STARWEST 2020 Concurrent Session : Building the QA Team of the 2020s


Thursday, October 8, 2020 - 9:45am to 10:45am

Building the QA Team of the 2020s

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This past decade, the QA profession saw incredible, positive growth. As we look into this new decade, the landscape for the role of testers will continue to evolve. QA leaders must continue to learn and employ new strategies to ensure we are building the best teams possible for our organizations. Join Melissa Tondi and Kirk Walton for an important look at building an optimal testing/QA team for your organization in the 2020s. They will detail the current and future testing landscape and specific skills that will define the QA professional, including the balance between end-user empathy and technical acumen, and strategies to ensure your team is positioned for success. They'll give an introduction to a modern testing approach and explain how the QA/QE will be critically important within the SDLC this decade. You'll also get a complete list of interview questions, processes, and techniques to identify the right fit for your organization, resulting in much better hires for your team. Come learn strategies for attracting the best quality engineering talent in a red-hot market and for positioning your organization as the irresistible choice for candidates, along with actionable ideas for how to set up the members of your team for maximum success.


Melissa Tondi has spent most of her career working within software testing teams. She is the founder of Denver Mobile and Quality (DMAQ), past president and board member of Software Quality Association of Denver (SQuAD), and on the Quality Engineering Leadership Team at E*TRADE, where she assists companies to continuously improve the pursuit of quality software—from design to delivery and everything in between. In her software test and quality engineering careers, Melissa has focused on building and organizing teams around three major tenets—efficiency, innovation, and culture – and uses the Greatest Common Denominator (GCD) approach for determining ways in which team members can assess, implement and report on day to day activities so the gap between need and value is as small as possible.

Kirk Walton

Kirk Walton is Vice President at tap|QA, a national consulting firm exclusively focused on strategic consulting and staff augmentation for Software Testing, Test Automation, DevOps. Kirk has over 19 years' experience in the IT Services industry in a variety of roles including consulting, training, recruiting, and marketing/sales. He has over 15 years' experience in recruiting and has a highly successful track record of building strategies to attract, build and retain high-performing teams. Kirk has trained many teams and hiring managers how to seek out "the right fit" for their teams, based on both hard and soft skills, and how to stand out in a "candidate's market." Kirk will successfully train hiring managers how to "think like a recruiter" when it comes to finding talent, giving teams a competitive edge when seeking out the very best talent for their organizations and building their QA team for the 2020's.