PNSQC 2015 - Day 1

The theme of the 2015 Pacific NW Software Quality Conference (PNSQC) was "Brewing Quality Software." That theme alludes to Portland's notoriety for great beer and coffee (and tea), but also ties in the focus on quality software in the Silicon Forest and beyond.

Last year I learned about developing functional unit tests, and this year I hoped to learn more about writing acceptance tests, and feeding these into unit tests.  I was also looking for tips on integrating unit testing in Continuous Integration (CI) environments.

Last year I tried sketchnotes for the first time. This year I focused on simplifying the notes.  I skipped trying to draw the speaker, except in simple cartoon form. I also found that a lot of my notes were simply transcriptions, so I focused on grabbing images from the talks and putting these into the notes. Sometimes these were actual images from the presentation, but more often they were metaphors or images used while speaking.

All these sketchnotes were done live. As a result, I often had to process and understand the section before I could make a note. I think this helped me get a better understanding of what I understood, and what I didn't really grasp.

My tools were my iPad, an app called Paper by 53, and a Musemee Notier Stylus. Click on the images to see a larger version.

Casey Rosenthal from Netflix presented his talk on Chaos Engineering. The basic premise is that future (and current) distributed systems will be so complex that system architects and development engineers will be ineffective without the help of other systems.  Chaos engineering will help build confidence in these systems by providing "turbulence in production," and creating new ways to visualize the systems.

Julie Green from Con-Way Enterprises talked about using pre-mortems as a way to elicit risks in the project.  She says "A Pre-Mortem meeting creates a safe environment where the sole purpose is to predict failure. Instead of a gripe session, the Pre-Mortem is structured so that attendees are asked for a few areas where they think issues will occur...Using the Pre-Mortem strategy you can stop these failures from occurring."

Dwayne Thomas and Kevin Swallow from Crowd Compass presented a session on using coding clubs at work to improve the understand between development and QA.  

Bhushan Gupta raised everyone's awareness on the need for secure web applications in his talk.  Some key points were the owasp.org list of threats, and the NIST800-30 Threat Modeling Risk Assessment. 

Click here to continue to Day 2 of PNSQC 2015.