Posted by: Brian | June 2, 2009

Rational Software Conference – Day 1 Recap

Busy first day at the Rational Software Conference 2009 in Orlando.   After a high energy keynote featuring the IBM brass, the Quality Management keynote kicked off.  Director of Engineering Dave Klavon spoke about the challenges facing quality management teams today from cost containment, to geographic distribution to the lack of open standards.  The Rational Tester was up next with a plays of the year review for they key elements of the product portfolio: Rational Service, Performance and Functional Tester, Quality Manager and Test Lab Manager.  Then, it came time to take a look ahead.  Jeff Schuster, Director of Product Management outlined the vision for the portfolio and some key products:

  • Risk based testing, DOORS requirements integartion and enhanced customizable reporting in Rational Quality Manager
  • Service Level reporting in Rational Performance Tester
  • Storyboard Testing with Rational Functional Tester

Jeff showed product demonstrations of the DOORS requirements management integration to Quality Manager and the Storyboard testing.  The storyboad testing in particular was the highlight, enhancing Rational Functional Tester tests with a new view that describes test steps in plain english, supplemented with active screenshots.  The real kicker came when Jeff showed how a test could be edited by modifying the plain english rendering or by working against the screenshots. 

Product managers Brian Massey, Dennis Moya and Fariz Saracevic followed right after they keynote drilling down on each of these new enhancements, and letting customers see the real technical gears behind the scenes.

Beyond the new product announcements, there were some great session on Tips & Tricks for Performance Testing from one of the tool engineers, Kevin Mooney and a fabulous session on Collaboration Strategies for Agile Quality Management from Anne Burke.  The discussion in the Agile session was great – with attendees obviously eager to implement some of the Agile strategies Anne outlined as part of their “2 week iteration” Agile approach.  It was absolutely refreshing to hear how the testers on Anne’s team were so tightly integrated with the developers, customers, documentation and all other team contributors.  Fascinating stuff.  Other topics included discussions on SOA, Test Lab Management for globalization testing, a great in depth look at the import mechanism for RQM and more Agile development with Rational Functional Tester. 

It was  a jam packed day.  This week is going to be tough!

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