Assurance Leadership Forum 26 July 2017

The 55th Assurance Leadership Forum will take place on Wednesday 26 July 2017 at the conference centre at Balls's Brothers, Minster Court

Sponsored by CA Technologies and Edge Testing Solutions

Eventbrite - Assurance Leadership Forum - Wednesday 26 July 2017







Jonathon Wright, CA: Cognitive Adaptive Testing: Driving ‘Shift Right’ based on analytics-driven Digital Experiences (DX)

Dave Longman, Headforwards: Why cant developers be testers?

Dave King, Financial Conduct Authority: Lean and Agile: Unhappy bed fellows?




Dan Martland, Edge Testing: Next Generation Testers

Paul Gerrard, Principal, Gerrard Consulting: Test Axioms, Assurance and the questions you need to ask your projects

Susie Maguire, Independent: Life, love and the limbic system


Drinks Reception


Abstracts and Bios

Jonathon Wright, Chief Technology Evangelist CA: Cognitive Adaptive Testing: Driving ‘Shift Right’ based on analytics-driven Digital Experiences (DX)

Continuous Adaptive Testing means harnessing the power of analytics and autonomics for continuous delivery. We all know digital technologies are rapidly transforming businesses. This is driven by trends towards omni-channel content delivery, utilization of big data and an improved customer experience. Digital business systems need to be extremely responsive to fickle customer sentiment, work across a variety of devices, be resilient in the face of unpredictable failure modes, and process huge amounts of unstructured data. Such scenarios put extreme pressure on IT systems and processes to be not only more responsive, but adaptive to meet digital business needs.

While automation solutions within current testing implementations help to address agility need, such automation is typically driven by static rules using conventional scripting and orchestration techniques. Such techniques incur high maintenance overhead to keep updated relative to changing circumstances. The recent emergence of predictive analytics and cognitive technologies (such as autonomics) have opened the possibility to drive adaptive automation within testing implementations. Such automation is able to self-heal and self-configure based on changing situations. In this session, Jonathon will present how analytics and autonomics technologies can be leveraged to power the next generation of continuous adaptive testing implementations, and how they can support the needs of digital businesses. He will share:

  • How you can automate the automation to eliminate error-prone tasks
  • Leverage the power of machine learning to self-heal automation through diagnosis analysis
  • Introduce big data analytics across the delivery pipeline to close feedback loops and provide actionable insight-driven analytics
  • Demonstrate how to enable these capabilities within you own organisation  

Jonathon is a strategic thought leader and distinguished technology evangelist. He specializes in emerging technologies, innovation and automation, and has more than 18 years of international commercial experience within global organizations. He is currently the Director of Product Management for CA R&D based in Oxford in the UK.

 Jonathon combines his practical experience and leadership with insights into real-world applications of the core principles and methodologies underpinning DevOps, Digital Assurance and Enterprise Digital (Smart Cities, IoT and AI). Thus, he is frequently in demand as a speaker at international conferences such as Gartner, Oracle, Unicom, EuroSTAR, STAREast and STARWest. Jonathon is the author of several award-winning books.

Dave Longman, Headforwards: Why cant developers be testers?

As the applications we deliver become more and more complex and the expectations of our users become more demanding we need to be able to demonstrate that our code is working correctly with less manual intervention. Added to this is the ongoing drive within our industry for a more rapid release cadence which leads us to much more automation than ever before. In this new world how does the role of developers and testers within a team change?

For the past 5 years, I have been working with development teams to reduce the need for testers. We have moved the responsibility and accountability of the application quality from the testing team to the development team and increased the focus on automated testing. In these teams the role of a tester has become akin to an expert consultant working with developers to elucidate risks and agree what test scenarios are most important to ensure we have confidence that the applications are working correctly. While they still perform manual exploratory testing, most their time is spent working with developers to define what tests we need rather than necessarily creating them.

We have found that the skills developers have put them at an advantage when building automated test pipelines for large or complex applications. Automated test packs are becoming large code bases in their own right and approaching the delivery of these with standard software engineering experience creates more maintainable and performant test packs. Aligned to this is the developers unique understanding of how the application is constructed which enables them to make more effective decisions about how a scenario is best implemented and allows us to shift more risk mitigation down to lower level unit or integration tests.

While this has been successful for the teams I have worked with so far, we still have a professional tester within all our teams. In fact, recently I have been working with an organisation who historically relied on end-users for all testing and we introduced new testing roles within each of the teams. Is the future a world where delivery teams have no formal testing role, is it feasible for developers to become good software testers as well as good software developers?

In this session, I would like to explore whether the result of moving the accountability of application quality to the developers will ultimately lead to teams without any testers and if so what key areas do we need developers to improve to facilitate this? Are there any areas where more focussed skills and experience are necessary or can everyone be a generalist? What do we lose by not having a more traditional tester within the teams

Dave Longman is a Product Owner and Scrum Master with 8 years’ experience building agile teams. He currently works for Headforwards, leading agile teams split between Cornwall and Kent. Previously he worked for IDBS in Surrey managing technical teams and leading an agile transformation of the Product Delivery organisation.

Dave King, Financial Conduct Authority: Lean and Agile: Unhappy bed fellows?

Increasing commercial pressures coupled with a changing environment have resulted in many organisations seeking the holy grail of enhanced customer experience, better productivity, reduced costs and more profit. Organisations have jumped on a range of methodologies; Total Quality Management, Six Sigma, Deming, Lean, Agile, Scrum and so on in an attempt to reach the “Promised Land”. Most remain bitterly disappointed.  David King, a Lean Six Sigma practitioner of many years, recently looked to implement Lean into an IT function which simultaneously was looking to implement Agile. Whilst Agile shares many of the core principles of Lean improvement efforts appear hampered by methods and methodology. In the presentation he shares his experiences and observations of what worked and what didn’t and seeks to challenge the audience to consider how do we stop being tool heads and understand the wider principles to truly drive continuous improvement.

David King is a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt and has delivered transformational change in a number of organisations from both private and public sector

Dan Martland, Head of Technical Testing, Edge Testing Solutions: Next Generation Testers

In the early days of professional testing, structure and objectivity were seen as paramount – the best testers did what they were asked, how they were asked and never deviated from that. In the world of modern, high speed development we need a more dynamic approach. Are the kinds of people we have been recruiting historically still the best fit for our needs? What aptitudes and personal qualities will be needed to succeed in the next generation of testing?

Dan is the Head of Technical Testing at Edge Testing Solutions. He has worked on many complex projects in his 20 years of test consultancy and is passionate about testing as a career. Having line-managed matrix teams of up to 80 consultants, Dan believes strongly in career development and how every day is a learning opportunity

Paul Gerrard, Principal, Gerrard Consulting: Test Axioms, Assurance and the questions you need to ask your projects

Paul introduced the notion of Axioms of Testing in 2008. The original idea was to identify some principles or rules about which all testers could agree. An axiom is something believed to be true, but cannot be proven in any practical way. It could be disproven by experiment or experience and we should be prepared to be proven wrong and welcome attempts to do this.

The Axioms were greeted with both enthusiasm and some scepticism, but there was little criticism of the Axioms themselves. The Axioms are an attempt to provide a context-neutral set of rules for testing that identify the critical thinking processes and motivations for all test approaches.

Behind every Axiom lay a set of questions to ask. For example, The “Test design is based on models” Axiom has questions such as:

  • Which test models will be used?
  • What simplifying assumptions do these models make?
  • How will the number of tests derived from models be bounded?

These questions were intended to help you to derive a test strategy or challenge your own testing to identify areas of improvement. But they are also highly relevant to an Assurance function. Whether you address these questions to your own teams or suppliers they will help you to pinpoint problems in thinking and behaviours.

This session will introduce Test Axioms, the questions, and will discuss how you might use them. Perhaps there are more questions to add? The Axioms can be seen at

Susie Maguire, Independent: Life, love and the limbic system

Employee engagement has been top of management agendas for years, but despite all of the money and initiatives aimed at improving engagement, it remains a serious issue.

What’s going on? Why are employees worldwide so disengaged from their work? Is it the fault of Millennials, or are there deeper issues? Is engagement really so difficult to achieve? 

Viktor Frankl’s seminal work “Man’s search for meaning” is a masterpiece on the subjects of love and purpose and the need for both if life is to have meaning. Does this provide a clue to what is missing in organisations

In this highly interactive session, Susie Maguire will engage everyone in an enlightening and enlivening 75 minutes of discovery … both personal and professional … about the importance of meaning at work and the role of love and the limbic system in creating it

Susie Maguire has been consulting with organisations in transition and in the midst of major transformations for 30 years. She has worked alongside internal teams to create phenomenal hearts and minds engagement amongst up to 25,000 people on a global scale. Her clients have included Ericsson, Philips, Unilever, PepsiCo, Compaq/HP, STMicroeclectronics, Mitel Semiconductor, The BAA and Facebook.

Eventbrite - Assurance Leadership Forum - Wednesday 26 July 2017

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