Monday, August 01, 2011

Keynote Lineup for GTAC 2011

By James Whittaker

The call for proposals and participation is now closed. Over the next few weeks we will be announcing the full agenda and notifying accepted participants. In the meantime, the keynote lineup is now locked. It consists of two famous Googlers and two famous external speakers that I am very pleased to have join us.

Opening Keynote: Test is Dead by Alberto Savoia

The way most software is designed, developed and launched has changed dramatically over the last decade – but what about testing? Alberto Savoia believes that software testing as we knew it is dead – or at least moribund – in which case we should stick a fork in it and proactively take it out of its misery for good. In this opening keynote of biblical scope, Alberto will cast stones at the old test-mentality and will try his darnedest to agitate you and convince you that these days most testers should follow a new test-mentality, one which includes shifting their focus and priority from “Are we building it right?” to “Are we building the right it?” The subtitle of this year’s GTAC is “cloudy with a chance of tests,” and if anyone can gather the clouds into a hurricane, it's Alberto – it might be wise to bring your umbrella.

Alberto Savoia is Director of Engineering and Innovation Agitator at Google. In addition to leading several major product development efforts (including the launch of Google AdWords), Alberto has been a lifelong believer, champion, innovator and entrepreneur in the area of developer testing and test automation tools. He is a frequent keynote speaker and the author of many articles on testing, including the classic booklet “The Way of Testivus” and “Beautiful Tests” in O’Reilly’s Beautiful Code. His work in software development tools has won him several awards including the 2005 Wall Street Journal Technical Innovator Award, InfoWorld’s Technology of the Year award, and no less than four Software Development Magazine Jolt Awards.

Day 1 Closer: Redefining Security Vulnerabilities: How Attackers See Bugs by Herbert H. Thompson

Developers see features, testers see bugs, and attackers see “opportunities.” Those opportunities are expanding beyond buffer overflows, cross site scripting, etc. into logical bugs (and features) that allow attackers to use the information they find to exploit trusting users. For example, attackers can leverage a small information disclosure issue in an elaborate phishing attempt. When you add people in the mix, we need to reevaluate which “bugs” are actual security vulnerabilities. This talk is loaded with real world examples of how attackers are using software “features” and information tidbits (many of which come from bugs) to exploit the biggest weakness of all: trusting users.

Dr. Herbert H. Thompson is Chief Security Strategist at People Security and a world-renown expert in application security. He has co-authored four books on the topic including, How to Break Software Security: Effective Techniques for Security Testing (with Dr. James Whittaker) and The Software Vulnerability Guide (with Scott Chase). In 2006 he was named one of the “Top 5 Most Influential Thinkers in IT Security” by SC Magazine. Thompson continually lends his perspective and expertise on secure software development and has been interviewed by top news organizations including CNN, MSNBC, BusinessWeek, Forbes, Associated Press, and the Washington Post. He is also Program Committee Chair for RSA Conference, the world’s leading information security gathering. He holds a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from Florida Institute of Technology, and is an adjunct professor in the Computer Science department at Columbia University in New York.

Day 2 Opener: Engineering Productivity: Accelerating Google Since 2006 by Patrick Copeland

Patrick Copeland is the founder and architect of Google's testing and productivity strategy and in this "mini keynote" he tells the story and relates the pain of taking a company from ad hoc testing practices to the pinnacle of what can be accomplished with a well oiled test engineering discipline.

Conference Closer: Secrets of World-Class Software Organizations by Steve McConnell

Construx consultants work with literally hundreds of software organizations each year. Among these organizations a few stand out as being truly world class. They are exceptional in their ability to meet their software development goals and exceptional in the contribution they make to their companies' overall business success. Do world class software organizations operate differently than average organizations? In Construx's experience, the answer is a resounding "YES." In this talk, award-winning author Steve McConnell reveals the technical, management, business, and cultural secrets that make a software organization world class.

Steve McConnell is CEO and Chief Software Engineer at Construx Software where he consults to a broad range of industries, teaches seminars, and oversees Construx’s software engineering practices. Steve is the author of Software Estimation: Demystifying the Black Art (2006), Code Complete (1993, 2004), Rapid Development (1996), Software Project Survival Guide (1998), and Professional Software Development (2004), as well as numerous technical articles. His books have won numerous awards for "Best Book of the Year," and readers of Software Development magazine named him one of the three most influential people in the software industry along with Bill Gates and Linus Torvalds.

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