Skip Main Navigation
Page Content

Save This Event

Event Saved

Assurance Leadership Forum - NORTH

Gerrard Consulting

Tuesday, 20 March 2018 from 13:30 to 19:30 (GMT)

Assurance Leadership Forum - NORTH

Ticket Information

Type End Quantity
Standard Attendance
This event is free to attend.
20 Mar 2018 Free  

Share Assurance Leadership Forum - NORTH

Event Details

The inaugural Assurance Leadership Forum NORTH will take place on Tuesday 20 March 2018 at The Studio in Manchester.

Hosted by ROQ


13:30 Tea/Coffee
14:00 Introductions
14:15 Session A Session B
  Dorothy Graham: Will Tools Replace Testers? Leigh Rathbone, Test Principle, Shop Direct: Is self-development the silver bullet to testing surviving as a craft
15:30 Tea/Coffee/Networking
16:00 Session C Session D
  Richard Simms, Test Architect, ROQ: Is it time for Test Data Management to become a core discipline rather than an irritating dependency? Paul Gerrard, Principal, Gerrard Consulting: "Assurance: the Evolution of Test Management"
17:15 Drinks Reception


Abstracts and Speaker Bios

Dorothy Graham: Will Tools Replace Testers?

When tests are automated, does this means that manual testers will no longer have a role? This workshop explores the role and relationship of manual and automated testing, and of people and tools.

What is actually going on in software development and testing and where does automation fit? With the push towards DevOps and Continuous Deployment, automation is essential. So where does that leave manual testing? Surely it’s better to be “fully automated” for maximum efficiency, right?

Although there is truth in this, there are also pitfalls and dangers. What does “full automation” actually mean? Perhaps not what most people think! Explore the issues of people and tools in this workshop, through exercises and discussion. Come to a greater understanding of where tool support will be most effective in testing, and where it could actually be dangerous and damaging.


Dorothy Graham has been in software testing for over 40 years, and is co-author of 4 books: Software Inspection, Software Test Automation, Foundations of Software Testing and Experiences of Test Automation, and currently helps develop the wiki

Dot has been on the boards of conferences and publications in software testing, including programme chair for EuroStar (twice). She was a founder member of the ISEB Software Testing Board and helped develop the first ISTQB Foundation Syllabus. She is a popular and entertaining speaker at conference and events worldwide.

She was awarded the European Excellence Award in Software Testing in 1999 and the first ISTQB Excellence Award in 2012.


Leigh Rathbone, Test Principle, Shop Direct: Is self-development the silver bullet to testing surviving as a craft

“I’ve not had to self-develop because testing hasn’t changed in 20 years”

“My company owns my development, I want to know what training they’re going to put me on”

“Software will always need testing, so they’ll always need testers”

These are the attitudes I’ve come across in this very industry, and if these continue we face real challenges as a craft. We all have choices to make; ours as testers must be to go on the front foot, and use self-development as the tool that shows our value add, and build a strong testing community

In this discussion I’ll try to bring out what tools are there for people to use, what’s free, what’s valuable, what culture do we need to breed to add value and exist in the very near future


20 years testing in 10 different industries including; testing the world’s first touchscreen phone, managing a huge test operation at Sony PlayStation, heading up the QA team at a clinical software company, and currently at the second largest pureplay retailer, Shop Direct. My passion and love for testing is as strong, if not stronger than when I fell in love with it 20 years ago. I’m a great believer in the test community, and help run the award winning Liverpool Tester Gathering, as well as host Manchester Testbash, and speak at conferences. Recently enjoyed a year working in IT transformation landing Agile mind-sets and ways of working.


Paul Gerrard, Principal, Gerrard Consulting: "Assurance: the Evolution of Test Management"

When the Agile approach emerged over fifteen years ago, there was no clear role for test managers (or even testers, at first). Over time, some test managers reverted back to being testers in teams, some specialised in test automation, or security, or moved upstream to be business analysts or product owners. Some left the business completely. In parallel with the ‘demise’ of test management in many organisations, a new discipline of Assurance is emerging and is a natural progression for delivery-focused professionals.

Assurance (aka test-, business- or delivery-assurance) is seen by many companies as the way to improve the relationship with software suppliers, to provide support to them, and where necessary, to police their activities. Assurance reports to the board and speaks truth to power, it requires coaching and persuasion skills and a deep knowledge of software and organisational dynamics. We now have Digital taking over everything – now is the time for Digital Assurance.

Paul will set out a vision for Assurance, what it is, what role it plays in business and software projects and will explore how it presents an attractive career progression.


Paul Gerrard is a consultant, teacher, author, webmaster, developer, tester, conference speaker, rowing coach and a publisher. He has conducted consulting assignments in all aspects of software testing and quality assurance, specialising in test assurance. He has presented keynote talks and tutorials at testing conferences across Europe, the USA, Australia, South Africa and occasionally won awards for them.

Educated at the universities of Oxford and Imperial College London, in 2010, Paul won the Eurostar European Testing excellence Award and in 2013, won The European Software Testing Awards (TESTA) Lifetime Achievement Award.

He is Principal of Gerrard Consulting Limited and is the host of the UK Test Management Forum and the UK Business Analysis Forum.


Richard Simms, Test Architect, ROQ: Is it time for Test Data Management to become a core discipline rather than an irritating dependency?

The timely provision of appropriate test data, in the volumes required, has always been a key dependency for those of us working in testing and Quality Assurance and often proves a source of great frustration.

A new generation of Test Data Management (TDM) tools are emerging that are designed to help.

Richard will share his opinion on the direction the industry is taking and then invite us to consider as a leadership forum:

  • How can we as testers better manage this dependency?
  • What should be the role of test teams with respect to data provision? Greater self-service?
  • Which test data tools we have implemented, and did they give the desired benefits?
  • Should Test Data Management be a centralised service?


Richard is responsible for designing test strategies and approaches to testing as well as managing the transition process for new clients at ROQ.

His role as Test Architect involves working with a wide variety of clients across a range of industries and gaining a deep insight into their testing and quality assurance challenges. Before joining ROQ, over a career in IT spanning 30 years, Richard has worked in the roles of Developer, Team Lead, Project Manager and Test Manager before taking on the role of Quality Manager for a major retailer.


Do you have questions about Assurance Leadership Forum - NORTH? Contact Gerrard Consulting

Save This Event

Event Saved

When & Where

The Studio
The Hive
51 Lever Street
M1 1FN Manchester
United Kingdom

Tuesday, 20 March 2018 from 13:30 to 19:30 (GMT)

  Add to my calendar


Gerrard Consulting

Gerrard Consulting has been delivering testing services since 1984 and we have gained a reputation for innovative independent thinking based upon an honest open relationships with our clients. Often, clients come to us because of specific problems which aren’t easily resolved using more ‘normal’ textbook solutions.

We seek to continuously develop new and improved services designed to support the successful delivery of software projects.

We host the Assurance Leadership Forum which is run as a not-for-profit group and is geared towards supporting experienced Assurance and Testing practitioners. Our events are discussion based (rather than presentation based) sessions and we encourage networking and information exchange.

  Contact the Organiser

Interested in hosting your own event?

Join millions of people on Eventbrite.

Please log in or sign up

In order to purchase these tickets in installments, you'll need an Eventbrite account. Log in or sign up for a free account to continue.