Assurance Leadership Forum - 12 November 2018

The 60th Assurance Leadership Forum took place on Monday 12 November 2018 at the conference centre at Balls's Brothers, Minster Court

Guest Programme Chair: Scott Summers of nFocus








Peter Cherns, Product Manager - AI and Analytics, Eggplant

"4 real ways AI is transforming testing”

Pete's slides

Josh Howie, Stand-Up Comic

"Stand Up to Stand out"

Deri Jones, CEO, SciVisum

“12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos”

Deri's slides




Ali Rad, Baz Sahathevan, Gordon McKeown

"ButlerThing: How I learned to stop worrying and love load testing"

The session slides


Dee Nazareth/Sarah Summers/David Donne

"A sideways look at improving performance at work"

Daniel Dorval, Test Manager, KPMG

"Testing population readiness (The system is ready but are you)"


Drinks Reception



Abstracts and Bios:

Peter Cherns, Product Manager - AI and Analytics, Eggplant, "4 real ways AI is transforming testing”

AI is clearly the big topic in testing this year, but how is AI really going to impact testing over the next two years? We’ve all seen lots of pictures of cyborgs, Alexas, and self-driving cars, but very little information about how AI is really going to change test creation, running tests, reviewing results, setting up test environments, and all the other activities testers do today. This presentation describes 4 concrete ways AI is changing testing, so you can start making use of the cool real technologies that are available today, and planning how you’re going to use these technologies to transform testing in your team.

Perter Cherns Bio:
Peter Cherns is the Product Manager for AI and Analytics at Eggplant. After originally graduating in physics and earning a PhD in materials science, Peter has worked for more than eight years in enterprise software, both in delivery and product. Before moving to the world of QA software tools he worked with materials data management systems, delivering solutions to some of the world's leading aerospace, automotive and consumer electronics organizations.


Stand-up comedy is at its core an extreme form of live presentation. By taking a group of people through what being a stand-up comic entails, we can learn the fundamental lessons of what it takes to be a successful stand-up that are also applicable to the creation of excellent presentations. For what they have in common, is that they are both performances.
For those used to presenting, some of these concepts will be familiar, some new, but by examining them at work in a different framework, it then allows them to be reworked and honed within your own field. What we’re working towards at the end of the workshop, is to give people the tools to reexamine and improve upon their own presenting techniques, and send them out reinvigorated to tell their stories.

Josh Howie Bio
Writer and star of BBC Radio 4’s sitcom Josh Howie’s Losing It, nominated for a BBC Radio Award with its second series in production. Already a much in-demand stand-up comic, performing regularly at all the major comedy clubs around the UK, Josh was invited to perform at the prestigious Just for Laugh’s comedy festival in Montreal, where he filmed the internationally distributed Just For Laugh’s All Access TV show.
In addition, Josh has written and performed four solo shows for the Edinburgh Festival, before sell-out runs at the Soho Theatre, and most recently appeared on Dave’s As Yet Untitled with Eddie Izzard, previously recording for two series of the Comedy Central show Comedy Store, and featuring on World Stands Up and Comedy Blue for the same channel. He spent four years as the writer/presenter of The Movie Geek on Sky Movies.

Deri Jones, CEO, SciVisum, “12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos”

At its worst, our projects feel like chaos; 'The best laid plans of mice and men....'. Assurance is one of the key headings under which we reduce the likelihood of chaos, to get a good outcome; or at least a good-enough outcome. And repeatedly. We'll take one of the hottest new books: 12 Rules for Life, and apply the rules to our how we practise Assurance.
"Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to who someone else is today” Our companies are just not the same in any way as Amazon or Facebook… so lets’ stop trying to copy, and instead, measure ourselves and ensure we’re improving
“Pursue what is meaningful (not what is expedient) “ As Assurance people, we are uniquely positioned to remind the whole organisation of what is meaningful, what is important to our customers. Or are we perceived as risk-averse Cassandras?!
We may even watch a few minutes of the most watched Channel-4 news interview ever: to see if the substance that caused 8M viewers, has something for the practise of assurance."

Deri Jones Bio
After Electronics at Cambridge University, and roles in ThickFilm semiconductors, and fibre-optic systems, spending time in the Far East; Deri moved to Canterbury in 1993 to head up the UK’s first ISP: 3 engineers, from the University of Kent computer lab. Companies were modem-dialling Canterbury for email and newsgroups. Deri grew the organisation until acquisition, and in 1997 he set up an internet security specialist, and grew the company to 25 staff before acquisition in 2002. In 2003 he set up SciVisum now a sector leader partnering with UK household names to de-risk and accelerate their digital growth through putting CX first when and monitoring & testing rapidly changing web systems. An occassional public speaker, Deri also runs a discussion group for deep-thinkers, speaks German at home, plays electric guitar, edits Wikipedia, cycles to work even in the snow, debates societal parallels between Islam, Christianity and Post-modernism; and bores his friends on Space-X and technology news.

Ali Rad/Baz Sahathevan/Gordon McKeown, ButlerThing:- How I learned to stop worrying and love load testing, "Case studies of Load Testing with Selenium and Turbo*

Why is it that in the last 20 years, the systems we are testing and the way we deliver projects has moved forwards in leaps and bounds yet load testing tools haven’t changed?
Why has the industry accepted the performance risk of testing at the network layer when web apps have complex client side processing that is simply ignored?
And why is it that non-functional testing rarely gets included in sprint or CICD pipeline and yet no one seems to mind?
We will discuss these and other issues the IT industry faces with load testing and what can be done to overcome them. Through case studies at BrowneJacobson, a national law firm with over 500 lawyers and Brewin Dolphin, a FTSE 250 Wealth Management business with 200 year old history, we will show how we used Selenium functional scripts to load test by driving the GUI.
Let’s debate the pros and cons of this approach and challenge the industry accepted status quo.

Ali Rad is a life-long IT specialist with an MBA from Chicago Booth University where he focused on technology strategy, data driven marketing and strategic finance. Ali is well-respected in the technology industry as an authority on the niche area of testing. Past clients include Barclays, Thomson Reuters, Centrica, Tait and Allied Telesyn Research.
Baz has been in the testing field for 17 years, 15 of which have been in the performance and non-functional testing space. Baz has spearheaded NFT delivery for various test consultancies at a number of well-known companies and understands the challenges faced in delivering IT in the changing software delivery landscape that we now face. He is passionate about bringing performance engineering best-practice and assurance into organisations.
Gordon has worked at the cutting edge of performance testing and test automation for two decades. He was CTO then CEO of Facilita and co-creator of the Forecast performance testing tool (the basis of eggPlant Performance). While Director of Performance Solutions at Eggplant he helped to implement effective testing solutions for clients from a variety of sectors.

Dee Nazareth/Sarah Summers/David Donne, "A sideways look at improving performance at work"

This practical and engaging session brings modern medicine into the workplace and give you the quickest and most direct route to improve all round performance . Prepare to be challenged as we discuss how functional medicine and the latest techniques in physical therapy can dramatically improve effectiveness in the work place by:

  • Improving mental performance and decision making
  • Improving relationships and cooperation amongst team members
  • Increasing productivity
  • Reducing stress and facilitating calmness
  • Reducing fatigue and increasing energy
  • Significantly reducing and most often resolving pain

This interactive session will give you some techniques that you can take away and apply
immediately at home and in the work place. It needs to be seen to be believed. What better way to
prove or disprove it than amongst a group of cynical testers?

Sarah is a qualified physiotherapist with more than 20 years’ experience. She has a master’s degree in ‘Advanced physiotherapy’ and specialises in the ‘Be Activated’ approach. She has worked in central London for more than 15 years and currently works at the London Healthcare Clinic in Moorgate as well as running her own clinic in Brookmans Park, Hertfordshire.

David is a level 5 Soft Tissue Remedial Therapist specialising in Be Activated technique he is also final year Osteopathy Student at the prestigious University College of Osteopathy. David also teaches soft tissue for the London School of Soft Tissue Therapy. He has had a varied career starting in IT Operations, spent time as a volunteer police officer amongst other things. A motorcycle accident in 2012 was the driver to change careers giving David a unique and personal insight into what it takes to come back after a life altering accident. David currently splits his time between his private practice in Bishopsgate, Six Physio in Fitzrovia and university in Southwark.

Deirdre is a registered osteopath and naturopath with a master’s in pain neuroscience. She is a certified functional medicine practitioner, health coach and former personal trainer. She utilises her skills to effectively treat her clients with a truly holistic approach that considers the mental, emotional and physical well-being of each person. She helps her clients facilitate the changes necessary to bring them to a state of well-being while also empowering them in the process”

Daniel Dorval, Test Manager, KPMG, "Testing population readiness (The system is ready but are you) "

  • We know the models for system testing but how do we test the readiness of the recipients. 
  • Is coms enough to deal with the coming change 
  • Phased approach against big bang
  • How do we test roll back or changes after we flick the switch without hitting the panic button? 
  • Does the statement ready for go live mean the same to everybody?

Daniel Dorval
With 16 years of experience Daniel is a highly skilled, proficient Testing Manager who has enjoyed an accomplished and successful career with a Large Global Banks’ Technical Services in Europe. He possesses a strong technical background in implementing large, complex change programmes in Banking and Blue Chip corporations to improve operational efficiency and risk management.
Daniel has extensive experience across the software testing lifecycle, and is very familiar with the V-Model test stages including System Testing, System Integration Testing, UAT as well as Regulatory Testing. He has driven great client satisfaction through defining, owning and delivering solutions and strategies across complex and heavily regulated business areas.

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