as an analyst and had held various positions leading to his current role overseeing QA for over 450 applications at Safeco.


How to Document Processes for Quality

A lively romp through process capability, documentation, and measurement without getting your feet wet.

July 2006

Presented by

Tom Gilchrist

Many standards, initiatives, and measurement programs rely on the identification and documentation of work processes with the goal of improving quality, cost, schedule performance, productivity, and etc.  The problem has been how much of a process needs to be documented to make it a �capable� and �managed� process.  If we improved it, how would we know?  Why does there seem to be a �disconnect� between process improvement initiatives, quality assurance, and the real work of getting software out the door?  This presentation gives you a set of tools that can be used at a project, program, organizational, and/or enterprise level to incrementally define and measure processes to identify and eliminate waste and rework.  You will probably never look at your washing machine the same way again!

Presentation Slides (pdf)

SIPOC Example (35k pdf)

Teamflow Process Flow Example (11k pdf)


Tom Gilchrist, CSQE, CSQA
Tom has worked at Boeing for the last 22 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 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 certificate program in software testing as both an instructor and as a member of the advisory board.  He is the current chair of the Seattle Area Software Quality Assurance Group (


"The �W�s of Software Measurement"

June 2006

This presentation provide an overview of the elements of successful software measurement, examining the elements of Why, What, Where, When, and Who.

Anyone who has seriously looked at software measurement will recognize that there is no upper limit to the cost of measurement and no lower limit to the benefits of measurement, with �negative benefits� a real possibility. A fortunate few of this group also recognize that the right measurement activity will yield benefits far in excess of any. The differences between measurement bargain and boondoggle are subtle. Focus on these differences comprises the body of the material for this presentation.

The intended audience has a working knowledge of the principles of statistical process control and the ability to understand the mathematical principles behind a mature comprehensive measurement practice.

Presentation  (1.4mb)


Steve Neuendorf

Mr. Neuendorf has spent over twenty 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 standards and their use and has worked extensively with ASME commercial and nuclear quality standards. 

Mr. Neuendorf is the author of two books: Project Measurement (Management Concepts, Vienna VA, 2002) and Six Sigma for Project Mangers (Management Concepts, Vienna VA, Currently in publication).


Release and Configuration Management, The Acceleration of Change and Its Contribution To Software Quality,

May, 2006

It is not enough to know who moved the cheese - you must also know the type of cheese and when that cheese moved.  Release and Configuration Management is a necessary discipline whose value to software quality has only increased with the acceleration of change and complexity.

This presentation will describe the components of Release and Configuration Management and how these components contribute to software quality.   Using that information as a foundation, the presentation will explore the acceleration of change in the business environment and how one must change faster and document better in order to test faster and better.

Presentation  (308kb)


Presented by Ron Eastwood, Boeing

Ron  is senior Configuration Management Specialist for The Boeing Company.  Ron has been practicing Release and Configuration management for over 20 years and has led many projects to define and establish release and configuration management.  Prior to coming to Boeing, Ron worked for EDS as an application developer supporting many projects from General Motors to the US Navy.  More recently, Ron has been working to support Boeing's compliance to the Sarbanes - Oxley Act. 


System Implementation Details:

Understand, Test, Ignore

April 2006


Testers sometimes focus only on product functionality. The best testers also consider the system implementation details: programming language, runtime environment, operating system, resource usage, and more. To improve your testing and find more issues that affect customers, you first need to understand what is really happening inside your product. Second, you need to test the interactions between the product and the system implementation (but you don't need to re-test everything). Third, you need to ignore what you have learned: customers will always blame the product even if the system implementation caused something bad to happen. Learn about problems with implementation details in GUI-based applications, API's, and web systems.

Presentation  (167kb)


by John Lambert, MicroSoft

John Lambert is a test technical lead at Microsoft. He works on test automation, test methodologies, and penetration testing for the Windows Communication Foundation. He is an inventor or co-inventor on six patents, four of which are related to testing. He has presented at PNSQC and STAR. John graduated with a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in computer science from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH. During college, he spent a summer as a Program Manager Intern at Microsoft and a summer as a Research Intern at Cigital.

Key Measurements for Testers (Part2)
March 2006

(This is a continuation of Pam's November 2005 presentation with information she didn't get to because of all the questions.  She has also added some additional slides and content)

What more can a test team measure than just the number of open and closed defects or test cases run? As any quality professional knows, there is a lot more to running a good test team than the bug count. This presentation will present several measures that are easy to identify and collect that give key insight into the testing process. These measures will allow you to go past the bug count to more effectively manage and predict your testing process. You will be able to give data to back answers to questions like, �How much time do you need in testing?� and, �Is the software good enough to release?�

Presentation  in PDF Format  (710kb)


by Pamela Perrott
Construx Software

Ms. Perrott works as a Senior Quality Architect at Construx Software. She has been in the IT industry for 23 years as a programmer, systems programmer, analyst, project manager for tools implementations, and instructor. Pam is a member of the Computer Society of the IEEE, the Association for Computing Machinery, the Data Resource Management Association, the Puget Sound Chapter of the Association for Women in Computing, the Puget Sound Chapter of the Special Interest Group on the Computer-Human Interface (SIGCHI).

Pam has an AB from Bryn Mawr College in Biology, an MA from Cambridge University in Biochemistry, a Certificate in Data Processing from North Seattle Community College, and a Master's in Software Engineering from Seattle University. She is also a Certified Function Point Specialist (CFPS) and a Certified Software Test Engineer (CSTE).




February 2006

Are you tired of wasting time repetitively setting up and tearing down test system configurations or waiting for someone else to prepare them? Overwhelmed by the number of test cases required to achieve adequate test coverage and the limited resources available on which to test them? Looking for ways to further automate and accelerate your test cycles?

The processes for provisioning software test labs today are mostly manual, time-consuming and expensive.  While test and QA engineers have embraced Automated Software Quality (ASQ) Tools to automate test processes they continue to suffer through manual preparation of their test environments. This session will explore how infrastructure virtualization technologies can automate the setup, configuration and teardown of complex software environments to optimize resource utilization, accelerate testing cycles and increase test coverage.

Presentation  in PDF Format  (865kb)


Presented by Sameer Jagtap

Director Product Management, Surgient

Sameer Jagtap is Director of Product Management for Surgient, responsible for defining and managing the business goals for Surgient's product portfolio. Prior to joining Surgient, Sameer was the founding Director, Product Management and Software Development at, a help-desk joint venture between Dell and Motive Communications backed by Accel Partners and Austin Ventures. Before that Sameer managed Dell's e-Support product development. In that role Sameer was the recipient of Dell's "Office of the Chairman" award for contributions to e-support. Prior to joining Dell, Sameer held a number of development roles at NCR Corporation. Sameer holds a Bachelor of Computer Engineering degree from the University of Poona, India where he graduated with distinction, and a Master of Computer Science degree from the University of South Carolina.

Load/Performance Type Testing Tools
At A Price You Can Afford
January 2006
There are two purposes in this presentation. The first purpose is to help you find an inexpensive testing tool that will do the job for your specific situation in a way that you will realize the needed ROI for the project at hand. The second purpose is to stress the importance of identifying and knowing what the job is that you need done before you start so that there will actually be a ROI when you are done. These two purposes are also a necessity in choosing the right tool. You can not pick the right tool if you do not know what it is that you want to test. You can not accomplish the purposes of your testing if you do not have reliable results. There will be no reliable results if you do not have the right testing environment and the right team to do the testing.

Presentation in PDF format (430kb)

by Cordell Vail and Joe Towns
Washington School Information Processing Cooperative (WSIPC)

Cordell Vail, CSTE
Cordell grew up in Utah, graduated from the Brigham Young University and has completed two years of graduate school work at the University of Utah in Interpersonal Communications. Cordell brings to the presentation a test engineer's perspective. He is a Certified Software Test Engineer and Certified School Business Specialist with 9 years experience in manual and automated testing. Cordell has made several presentations on �Improving Testing Processes� at both local and national conferences.  He works as a Quality Assurance Analyst. -

Joe Towns
Joe grew up in the Seattle area, attained his degree in Computer Science and has worked in the field of software development for over 18 years. Joe has worked in various phases of software development, with focus on quality assurance, quality control and configuration management. Joe is currently the Applications Development Manager and Project Manager for the Financial Management development team at WSIPC, where he is pursuing PMI certification. Joe brings a development perspective to the presentation. � 



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