Software Testing in Financial Services Workshop (STiFS)

STiFS is a facilitated meeting of software testers and other QA professionals who work in financial services firms. It is a neutral forum (not biased toward any testing methodology or supporting vendor) to share, debate, and develop ideas on how to improve the testing of financial software. It is expected that attendees walk away from the workshop with fresh ideas and approaches, valuable hints and tricks, and contact names of leading industry colleagues with whom to network and share ideas.

While there are many conferences and seminars available for the QA/Test and Financial Services (FS) professions respectively, there are few resources for the intersection of these domains. In contrast with other technology subspecialties in FS, there are few or no conferences, seminars, magazines/journals, blogs, books, or papers/articles that address the exclusive concerns of testing software in financial environments. Yet, by and large, technology managers in financial firms view QA/Test as a significant role within the software development lifecycle. They know they need to staff QA teams and that their applications need to pass through “QA”.

Attendees are encouraged to prepare Experience Reports (ERs) about the proposed topic. Rarely are all prepared experience reports presented, as each tends to take between 10 minutes and 1 hour. Experience reports are followed by a period of open discussion. The structure of the meeting is intentionally flexible, so if we wanted to follow a train of thought, we could develop it in a variety of ways such as having brainstorm or breakout sessions.


  • Topic: Organizational Structure Models for Test Groups at Financial Firms
  • Date: May 19-20, 2013
  • Location: New York, NY

We are interested in hearing your first hand experiences about managing testing of financial applications within the framework of the following topics:

  • Transition between Centralized or Decentralized QA or Test organizations
  • Centers of Excellence
  • Tester Staffing Models
  • Organizational Metrics
  • Internal/External Audit
  • ROI

We are specifically interested in the financial aspect of such organizational structures for testing. For example, a focusing question for the workshop would be, what, if anything, is specific to financial services that would make one model more appropriate than another, within in a given context?


  • Topic: Globally Distributed Testing for International Financial Systems
  • Date: May 1-2, 2011
  • Location: Orlando, FL
  • Resources: CFP

Both complex financial systems and the talent needed to test them have grown to span the globe. This leads to unprecedented management and technical problems to test system quality. Beyond a discussion about managing offshore test groups, we are interested in exploring how distributed test teams help (or hinder) the testing of software that support global financial markets.


  • Topic: Experiences in Testing Financial Models, Trading Algorithms, and Quantitative Strategies
  • Date: March 21-22, 2010
  • Location: New York, NY
  • Resources: CFP

As Business and Technology continue to synthesize into a single discipline within Financial Services, business decisions are increasingly being made by complex software programs that use advanced mathematical formulas to calculate probabilities and predict market events. Typically, financial firms employ specially trained mathematicians to build quantitative software modules to process these calculations. These core software systems have become fundamental in aligning IT with the business and is a key driver for business results.

Competent testing of these complex systems is vital to the business, and is an important area of focus for professional software testers.


  • Topic: Visibility and Transparency of Testing within Financial Services Firms
  • Date: November 2-3, 2008
  • Location: Liquidnet, NYC
  • Facilitator: Scott Barber

With the recent economic slowdown surrounding the financial community, it is more important that ever for QA/Test departments at financial firms to exhibit their added value to the organization.

Join us in a discussion about experiences in improving the visibility and transparency of QA/Testing within financial environments.


  • Topic: Getting Business Knowledge into the heads of Testers
  • Date: Dec 2-3 2007
  • Topic: Liquidnet, NYC


  • Topic: Para-Functional testing of Financial Systems
  • Date: June 24-25, 2007
  • Location: Pace University, NYC
  • Facilitator: Jon Bach

Experiences in Para-Functional testing of Financial Systems: How we test beyond functionality validation

Join us in a discussion of how to increase the effectiveness of “System Testing” of Financial Systems. With ever increasing data that financial systems need to process with ever increasing speed, a serious challenge to software testers is testing the performance, load, and reliability of financial systems, at the same time as checking the behavior of its functions for bugs. As the efficiency of the financial markets continues to increase, so does the importance of para-functional testing of financial software applications.


  • Topic: Testing real-time financial systems
  • Date: December 3-4, 2006
  • Location: Net@Work Headquarters, NYC
  • Facilitator: Mike Kelly

Join us in a discussion of how to increase the effectiveness of testing software systems that process business-critical financial data in real-time.


  • Topic: Implementing agile software testing methods within financial organizations
  • Date: May 7-8, 2006
  • Location: Net@Work Headquarters, NYC
  • Facilitator: Scott Barber

How can you introduce agile techniques into a large bureaucratic setting? What technical and political issues need to be addressed? How can we tell if agile methods are better than “traditional” methods? Are agile testing techniques an effective method to use to pass business regulatory audits? How?



  • Topic: Software Testing Experiences Unique to Financial Services Applications
  • Date: October 30-31, 2005
  • Location: Net@Work headquarters, NYC
  • Facilitator: Scott Barber