Isabel Evans

Freelancer (UK)

Independent quality and testing consultant Isabel Evans has more than thirty years of IT experience in quality management and testing in the financial, communications, and software sectors. Her quality management work focuses on encouraging IT teams and customers to work together via flexible processes designed and tailored by the teams that use them. Isabel authored Achieving Software Quality Through Teamwork and chapters in Agile Testing: How to Succeed in an eXtreme Testing Environment; The Testing Practitioner; and Foundations of Software Testing. A popular speaker at software conferences worldwide, Isabel is a Chartered IT Professional and Fellow of the British Computer Society, and has been a member of software industry improvement working groups.

Devices and Desires: understanding how humans experience software

We consume and still we desire more. More devices, more apps, more data, more bandwidth, more connectivity. The more we have, the more we want… We assume that to be true – those of us who work in the software industry. But is that true? To understand what is really required of our products, we need to design and test a pyramid of interlocking quality attributes, that build together to make an optimum experience for the people who use our products, matching their needs, and their desires. It is not enough to test functional suitability, performance, and reliability. People also require usability, accessibility, and safety. These profoundly affect the user experience (UX) which also considers trust, flow, and excitement. To test the UX, and so deliver a good experience for people, we first need to understand them. Isabel discusses why and how we can test and deliver better UX. She will look at the pressures from the business and government environment, the commercial imperatives, and the needs of society, along with the needs of the individual software user.

Risk: our friend and our foe

What is risk to a tester? And, what does risk mean to other people?

For some people, risk is a friend; for innovation to take place, it is necessary to take risks.

For other people, risk is a foe; something to be avoided.

How do we know when to take and when to avoid risks? What happens if avoiding one risk increases another risk? Can we tell the difference between our perception of risk and actual risk? In this short talk, I reflect on the theme of the conference (Sharing + Diversity + Knowledge) and discuss how those three words help us understand, manage and work with risk, to the benefit of our teams and our customers. We need knowledge of risk, through a diversity of perceptions, to give a shared understanding of when to embrace risk, when to accept it and when to control it or avoid it.