by Giles Davies

November saw the highly anticipated  EuroSTAR event for Software testing take place - A week full of conferences, tutorials and exhibitions on all things testing. This provided the Visual Studio team with the perfect platform to showcase the testing tools available in the Visual Studio product suite. The aim was to highlight key features that help to streamline the testing process.

From the start, there was a real buzz in the air with testers keen to network, learn and discuss key issues in the software testing industry. The Visual Studio stand was a hub of activity. Demonstrations of Surface and Kinect from Microsoft partners Black Marble, NFocus and Testhouse as well as insights from the Visual Studio technical experts, helped to draw a steady flow of traffic. The team were on point to help provide attendees with a comprehensive understanding into the capabilities of Visual Studio. Testers who were unfamiliar with Visual Studio were surprised by the flexibility and functionality which helps to delivers a plan-test –track workflow. Testers were also keen to explore Visual Studio’s Application Life-Cycle Management tools (ALM). The team encouraged Testers to complete an ALM assessment which provides details of an organisation’s current approach to ALM. Based on the results, the team were able to provide feedback on how ALM tools in Visual Studio could help them make improvements to their ALM process.

There were also a number of thought-provoking sessions which stimulated meaningful conversations amongst Testers. Sessions which stood out in particular include: Google’s James Whittaker who demonstrated how Google tests software within a short development cycle. Microsoft’s Matthew Aniyan focused on social software development. He considered whether the principals of social networking could be applied to software. Microsoft also had representation in the keynote sessions from Ben Walters who focused on creating customer value with Agile testing which raised some keys issues and provided food for thought.

All in all EuroSTAR proved to be a successful event. It was well attended by Testers who had a real passion for what they do. It provided the opportunity to fully engage with a targeted audience who now have a greater understanding of Visual Studio. The team were able to gain an insight into how Visual Studio is currently being used by Testers and make recommendations for existing users on how to get the most from all the available tools.


Giles Davies is Developer Technology Specialist at Microsoft on the UK Developer Tools Team. He is a senior software professional widely experienced as a technical architect, developer, leader and consultant with strong presentation and client facing skills.