QA Forum launches with a focus on quality

Test automation, the management of the quality assurance processes and developments in IT, and vendor risk management were the key themes as delegates from major financial firms gathered for QA Financial’s London conference.

More than 100 senior quality assurance, test and IT risk management specialists attended the QA Financial Forum held in Canary Wharf on June 28th. Hosted by at Level39, London’s leading fintech accelerator and conference venue, the QA Financial Forum featured speakers from leading banks and testing firms.

7To start the conference, Nevin Thomson, Head of QA and Testing at UBS for Legal, Compliance and Operational Risk, told the story of how the bank has centralised quality assurance and app development. We reported earlier this year on how UBS has managed that transition, including the impact on its relations with vendors of QA and testing services. See that story here.

Next up was Credit Suisse’s Head of Technical Testing, Christian Räss, who described how his firm has centralised automation for app development and testing over past 18 months. Read our preview of Christian’s presentation here.

Shalini Chaudhari, MD, Technology and Testing at Accenture, presented on the wide-ranging topic of “The Future of Technology in Testing”, covering the key trends that that will disrupt financial enterprises over the next five years, including intelligent automation and liquid workforces. You can download Shalini Chaudhari’s presentation from our Knowledge Bank white paper and thought leadership library here.

Another keynote speaker was Maya Ber, Vice President, Product Management at the Israel-based technology company Quali, whose presentation focused on cloud sandboxing as an enabler of DevOps processes.

Drilling down

Afternoon sessions drilled down into specific topics. Ross Nicoll, Senior Developer at R3 CEV, a distributed ledger platform developer backed by a consortium of more than 50 financial firms, discussed the challenges of testing smart contracts. As Nicoll pointed out to the audience, his presentation was especially timely in the immediate wake of the attack on June 17th on the Distributed Autonomous Organization (DAO) venture capital fund.

9The attack on DAO, which is basement the Ethereum crypto-currency, was made possible by a simple, but fatal, coding error that enabled someone – or some organisation – to repeatedly call for a function that divided the tokens – the units of value – in the DAO and drain the fund. A clear illustration that new financial technologies bring with them new challenges in IT risk management.

The conference also featured a number of panel discussions. Automated test specialist TestPlant hosted a panel on retail banking apps, featuring Jim Cameron, Head of Testing at challenger bank Metro Bank.

Another panel, hosted by Testhouse, featured a discussion on the challenges banks face in adopting service virtualization for integration testing. While virtualization is revolutionising testing, firms have to build a business case for the investment required to make that move. You can download Testhouse’s white paper on this topic here.

QA-Financial would like to take this opportunity to than the sponsors of the QA Financial Forum London. The gold-level sponsors were Accenture and Quali. The silver-level sponsor was TestPlant. And bronze-level sponsors were Cognizant, Delphix, IBM, Quinnox, Ten10 and Testhouse. Without their support the event would not have been possible, and we’d like to offer special thanks to Accenture for its early decision to commit to sponsorship of the QA Financial Forum.


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