Skytap is gearing up for next week’s STAREAST conference, and after looking closely at the week’s packed schedule of keynotes, tutorials, and concurrent session, it appears that “automation” is going to be one of the week’s dominating topics. And this won’t be the first time.

SpeedWe’ve attended and covered this show from a journalistic perspective in years past, where automation was debated, heralded, taught, frameworked, DevOps’d, open-sourced, and more. And given that it’s still in so many STAREAST presentation titles and abstracts this year, automation is clearly still an area where many are looking for guidance, whether they’re just getting started with it, or if they’re trying to sustain and scale their automation efforts and investment.

While Skytap has its own automation story around the creation of cloud-based development and test environments,  we’re really looking forward to hearing others’ stories around the role automation plays in DevOps, and throughout the entire software development lifecycle.

Below are the sessions that we’re most looking forward to attending at this year’s STAREAST conference:

Don’t Be Another Statistic! Develop a Long-Term Test Automation Strategy
We’re really excited about Lee Barnes’ session. Successful test automation requires more than plugging in a tool and expecting magic to happen. There are organizational, process, and environment changes that are required for real long-term success, and Lee will be showing how to assess all of these requirements and more.

Quality Metrics: The Dirty Word in the Room
Annette Ash’s session may not deal with test automation exclusively, but as more organizations become heavily data-driven, learning which metrics are valuable, and how to use them “properly,” is becoming increasingly vital—especially when trying to deliver increasingly higher-quality software. This is an absolutely can’t-miss session.

The Road to DevOps: Data, Environment, and Test Automation
Tanya Kravtsov is, unfortunately, correct when she states that testing is often seen as a bottleneck to the “continuous everything” mantra of those looking to dramatically accelerate software delivery. But fortunately, it doesn’t have to be this way, and testers themselves aren’t to blame. Tanya will be sharing not only how to identify bottlenecks in testing, but also how automation around data, environments, and results analysis integrate testing into the continuous speed and quality that real DevOps delivers.

Test Anarchy: Deploy & Destroy Complete Test Environments
Last, but certainly not least, our partners at Parasoft will show—with a brilliant punk rock theme—how service virtualization, containers, and cloud combine to allow collaboration, control, and the continuous testing required to guarantee higher quality software without any loss of time to market. 

We’ll be live-blogging, tweeting, and recording podcasts all week, so look out for us, and stop by our expo booth if you’re interested in learning more about Skytap, or sharing your own observations of the show!

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