Testing, Agile and DevOps: Are they a Separate conversation or a progression of capability?

Testing, Agile and DevOps have shared environments that facilitate working together.  These three methods are more than simply adopting new tools and processes and the synergy involves building a development and a stable Continuous Integration (CI) infrastructure, as well as an automated pipeline that moves deliverables from development to production.  They can work together and the entire build process should be transparent, and it should enable and support development and operations.  This transformation depends on: significant changes in culture; roles and responsibilities; team structure; tools and processes.

The Round Table session is the last of the joint morning session with the other two co-located events. This session is for 45 minutes of which there will be around ten minutes for a general summing up at the end. The speaker at each table will have a set theme and delegates join any table that they are interested in. They are given all the topics with their joining instructions and again at the time of registration and so make their choice on the topics that they want to attend. This is a discussion group and so no presentation slides are necessary, but please submit a topic if you would like to chair a discussion on a topic related to Testing, Agile and DevOps.

Benefits of attending:

  • Share ideas and brainstorm new approaches
  • Meet executives and professionals from your same industry area
  • Develop and benchmark your working Strategies
  • Take away insights and lessons from presentations not specifically focused on your main interest area
  • Learn from subject experts addressing topical issues
  • Learn from others’ best practices, ideas and expertise
  • Discover latest technical skills, tools, tips and tricks in the industry
  • Hear about new developments in Testing, Agile and DevOps
  • Discussion and networking are encouraged via Q&A sessions after the presentations and during the breaks
  • Discover latest technical skills, tools, tips and tricks in the industry

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Call for Participation

We are looking for speakers willing to share their experiences and stories about your work in the field of Testing. If you wish to submit a proposal to present at this event please fill in the speaker’s response form.

Topics we are looking to be addressed include:

  • Testing for Digital
  • Test Automation
  • Security Testing
  • Test Coverage
  • Continuous Testing – running tests at each stage of the software delivery pipeline
  • Agile Testing
  • The changing role of the Tester
  • DevOps


  • Conference Chair: Paul Gerrard, Principal, Gerrard Consulting -

  • 08:30 -


  • 09:00 -

    UNICOM’s welcome

  • 09:15 -

    Chair’s Scene setting

    Paul Gerrard, Principal, Gerrard Consulting


    Paul Gerrard

  • 09:30 -

    Keynote: Are your tests well-travelled? Thoughts about coverage - and strawberry jam

    Dorothy Graham, Software Testing Consultant

    There are many places to visit it the world and it can be interesting to see "where you've been". There are many places in the software for tests to visit, and seeing "where the tests have been" can be very interesting for testers.

    Dot Graham explains what coverage is, and why it can be misleading to talk about 100% coverage. Coverage is a relationship between the tests and the software being tested, and is an objective measurement of some aspect of thoroughness of the testing.

    There ways in which the term coverage is mis-used, and four caveats of coverage which you should be aware of.

    So is coverage a good thing to have? In other words, should testing be thorough? Not necessarily; sometimes testing should be more like strawberry jam than butter or margarine. Whenever you hear the term "coverage", there two important questions that you should always ask: Coverage of what? and Why?


    Dorothy Graham

  • 10:15 -

    Cross-team Agile: 'Who let the DOGs out?'

    Maria Ball and Terry Bowen, Senior Project Managers, Media Services, BBC Design & Engineering Platform

    When the stakeholder "just" wants something simple done, they tend to expect it to be done quickly. What happens when there is more than one team involved?

    In a large organisation, teams often work in silos, use their own flavour of Agile, and have their own roadmaps. It can be challenging to get the alignment and the flexibility needed to deliver a simple request. This is then complicated when the requirements evolve from the initial request to something more. Maria Ball and Terry Bowen discuss the complications they faced in managing the development and delivery of a project that required three internal teams and an external supplier, while using Agile methodology. They will share how they were able to resolve the conflicts and software limitations they came across to deliver the feature.


    Maria Ball

    Terry Bowen

  • 10:45 -

    Evolving beyond kanban

    Kevin Rutherford, Software development coach

    This talk presents a simple visualisation tool that helps software teams self-organise, deliver, and communicate more effectively. The talk uses examples from recent software development projects in a variety of organisations, showing how this technique has improved both the rate of software delivery and the engagement of key stakeholders.


    Kevin Rutherford

  • 11:15 -

    Introduction to Sponsors and Supporting Bodies. Tea & Coffee break

  • 11:45 -

    "I'm sorry Dave...…but I cannot allow you to do that.”

    Andrew Fullen, Digital Consultant, Sogeti UK

    It isn’t science fiction anymore: Artificial intelligences have tackled chess, quiz shows and can even drive a car. Now they face the greatest challenge ever. Testing. How will we cope? How will they deal with us? And how do we test a computer system that knows more that we do? How can we trust the answers and what do we do when it gives us an answer that we don’t agree with?

    Find out how you will start testing the world of tomorrow.


    Andrew Fullen

  • 12:15 -

    Testing: One Piece of the Puzzle

    Steve Challis, Plutora

    Test management is only one piece of an efficient software testing process. Enterprise IT teams need to consider test environment management and release management as well in order to successfully shift left.


    Steve Challis

  • 12:35 -

    Kill DevOps

    Mark Smalley, The IT Paradigmologist, ASL BiSL Foundation

    A fast-moving, entertaining and insightful session in which you’ll learn about:
    ♦ 'Selling' the value of DevOps to business executives
    ♦ Discovering the weakest link in the business-IT-business value chain
    ♦ Identifying effective collaborative behaviour between business and IT
    ♦ An ancient DevOps proverb “If you meet DevOps on the road, kill it”


    Mark Smalley

  • 13:05 -


  • 14:05 -


    ♦ Language Constraints and Agile Coaching, Thomas Hoyland, Agile Delivery Lead, Sky Betting & Gaming
    ♦ Test Automation, Dorothy Graham, Software Testing Consultant & Author
    ♦ Approaches to Iterative Delivery, Seb Rose, Cucumber
    ♦ Environment Management, Steve Challis & Matt Drury, Plutora
    ♦ Test Automation Mobile, Jitesh Gosai, Team Lead / Tools & Infrastructure, BBC Digital
    ♦ “Put the spanner down Dave”: Intelligent testing on intelligent systems by intelligent testers Andrew Fullen, Sogeti

  • 14:50 -

    Listening: An Essential Skill for Software Testers

    Stephen Mounsey, Agile Coach

    Are you really listening? Listening is an important skill for any human being but for a tester an essential skill. If part of testing is about information gathering and interpretation then Listening is a key component.

    A look at the art of listening, parallels drawn between listening theory and how we test.


    Stephen Mounsey

  • 15:20 -

    Tea & Coffee break

  • 15:40 -

    How to turn a 403 into a 202 at the API Party

    Ash Winter, Consulting Tester and Speaker

    API design looks easy, right? Lots of material, methods and examples to look at. However, we've not been on a team that hasn't struggled to build a clean interface for their consumers. From unconventional use of status codes, difficult to parse responses to endless debates about what to name endpoints. This is coupled with iteratively built API's, which potentially realise value and feedback earlier but may suffer from inconsistency over time.

    By testing first with effective automation, common errors with API design can be flushed out quicker, even before the code has been written. Design and architecture should not be left to the developers and architects, by following some of these guidelines, as a Tester you will be able to contribute to a consistent, transparent and maintainable API.


    Ash Winter

  • 16:10 -

    Make your user stories RIVETing

    Seb Rose, Cucumber

    When you invest in the stock market you’ll often be warned to “remember that the value of investments can go down as well as up”. For over a decade User Stories have been the rock steady investment of agile adoption - and they’ve come a long way since XP called them “a placeholder for a conversation”. It’s time to re-evaluate what user stories are trying to achieve, what they’re good for, and why so many of them suck. In this session we’ll explore what a good user story should look like and discover why so many of them fail to live up to our expectations. We'll look under the covers of the INVEST acronym, popularised by Mike Kohn to help people write better user stories and look at why, in many cases, it doesn’t seem to have helped. It's time to stop investing in the boring, formulaic user stories that litter your boards, choke your JIRA and stifle your meetings. Today we're going to see how to make user stories RIVETing again.


    Seb Rose

  • 16:55 -

    Chair’s summing up. Close of conference

  • 17:15 -

    Drinks sponsored by Sogeti


Maria Ball

BBC Design & Engineering Platform

Terry Bowen

BBC Design & Engineering Platform

Steve Challis


Andrew Fullen

Digital Consultant, Sogeti UK

Paul Gerrard

Principal, Gerrard Consulting

Jitesh Gosai

OS Builders & App Developers

Dorothy Graham

Software Testing Consultant

Stephen Mounsey

Infinity Works Consulting

Seb Rose

Cucumber Ltd

Kevin Rutherford

Software development coach

Mark Smalley

The IT Paradigmologist, ASL BiSL Foundation

Ash Winter

Diagram Industries Ltd

Gold Sponsors

Media Partner

Previous Programme

  • Morning Plenary Session (Shared with DevOps Showcase and Agile Showcase) -

  • 08:00 -

    Registration and coffee

  • 08:40 -

    Introduction and start – Chairman for the Plenary Session

  • 08:45 -

    Testing, Agile and DevOps - their roots and evolution

  • 09:30 -

    How to break apart a monolithic system safely without destroying your team

  • 10:15 -

    Microservices: The tip of the iceberg

  • 11:00 -

    Ice-Breaker session

  • 11:10 -


  • 11:45 -

    Agility not Agile: the challenge ahead

  • 12:30 -

    Round Table Session

  • 13:15 -


  • Afternoon Session (Testing Showcase North): -

  • 14:15 -

    Modern Software Testing

  • 14:45 -

    Case Study: The Forgotten 'Ility'

  • 15:15 -


  • 15:30 -

    Being the best: taking control of your development

  • 16:00 -

    10 Things you need to know about BDD, Cucumber and Specflow

  • 16:30 -

    Case Study: Testing at Scale -Test Management within the SAFe Framework

  • 17:00 -

    Chairman’s summary

  • 17:10 -

    CLOSE.Drinks Reception and DevOps MeetUp

Previous Speakers

Stevan Zivanovic

Infuse Consulting

Ash Winter

Sky Betting and Gaming

Steve Watson

Reed Business Information

Matthew Skelton

Skelton Thatcher


Seb Rose

Cucumber Ltd

Duncan Nisbet

Test Manager, AstraZeneca

Dorothy Graham

Software testing consultant, speaker and author

Steve Freeman

Zuhlke Engineering Limited


Amany Elbanna

Royal Holloway University of London


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  • Mercure Manchester Piccadilly Hotel, Portland St, Manchester M1 4PH, UK
  • +44 844 815 9024

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