Great interview with Nikola Šopar, Director of QA Services, Comtrade Digital Services. Book tickets for the event here

Nikola Šopar, Director of QA Services, Comtrade Digital Services, and Evelina Emma Robas, Head of Organisational Board, Quest for Quality Conference, Comtrade Digital Services.

What was the inspiration to start the conference?

As organisations move towards digital transformation, many of them are rolling out software platforms to help them achieve their business goals. We wanted to help businesses, managers and IT professionals overcome the challenges that this presents.

By hosting this conference, we are addressing the most challenging topic in the software development world: software testing in the platform economy. At Comtrade Digital Services, we understand the need to achieve outstanding quality amid the frenzy of the platform economy.

We want to show that when approached correctly, software testing can help to provide customers with high quality, highly competitive and user-friendly platforms that stand out from the crowd.

What exciting things can people look forward to for the 2017 version?

We have been working very hard to find top speakers with hands-on experience in software testing. We want to ensure that we not only have interesting talks, but that we’re also providing useful information with as many takeaways as possible that can be used by attendees in their everyday work.

The conference will include a mix of formats – keynote speeches, breakout sessions, round tables and plenty of opportunities to mingle with like-minded people. Our 27 speakers come from some of the most forward-thinking companies operating in Ireland right now, including Ryanair, Salesforce, Johnson & Johnson, Thoughtworks, Dynatrace, PwC, Nokia and many more.

How is the role of quality assurance changing?

While creating many opportunities for enterprises, the platform economy also presents a number challenges. Businesses are now constantly in competition with one another to roll out the latest cutting-edge platforms within very short timeframes.

Until recently, quality assurance and software testing were often afterthoughts in product development; deployed only at the very end of the process and only if there was enough time to do so. Now, they are vital to the reputations of businesses and must be there to question, and contribute to, every step of the development process. Essentially, they act as a conscience to the entire team. In an economy where every user’s opinion counts, we are witnessing a major shift in the quality assurance role.

What opportunities are on offer for people / start-ups / investors and companies attending?

The best conferences are ones at which you can meet people in your industry or line of work and explore potential business opportunities. When organising Quest for Quality, we were determined to provide attendees with ample opportunities to meet and exchange ideas. Whether you’re a start-up or an investor, that can be invaluable. We are also arranging a social occasion at which attendees can get to know each other a bit better.

What tips would you give to people attending to get the most out of it?

The conference will run over two days, each of which has a specific purpose. The first day will be more business-oriented and will be of particular interest to managers and IT leaders. It will focus on the opportunities quality assurance can bring a business. The second day, meanwhile, will be more hands-on and will suit the more technical-oriented attendees – from engineers to testers.

I advise attendees to consider what their interest is and then decide which days to attend. We will have a mobile app that will provide all of the information you need on talks and round tables. To get the most out of it, though, I would recommend attending both days in order to get a full overview on the topics – both from the business and from the technical perspective – and to benefit from all of the networking and business opportunities.

How can people book tickets / when does it usually sell out?

You can find tickets on the Quest for Quality website and early bird tickets are available until the end of August. Tickets are selling fast, so we expect to reach full capacity weeks before the conference starts.

Anything else you’d like to add / we should have asked?

The most important thing about Quest for Quality is that it’s not just another technical conference. It addresses a very specific issue that is not just relevant to software engineers, but any business wishing to find out how they can reap the rewards of the platform economy. Our aim is not to provide all the answers on this topic. We’ll give some, for sure, but it’s more important for us to start discussions and raise new questions that challenge existing approaches and emerging paradigms. For example, what does quality in the new platform economy mean, how will it benefit us and how can we assure it in the future?

Edited and prepared by Oscar Michel, Masters in Journalism, DCU


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