QA or the Highway 2017 – Speaker Spotlight – Dmitry Sharkov


Our third “Speaker Spotlight” who will be at QA or the Highway 2017 is Dmitry Sharkov.
1. What are you most looking forward to at this year’s conference?  

Software quality is a fast-moving field right now so I’m looking forward to seeing what sorts of improvements in process and tooling we will be looking at this year. I’m also looking forward to all of the invaluable side conversations, debating and provoking great minds in the testing field in order to test (no pun intended) my current beliefs. I always have my mind changed about something, and that alone makes the conference worthwhile for me. Plus, this year we have a new venue!

2. Would you like to tell us about anything interesting that you’ve been involved in recently?

I spent much of the past year uplifting clients in test engineering, looking at both process and execution. Having discovered what were common threads across very distinct situations, I have been working on-and-off on some new tools and methods that I think can be widely applied and hope to make ready for public consumption this year.

In addition, I have been running a rigorous apprenticeship program in test engineering for the last two years, and it is now at the stage where it can be considered to have successfully transitioned beyond “pilot” phase. I am looking forward to training, and seeing succeed, many more test engineers throughout the coming year!

3. If you could go back in time knowing what you do now, what career advice would you give to yourself when you first started your professional career?

Get involved in professional user groups sooner and approach the work as a craft rather than as a day job. I made that transition a while ago but should have done so sooner.

4. What has been some of your favorite reading references (books/blogs/magazines) from the last year?

I’ve always enjoyed Alister Scott’s blog, and it’s still going strong. I’ve found myself lurking in the software engineering space on Quora more this year, as well. While not new books, I have found myself referring more and more to Specification by Example, How Google Tests Software, and Jurgen Appelo’s #Workout! as I encourage businesses to look to the future in how their quality assurance functions. I still do a fair bit of coding, so the rest of my reading this year has been limited to framework documentation and participation in the frameworks’ respective Slack groups.

5. What do you think is a common misconception about testing?

That it requires a uniquely trained mindset, conforming to the false notion that “developers try to make things work while testers try to make things break.” I have not found that to be demonstrably true in the slightest, especially when it comes to frequently releasing a product of sufficient quality into the wild, which is what so many of us are aiming to accomplish every day we go to work. I remain optimistic that a general shift towards combined engineering will persist and that this misconception will become less and less common over time.

Dmitry will be speaking on the topic of “Testability”.

You can find Dmitry’s session information or more information about QA or the Highway 2016 by going to the following links:

Dmitry can be reached on Twitter  @DmitrySharkov
His “rarely-updated personal blog and photo site” resides at
Slides from past talks can be found at

Dmitry Sharkov