PSTC 2016 Success recap at the end of the YEar

After Announcing itself in an emphatic style in Pune for the first time STeP-IN generated a lot of buzz and promise then, and when the dates of second event were announced, it was just the matter of how big and better it gets. And yes, you got it all right; event on 9th and 10th Nov 16 not only screamed huge success but also marked its footprints even heavier in this testing fraternity.

J W Marriott Hall was decked up to welcome PSTC 2016 attendees

The event grandness started right from the location; J W Marriot, Pune. You pass the majestic entrance lobby and you are already at the side lobby of Grand Ballroom. STeP-IN member Pinky Tyagi along-with committee members Anil Nahata and Vinay Baid ( STeP-IN Vice Convener) and Manjula Suresh - STeP-IN Program manager were right at a neatly arranged Registration Desk welcoming all the guests.

STeP-IN Program manager Manjula Suresh discussing with the PSTC2016 Ceremony hosts- Manisha & Mayank
Pinky Tyagi along-with Anil Nahata & Praveen Daga - busy getting the registrations done!
Vinay Baid - the Vice Convener STeP-IN Forum welcomes STeP-IN Committee member and contributor VasanthaPriya(TCS) and the Siemens team
A lot can happen over a cup of coffee..

Though all pre-event spicy discussions at morning tea revolved around topics of Indian government’s demonetization announcement and US President election, all were gearing up for the event that was about to start. When the industry stalwarts are speaking, you ought to be listening.

Dignitaries felicitated by STeP-IN committee executives

All the dignitaries Ms. Meera Rawat, COO Barclays, Sundar Ganesh, Director-Testing, Barclays Technology Centre India & STeP-IN Chair-Pune Chapter, Wolfgang Platz, COO Tricentis, Krishna Rajan, Executive Director, GeoSpoc Geospatial were felicitated by STeP-IN Forum committee members

Dignitaries lit the Lamp in a glittering Grand Ballroom with a thunderous applause from the attendees and with a melodious background song ‘Shree Ganeshay Dheemahi’.

WELCOME ADDRESS by Sundar Ganesh, Director-Testing, Barclays Technology Centre India & STeP-IN Chair-Pune Chapter

Sundar kicked off the event by Welcome Address with STeP-IN introduction and then by mentioning the initiatives taken by team such as TechTalks, Academia supports and Women Empowerment and Leaderships. After mentioning how testing is going through the huge transformation, he concluded by thanking all test professionals who participated a 8th Nov TestAutothon which was powered by Amazon Web Services.This was the first of its kind with highlights below. The Test-Autothon was a deeply thought and finely orchestrated project of STeP-IN which was programmed by STeP-IN masterminds Vasatha Priya , Varun Rathore and Unmesh Gundecha.

Mr.Shantiprakash Motwani –Managing Director, Accenture delivering the first keynote

Having spent more than 15 years in Client Delivery area, Mr. Motwani has seen all the transformation industry has gone through all along.While speaking on ‘Technology Trends Shaping the Future of Testing’, he emphasized on two most critical points:

• What’s driving the change?

• Its impact on testing

As he went about explaining multiple trends impacting Future of testing, the most interesting were Time to Market, Agile & DevOps Here to Stay and CrowdSource Testing.He presented a simplistic explanation of how Time to Market is one of the most dominant factor in today’s industry operations especially when the products are becoming stale faster than ever and how the emergence of ‘Unknown Competitors’ is forcing organizations to regularly review their ‘Innovation strategies’ in shorter span of time.Another important point he made was about how the industry approach has changed from ‘Time Imperative’ to ‘Business Imperative’. This change in approach thus highlighting the importance of Agile and DevOps methodologies which are practiced when organizations are certifying products almost in weeks' time.Giving the example of ‘Liquid Workforce’ used in Accenture, he underlined the important role that ‘CrowdSource Testing’ is going to play in future.

Speaking on testing perspectives Mr. Motwani made an interesting point that here onwards the ‘Role Collapse’ is inevitable and the lines reading will be blurred significantly as the focus on industry knowledge will be the most cherished ones. As the world is moving more ‘Digital’, performance is no longer the most important aspect but ‘Security’ will dominate in future. He also emphasized that Automation Testing is not about ‘Incremental efficiency’ anymore - as the tools are evolving, so should the approach towards automation and it starts from the point of how relevant is your automation tool to test your business test.Finally he signed off by expressing that there is no alternative to pace yourself to market by adapting and changing yourself.

Key Note 2 By Mr.Rohit Kishore, Vice President & Head BFS QEA, Cognizant

With over two decades of experience in quality engineering, especially in Banking & Finance, Mr. Kishore has seen the evolution of testing and how technology is redefining our lives and businesses there by naturally compelling CIOs to change priorities which have huge implications on quality.Mr. Kishore also emphasized on Digital Disruption that is driving the business around the world. He sees these technology explosion, change in CIO priorities and quality through three primary lenses;

  1. Redefining Customer Experience
  2. Business Model or Process Disruption
  3. Digital Driven IT demands

He reiterated what Sundar Pichai, CEO, Google had predicted in his prediction “In near future devices will go away and IoT will drive the personalized customer experiences.”

On Process disruption his example of how Dubai government by 2020 wants to shift all public record in Blockchain was the one audience remembered.And soon when these technologies will start coming to reality there will be huge IT demand and consequently the necessity of substantial spending.

Mr. Kishore gave an interesting insight into how CIO priorities have changed; especially how they now want customer experience to be more immersive and influencing rather than controlling. CIOs prefer to leverage the opportunity and move on when the relevance is lost. Eventually this leading to ‘Fail fast approach’ for business models to keep up with the market.

He also pointed out by an example of Goldman Sachs making their trading algorithm, how organizations are trying for more open architecture so they can build more credible partnerships. This has also led to CrowdSource solutions to grow its leg more. He strengthens his view by pointing to the fact of how Hackathons have now moved from inside organization to open space. He gave an interesting example of a Spanish bank which went for an option to run hackathon for 6 months with 400+ developers to develop apps for their payment platform rather than investing 40 million through usual means.he explained how assuring ‘Business Moments’ for customer experience and technology foundations for business models have become more important. All these approaches have made automation a ‘New normal’ process now.

He concluded with some important advice to testers which I think is absolutely true and is a must in today’s world;

  • Evolve with technology. Do it yourself
  • Don't become developer, become best tester
  • Learn more of what you are not responsible for
  • Being digital means being human

Followed by Kishore's session was plenary session by Mr.Wolfgang Platz - the founder and CPO of Tricentis. Wolfgang believes in what power India can bring into IT testing and is working on ramping India operations of Tricentis. With more than 20 years of solid experience in IT , Mr Platz has lot to talk about testing,DevOps, Continuous integration, Agile and crowd-sourcing.With 81% of enterprises turning to DevOps, agile practices are being introduced into development and testing. The impact on a test organization is massive: only 4 years ago, the majority of enterprises had established or wanted to establish a Test Center of Excellence (TCoE). TCoEs, however, do not seem to provide an appropriate fit for agile teams. While today’s out-sourcing of testing services focuses on manual testing, the speed-to-market needs to increase dramatically, and the classic sourcing models are declining in demand. What will the future of out-sourced testing services look like? How will it be organized, and which role will crowd-testing play?Over the past 20 decades, how Software test automation has grown and why still the success is not seen as 100% is the question he answered with full conviction.Exactly pinpointing needs of testing and its future expanse with correct directions , Wolfgang brought subtle weightage to STeP-IN's knowledge share.

Mrs.Renu Rajani, VP-Global Testing Service, Capgemini explaining the World Quality Report

Renu with wealth of experience in testing area naturally took us though the evolution of testing starting right from the late 70s decade to decade of 2010. You can check her works here and her.With the advent of new technologies testing also evolved from manual testing to automation and then rapidly moving ahead with Agile, DevOps methodologies to the relatively latest trends of SDETs to CrowdSource testing.Renu presented a great deal of statistics on testing trends from World Quality Report which was intriguing as well as thought provoking for all quality engineer professionals attending the event.One of the points explained from the quality report was the Executive’s objectives with QA and test; and expectedly the top 3 were

  1. Enhanced Security
  2. Higher quality of software solution
  3. Enhanced Customer Experience

Topmost objective to achieve for IT industry is the growth of digital solutions across all industries.She also quickly explained the comparison data for 2015 and 2016 for challenging aspects of digital implementation, test strategies for IoT and challenges faced in applying testing to agile development.While the challenges for digital implementations increased for ‘Data and Service orchestration’ and ‘End to End workflows’ it was also observed that 68% of the respondent do not have specific test strategy for IoT despite 85% of them having Iota business. Another interesting outcome about challenges in agile developments difficulty in identifying right areas on which test to focus and lack of appropriate environment and data. However the most challenging emerged out was the involvement of testing team since the inception phase of sprint planning.One positive survey for testing fraternity was the IT spend on QA and Testing is outstripping the predictions and likely to increase in coming times. About more than 30% of that is being dominated by Cloud and Mobile solutions.It’s just stunning to visualize the skills and deliberation that will be required to test in this time of Digital Disruption brought by Connected Autonomous Vehicles, Wearable technologies, disrupting Business platforms like OLX and Robotic Process Automation.Of course the industry approach will decide how we deal with it. Agile, TDD and BDD are sure to dominate on this front but CrowdSource Testing will also play a huge hand in this transformation. Service Virtualization Tools and Data Analytics tool will assist in coping with the challenges Digital Disruption offers.Renu signed off with a note that eventually testers will have to wear multiple hats apart from the usual testing job and they will have to become tech savvy, develop good understanding of digital domain while keeping in mind that inevitably coding will become part of their life.


Interestingly all the sessions underlined some common ideas; however the ones which really stood out were Digital Disruption, Security and Transformation.While the speakers talked about how rapidly Digital Disruption is happening and how now the industry has only two choices; to be disrupted or to disrupt, there was evident unanimity that the ‘Security Testing’ will be the most dominant space in future.

Mr. Sameer Dalal, Group Manager & Head SEPG, UST spoke majorly on challenges and solutions for security whereas Mr. Mehul Chovatia, Director, Head of GIS, India & Head of GTA, Barclays had more of his attention on security testing process and related data points.

Mr. Suhas Desai, VP-Digital Security, Aujas on the other hand had everyone concentrated on security threats to IoT, another hot point.

Both Mr. Dalal and Mr. Chovatia underlined the fact that how Confidentiality, Integrity and Availability are the most important core pillars of Information security.

Mr. Chovatia told fascinating details about Bangladesh Bank hack. He presented a great interpretation of Banking-Customer relationship as Fort doors (Different modes of transaction) - King (Customer). These day for customer’s (King’s) convenience lot of bank services (Fort doors) are made available for ex. transaction through cards, cell phones and watches even. But as we make more doors for king, it also increases the vulnerability of the fort and the bad guys can exploit these doors gauging security lapses.

He presented the current trends of security attacks mentioning reduction in network attacks but increase in web based and mobile attacks. He recalled Ola Cab hacking incident where hacker group used unused token for free rides. To make things worse, the database was hacked second time again within three months.

He did warn about the ‘bad guys’ from the hacker world but at the same time remarked that there is a massive opportunity to be a ‘good guy’ by being a ethical hacker. Bounty hunter is a prized profession.While Mr. Aditya presented OWASP - Top 10 Threats, Mr. Dalal mentioned Vulnerability points; SQL injection and Cross Site Scripting(XSS) to name a few.Mr.Aditya also very intriguingly explained few threads of Security Testing Process with reference to Army’s art of battle plan. Just to mention few

Reconnaissance - The art of surveying your target like first unit of army does before the battle

Scanning - After assessing the situation, check what is available to be broken into.

and the most interesting one was!

Erasing the Evidence - A good attacker does not leave a trail and good investigator finds a non existing trail.

Mr. Dalal cited coding practices and integration of customer security requirement within current SDLC framework being the two biggest challenges.

Solution? – We need to start introducing Security related use cases in all phases of SDLC and in all the layers of application.

While Penetration Testing HAS TO BE DONE we need to make sure that it’s done by experts and not on resource adjustment basis.

A Video, shown by Mr. Desai, of a group of people from a Chinese company hacking ‘Tesla car’ externally was proof enough for everyone about how most of the modern devices equipped with IoT applications are vulnerable to hacks. So in short, more we become smarter and more we place data on digital platform the more vulnerable we get on security front.

6 IoT Security Worries that all of us should be were of are;

  • Insecure Devices
  • Insecure Applications
  • Insecure Communication
  • Insecure Web
  • Insecure Cloud
  • Insecure APIs

He concluded with an advice for taking care of all application layers to secure IoT life.


The world is moving fast, really fast. To keep up with the pace is the biggest challenge for all the industries now. There is only one approach that will get you back in the competition. Transform yourself to adapt to the change.This was precisely the theme chosen by Ms. Balasubramanian, Mr. Platz and Mr. Vyas.As Ms. Balasubramanian, Solution Consultant, TCS touched multiple aspects of industry while speaking on this subject, Mr. Platz enlightened everyone on transformation required in automation approach and Mr. Uchit Vyas, Cloud Architect, Rean Cloud focused one of the most important stream of testing- test execution analysis and Speed.She started off with an interesting quiz. Few pictures were shown and the audience was asked to name the type of transformation an entity or a person had gone through in longer period.

To name couple of them:

PayPal transformed into something which was completely different at its inception- cryptographic company to Payment Company - an evolution of business.

Steve Jobs was one of the pictures and she asked about the Transformation that is linked to him; most of the audience said ‘Technology’ but what Ms. Balasubramanian mentioned as an answer was a surprise to lot of people – Spiritual Transformation. Oh, yes, he did travel to India to seek spiritual answers.

A quote from her - ‘what was yesterday is no more today’ applies to technology world fittingly. As business will drive the technology tomorrow it’s going to get challenging.

She talked about 4 distinct trajectories in the Business change transformation from Harvard Business Review; (with ex. in parenthesis)

Radical - 19% (Mobile phone evolution)

Creative - 6% (Gaming, Animation)

Progressive Change- 43% (Online auctions, commercial airlines)

Intermediating - 32% (Automobile dealership, investment brokerage)

This was presented with a matrix

5 Digital Forces that are dominating in today’s world;

  1. Mobility
  2. Cloud Computing
  3. Social Media
  4. Big Data & Analytics
  5. Artificial Intelligence

So when we are speaking about transformation, organizations should focus more on customer experience with the help of above digital forces rather than focusing on profits. And as she correctly mentioned that this thought should be initiated from each one of us. And this transformation can be brought by being more skillful and becoming knowledge equipped.So eventually going to be the major part of expenditure in future and thus QA should focus on Customer Satisfaction and becoming ‘Lean’.She ended with a quote from Jack Welch that was fitting to her subject of Transformation - ‘Change before you have to’

Ever enthusiastic Mr. Platz took us through automation world and insisted why it needs to be transformed as well.He pointed to the fact that as organizations increasingly look to Agile and DevOps, offshore providers’ traditional manual testing services are no longer competent.He had some manual testers’ pulse quickened when he mentioned that manual testing is more or less dying a slow death. (But they also had some hope when Mr. Chovatia mentioned that Security testing can be a great avenue for manual testers).Tech COEs also need to prove the reason for their existence as they no longer fulfill the needs of DevOps.

There is a question mark on today’s automation works as they are infected with leaks and redundancies the way they are structured. He also rued the fact that testing today is still relied heavily on manual tester where automation can take up and the job which needs developer skills. In fact he predicted that in future 85% of the tests will be automated through API tested and Automated UI Tests and only 15% will be Exploratory testing that can be taken up by manual testers.API testing is likely to be the future of automation testing as faster and efficient it will be in terms of setup, maintenance and runtime. He foresees that 45% of the tester’s day time in Agile teams will be dedicated to Automate and rest will be divided among exploration, design and reporting activities. A cultural shift required from Waterfall to DevOps to go for high autonomy and high alignment.Sourcing will survive as offsite locations will still have exploratory testers and automation specialists to do the job.

He concluded with few call of actions for everyone:

  1. Learn to automate( stop framework programming)
  2. Develop Digital TCoEs
  3. Imbibe an Agile Culture

Last session of the day was conducted by Mr. Vyas and it was about ‘Transforming Test execution & Analysis Speed by 100x’. It was heartening to see that the last session of the was the most interactive session of the day. As he continued with the demo of Test Now tool, there were quite a few interesting queries raised from audience which were quickly clarified from him.

Mr. Vyas gave demo of few functionalities of tool like ‘URL Check’ where you could do this test on multiple browsers with different versions at the same time. He explained how results were calculated quick and easy to investigate in case of failures.

He also explained briefly about load testing functionality of ‘Scale Now’ feature by using panel user count.One of the interesting features he explained was about ‘Infrastructure Automation’. System will build the required infrastructure for your desired testing scenarios and once the testing is complete the infrastructure will be withdrawn and the result will be presented the user. Clarifying one of the queries from the audience, he explained how infrastructure build will be aborted if there are problems on the data setup or startup front.He also answered multiple queries from audience about how source code is used, how reporting is done, how authentication is handled and also whether the tool can be locally installed on handheld devices such as mobiles and tablets. Mr. Vyas deftly answered all the queries.So was the level of engagement in this session, Mr. Vyas had to conclude it by promising that he will take the further queries offline as he thanked everyone for the same.

Panel Discussion:

Just before the lunch was a interesting session of panel discussion where industry stalwarts expressed their views on the topic "Future of IT testing"

Mr. Rajan kicked off the panel discussion with the light humor by saying that may they should have a Stand-up meeting because they were standing between the attendees and the lunch.

Mrs.Smita Kelkar, who moderated the discussion with ease and grace, put forth two burning questions that voiced the sentiments and apprehensions of Tester community.

• What are the career options that a software tester of tomorrow will have and what are the skills require to be acquired?

• Why longevity is important for a tester’s career and what can be done to achieve that?

Mr. Rajan was very clear in his opinion that we all should not focus more on matrix like RACI but should become responsible and accountable for all the actions that happen to complete the project; be it ready to open the so called ‘White Box’ for testing or even be ready to wear shoes of Config to get the testing environments up by ourselves rather than waiting for them to complete the job.

Mr.Vishwaroop was straight to the point in saying that there is no dearth of opportunities in the industry for QAs. Companies can encourage their people to take up challenging roles such as Product Manager, Program Manager in their line of work and grow. But the most important advice he gave was – ‘Be the best software tester in your company and you wont see any lack of opportunities’

Mr. Jadhav was also practical in suggesting that the role of a tester has gone beyond the conventional ways of testing and the tester of today needs to understand all aspects of the testing be it functional, non functional, security or penetration. And being knowledgeable about multiple facets of testing will provide him/her more opportunities in future.

Mr. Bhahamankar had a confident answer to the longevity question. He said QA is not dying and it certainly wont and in fact its going to get more importance in future. Another good point he made was that the longevity helps in building knowledge in different areas for ex. Business understandings and people should taste all the flavors of the jobs to help themselves grow.

In all it was a enlightening to listen to all these leaders speaking through their experiences and guiding the next generation for better.To see the session in it is for viewing:

To end the day there were few table topics to which there were some nice responses from attendees. It was a great conclusion to the day as most of the responses were mock tail of light humor and learning experiences from the candidates. It was certainly a happy ending for Table Topics participants as they received goodies for sharing.

Few Tweets from Twitter World

I hear more'n more stories of Robots getting mainstream in testing mobile apps, contactless payments,POS in FinTech #PSTC2016 @stepin_forum

Testers understand integration better than anyone else in team~ Peter Thomson, @stepin_forum #PSTC2016

#PSTC2016 : best line :'Test execution of success scenario is waste of time' by Mahesh Patil frm @Accenture @AbhijitHasabnis @corp_chanakya

Mahesh Venkataraman begins the session with a humour - How much time I have as it is a common question asked in #Testing. #PSTC2016

Krishna Ranjan from @GeoSpoc talking about Software Tester's role in Agile and DevOps. It's time to open WhiteBox! @stepin_forum #PSTC2016

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Harshal Patinge

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