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Unfortunately, I could not attend the most recent PNSQC Meetup on Agile Politics, so I decided to watch the recording. What I noticed right away was the different angles and distances people used to present themselves. Based on the angle of view of someone's face (left, right, up, and down), and distance, you get a whole different feeling and perspective. Some of the characteristics (certainly not exhaustive but a good start) I noticed included:

  1. Distance from camera
  2. Standing versus sitting
  3. Movement and gesturing
  4. Eye contact and camera positioning
  5. Background

On April 18th, Women Who CODE announced that they were closing, even though they hadn’t accomplished their mission. The primary reason cited by WWC is the lack of funding. The technical market is tight right now and the first thing that tends to go is “the frivolous stuff”. We are terribly disappointed that our industry believes that “Empowering diverse women to excel in technology careers” is considered a frivolous endeavor.


Ready to boost your expertise in AI and Machine Learning? Join us in supporting the PNSQC community by entering our raffle for complimentary AI training!


Why Participate in the Pacific Northwest Software Conference?

In the dynamic realm of software development, staying at the forefront of innovation is crucial for professionals aiming to thrive in an ever-evolving industry. One prime opportunity to engage with cutting-edge trends, network with industry leaders, and enhance your skills is the Pacific Northwest Software Conference (PNSQC). As an annual gathering of some of the brightest minds in software development, PNSQC offers a unique platform for professionals to learn, connect, and drive innovation. In this blog post, we explore the compelling reasons why participating in the Pacific Northwest Software Conference is a must for software enthusiasts.


In the post-COVID world, the PNSQC found it appropriate to revisit and re-evaluate our organization's core values. Since our founding in 1982, we have experienced many changes (i.e., increases and decreases in interest, venue changes, shifts in participants and volunteers) over the past 42 years. These various fluctuations prompted the organization to deeply examine our original mission and create a new one. Our new mission statement is 'Enabling Quality Through Community'.  We believe that this mission will help align our organization with the present as well as carry us forward into the future.


Step Up Your Career Game: Job Hunting Workshop

The Pacific Northwest Software Quality Conference (PNSQC) recently hosted a dynamic meetup titled "Step Up Your Career Game: February's Job Hunting Workshop Awaits," drawing professionals from the tech industry for an insightful evening of career development discussions and strategies. Held in a hybrid format, both in person at the NE Broadway McMenamins and online, the event garnered significant participation from individuals eager to enhance their job search techniques and refine their career paths.


America’s sizzling job market: From Bloomberg

“The sizzling US labor market is good news for American workers and President Joe Biden, whose message on the nation’s booming economy may be starting to get through. It’s a bittersweet state of affairs though for those on Wall Street hoping for the Federal Reserve to start dropping interest rates soon. The January jobs report blew estimates out of the water and appears to affirm (yet again) the wrongheadedness of almost two years of recession predictions. The Fed is still pursuing its soft landing in the fight against inflation while the US has added thousands of jobs and broken with the pre-pandemic trend of weak wage growth. In the US version of post-Covid recovery, employers have been able to hire at a steady clip, allowing for business growth, while wages continue to outpace inflation, boosting workers’ spending power even in the face of rising prices.”


Thanks to all for attending today and joining our community. In line with our meeting title, we used Claude to write up this summary.


  • Purpose: Explore capabilities and limitations of AI systems like ChatGPT
  • Attendees: Group of software engineers, testers, and IT professionals

Benefits of Being a Presenter at PNSQC

Give and You Shall Receive

As mentioned in a complementary blog (It's Not As Hard As You Think), one of the key things that has differentiated PNSQC from the ‘other’ conferences is our pursuit of deep knowledge fostered by asking for technical papers as a key part of the process of being a presenter.  Anyone who submits an abstract, gets accepted to the conference, and comes to present is required to complement their presentation with a peer-reviewed paper. You may think that this is a lot to ask, but it's not as hard as you think, and the benefits you get will surpass your expectations. Listen to some of our past authors on their paper writing and presenting experience at PNSQC and read on!


PNSQC Author Guidelines

Authors and their dedicated efforts to producing high-quality papers and presentations are the keys to ensuring a high-quality conference. PNSQC would like to take this opportunity to thank all authors for their participation. We hope you find this PNSQC Author Guidance document useful during your paper preparation. Writing a PNSQC conference paper, presentation, poster, tutorial, or workshop is not trivial. PNSQC deeply appreciates your efforts. With this said, we believe that while Generative AI can aid you in writing your paper, we don't expect it to write your paper for you. Our GenAI policy outlines our position and this is especially critical since your paper will be published in our annual proceedings and we must comply with Amazon's publishing rules.


Creating a practical experience-focused paper for the PNSQC conference is a great way to share your insights with the community.

Since PNSQC began in 1982, one of the key things that has differentiated us from the ‘other’ conferences is our pursuit of deep knowledge. We implement this idea by asking for technical papers as a key part of the process of being a presenter. Anyone who submits an abstract, gets accepted to the conference, and comes to present is required to complement their presentation slideshow with a peer-reviewed paper.


Talking with PNSQC Keynote speaker Andrea Goulet about empathy, technical skills, communication and collaboration

Andrea Goulet has a tendency to take the counter-intuitive view. For years with CorgiBytes she focused on the idea of remodeling legacy software rather than writing new systems. Rather than siloes of professional specialists, she suggests bringing the whole team approach to work. And while many believe that we are building software free from organizational constraints, she enjoys pointing to Conway's Law that says "Any organization that designs a system (defined broadly) will produce a design whose structure is a copy of the organization's communication structure."


Elevate Your Software Quality Game at PNSQC 2023: Register Now!

Are you ready to take your software quality to new heights? If so, mark your calendars and get ready for the Pacific Northwest Software Quality Conference (PNSQC) 2023.

PNSQC has been a beacon of excellence in the software quality industry for over four decades, and this year's event promises to be nothing short of groundbreaking.

PNSQC 2023 in a Nutshell

  • Date: October 9-11, 2023
  • Location: Portland, Oregon, and Virtually on Zoom
  • Theme: "Amp it up!" - Exploring ways to amplify quality through technology and processes

Why Should You Attend PNSQC 2023?


PNSQC and Beyond: Exploring the Definitive Guide to Top 10 Software Testing Conferences of 2023

Finding the right path is difficult. What's your guiding light when it comes to your software quality?

In the dynamic realm of software development, where innovation is the heartbeat and quality is the lifeline, software testing conferences stand as crucial platforms for sharing insights, honing skills, and networking with like-minded professionals. As we navigate through 2023, it's the perfect time to delve into the definitive guide to the top 10 software testing conferences, with the Pacific Northwest Software Quality Conference (PNSQC) leading the pack.

For PNSQC 2023, we have chosen the theme "Amp it up! Transforming Quality."  There are many ways to amplify your voice and your influence on quality in your organization, and Selena Delesie has a depth of experience in implementing them throughout her career. Selena will present the keynote Amplifying Agile Quality Practices at PNSQC 2023 in October.
Some may say that trying to lead a quality initiative in an unstructured organization is like herding cats, but Selena says there is an objective way to look at team and organizational quality practices and contrast them with behavioural patterns.  We sat down with Selena to ask more about this quality assessment model that she has developed with Janet Gregory, and to find out more about what she may talk about at PNSQC.


Karl Wiegers on guitarYou may recognize Karl's name as the co-author of the book "Software Requirements." In addition to being a software engineer, consultant and trainer, focusing on process improvement, Karl enjoys playing music. PNSQC has asked him to be a keynote speaker and workshop presenter at the  41st PNSQC this October.  PNSQC volunteer Sam Simataa recently interviewed him to catch up on what Karl has been thinking about lately.


I received this letter the other day from a teacher with the local high school’s robotics team in Portland, Oregon. It was rewarding to receive these kind words knowing that PNSQC is making an impact in the local community above and beyond our conference and extending into the future.


“I would like to thank you and PNSQC committee for accepting Portland high school robotics team paper submissions in the past. It gave students a great opportunity to showcase their accomplishments in software quality excellence. In addition, students were also able to connect with professionals at the conference and learn from everyone in this area.  



My name is Andy Peterson and I am the new chair for the Emerging Technologies Track at the Pacific Northwest Software Quality Conference (PNSQC) this year. I have been in the technology technology industry for over 20 years including more than a dozen in various QA roles. I currently serve as the QA Manager for Costco Travel’s Shopping group where we develop the best Search and Browsing experience for our members and travel agents. I am originally from Michigan and moved to the Pacific Northwest in 2006. I’ve been going through many of the regional hobbies like winemaking and mountain climbing, however these days I’m spending most of my team keeping up with my two daughters.

I fell in love with PNSQC in 2017 as an attendee. I appreciated the smaller group atmosphere with the same level of talent. I was prompted to submit a proposal the following year. I also began reviewing submissions and helping in other ways. I value the volunteer ideals that this conference is built on.

After several years of the same description, I made some updates to the Emerging Technologies Track description. Some of my thoughts going into the new description were built on the expanded use of many of the existing technologies such as extended reality and AI which have been around for many years and now seeing popular uses. Autonomous things and Robotics are also rapidly advancing and have potential to revolutionize transportation and other industries. With the rise of digital technologies, Cybersecurity and Blockchain is becoming a crucial concern to continually keep ahead of the criminal element. With climate change becoming an increasingly pressing concern, green technologies such as renewable energy, electric vehicles, and green data centers are gaining importance. 

Woman considering her PNSQC abstractEvery paper presented at the Pacific NW Software Quality Conference over the years has started with an abstract.  You might be wondering “What is an abstract and how do I get an idea for one?”  PNSQC President Philip Lew takes you through the process in this blog post.


At the PNSQC 2023 March Meetup, Bhushan Gupta provided an orientation on attack surfaces, vectors, and methods of penetration for web applications.  Then, he looked further into a method for quantifying the risks and assigning security priorities before the code is written.  

Michael Larsen wrote an account of the presentation as part of his "live blogging" experience.

Volunteer for PNSQCWe are actively looking for people willing and able to help us over the coming months to help us make 2023 our best year yet.

Delivering our conference and Meetup events depends on volunteers.


The 2023 Quality Jam took place on February 8, 2022, at Golden Valley Brewing in Beaverton, OR.
We had a good attendance of both in-person participants and virtual/online participants.


As part of our tradition for the last few years to kick off the conference year, we'll be holding our annual Quality Jam on Feb 8, 2023. The Quality Jam features a half-dozen lightning talks of 10-12 minutes as a warm-up to the October conference where we also kick off the Call for Papers. The event, to be held live at the Golden Valley Brewery in Beaverton, Oregon  will also be hybrid-virtual.



Amol Patil receives a top-speaker award from Bhushan Gupta and Tariq King at PNSQC 2022
Our 40th birthday party is over but not without some outstanding accomplishments. 


PNSQC 2022 Invited speaker and seasoned Quality Assurance Engineer Michael Larsen sat down to answer some questions to share with the PNSQC community. You're not going to want to miss his talk in October! If you don't have your conference tickets yet, there's still plenty of time to sign up here.

Interviewer: How do Accessibility and Inclusive Design relate to Quality?

Michael LarsenIf a product is difficult or impossible to use, we can't rightly call it a quality product. When we ignore users with disabilities or put them on the back burner, so to speak, we are telling a population of users that they will be receiving a sub-par service or product, one in which they will not be able to use effectively. To me, that goes against Quality in any meaningful sense that I am aware of.


Invited speaker and Security expert Yesenia Yser recently took time out of her busy day to interview with PNSQC, and we know you'll enjoy all she shared! Remember that you can still sign up for October's conference and hear her talk entitled "Supply Chain Security: Threats, Defenses and How We Can Help."

Interviewer: You have a master's degree in digital forensics. Can you describe the field in a nutshell, and what drew you to pursuing this degree?

Yesenia Yser: Digital forensics is the digital practice of forensics, instead of a physical body or biometric, it is focused on digital data such as network, mobile devices. According to NIST, “Digital forensics is the field of forensic science that is concerned with retrieving, storing and analyzing electronic data that can be useful in criminal investigations.”

In high school, I was obsessed with the TV show, NCIS and their gothic forensics scientist, Abbey. She did a mixture of digital and criminal forensics. I was also so fascinated with this area of security work.  When I was looking into my degree, I wanted to focus on cyber security, but there was no degree path with this focus outside of the Master’s degree at UCF. I focused my education on accomplishing this degree. 



PNSQC 2022 Keynote speaker, Performance Engineering enthusiast, developer and computer games enthusiast Kaushal Dalvi took the time to answer some questions to share with the PNSQC community. If you hadn't already made a note to attend his talk in October, you will after reading the following interview! If you don't have your conference tickets yet, there's still plenty of time to sign up here.


Interviewer: You mention that quality and performance are first to go when development teams try to move quickly. How do you rank quality versus performance, or are they equally important?

Kaushal Dalvi: The simplest definition of quality that I have found myself using more and more is Josephs Juran's "fitness for use" definition. In that view, quality is an all-encompassing umbrella term that covers all of the '-ilities'. However, in most day to day conversations when one speaks of quality, the intention is to speak of functional correctness, as opposed to conformance to non-functional requirements.
From that perspective, I would still point back to Juran's definition of 'fitness for use'. If an application does not function correctly, it is not fit for use even if it is extremely performant. And an application that functions correctly but takes too long to return the response in a usable time-frame is again, not fit for use. So, long story short, there are thresholds of functional correctness and performance and the other '-ilities'. If a system, app or functionality falls outside this fitness for use threshold, then the other '-ilities' may not matter in that case.


Keynote speaker and seasoned Quality expert Julia Pottinger graciously took some time to interview with PNSQC, and we are thrilled to share her words with the community. The following Q&A make us all the more excited to hear her talk in October, and believe it will do the same for you. Enjoy, and see you at the conference! There's still plenty of time to sign up here.

Interviewer: You talk about balancing learning on the job with learning on our own time. Is it expected that you should learn during company time?


Julia Pottinger: Companies should invest in the upskilling of their employees. There is a balance between how much you invest into your own learning and growth outside of work hours, while still having dedicated time from your job to learn. Learning on company time takes different forms, attending conferences, paying for courses/training budget, certifications, brown-bag sessions, workshops, peer coaching/programming etc. I expect guided learning by a company where employees learn during company time.


Panel on the Trends and Future of QA

Panel on the Trends and Future of QA, August 2022
PNSQC held an Ask Me Anything (AMA) panel on the Trends and Future of QA last week. A huge thanks to our panelists
  • Tariq King
  • Srilu Balla
  • Greg Paskal
  • Mark Bentsen
  • Philip Lew (moderator)
There was plenty of laughter and collaboration amongst the panelists, each sharing the perspective on where our profession is going (or not going). Some of the highlights of the discussion include:

Does this sound familiar? You’ve spent the last few years building up your company, learning new ways to work remotely, restructuring your department, strengthening your team, and moving ahead of the competition. 

But, now, pundits are saying a downturn is coming. Will all that you’ve gained in recent years be lost?


Alan Ark waves at youThree Steps … How To Attend the PNSQC Conference

You’ve heard the buzz about PNSQC 2022: Top-flight speakers, powerful technical program, and three days (Oct. 10-12). You want to attend! But will your boss give you the green light? More importantly, will the boss let you put the bill on the company tab?

We are here to help you get to Yes! Here are tried and true steps for convincing your boss to cover your attendance.



The year is 1984. Preparation for one of the first PNSQC conferences is underway. Typed meeting minutes from the January board meeting report that "it was decided that late September would be a good time.

If you’re here reading PNSQC blog content, and have not yet submitted a proposal for a conference paper, there’s an excellent chance that our poster option may be a great fit for you!



Monoliths vs MicroservicesThe recording for PNSQC's April 2022 meetup, “The Evolution of Enterprise Software System in the State Regulatory Space - From Monolith to Microservices,” is available on the PNSQC Youtube channel. Subscribe to the channel to get regular updates from all the recorded events.



Four Trends Showcase The Challenges And Opportunities. 
A guest post from Bridget Hughes, of mabl software.


PNSQC and the Statewide QA Program of the State of Oregon co-hosted an Accessibility Workshop & Meetup on March 30, 2022. As a hybrid event, there were some 60 people that participated – both via Zoom and in person at our NE Portland venue.



Rachael Lovallo - Award for 3rd Place PNSQCThis is the first in what we hope becomes a series of blog posts from people in the PNSQC community about how we navigate careers in Quality. 

By Rachael Lovallo

My career as a tester began with quitting. 



Tips on writing a successful abstract from Senior Test Engineer and PNSQC Presenter Rachael Lovallo.

Are you considering submitting a proposal to present at PNSQC’s 40th anniversary conference in 2022? The abstract is your chance to state your case and win over the review committee.



"You’re pretty smart for a girl."

[caption id="attachment_327714" align="alignright" width="322"]Heather Wilcox on Security Trends PNSQC volunteer Heather Wilcox describes the challenges and opportunities for women in technical roles. The path is not always easy, but here are some ideas for balancing the scales.[/caption]

I know now that this sentence is a micro-aggression. However, In January of 1995, when I started my first job in the software industry, it was something I heard all the time and, although I hated it, I got used to it. After deciding to abandon an advanced degree in Anthropology, I looked at my talents and decided that maybe my skills in small network administration and my lifelong love of technology might serve me well in the software industry. It took a few job interviews, but I finally snagged myself an entry-level position in technical support for a large software company.



“Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.” -Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr 

This quote roughly translates into English as “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” This is a common refrain among tech workers, especially software quality professionals. 



PNSQC successfully started the 2022 conference year with a Quality Jam. This evening of lightning talks was designed to kick off the call for paper proposals for the 2022 conference.



2021 marked the second year of a fully-digital conference, and going digital means we recorded every talk. With more than 50 talks, panels, and discussions packed into two days, there’s so much you may have missed or want to revisit.



This year’s conference covered so much: From common testing challenges to how to implement lasting change within your team. 

With more than 50 talks, panels, and discussions packed into two days, there’s so much you may have missed or want to revisit. This marked the second year of a fully-digital conference, and going digital means we recorded every talk.



It’s funny how many still think that a single best automation testing tool exists. That’s like saying mint chocolate is an all-time favorite ice-cream flavor when many may think it tastes like toothpaste.
By Adam Satterfield, Katalon Evangelist



Dawn Haynes at PNSQC 2019[The Pacific Northwest Software Quality Conference puts quality at the forefront. The conference programming emphasizes evolving technical, management, and process practices, plus the methods needed to develop high-quality software. 




PNSQC is celebrating its 40th anniversary and it’s time to kick-off the 2022 Call for Papers with a Quality Jam.  This will be an afternoon of lightning talks to inspire and be inspired for new proposals on software quality — a jam session to get together as a group and see where the “music” takes us.