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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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!



Who Knew Business Analysts and Pirates Had So Much in Common?

written by: Kelley Bruns on March 2nd, 2015

What’s Your Patch?

Every day our lives have the possibility of being filled with information – some of this information we seek out, while some information pours into our minds from various sources.  I like to seek out information as much as I can to have some control over imageswhat I allow to enter my mind.  The other day I ran across a fact that caused me to stop and think: Pirates wear eye patches so that they can see in the dark.  When they go to a lower deck with poor lighting, they can remove the patch and see better with that eye since it’s used to the dark, whereas the other eye would take several minutes to adjust to the change in light.

Right away, I had reactions to this fact.  One reaction was that I had the assumption pirates wear eye patches because their eye was damaged – perhaps through sword fighting.  Another reaction I had was Wow – why didn’t I think of that when the power goes out.  My favorite reaction is how much am I in the dark when I perform project and analysis work?  What patches (in other words tools and techniques) can I use to help me see what my stakeholders require and how we can accomplish our work effectively?  How much information am I missing because I literally have blinders on?

This is definitely something I’m going to continue to think about.  I encourage you to think about this the next time you see a pirate in a movie or dress up as one – how will you use project and analysis techniques effectively to be your patch?



The Difference Between the CBAP and the PMI-PBA Exams Explained

written by: Rob Snowden on February 24th, 2015

The CBAP is oriented around the BABOK, and the BA role excludes topics like design, testing, coding.  Therefore, any questions on the test with answers that hint of these other topics cannot be readily removed as possible answers.  Not so on the PMI-PBA test.  It is based on 11 text books, most of which have the words BA, analysis, or requirements in the titles but two don’t – the PMBOK and Data Modeling Essentials.  One question in particular is still stuck in my head – “You, as the BA, have just completed the design document.  What is the most likely next step for you to do?”  Well, from an IIBA point of view, the right answer would be “Apply for a job as a developer since I’ve stopped doing BA work!”


The CBAP test had 150 multiple choice questions vs. the PMI-PBA, which had 200.  I studied extensively for the CBAP and didn’t study at all for the PMI-PBA.  But I passed both, and I’m not a particularly good test taker.  I learned testing strategies during preparation for the CBAP and I believe this helped me considerably with the PMI-PBA.  Maybe it was partly because I was in the PMI-PBA pilot group.  Maybe it was partly because I wasn’t stressed at all about taking the PMI-PBA because I didn’t expect to pass it. I thought I was going to fail it but at least know how to approach it for the second try at it.

Maybe because of my decades of experience in BA work, contract work, and training, I’ve just absorbed so many shreds of information that I was able to get through it.



Web Seminar Recap: From Agile to Continuous Operation

written by: Jennifer Johnson on February 20th, 2015

Continuous Operation: the holy grail of a product release!

We’ve seen tools pop up to enable it. Microsoft TFS allows the fully Agile developer environment. Stuff like Jenkins and Git allow highly streamlined version control and deployment. On the operations side, admins can spool up countless new server instances in the cloud, auto-configure them with ease, and seamlessly collaborate with their developers.

We hear about companies like FaceBook and Etsy releasing software to the production environment so often that it becomes one steady flow of deployment, from development to customer-facing release. Glitches can be fixed so fast…changes implemented so rapidly…that applications are virtually updated in real time, without customers ever knowing.

Meanwhile, the rest of us struggle with the same old IT project challenges we’ve had for years: delays, inaccurate requirements, version control issues. Problems during release and operations that didn’t show up in Dev. Is it reasonable to think that normal, everyday IT shops can achieve the kind of results we read about on the DevOps blogs?

This one-hour  Q and A  presentation occurred Friday, February 13th with our resident Agile release and TFS expert: Bryon Brewer. Missed this web seminar? You can find the slides and recording here.