It’s just a few weeks away. Software Test Professionals is bringing its conference to my home town. Well, it’s bringing it to the town just south of my home town, but that’s close enough. If you will be attending STP-CON 2016 at the Westin in Millbrae, CAlifornia, and you are looking for a couple of sessions to attend, there’s lots of choices, pretty much all of them great. However, if you are still undecided, I’d like to make a couple of recommendations… specifically, come to my sessions ;).

First of all, I will be giving a half day workshop/tutorial based around “Teaching New Software Testers“. I’m sure some of you looked at that title and said “ah well, I’m not a new software tester, so that’s not relevant to me.” However, this workshop is not geared towards new testers, it’s actually geared towards those who will mentor new software testers. My guess is that’s a significantly larger audience. The workshop is built around the materials that were prepared with several contributors, along with myself, for the SummerQAmp program.

We put together six modules (What is the Scientific Method?, What is Testing?, What is Context?, What is Bias? What is the SDLC/STLC?, What is Bug Reporting? How Does the Web Work?). These modules have been field tested, we’ve received a good deal of feedback, and some cool experiments have grown out of the work with these modules and test mentors who have used them to train new testers, some with zero experience in testing whatsoever. This session will be light on talk, and will focus much more on exercises and action. In short, each participant will get a chance to mentor and be mentored. Each participant will get the stack of materials that made up the SummerQAmp materials (developed with the help of the Association For Software Testing and creative commons licensed). In short, if you want to possibly pick up some new approaches to talking about testing with new testers, this may be up your alley. Come join us April 4, 2016, 9:00a.m. – 12:00p.m. in the Poplar Room.

My second talk (this is just a talk, so less of a time commitment) covers The Intersection of Accessibility and Inclusive Design. Wait, what?!

Accessibility focuses on designing products that allow those who otherwise could not use them to gain access to information and services. It makes this possible through assistive technology (screen readers, close captioning, voice dictation, joystick controllers, etc.). This is important work, but I want to also emphasize there’s a lot we can do to make software applications even more usable by as many people as possible. This is the core idea behind Inclusive Design. We will give examples of both accessibility, and show apps that have taken advantage of, whether by design or by happy accident, principles to make software that is usable by the most people possible. Come join us April 6, 2016, from 2:30p.m. – 3:30p.m. in the Hickory/Hawthorn room.

Just a couple weeks to go. Can’t wait to see you all in my neck of the woods!