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Digital Accessibility and Software QA: Leadership Seminar in Partnership with Deque

12 November, 2019
News and research on financial software quality assurance and risk management

The QA E-commerce Forum: New York 2019

14 November, 2019 8am-5pm Harvard Club of New York
35 W 44th St
New York

Introducing our first QA E-commerce forum in New York. Software quality assurance is critical to market share. This unique conference is focused on the key drivers of QA, including automated testing, performance testing and mobile testing to ensure a high quality UX.

About the event

From online to omni channel - automating software quality assurance 

We are excited to announce our 1st edition of the QA E-commerce Forum New York, which will take place on November 14th at the Harvard Club of New York.

Now more than ever, software quality assurance and robust apps are critical to winning market share. It’s not just about more software, faster. It’s about better software. This unique conference is focused on the key drivers of QA, including the latest technologies for continuous testing and delivery.

The Forum will cover:

AI and machine learning: software is writing software, but how do we test the results?

UX, voice and mobile: what customers want, and how leading retailers are delivering it

The Cloud: software testing as a service and the management of test environments

DevSecOps, IT risk, security and penetration testing in the SDLC

Accessibility Testing and ADA Compliance

The choices between open-source and off-the-shelf testing tools



To find out more about sponsorship/delegate opportunities please contact
Lawrence  Bell — [email protected]

To find out more about speaking opportunities please contact
Jade Mitchell — [email protected]

To find out more about attending as a delegate please contact
Kirstine Kennedy — [email protected]


Mark Walters Walmart Labs

Director, Experimentation Platform at Walmart Labs

Mark has been involved in startups for 10+ years in every aspect from initial funding to acquisition. His latest startup involvement was that was acquired for over $3 billion by Walmart. Prior to the Walmart acquisition, Mark built Jet's A/B testing and release rollout framework from the ground up. He now leads a team at Walmart Labs focused on building a world-class experimentation platform to advance the experimentation capabilities at Walmart.

Arylee McSweaney Etsy

Head of QA and Testing

Arylee McSweaney, Etsy’s Senior Manager of Quality Assurance, directs the vision, implementation, and alignment of Quality to business goals. Arylee is passionate about diversifying tech and is the founder of Etsy’s BridgE Employee Resource Group for Blacks and African Americans. An experienced strategic thinker with an MBA in Information Systems, Arylee is skilled in leadership, surfacing and filling gaps, team building, influencing without authority and management. She has worked in the QA industry for over five years and recently completed her fifth anniversary as an Etsy employee.

Marcus Merrell Sauce Labs

Director of Technical Services

Marcus Merrell has been working in quality engineering for 18 years. He has been using Selenium/WebDriver since 2007 and is a contributor to the Selenium project and the co-chair of the Selenium Conference Organizing Committee. He has released several open source projects for testing and IoT.

As Director of Technical Services at Sauce Labs, Marcus is well qualified to help customers with his expertise in release management, CI/CD, cloud software and container management. He is also experienced in analytics and marketing automation. Marcus frequently speaks at conferences worldwide.

Celia Mulderrig Tough Mudder Inc

VP of E-commerce and User Experience

VP of E-commerce and user experience at Tough Mudder, Celia has over 10 years of e-commerce, multi-channel and digital marketing experience leading strategic site evolutions and optimizing functionality. Having worked with startups in London, Tokyo and New York, upon joining Tough Mudder she spearheaded the launch of a multivariate testing program, leading a redesign of the top templates of the site that drove an almost 10% improvement in site conversion, and is currently driving a website redesign due to launch in December 2019. When not working on improving the user journey, she’s looking for ways to literally and figuratively electrify customers.

Alfredo Perez Kering

IT Regional Lead, Enterprise Applications

Alfredo Perez leads IT organizations through transformation and modernization, making companies optimize their business processes.

His career has focused on producing reliable, robust designs and applications; avoiding unnecessary complexity; and driving the best adoption and leverage of new technology.

He prides himself in changing the way that IT teams think of themselves and their customers, closing the gap between what we say we reward (e.g. Mission Statements) and what we actually reward (i.e. the Team's Culture)

Manash Bhattacharjee PepsiCo

eCommerce Head of Product Management

Manash is a product leader, mentor and speaker in the digital commerce environment. Manash is focused on developing highly disruptive, rapidly evolving platforms, products and technologies, with the goal of bringing positive change to the world.
Manash brings in a global perspective having lived and worked in New York, London, India, Singapore and Manila. Manash has filed 40+ patents and loves to share his experiences through speaking engagements in digital product, design and innovation focused events.

Jonathan Lipps Cloud Grey

Founding Principal

Jonathan has been making things out of code as long as he can remember. Jonathan is the architect and project lead for Appium, the popular open source automation framework. He is also the founding Principal of Cloud Grey, a consulting firm devoted to helping clients leverage the power of Appium successfully. He has worked as a programmer in tech startups for over 15 years, but is also passionate about academic discussion. Jonathan has master’s degrees in philosophy and linguistics, from Stanford and Oxford respectively. Living in Vancouver, he’s an avid musician, and also writes on the philosophy of technology.

Jai Padmanabhan Wayfair

Head of Performance Engineering

Jai is a versatile engineering leader with extensive experience in building API, web and mobile automation frameworks, tools and leading teams in DevOps, performance engineering and Cloud. He has a Masters in Electrical and Computer Engineering and a MBA, has authored tech blogs and is a speaker at tech conferences. Jai is a constant learner with a strong focus on his customers' needs and has worked in large, mid size organizations as well as startups to deliver successful B2C, enterprise, SaaS and cloud based solutions.

Preety Kumar Deque


Preety is the CEO of Deque Systems and founded Deque in 1999 with the vision of unifying Web access, both from the user and the technology perspective. Under Preety’s leadership, Deque has grown to be a market leader in the field of information accessibility, serving corporate and government clients with the highest standards in information technology such as Veteran Affairs, Department of Education, Humana, Intuit, HSBC, Target, and others. She collaborated with the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative and is a nominated member of the Accessibility Forum’s Strategic Management Council: a GSA sponsored group with representatives from the IT industry, academia, Government Agencies, and disabled user groups that foster information accessibility through mutual cooperation.

Aaron Wheeler Google

Senior UX Engineer

Aaron's work spans design and engineering to conceive, prototype, and create software and hardware experiences. Aaron's 8 year tenure as a UX Engineer at Google has produced early stage prototypes, comprehensive user research, technical proofs of concept, complete ux designs, and finalized products for a variety of product areas such as Google X, YouTube, DoubleClick, and Google Sheets. Additionally, for the past three years Aaron has been an advocate, educator, and public speaker focused on accessible product design. Aaron lives in New York where he enjoys surfing and sailing in his free time.

Kevin Schumacher The Walt Disney Company

Principle UX Designer: Consumer Identity & Data Platforms - Launchpad

I am fortunate to live in beautiful Seattle, Washington working as Principal UX Designer at The Walt Disney Company and I have been honored to direct workflow and front-end design for multiple company-wide projects and applications. I work with the world's best engineers and business analysts to produce novel design solutions that answer the question, "How can we make this experience more magical?"

My design experience is diverse and spans 3 years running my own design company, 7 years in the travel technology sector, building award-winning websites and applications, and nearly 5 years in the Media industry designing enterprise-level interfaces.

I currently serve on the committee for Puget Sound World Usability Day in Seattle Washington and have previously served as Director of Big Design Latin America, Vice President of UXPA Ecuador, and Board of Technical Advisors at Brookhaven College in Texas.


Chas Mastin fuboTV

Senior Director, Engineering

Chas Mastin is a NY-based senior technologist who has held positions as CTO, VP, Director and independant contributor at companies in the video streaming, AR/VRE, Edtech, political, pure R&D and Marketing spaces.  Chas has managed QA, Ops, and engineering teams since the late 90's.  He is currently Sr Director of Engineering at  His blog is at, where Chas writes about the ethics of AI, technology, society and self.

Rohen Peterson Rent The Runway

Director of Engineering

With a background in engineering and law, Rohen has focused his efforts on technologies that aim to improve the world. That has taken him through several seed stage startups, wearable technology, mobile communications, and a US presidential campaign. He has led teams on mobile, web, platform, infrastructure, and data engineering, while focusing on quick delivery of reliable and scalable engineering to support product growth. He is currently a Director of Engineering at Rent the Runway, working on system-wide internal tools.

David Peach The Economist

Chief Information Security Officer

Bio coming soon.

Sonia Malik Audible, Inc.

Director of QA

Bio coming soon.

Keith Downer Shieldpay


Keith is President of Shieldpay -- a payment service provider that enables secure transactions and payments between consumers all over the world.

Previous to this role he was Managing Partner of AEGUS, a Risk and Regulation Advisory practice for Blockchain, Cryptocurrencies and Fintechs and utilising machine learning and AI to deliver business value.

Keith has 27 years of industry experience at PWC, JPMC, Citi and American Express and is an MBA graduate of Columbia University.



Arrival, refreshments, and networking


Welcome Address

Matthew Crabbe, CEO and Founder – QA Media


From Third Party to In-House Solution: How and Why Built Their Own Experimentation Platform

Speaker: Mark Walters, Director, Experimentation Platform - Walmart Labs


Etsy’s New Culture of QA: How a Quality Advisory Council Can Accelerate Code Coverage

Speaker: Arylee McSweaney, Head of QA and Testing - Etsy 

Many organisations still struggle to fully engage their engineering teams with the challenge of improving quality assurance. Over the past two years, the engineering team at handmade vintage and craft specialist Etsy has tackled just this challenge, and achieved a 30% improvement in code coverage as it expanded its testing practices to accommodate cloud native, mobile, infrastructure and data science teams. Arylee will detail how Etsy’s engineering team kick-started a new culture of testing, and how the team maintains that momentum guided by its new Quality Advisory Council.


What the Money Wants: Testing User Analytics

Speaker: Marcus Merrell, Director of Technical Services - Sauce Labs

In this session, Marcus will walk us through the basics of how analytics are being used in the industry, what can go wrong with them, and how you as a QA professional can help ensure your company is making well-informed decisions using data they can trust. Analytics often get developed as a “super-set” of software product functionality, but this ignores the inescapable fact that they are still just lines of code in the software -- they're just as vulnerable to bugs and human error as any other feature.



Coffee & Networking


Leveraging Automation and AI to Create a Seamless Omnichannel UX

In a highly competitive marketplace, UX is everything. In order to develop this UX a complex integration of tools is required, and firms must draw upon DevOps and Agile principles to ensure the development of a connected experience. During this session, our expert panellists will address how firms are integrating and optimizing tools to make their UX omnichannel, and examine best practices for cross browser testing to ensure a seamless experience.

Panel Discussion:

Manash Bhattacharjee, eCommerce Head of Product Management - PepsiCo

Alfredo Perez, IT Regional Lead - Kering 

Celia Mulderrig, Vice President Ecommerce - Tough Mudder Inc


Fact and Fiction: The Promise of AI/ML for QA Automation

Speaker: Jonathan Lipps, Founding Principal - Cloud Grey Solutions 

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI/ML) have seen application in a variety of fields, including the automation of QA tasks. Jonathan will explore what these applications are, including what distinguishes different instances and applications of AI. And most importantly for you, what are the horizons of these technologies in the field of QA? Jonathan will give an overview of the concepts, technical and otherwise, that underpin AI/ML, and discuss their ramifications for the work of QA automation.


Performance-Engineering-as-a-Service for a Global Performance Testing Challenge: The Wayfair story

Speaker: Jai Padmanabhan, Head of Performance Engineering - Wayfair

Wayfair is a global leader in furniture and home furnishing retailing, with 2,300 software engineers working around the world. Performance testing, and especially load testing, is a global challenge for Jai Padmanabhan and his team. Jai will explain, in this session, how he has developed Performance-Engineering-as-a-Service (PEAS) with a hybrid model of on-premise and public cloud, to facilitate scalability in the QA process across multiple digital platforms.


Lunch & Networking


How to Measure the Impact of Your QA Service Provider: A Presentation by QA Vector Research®

Speaker: Justyn Trenner, Corporate Development Director - QA Media

E-commerce firms typically contract a range of external technology service providers to support their software quality assurance, from consultants and systems integrators to process managers and specialist automation providers. But how can they ensure that they are obtaining value for what they spend? Based on our original research and methodology, this session will explore the QA Vector approach to measuring vendor impact. This session could change your procurement process!


Accessibility Testing for Compliance and for Profit

Accessibility testing is not just about compliance with the official standards set down by the World Wide Web Consortium. Properly planned and integrated into software design, accessibility means you open up for business with more customers. Our expert panellists will discuss the expected and unexpected issues that arise in accessibility testing. They will also discuss the right balance of automated and manual testing for accessibility, including the options of crowd testing and automated testing.  

Panel Discussion:

Moderator: Preety Kumar, CEO - Deque

Kevin Schumacher, Principle UX Designer: Consumer Identity & Data Platforms - Launchpad - The Walt Disney Company 

Aaron Wheeler, Senior UX Engineer - Google 



Locating and Managing Technical Debt in the Cloud: The QoS Story

Speaker: Chas Mastin, Senior Director, Engineering - has emerged as one of the most successful cloud-based OTT services, with over 1000 channels of sports-first linear content delivered 24/7 to hundreds of thousands of customers. All accomplished with 10% the number of engineers as their competitors. Learn how Chas and the video teams stopped the early outages and disruptions that challenged the startup in 2017, and how they used data to force improvements in their encoding and cloud partners. It's a tale of how an organization becomes truly data-driven by rejecting industry-standard tools and processes as inadequate.


Coffee & Networking


DevSecOps: Integrating Compliance and Security into your SDLC

E-commerce firms face a growing burden of compliance - such as the implementation of the Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) regulation. And of course cyber-security is a real and growing risk. Some firms have already invested in DevSecOps as part of the answer, and our expert panelists will evaluate how a fresh approach to managing IT risk has worked. We will also cover the state-of-the-art in penetration testing tools, bio-metrics for security and the benchmarks all firms need to compare security in the cloud with security on-premise. Finally, we'll take a fresh look at embedding GDPR requirements in the SDLC - post Brexit!

Panel Discussion:

David Peach, Chief Information Security Officer - The Economist

Rohen Peterson,  Director of Engineering - Rent the Runway 

Sonia Malik, Director of QA - Audible, Inc.


You Can be a UX Design Magician! The Disney Guide to Iterative and Rapid Design Mastery

Speaker: Kevin Schumacher, Principle UX Designer: Consumer Identity & Data Platforms - Launchpad - The Walt Disney Company 

Does your development and QA process focus on, and achieve, code excellence but fail to put the right emphasis on UX design quality? Kevin's presentation will bring you new ideas and insights for building a better app design process that you can implement in you firm's engineering process. He will detail how the Walt Disney data platform engineering team uses design systems and integrated design patterns into its agile work process. Yes, you can create more magical experiences for both your in-house cast members and your guests!!


The Shieldpay Story: Leveraging Technology to build the Trusted Payments Network

Speaker: Keith Downer, President - Shieldpay

With online fraud costing as much as £11bn annually, and payment fraud increasing by 53% year on year, the need for e-commerce platforms to ensure secure transactions has never been greater. Keith will detail how Shieldpay has leveraged their patent pending technology to eliminate payment fraud by allowing individuals and businesses to create an instant digital escrow facility in less than 10 seconds. Giving examples of Shieldpay use cases, Keith will explain its functionality, and highlight how in addition to providing fully secure transactions, it can generate additional revenue streams, as well as provide transactional data back to the platform, instantly. Keith will also highlight the application of blockchain at Shieldpay, detailing how it facilitates secure, real time payments.


Cocktail Reception

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