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On November 17, 2020, Parasoft hosted the first-ever Automated Software Testing and Quality (ASTQ) Summit 2020 that showcased how industry leaders are solving real software quality problems. It was a great online event for software testers and managers to hear first-hand from real organizations about how they’ve solved real challenges in their software testing. It was especially interesting because, other than one industry analyst, all talks were given by actual software people doing work to make their software better.
I had the fun experience of being the event moderator. We limited the talks to 15 minutes each so each speaker could quickly get to the most important ideas. There's a short Q & A at the end of each session as well.
We’re all spending too much time in meetings these days, so we worked hard to find the most interesting speakers with the most compelling stories that will help others solve similar issues in their organizations. Keeping them quick lets you get the most value. Speakers covered topics such as unit testing, API testing, test data management, and service virtualization.
Let’s take a look at some highlights. All the sessions are online in case you missed the live event. You can watch each one on demand in any order that fits your own schedule and needs.
Diego has a wealth of experience and insight about software quality and shared it in his session, which answered three questions:
Next up was Herminio Vazquez, an IOVIO consultant at ING Mortgages. Herminio has helped deploy automated testing solutions for large ERP and CRM implementations around the globe and has interesting experience modeling complex test scenarios for very large events.
He took us on a “hero’s journey” to show how his developers use an effective service virtualization infrastructure to win the battle against change and testing at a global financial organization that relies on containers. Despite their complex environment, they set up a system where each team member can deploy their own services and tests in an isolated environment on demand. As a result, they can consume test data without affecting one another.
Next came Ryan Papineau, a senior software engineer at Alaska Airlines. Ryan has been deeply involved in testing a very complex set of interconnected applications necessary to keep an airline running. He lays out the challenges they faced.
Unless you have experience with the airline industry, it’s easy to overlook the complexity of their systems from loading to scheduling to fueling and more. Setting up a realistic test environment that can test your software properly is a big challenge.
Ryan explains how they used service virtualization to solve the challenges of a complex real-time infrastructure, by using proxies and test data management. This yielded them a fully functioning coordinated and integrated environment that allows them to test their scenarios reliably. It’s fascinating and full of ideas for your own organization.
The next presenter was Vince Recupito, senior software engineer at Fitch Solutions. Fitch is a financial firm with software built on over 200 microservices. They had recurring issues with unplanned downtime and wanted to reduce that impact. Not only was it bad for clients, but also their SLAs. Additionally, they have a lot of work shuffling. That means often working on a microservice they haven’t seen before.
To address these issues, they decided to put in a rigorous unit testing program relying on Parasoft Jtest to help create maintainable tests quickly and achieve code coverage targets. It’s fascinating to see how they approached it and the benefits it returned in terms of reduced system downtime as well as unexpectedly increased developer productivity.
Next up was Sandeep Meesarapu, principal software architect at Sabre, which is another travel technology company. Some of their challenges overlap with the issues in the Alaska Airlines talk above. They also interact with hotels, cruise lines, travel agencies, rail, and the like.
Sandeep describes ways to reduce developer and tester downtime as well as how to let the team focus on testing rather than the availability of downstream systems. By recording request responses from the system, they were able to do smart virtualization between the application under test and the downline system. This allows them to remove dependencies on the downline systems when testing, freeing people to do their job when they need to.
Sabre is also taking advantage of the Parasoft Continuous Testing Platform to bundle groups of services for a particular industry in a test environment for easy use, such as a specific airline and carrier with their particular configurations and data. This lets you quickly decouple from any constrained resources when you’re testing.
And our last real-world story was by Roosevelt Washington, IT manager for quality assurance at Caesars Entertainment. Roosevelt talked about their goals to define and measure ROI for test automation. He showed how you can both improve your testing at a hospitality conglomerate as well as understand how to calculate the value of the improved testing.
Caesars has 20,000 new properties and wants a consistent guest experience for their loyalty programs that rely on using reward cards on a vast number of machines at all those properties, which requires a lot of integration work and testing.
They created a self-service automation framework where users can go to an interface, select use cases they want to run even if they don’t know how to code, and off it goes. And importantly, Roosevelt shows how they measured the benefit of all this automation infrastructure, ensuring that his budget is justified for what he did in the past and what he plans to do next.
There are some great tips when he explains how you can measure ROI in a way that can easily justify the efforts and budget you need to get the right tools for your test automation program.
At the end, there's a short wrap up by Mark Lambert, VP of strategic initiatives here at Parasoft. Mark gives a great (and brief) summary of the key topics. If you’re looking for a TL;DR session, this is the one.
In his session, Mark recaps the key messages shared during this virtual summit and the lessons learned. Test automation enables enterprises of all sizes and industries to address a variety of testing challenges and achieve quality goals with techniques like API testing, service virtualization, and unit testing.
If you have topics you’d like to hear about, let us know. Contact us if you'd like to participate in a Parasoft event as a speaker. We believe in the value of clients sharing their experiences as real-world users would love to hear from you with insights.
And if you’d like to try out some of the technologies shared in our Automated Software Testing Quality Summit, click one of the links below:
Arthur has been involved in software security and test automation at Parasoft for over 25 years, helping research new methods and techniques (including 5 patents) while helping clients improve their software practices.