Maria Kedemo Candidate Questions

Maria is a candidate in the board elections for 2017.

What do you think the AST board has historically done well, and what do you think needs to change?

The AST board drives an important question regarding professional testing. Lately the board has modernized the web site which was very much needed to attract more people. There has also been more advertising through social media and reaching out to a broader audience outside of the US. I also see that AST have become more diverse and open to new board members with different skills and experiences. The past two years a lot of things has happened. I think this is a great step in the right direction. I think the AST board can put even more effort into advertising through social media and continue to expand. This is something I wish to be part of.

Is there an area where you feel AST is lacking in its role as a professional organization? If so, what would you suggest doing to begin to change that and increase the value to AST members and the testing community at large?

Diversity is important to drive new ideas forward and to keep the organisation evolving. I think the organisation needs to look into what that means and how to strive for such while keeping the values and integrity of the organisation. We need to look into what we can offer to the community in terms of knowledge, education and experience. We also need to reflect on why the e.g the Slack channel seems to be pretty inactive. Let’s start with a poll to ask our members what they would like AST to help them with. I personally would like to target more students, people who will be the testers of tomorrow.

Conflicts of Interest are not always obvious, but they can be insidious. Even if the Board Member believes they can safely navigate the conflict, the external perception of a conflict of interest could these conflicts worth identifying and discussing. Every Board Member will encounter potential Conflicts of Interest. What matters is how they are identified and handled.

While conducting AST business, if any potential conflicts of interest arise, you should be the first to notice the potential conflict. You might ask the rest of the board if you should be recused from the discussion and any potential votes. In other cases, you may need external perspective to see the potential conflict; the rest of the board may need to offer this help. The rest of the board would generally consider the nature and severity of the potential conflict, and decide whether recusal is appropriate. Here are some examples of potential conflicts of interest for an AST Board Member:

– You will need to vote on issues relating to the support, expansion, pricing, management of BBST. If you offer testing training as part of your professional life through any direct relationships or partnerships, you should consider how it might appear to have them make decisions about BBST.

– You will participate in planning CAST and other conferences. If you are involved in producing another testing conference, some potential conflicts could arise:Which conference gets your best ideas and energy?Could you participate in selecting a tutorial leader, speaker, or chair without the perception of a quid pro quo if you lead a tutorial, speak, or chair a conference someone else organizes? Another issue could arise from sponsorship for a conference, whether AST sponsors or AST is sponsored.

– AST provides Grant funds to non-profit meetups and certain conferences. Being a recipient and a giver at the same time could be an obvious conflict. It’s also worth considering some of the other angles mentioned in the previous example for conferences, specifically around quid pro quo relationships.

– Any employee-employer, supervisory, business, or mentoring relationships/partnerships a Board Member has can introduce a potential conflict. An example of this is if the person a Board Member has a relationship with is asking for grant money, applying to speak at CAST, or sponsoring CAST.

Please describe any potential conflicts of interest you could personally encounter as an AST Board Member.How would you recommend the rest of the board address these conflicts?

A) Please describe any potential conflicts of interest you could personally encounter as an AST Board Member. I currently don’t have anything on my table which I think might be a potential conflict of interest. I am a program committee member of Copenhagen Context 2017 and the program is already set. I will raise all issues with the committee when any of the above might come in question. Better to bring it up before it might become an issue even if it might not actually be a problem. B) How would you recommend the rest of the board address these conflicts? I would recommend to bring any of these things to the table before it becomes a problem, even if it might not actually be a problem.

How should AST promote diversity, of all kinds, within our own organization and within the wider testing and technology communities?

I believe AST have started to think about diversity considering the last years of board members including the people running for the board this year. I believe the organisation must show diversity before promoting diversity of any kind. Diversity is a very broad subject where I see diversity in thoughts, opinions and skills as one of the major topics for AST. For this to happen we need to be role models, as an example I think it is much more powerful if a woman addresses the lack of women in technology while promoting testing among women students. I would like AST to work a lot more with minority groups within tech both within and outside of the US. I also believe AST should work towards other communities such as the agile community and towards developers. We need to spread testing outside of our community as well since I think ideas and practices can be shared and evolve which might be helpful for diversity.