Testing Software in Regulated Environments

I had been testing computer software for six years and had worked at three different companies before I walked into my first regulated test environment. I had seen variances in environments, but nothing like this. Regulated environments such as pharma companies and banking and a whole list of other domains that require regulation are very different from some of the fast-moving software development companies I had more experience with. The challenges are quite different.

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John McConda and I are building a new peer workshop with help from good friends. The workshop will be called WREST: the workshop on regulated software testing. Our hope is to build and foster a community and forum to openly discuss the challenges (mindful of course of our confidentiality agreements) and to help each other with solutions that can be applied specifically in regulated environments.

The Call for Papers/Presentations has been posted and the website is now up.

Our first workshop will be held in Indianapolis and we plan to host the second workshop in Chicago next spring.

If you’ve never been to a peer workshop before and you’re curious about what they are or how they function let me briefly explain (and please see the WREST website for more details.) Peer workshops are wonderful. There is an instant sharing atmosphere. Peer workshops are where I continue to learn. There’s no glitz, no marketing, and no fluff. Peer workshop attendees like me go to exchange and share openly. The energy level can be amazing. It took me about a week to settle down after my last WOPR. And when I returned from WTST, friends listened to me talk about the workshop for a month. The relationships created are more meaningful because the conversations get down to the very specifics of what works, what doesn’t, why and all the gory fun details. The peer workshops I attend are the highlights of my year – ok this is sounding corny but it’s true. Peer workshops are the best way to get down to conversations that count.

Regulated environments have unique challenges and we’re hoping this new workshop will build and foster a community of software testers who face those demands.

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