Receive 30% Off May Courses!

written by: Admin on March 27th, 2015

30-percent-off-discount-sale-icon_2With the summer season approaching, we know how difficult it can be to stay motivated. Although training may not be at the top of your list, its becoming increasingly important to stay ahead of the game and continually refresh your skills in order to maintain a competitive advantage. To help keep the momentum going, we’re offering 30% our May 2015 training sessions. Register online or mention code MAY30 to receive 30% off your registration.  For more information and a list of available courses and sessions, please visit


Free 1-Hour Professional Skills Boot Camps for SDLC Professionals

written by: Admin on January 9th, 2015

Start 2015 off Strong with Free Professional Skills Training for SDLC Professionals

As an SDLC training company, we have the privilege of working very closely with a large number of SDLC professionals around the world. Constantly having our ear to the ground, we hear over and over how important it is to SDLC professional to maintain strong business and communications kills in order to thrive and maintain continued career growth.

The fulfillment of this need in 2015 has become a major priority for ASPE-SDLC. In response, we have developed a series of 1-hour boot camps that will be presented in the form of free webinars.  These boot camps will be focused, information packed, skills building sessions covering the most critical professional skills need for long term career growth.

Professional Skills Boot Camp Schedule:

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Passing the PMP

written by: Dave Caccamo on April 6th, 2015

Several weeks ago I was teaching a PMP Exam prep class when one of the students, clearly frustrated at the sheer volume of material being covered, objected to the topic of Monte Carlo.  For the uninitiated, the technique is essentially a way of analyzing “what-if” scenarios while estimating things such as time, cost, and risk.  “This is ridiculous!  When in the world would I ever have time to do something like this?  I’m barely keeping my head above water as it is, and you are asking me to be building Excel models?  What is the point?!”

It was a fair enough question, deserving of a straight-forward answer.  My reply was that I was not asking anyone to build a Monte Carlo simulation.  I was explaining the method because it is sometimes asked about on the PMP examination.  You must have some basic understanding of what Monte Carlo is in order to get the question right, and that is about as straight-forward a justification as I can think of for studying the subject.  Unfortunately, what I left out of my answer was what should have been the actual focus of my reply – her level of frustration.

Everyone, at one time or another, becomes frustrated during a PMP Examination Boot Camp.  It is inevitable.  “Why are they doing that?”  “I would never do that particular process like that!”  “All this memorization is ridiculous!”  And those are just my reactions.  I recall one student from my early days of teaching, sitting in the back of the classroom for four straight days shaking his head in disagreement every time I presented a new process.  “That’s not the way it is done!” he would announce to the class.  Arms crossed, he took no notes nor made any annotations to his materials.  Apparently he was smarter than PMI, smarter than the PMBOK and, undoubtedly, smarter than his instructor.  And of course he failed.

You need to understand that the frustration in studying for this exam is real, that everyone experiences it, and that failing to control it will work mightily against you on the exam.  Studying becomes harder when your frustration does not allow you to understand why a topic is important.  Learning new concepts becomes difficult when your frustration prevents you from seeing how those concepts even matter.  Memorization becomes pointless when you are frustrated by the volume of what it is necessary to memorize.  But worst of all, frustration that leads to a student’s “arguing” with PMI is about as counterproductive as it comes.  To put it bluntly, it is never a good idea to get into an argument with the entity that is writing the test.


1)      You are in class to pass the test.

2)      You are in the class to learn the best practices for studying for the test.

3)      You are in the class in order to recognize that the world of project management is a lot broader than you probably ever imagined.

4)      You are not in the class to be told you need to change the way you do a project.  Maybe you’ll see something interesting during the week, but remember point 1) above.


Web Seminar Recap: Business Analysis: Is it a Role or a Skill?

written by: Jennifer Johnson on March 30th, 2015

The Agile evangelists would say it is a skill the entire team needs. The IIBA would say it is a role that needs to grow in order for companies to gain competitive advantage with their technology deployments and internal automation. PMI (the Project Management Institute) has also spoken on this topic. Their position, based on the certification they developed (PMI-PBA) is it’s a skill successful project managers add to their tool kit of skills and techniques. What can be factually attested to is the following; as SDLC practitioner positions like developers, testers and architects were being outsource, larger enterprise organizations depended on building software and systems for competitive advantage have been hiring Business Analysts. Just look at Indeed or Dice or Monster and see which tech jobs are HOT and Business Analyst will be in the top 5.

This presentation, presented by David Mantica on March 26, broke out the current trends in the software development industry and where BA is seen as skill and were it is being built out as a role. From there we took a look at the pros and cons of each view and where things may end up in the end.

Missed this web seminar? Find the slides and recording here.


The Chicken and the Pig: How to Better Your Company’s Scrum Training

written by: Madeline Streicher on March 24th, 2015

In a ham and egg breakfast, what is the difference between the pig and the chicken? 

The chicken is involved, but the pig is committed!

The roles to successfully run Scrum are similar to this fable. ScrumMasters and team members are considered the pig, committed to performing at the highest level of productivity. The chicken is representing the product owner, or the customers. Both are necessary for your business to run. I am the new marketing specialist here at ASPE and I can already tell you that Scrum is what it’s cracked up to be. Upon research, I noticed some patterns in companies new to Scrum and what to do to get the most of your new business methods.

So how do you implement Scrum into your company so that it will run smoothly?

Rules are meant to be broken:

Not all companies are the same, so their methods are going to differ in some way or another. The methodologies that you learn from Scrum training are crucial but need to be adapted to fit the needs of your company. For example, you may not have all the specific roles that Scrum tells you to have, or you may cause confusion or generate friction at first. While it is necessary to have the proper training, it is equally necessary to modify what you have learned for your own practices.

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Web Seminar Recap: How Manual Testers Can Break into Test Automation Without Programming Skills

written by: Madeline Streicher on March 17th, 2015

How Manual Testers Can Break into Test Automation Without Programming Skills

This web seminar was hosted on March 16, 2015 by Jim Trentadue.

Adoption of automating tests has not happened as quickly as organizations need. As more companies move to implementing Agile Development as their software development lifecycle, more features are implemented to production quicker. This leaves less time for full regression testing of the system, but yet this still should occur. Manual testers need to transform into test automation testers as well. Test automation professionals are largely believed to have deep knowledge of a development scripting language. Many manual testers believe they have to learn a development language in addition to the functionality of the tool to be effective. Add to that the in-depth or SME knowledge one must have for their system under test, along with development and management support required, and it may not seem clear where to start.

This web seminar covered:
• How to look at the application differently from manual to automated testing
• How to start in automation without a programming background
• Where a manual tester should start with automation, such as test structure, object recognition and results interpretation

You can find the slides and recording here.


Web Seminar Recap: Transitioning from Waterfall -The Benefits of Becoming Agile

written by: Jennifer Johnson on March 6th, 2015

Presented March 5, 2015, this webinar’s goal was to provide someone interested in Agile with an understanding of the benefits of Agile methods by comparing and contrasting the typical waterfall process with Agile.

In this web seminar we did a very basic breakdown of SDLC (Software/System Develop Lifecycle) roles and responsibilities. From there we looked at those same roles in action in Waterfall and how those roles and actions change in Agile. After that we looked at the areas within Agile that provide higher visibility, less risk, greater adaptability and increased business value when compared with waterfall.

We discussed some of the top problems or challenges organizations face with looking to incorporate agile or some agile practices and addressed those challenges with ideas on change management strategies to support an Agile transformation.

Nothing is as simple as marketing makes it seem. With Agile though there are some significant organization benefits, especially around meeting NEED with your software/systems work that makes worthwhile to investigate if your organization can make the transformation.

Missed this web seminar? You can find the slides and recording here.


Going to SharePoint Fest in Washington, DC? Come see us!

written by: Traci Taylor on March 5th, 2015

logoSharePoint Fest 2015 in Washington, D.C. is just around corner! April 8-10 attendees will be able to participate in technical workshops covering an assortment of SharePoint topics including:

  • Enterprise Content Management
  • Power Users, Social SharePoint
  • Business Value
  • Implementation
  • Administration
  • Office 365
  • Workflow
  • Business Intelligence
  • SharePoint Development

Make sure to stop by the ASPE-SDLC booth for materials on SharePoint training and your chance to win a free SharePoint training class!