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Upcoming Event: Big Data Summit KC17

Posted By Stephanie Konkoy, Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Upcoming Event:
Big Data Summit KC17
October 18-19, 2017
Bartle Hall, Kansas
City, MO

Register at:

Hear Jeff Healey of Micro Focus Vertica, present the first keynote at the Big Data Summit 2017 on Oct 18!

The Big Data Summit is Kansas City’s convergence of data, technology, analytics and science. For two days, a myriad of thought leaders and practitioners come together to share industry insights, trends and technologies that are shaping the future of big data. Attendees are experts in the topics of data science, data analytics and visualization, business intelligence, technology, health care, education and more.

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Windows 10 Testing? Ruh Oh!

Posted By C W. Fries, Monday, March 9, 2015
Updated: Thursday, October 20, 2016

Top Five Things Testers Need to Know About Windows 10


If you're like me, you stay on top of what's new in the testing space.  One of the ways I do that is by reading Joe Colantonio's Blog.  A recent entry of his caught my eye, and I thought I'd share it with you.

A lot of what affects the testing space is related to operating systems and Microsoft, being one of the biggest offenders, continues to rock the boat with the upcoming introduction of Windows 10.  This article details what's new with Windows 10, how it will behave differently, and what you can do to get on top of the situation before you're asked to test something on it.

Like what you read there?  Then I encourage you to follow his page - there's always something good coming from Joe.


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Register for HP Discover 2015 Las Vegas through Vivit!

Posted By C W. Fries, Friday, March 6, 2015
Updated: Thursday, October 20, 2016

Time To Register for HP Discover 2015 Las Vegas!


Are you planning on going to HP Discover this spring?  If so, please use this link to register -  Using this link will save you $300 off the price of admission and Vivit will get credit for driving attendance.  This link is exclusive to Vivit members only, so please make sure you use it when registering for the conference.

In recent years, Vivit has been a strong driver for these conferences and can claim credit for thousands of attendees.  Let's continue the trend and have a strong showing of Vivit members.

Having attended several of these conferences in the past, I can say that these things never cease to amaze.  Furthermore, it's a great opportunity to learn what's next for the HP products that your organization uses, as well as to meet with some of the products' key decision makers and influencers.  So if there are questions that you're dying to ask HP or its partner community, there won't be a better chance than this to ask it (until next year, I guess).

Anyway, I hope to see you all there.


Colin W. Fries

St. Louis Chapter Leader

Secretary, Vivit Board of Directors

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Interesting Keynote at Next StarWest

Posted By C W. Fries, Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Updated: Thursday, October 20, 2016
I wish someone would sponsor me to attend this year's StarWest conference.  

The cost of admission varies from ~$900 a day to ~$4000.00 for the platinum-plated uber package, which is far outside my price range.  But as a practitioner, I'd love to hear hear some of the insights coming out of the keynote presentations and to participate in some of the tutorial sessions as well.

One keynote that caught my eye was "Why Testers Need to Code: Facebooks's No Testing Department", presented by Simon Stewart from Facebook.  I'd really like to hear his thoughts on this subject because from what I've seen and heard, the roles of software developers and testers are converging, thus making me feel like I'm actually correct about something. 

More info on the keynote can be found here:

There are already a few shops in the St. Louis area who insist that candidates submitted for QA roles be able to code in a major programming language (usually Java).  But the goal behind getting QA people who can code shouldn't necessarily stop at writing automated tests that developers can understand.  Ideally, one would utilize these people and their skills to improve the overall quality of the software produced by the organization.  Dev-capable QA people can easily apply their QA skillset to other parts of the development process, such as code reviews, requirements analysis & development, and actual software development itself.  Going forward, there should be no reason why QA would need to be the third wheel working within its own silo on a development team.

Anyway, I hope that some of you are able to get to StarWest this year.  If you are and can take in this keynote, I'd appreciate a briefing.

Tags:  Automation  QA  StarWest  Testing 

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New STL Event

Posted By C W. Fries, Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Updated: Thursday, October 20, 2016
Good news - the long-delayed Q3 Event has been scheduled and locked in.  Finally!

Come join us at Dave and Busters on August 26th, 2014, from 4 - 8 PM to learn about what you missed at HP Discover as well as a review of new features and functionality for ALM and UFT 12.

Register for the event here...

Agenda is pretty straightforward for this one:

4:00 - 6:00 - HP will be presenting on product announcements and ALM / UFT 12 Updates
6:00 - 8:00 - Happy Hour Game Time

This is our first attempt at an evening event, so plan accordingly.  If you intend to drink anything alcoholic, please be responsible.

HP will be raffling off a HP Slate at this event.  Anyone wanting and eligible to participate will want to bring a business card with their name and contact information.  Raffles are a fun way for event sponsors to elicit information from existing and potential customers, but of course, are completely voluntary to participate in.

And since this is a happy hour, it wouldn't make much sense to have one if there wasn't food and drinks provided.  As an event sponsor, HP will be picking this up as well.  So there's that...

Anyway, I hope to see you all there!


Tags:  ALM  HP Software  UFT 

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Microsoft Layoffs

Posted By C W. Fries, Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Updated: Tuesday, July 15, 2014

I saw this earlier and thought I’d share it with everyone.  It speaks to upcoming layoffs at Microsoft, and some of the reasons behind them.


One thing that impressed me about the article was how detailed it was about what roles were getting let go.  While it seems like most roles didn't go unscathed, testers were specifically identified as being released because in many cases, it makes sense for developers to do their own testing.  For those of you who have been following Agile, this goes back to the convergence of development and testing activities that a lot of people (myself included) have been talking about and can be argued is a byproduct of adopting the Agile software development methodology.


Is it a safe bet to dispense with testing and the skilled testers that perform it?  I don't think so - good testers provide a disciplined and impartial review of the application under test and can be invaluable to an organization.  But in the long term, can people expect to make a living soley as testers in an Agile environment?  Probably not.

If you're a tester (and without regard to what type of environment you work in), you'll want to broaden your horizons by picking up additional skillsets (BA, Developer, DBD / DBA, Build Engineering, etc), in addition to maintaining your testing skillset.  By doing so, will you demonstrate the type of versatility needed not only to look attracitve to new employers, but also to surivive layoffs if things go south.

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Good Luck to our Friends in KC!

Posted By C W. Fries, Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Updated: Thursday, October 20, 2016
Today is a very special day for the KC chapter in that it marks their second event in recent history.  Realizing that most of us are in St. Louis and won't have the opportunity to make the drive to KC, I'll still provide the link to the event for the sake of reference:

As some of you may know, the chapter was dormant for a number of years but has sprung back to life due to efforts of our chapter co-leader, Dan Boswell.  So please join me in a virtual round of applause for him getting this done, and for our sponsor-friends at HP for helping to arrange the event.  They've contributed a lot to it and we're hoping that it's an ejoyable experience for everyone involved. 

And speaking of events, we're still planning on having something similar in St. Louis soon.  Due to scheduling conflicts, we've decided to set ours for late August.  Once KC's is wrapped up, we'll set a firm date, time, and venue, and I'll open it for regisration.  So look for more info soon.


Tags:  VivitKC; HP DISCOVER; Awesome; STLVivit 

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Upcoming STLVivit Event

Posted By C W. Fries, Tuesday, July 1, 2014
Updated: Thursday, October 20, 2016
*Updated 07/15/2014*

Good news... we're planning for our next event and are looking at something in late August.  We'd previously settled on a date earlier in the month (08/07/2014), but due to some conflicts, decided to look at a later date.

We also have a topic, that being a recap of HP Discover.  So come by to find out what's new with your favorite HP products.

HP will be sponsoring this event, and the aim is to make it both fun and informative.  Stay tuned for updates - once we hammer out the specifics (timing, venue, speakers), I'll create a public event and will announce them.


Tags:  #HPDiscover  STLVivit 

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Upcoming STLQAA Event

Posted By C W. Fries, Tuesday, July 1, 2014
Updated: Thursday, October 20, 2016
For all of the QA folks out there, our friends at STLQAA will be having an event on 07/17/2014 at Westview. 

Date:  07/17/14
Time:    5:00-8:00 p.m.

Location:  12312 Olive Blvd. (Westview)

St. Louis, MO 63146

Room:  Conference Room #5 (6th floor-Suite 650)
Note: Park in garage and walk across to building

 - 5:00 - 5:30 PM - Networking
 - 5:30 - 6:00 PM - Organizational Updates
 - 6:00 - 7:00 PM - Company Spotlight - Stauder Technologies Co. - History, Future Direction, Best Practices, & Demo
 - 7:00 - 7:20 PM - Brainstorming Session

Ever wonder what the QA guys across the street were doing, but never had a chance to network with them?  Well here's your chance to learn.  This event will focus on Stauder Technologies Co., and will be the first of hopefully many events in the group's Company Spotlight series.

The speaker for this event will be STLQAA Alumni and QA uber-expert Dave Magditch, who will be giving a talk about the aforementioned company, it's QA best-practices, as well as it's history and future direction.  If you're at all curious as to how others are pursuing software quality assurance in other organizations, then it'd be a good idea to look in to this.

You can see more about STLQAA here:  Questions?  Email

As always, STLQAA is not affiliated with Vivit Worldwide.  By attending the event, you do so at your own risk and are subject to their terms and conditions of participation.

Tags:  #HPDiscover  Awesome  STLQAA  STLVivit 

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Upcoming STLQAA Event

Posted By C W. Fries, Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Updated: Thursday, October 20, 2016

Upcoming STLQAA Event


Hi everyone, I wanted to let you all know of an upcoming STLQAA event. 


Meeting Coordinates:


Date: 05/15/2014

Time: 5 PM – 8 PM

12312 Olive Blvd., St. Louis MO 63146
Conference room #5 (6th floor, Suite 650)

Parking:           Parking is available in garage across street from building.

The focus for this event is on mobile application testing.  If you’re working in the quality assurance space and are interested in learning more about this subject, then I encourage you to attend the event.  I’ll be there.

The event’s speaker, Alejandro Ramirez, has more than 16 years of IT experience across fields like finance, e-commerce, biotech, education, and mobile development.  His IT journey began at age 12 when he started programming in BASIC on his Commodore 64 and shows no sign of slowing down.  Alejandro has also spent time as development lead, software developer engineer in test, and test lead.  In his day time job Alejandro works as a project manager for IT service management at Monsanto, and in his spare time he teaches testing courses at CAIT and a as if that wasn't enough he and a friend are working on, a mobile development startup here in St. Louis.  Alejandro is also St. Louis Vivit member and his day-employer, Monsanto is an HP customer. 

For those of you familiar with STLQAA, you probably already know Alejandro, as he’s a former board member of that group and frequent contributor to their events.  For those of you not familiar with them, now’s the time to become acquainted.  STLQAA is a local chapter of the Quality Assurance Institute (QAI) and prides itself on raising quality assurance standards by improving its members’ body of knowledge and abilities through discussion, training, and certification.  Most of its presenters are practitioners living and working in the St. Louis area and all of them have had long, successful careers around software quality assurance.  So I encourage you to check them out – I almost always learn something by attending these events and feel that they do our community a great service.

And now the disclaimers… this is not a Vivit event, but since STLQAA helps us out, I like to return the favor.  Rest assured that Vivit values your privacy and only shares information with third parties when directed by the member to do so.  Also, STLQAA is at least in part funded by a paid membership model.  Guests may attend meetings for free in order to determine whether they want to become members and are encouraged to join if value the content received.  For more information about STLQAA, click the following link:


Tags:  Awesome  Mobile  STLQAA 

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