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Assurance Leadership Forum - Wednesday 26 July 2017

Gerrard Consulting

Wednesday, July 26, 2017 from 1:00 PM to 5:15 PM (SST)

Assurance Leadership Forum - Wednesday 26 July 2017

Ticket Information

Ticket Type Sales End Price Fee VAT Quantity
General Admission Jul 26, 2017 £20.00 £0.00 £4.00

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Event Details

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







Huw Price, CA Technologies: Testing is only as Good as your Test Data

Dave Longman, Headforwards: Why cant developers be testers?

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




Dan Martland, Edge Testing: The Future for Testing

Paul Gerrard, 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


Huw Price, Vice President, Application Delivery and Product Owner, CA Technologies: Testing is only as Good as your Test Data

How do you ensure you have the quality data you need to make the right business decisions? With Business Intelligence (BI) and the testing of Big Data the stakes are high and any errors can have huge implications. The testing process is also often very complex as it involves the movement of data around the world. In this session we’ll talk about the need for real test data, instead of artificial and more rigour in testing. We’ll show and discuss the use of models to avoid manually building test cases with matching reliable test data to: 

  • support mapping of BI reports to visual flow chart models
  • reduce the time waiting for complex test data based on the requirements
  • provide testers and developers with faster accessibility to test data, often available as a shared resource
  • meet any compliance requirements for the generation of quality test data

"Huw joined CA Technologies in 2015 as Vice President of Test Data Management, when specialist testing vendor Grid-Tools was acquired into the CA DevOps portfolio. During a 30 year career, Huw has gained a deep understanding of the challenges faced by modern organizations, and, with an understanding of the science of testing, how to solve them.

Prior to joining CA, Huw helped launch numerous innovative products which have re-cast the testing model. His first venture goes back to 1988, when he set up data archiving specialists, BitbyBit. He was soon joined by long-term partner, Paul Blundell, also now of CA Technologies. After BitbyBit was acquired, Huw and Paul co-founded data migration and application conversion firm, Move2Open.

In 2004, Grid-Tools Ltd was set up, and Huw quickly went about re-defining how large organizations approach their testing strategy. He helped oversee the development of Grid-Tools’ flagship product, Datamaker (now CA Test Data Manager), pioneering a data-centric approach to testing, and later played a visionary role in the design, development, and release of Agile Designer (now CA Agile Requirements Designer).

Huw has spoken at numerous conferences and exhibitions, from StarEast, StarWest, Quest, QSIT’s STeP-IN, InfoSecurity, ISACA, HP Discover, and CA World. He is currently on the industrial advisory board for the University of Wales, and has previously served as an advisor to King’s College London."

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, Edge Testing: The Future for Testing

Abstract and Bio to follow

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.

Have questions about Assurance Leadership Forum - Wednesday 26 July 2017? Contact Gerrard Consulting

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When & Where

Balls Brothers Conference Centre
Mincing Lane
EC3R 7PP London
United Kingdom

Wednesday, July 26, 2017 from 1:00 PM to 5:15 PM (SST)

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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.

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Assurance Leadership Forum - Wednesday 26 July 2017
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