Google Tech Talk October 22, 2009 ABSTRACT Presented by Joshua Williams and Ross Smith, Microsoft, at the 4th Annual Google Test Automation Conference, October 21st, 22nd, 2009, Zurich, CH Research into the generation gap between current managers from the Baby Boomer era and the incoming group of Gen X, Gen Y, and Millennials shows that the use of video games are a significant distinction to separate the two. Those generational differences indicate the need, as we seek to understand this research, for experimentation in how test teams find bugs. We found games to be a very powerful mechanism for communicating organizational priorities effectively and quickly. People engage quickly , and games can drive QA behaviors that help improve both product quality and employee morale. This creates a virtuous cycle where standard productivity metrics improve as engagement improves. The game discussed here introduces a new level of quality into the localization efforts by using the crowd a diverse worldwide employee base in this case. Based on our experience, we believe that Games at Work or Productivity Games carry a huge potential for influencing not just the software engineering workplace, but all industries and employee populations. Bios: Joshua Williams is a senior software quality engineer at Microsoft, currently working on the WindowsCore Security Test Team. Over the past 14 years, he has contributed to the development, testing and shipping of Windows Operating Systems. Across at least nine different releases, Joshua has been an individual contributor, lead and manager across a variety of component teams and technologies. These include the Windows International Team, focusing on versions of Windows besides English and the US Band 1394 teams, shipping support for numerous external device classes, including the first USB 2.0 (Hi-Speed) devices. More recently, Joshua has focused on large-scale test automation frameworks and development lifecycle tools to improve test and development productivity. As part of the Windows Security Test Team, Joshua has researched new ways to engage team members, working to improve the quality of work, but also the quality of life of the team. Joshua loves all kinds of games, and brings that passion to his work on Productivity Games. Ross Smith is a Director of Test at Microsoft and has been in the software industry for over 20 years, developing and testing software on everything from mainframe systems to handheld devices and PCs. He began his Microsoft career in Product Support in 1991 and has been an Software Developer in Test, a Test Lead, Test Manager and Test Architect. He has been a long-time member of Microsofts Test Architects Group, and has worked on many versions of Windows and Office .He is one of the authors of The Practical Guide to Defect Prevention and holds five software patent sfor quality-related ideas. Over the last couple years, he has nurtured a management innovation initiative called 42Projects (www.42projects.org), aspiring to create cultural change by using trust and games to improve the way teams work. Ross was a guest poster on Googles Test blog, and you can find his writing on Productivity Games at http://productivitygames.blogspot.com
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