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Technologies for DevOps, Test Automation and AI: The QA Financial Forum Paris 2019

8 October, 2019
News and research on financial software quality assurance and risk management

The QA Financial Forum: New York 2019

13 November, 2019 8am-6pm Harvard Club of New York
35 W 44th St
New York
NY
10036

Our 4th edition of the QA Financial Forum New York, the number one conference for software quality assurance leaders in banking, insurance and asset management

About the event

The QA Financial Forum is a unique conference for Heads of QA, testing, software engineering, DevOps, operational risk,  and IT risk management. The Forum discusses the key issues facing banks, trading platforms and insurance companies as they seek to implement new technologies in software automation. A key focus is how financial firms benchmark software quality, especially as  regulators increase their scrutiny of IT risk management.

Speakers

Sonia Malik Prudential Financial

Head of Quality Engineering

Bio coming soon.

James Senecal Tricentis

Vice President of Sales Support

James currently leads the technical pre-sales team supporting the Sales organization. With a career spanning more than 20 years, he an accomplished team manager and Solution Architect having worked primarily with global enterprise clients as well as numerous entities of the US Federal Government.

Sameer Bajaj HedgeServ

Director, Product Management

Sameer Bajaj is an accomplished Agile practitioner who has 12 years of experience in Middle Office services for Hedge Fund Administration. Sameer is currently a Director in the Product Management Group at Hedgeserv, a Hedge Fund Administrator. He liaises with business and technology groups to build Middle Office and Valuation solutions. Prior to this role, Sameer was a Managing Director at State Street’s Alternative Investment Solutions division, leading Middle Office and Accounting technology groups. At State Street, Sameer helped build and refine a service-orientated architecture for Middle Office services, beginning primarily as a Business Analyst with a secondary test automation engineer role. Sameer transitioned into a more leadership and business-facing role over the years before moving to Hedgeserv. His expertise extends to Data Import and Transformation, Trade Processing, Pricing, Treasury Function and Market Data Functions. Sameer has a Ph.D. in Information Systems from the Stern School of Business, NYU, and a Bachelor’s in Computer Engineering from Delhi University, India.

Gerold Rajesh Brown Brothers Harriman

Senior Vice President, Quality Management

Gerold (Gerry) Rajesh is a Senior Vice President and Global Head of Quality and Release Management at Brown Brothers Harriman. Based in New York, Gerry leads a global team responsible for developing and implementing new tools, processes and workflows through a centralized Quality Assurance (QA) center of excellence for the entire firm. Gerry is a career QA professional with over 16 years of experience in various roles, contributing both on leadership and strategic levels. Prior joining BBH, Gerry was the Head of QA (Investment Banking) at Barclays Bank and worked in their Singapore, Tokyo and India offices before relocating to New York. Gerry has a Bachelors degree in Statistics and a Masters degree in Computer Science from Madras University, India.

Devin Hendricks Lazard

Vice President, IT Global Infrastructure

Devin Hendricks is a Vice President at Lazard in the IT Global Infrastructure group.  Devin focuses on bringing DevOps best practices to Lazard with extensive experience building CI/CD pipelines with CloudBees Jenkins, natively with Amazon Web Services (AWS), and has recently begun to use Spinnaker with Jenkins.  Prior to his career in finance, he spent over two years as a DevOps Architect at Datapipe (now Rackspace) helping fortune 500 companies with their digital transformation and seven years as an overt contractor in the US Intelligence Community.

Avik Ganguly London Stock Exchange Group

Director of Quality Engineering

Avik Ganguly, currently serving as the Director of Quality Engineering at LSEG’s Information Services Division which includes The Yield Book and FTSE Russell. The Yield Book is a market leader in the fixed income analytics and FTSE Russell is a global leader in indexes. Avik’s team is responsible for the Quality Engineering infrastructure of the Yield Book technology products. Prior to joining LSEG; Avik was an Engineering Director at WeWork where he co-founded their Quality Engineering team from ground up. Avik has a proven track record of building world class engineering teams in hyper growth mode and attracting and retaining top talent. Avik’s passion for quality stems from his graduate research work in the field of operations research and stochastic systems leading him to a career in driving operational excellence in the industry. Prior to WeWork, Avik lived and worked in San Francisco for nearly a decade. Avik enjoys traveling and has traveled to 15 countries over last 5 years.

Elliot Noma Garrett Asset Management

Managing Director

Elliot Noma has worked in both finance and data science. He is a consultant on machine learning and natural language processing solutions at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. He also runs a proprietary trading company, Garrett Asset Management.

Dr. Noma taught machine learning at Columbia University and currently teaches quantitative risk management in the Masters in Mathematical Finance program at Rutgers University.

Previously, Dr. Noma was a portfolio manager running a fund of hedge funds and was the Chief Risk Officer at Asset Alliance, a $3 billion seeder of hedge funds.

Prior to working at Asset Alliance, Elliot was a risk manager at both Merrill Lynch Investment Advisers and Deutsche Bank, was an analyst at both JP Morgan and Salomon Brother, and was a investment banker at Chase.

He has patented a levered ETF structure, has written a book on psychometrics, and has published scholarly articles in behavioral finance, psychology, information science, sociology, math, and finance. His most recent article in 2018 describes a new method of measuring financial risk aversion using hypothetical investment preferences.

Dr. Noma has a Ph.D. in the mathematical modeling of psychological processes from the University of Michigan along with an M.A. in Mathematics. He graduated from Dartmouth College with a B.A. in Mathematics.

Elena Treshcheva Exactpro

Business Development Manager and Researcher

Elena initially joined Exactpro as a QA analyst. Working in this position, she got first-hand experience in software testing, the focus of her work being post-trade systems, market data processing and storage. In parallel with her work on the project, Elena was involved in speaking on behalf of Exactpro at a number of IT and Fintech conferences, including EXTENT-2018 in London (June 2018). Most recently, having joined Business Development, Elena has represented Exactpro at the QA Financial Forum in Chicago (April 2019) and AI Test 2019 in San Francisco (April 2019).

As part of the Exactpro Global Business Development team, Elena gets to leverage her experience of presenting at the conferences and continues to be actively engaged in the company’s Research & Development Strategy. Prior to joining Exactpro, Elena held a position of Associate Professor and Head of the Laboratory of Applied Linguistics for several years after obtaining her postgraduate degree. Her responsibilities included project management of scientific work aimed at computer resource design and development.

Iosif Itkin Exactpro

Co-Founder and Co-CEO

Iosif is co-founder and co-CEO of Exactpro, a specialist firm focused on functional and non-functional testing for market infrastructures. Founded in 2009 with ten core specialists on board, Exactpro now employs over 550 specialists. In May 2015 - January 2018, Exactpro was part of the Technology Services division of the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG). In January 2018, the founders of Exactpro completed a management buyout from LSEG.

Iosif manages business development and research in the field of high-load trading systems reliability. He is actively involved in delivering strategic software testing initiatives. Iosif has organized several industry conferences, including EXTENT - Software Testing and Trading Technology Trends Conference. He frequently speaks at worldwide FinTech events.

Iosif started his professional career in 2000 as a software engineer in a US-based software development company. For seven years, he worked as a Team Lead and a Technology Architect on projects for a number of US companies. In 2006, Iosif joined a company providing QA services in the financial sector. His extensive software development experience helped him to establish a Performance Testing Department specialising in testing high load trading systems. As a Technical Lead, Iosif was responsible for developing testing tools and implementing technical solutions for a number of leading exchanges and global investment banks. Iosif also has experience managing a consulting practice with a focus on advanced execution systems. As VP of Technology, he was responsible for implementing testing solutions on a number of complex projects for customers worldwide.

 

Brian Sodano Liberty Mutual

Director of Engineering

Bio coming soon.

Izzy Azeri mabl

Co-founder

Izzy Azeri is the co-founder of mabl,  leading SaaS provider for end-to-end cross-browser test automation.  He has held broad ranging responsibilities across Sales, Marketing, Product, and M&A at technology companies including Google, EMC, VMware and Stackdriver.  Most recently, he was Senior Product Manager at Google responsible for Google Cloud Platform pricing strategy. Prior to Google, Izzy was co-founder of Stackdriver, an intelligent-infrastructure monitoring company which was successfully acquired by  Google in 2014. In addition, Izzy serves on the Board of Directors of CSP, Inc (NASDAQ CSPI), Thurndra.io, as well as board of advisors at Turbonomic and Threatstack.

Carrie Puterbaugh RBC

Sr. QE Manager

Carrie Puterbaugh has over 25 years of experience in Quality Engineering & Quality Assurance Management in the finance/insurance, legal, retail & health care industries.    Looking for efficiencies comes naturally to her.  From setting up databases & writing macros for small businesses in college to cutting her teeth on QA Partner automation software in the mid-1990s, she was always asking “how can we do this better?”.   Software quality is her passion. She has spent her career building QE teams, setting up QE processes and managed manual, automation & performance testing teams.  When she was introduced to Hexawise, she immediately recognized the efficiency & test coverage benefits  of test case optimization. The RBC USWM QE team, including off-shore vendor partner staff, have used Hexawise for over four years, realizing tangible cost savings & quality improvements.   Ms. Puterbaugh has a Master’s degree in Software Systems from the University of St. Thomas and is co-founder of Gilda’s Club Twin Cities, a non-profit cancer support community.

Billy Flannery Nationwide

Director of IT Analysis

Billy Flannery is a Director of IT Analysis for a Fortune 100 Company. He has a proven track record of delivering high-quality applications and solutions, building high-caliber and engaged teams, serving as a role model for technology leadership, and driving unprecedented efficiencies and effectiveness. Billy has  16+ years of experience leading software development initiatives, high-profile enterprise-wide projects, and the delivery of world-class solutions—leveraging Agile, Iterative, and Waterfall—in a Fortune 100 environment. In addition, he has built, trained, and lead high-impact teams, thriving in settings allowing for significant coaching, mentorship, and development of associates and managers. Currently he leads 350+ IT professionals—including up to 9 IT managers—located in multiple sites that oversee software quality assurance, requirements, and testing to ensure product and process quality.

Justin Hunter Hexawise

CEO

Bio coming soon.

Gabriella Szasz Wells Fargo

Senior Vice President, Global Head Enterprise Quality Engineering

Gabby Szasz is a Senior Vice President with Global QA Responsibilities at Wells Fargo Bank. She
joined the bank in July 2017. Prior to this she was a Managing Director with Global QA
responsibilities at BNY Mellon and the Chief Quality and Development Officer for the Corporate
and Investment Bank (CIB) at J.P. Morgan Chase.
Over the last 28 years she has held various global positions in Telecom, Consulting and
Financial Services organizations. She is a specialist in off-shore management with specific
experience in India, China, Brazil, Europe and the Philippines.
Gabby holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical) Degree from Carleton University in Canada.
She is active with Anita Borg Institute both locally and nationally. She continually presents at
national conferences on both technology and diversity topics.
Gabby resides in Manhattan with her husband and 15-year- old daughter.

Murali Nandigama Barclays

Director Engineering

Murali Nandigama, is a Director and head of the engineering function for the Run the Bank in Barclays USA Cards and Payments.

Prior to joining Barclays, Murali has spent two decades working in various senior leadership roles in Goldman Sachs, PayPal, Yahoo!, Mozilla, Oracle and Sun Microsystems and contributed to both open source projects as well as popular technology platforms like Firefox Browser, Oracle Fusion Middleware and Java software Standard Edition.

Murali holds a Ph.D., in Physics and has filed and received patents in software engineering, published in peer reviewed journals and presented in multiple industry conferences.

Maya Ber Lerner Quali

VP Product Management

Maya Ber Lerner joined Quali in 2007 and serves as Vice-President of Product Management. Prior to this role, Maya served in a variety of key management roles including systems engineering and sales.  In her sales management roles, Maya was VP of International Sales, Director of Channel Development as well as Director of Asia-Pacific Sales.  Prior to Quali, Maya held technical roles at Amdocs.  She holds a Bachelor’s degree with honors in Biomedical engineering from Tel Aviv University.

Matthew Luken US Bank

User Experience Director

Matthew Luken is a fervent user experience and service designer, digital strategist, and critical thinker. He excels at digital strategy, product management, process engineering / service design, user-centered interface design, accessibility (A11Y) strategy and agile / lean UX. He currently works at U.S. Bank as Director of UX for platforms and A11Y, which represents his 275th brand. Luken has worked UX in every vertical specializing in loyalty, finance, transportation, eCommerce, education, and automotive. He ran his own award-winning web firm for six years where their apprenticeship program graduated more than sixty-five students and continues to mentor students in UX and digital design. Luken has taught web, UX, and design classes at a college level for over thirteen years, currently at Minneapolis College of Art and Design. He holds Masters of Aeronautical Science Operations and Technical Management and a BS in Comp Sci from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Michele Kryger AIG Life & Retirement

Senior Compliance Officer

Michele Kryger is a Senior Compliance Officer of the AIG Life & Retirement (AIG L&R) Network Compliance team.  She oversees a multi-disciplined team responsible for various functions including the senior investor protection unit as well as risk management/assessment, Compliance policy administration, Compliance training and records management oversight. Most recently, Michele has been leading an initiative to build and sustain an ADA program at AIG.  She currently leads the newly created AIG L&R Accessibility Unit and is working with development and design teams, call centers, marketing teams and operations units to ensure accessibility, usability and equal access to information and services are being considered in all methods of communication and information sharing with our clients and the public.

Mark Penicook Capital One

Digital Accessibility Director

Bio coming soon.

Preety Kumar Deque

CEO

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.

John Yopp US Bank

Director Software Engineering

Bio coming soon.

Agenda

8:00am

Arrival, refreshments, and networking

8:45am

Welcome Address

Matthew Crabbe, CEO and Founder – QA Media

9:00am

The Quality Assurance to Quality Engineering Transformation Journey at Prudential Financial

Speaker: Sonia Malik, Head of Quality Engineering - Prudential Financial 

With over 20 years experience in the quality assurance and quality engineering field, Sonia Malik is spearheading the QA to QE transformation journey at Prudential. During her session Sonia will detail how she is driving this change using Agile methodologies, whilst ensuring organisations focus on customer experience and service excellence. Additionally, Sonia will also explain how Prudential is shifting left using DevOps enabled automation in order to achieve quality engineering excellence.

9:30am

Building the Business Case for Software Test Automation: Benchmarking Returns from CI/CD

Most financial firms have targets for increasing rates of test automation. But many are only at the start of that transformation, and even among the leaders there is no agreed best practice or the toolset. Our panel will discuss the relationship between automation, DevOps and Agile and the business case for technologies such as test service virtualisation and the potential that lies in AI, machine learning and robotic process automation.

Panel Discussion

Moderator: James Senecal, Vice President of Sales Support - Tricentis

Sameer Bajaj, Managing Director - State Street Bank 

Gerold Rejesh, Senior Vice President, Quality Management - Brown Brothers Harriman 

Devin Hendricks, Vice President, Global IT Infrastructure - Lazard 

Avik Ganguly, Director of Quality Engineering - London Stock Exchange Group 

10:00am

AI, Robo-Compliance and the Supervision of Software Risk

Speaker: Elliot Noma, Managing Director, Garrett Asset Management

In addition to his role as MD of Garrett Asset Management, a quant trading fund, and his teaching role on  Rutgers University's Masters of Mathematical Finance course, Elliot Noma also took up a role as a consultant to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York earlier this year. Elliot will focus this presentation on how regulators financial firms can, firstly, apply artificial intelligence technologies to compliance reporting processes and, secondly, the supervisory standards they are likely to apply to firms' use of AI in software. How will they deal the challenges of bias, and how will they test the outputs of AI as applied by banks to their app development?

10:30am

Complex Post-Trade Systems, Requirements Traceability and the Illusion of Control

Speakers:

Iosif Itkin, CEO and Co-Founder - Exactpro 

Elena Treshcheva, Business Development Manager and Researcher - Exactpro 

Exactpro provides software testing services for mission-critical technology that underpins global financial markets. Exactpro clients are regulated by FCA, Bank of England and their counterparts from other countries. During this session, Elena and Iosif will talk about end-to-end software testing for post-trade systems in financial market infrastructures. What are the key challenges in quality assurance at this scale?  What kind of cognitive biases affect SDLC? How precise is the knowledge about the systems under test? What constitutes good test evidence? How to deal with complexity in regulated environments?

11:00am

Coffee & Networking

11:30am

Moving to Cloud 2.0 is not the Cure

“Transitioning to the cloud” is a common refrain, but rather than waiting on the sidelines for this change to happen, QA can design and drive quality management processes and standards around cloud transitions. With the rush to move applications to the cloud, it’s crucial to validate cloud readiness by addressing their risks, complexity and technical debt. For example, purely rehosting your critical yet unhealthy applications from your current platform to another won’t make the applications any better. To utilize all the benefits of cloud, applications should be cloud-optimized, not lifted-and-shifted. So, what is QA's role in cloud migration and application modernization programs? Join our panel for the answer and a discussion about performing an MRI on your software to ensure its health before moving to the cloud.

12:00pm

Driving QA Transformation at Liberty Mutual Using mabl

Speakers:  

Brian Sadano, Director of Engineering - Liberty Mutual

Izzy Azeri, Co-founder - mabl 

Brian Sodano is a Director of Engineering leading development and growth across Liberty Mutual's Global Retail Markets, U.S. Direct Service, and Claims teams out of the company's Boston Tech Hub. Over the past two years Brian has transformed QA across Liberty Mutual's product portfolio, reducing product time to market while augmenting end-user quality across the eServices landscape. mabl has been an instrumental tool for Brian's teams in this transformation, enabling Liberty Mutual teams to rapidly test their products at scale and gain critical insights into their applications.  Izzy Azeri will interview Brian to learn more about this transformation which he drove at Liberty Mutual.

12:30pm

If You Automate Chaos, All You Get is Faster Chaos: Ensuring Quality in Automation

As financial firms rapidly transition towards large-scale test automation, how can they ensure teams are executing the RIGHT, high-value, tests? How do leaders promote adoption of preferred frameworks, practices, and tools without reverting to overly-prescriptive “command and control” mandates? How are teams managing to re-skill at scale? Panelists will share their experiences and advice on these and related topics facing today’s testing leaders at financial services firms.

Panel Discussion

Moderator: Justin Hunter, CEO - Hexawise 

Gabriella Szasz, Senior Vice President, Global Head Enterprise Quality Engineering - Wells Fargo

Billy Flannery, Director of IT Analysis - Nationwide 

Carrie Puterbaugh, Sr. QE Manager - RBC

13:00pm

Lunch & Networking

14:00pm

QA Vector Research: Laying the Right Foundations for Quality Process Architecture

Speaker: Justyn Trenner, Corporate Development Director - QA Media

Financial institutions face the challenge of embedding quality in the SDLC even as they transition from waterfall to agile. This presentation, based on QA Vector original research among industry practitioners, will explore how to lay the right foundations in terms of people, processes , infrastructure and data to facilitate measurable success.

14:15pm

Integrating DevOps and Agile at Barclays: Quality Assurance at Scale

Speaker: Murali Nandigama, Director Engineering - Barclays 

DevOps and Agile are widely recognised as keys to better quality assurance and testing, but one size does not fit all. This session will explain how other firms can scale Agile methodologies to different programmes, and how Agile can enhance technical test frameworks to ensure quality execution. Additionally, by examining definitions of best practice to create Agile and DevOps test frameworks, delegates will gain a better understanding of robust working practices to drive the maturity of their firms.

14:45pm

Why Your Test Automation is Failing and How To Achieve True Continuous Testing

Speaker: Maya Ber Lerner, VP Product Management - Quali

To shift testing left, you and your QA team have invested heavily in test automation, however, there’s one barrier keeping you from continuous testing. Provisioning test environments is still time-consuming, complex, and mostly manual—taking the automation out of test automation. To achieve continuous testing and successful automation at scale, QA teams need access to production-like environments. Join this session to learn: industry approaches to test environments; the advantages of dynamic test environments; how to achieve true continuous testing through Environment as a Service.

15:15pm

Capture Market-Share While Achieving ADA Compliance

Digital trends, like mobile banking and cutting-edge security, are now fundamental to having a competitive edge in the financial market. Barrier-free banking and accessible user experiences are key digital components that will optimize any financial institution’s digital strategy, exposing services to billions in underserved market segments. Web accessibility-related lawsuits are skyrocketing, forcing thousands of businesses to react and work toward reaching accessibility compliance in the most expensive and inefficient way possible. If addressed proactively, accessibility progress won’t disrupt your organization’s development velocity, or business operations and prevents risk. The panel, moderated by Deque Systems' CEO Preety Kumar, will discuss the current state of accessibility at their organizations, highlighting key successes and challenges they face in their respective DevOps practices. 

Panel Discussion

Moderator: Preety Kumar, CEO - Deque

Mark Penicook, Digital Accessibility Director - Capital One

Michele Kryger, Senior Compliance Officer - AIG Life & Retirement

Matthew Luken, User Experience Director - US Bank

15:45pm

Coffee & Networking

16:15pm

Evolution and Revolution: Managing the Transition to Continuous App Delivery at Wells Fargo

SpeakersGabriella Szasz, Senior Vice President, Global Head Enterprise Quality Engineering - Wells Fargo, in conversation with Matthew Crabbe, CEO - QA Media

QA Financial's Matthew Crabbe in conversation with Gabriella about the digital transition at Wells Fargo; in particular the targets she set two years ago when she joined for automating testing and delivery of software, and where the bank is on the curve of delivering those targets. We'll cover the QA technologies Wells Fargo has chosen and the benchmarks used for out-sourcing decisions and code quality. Gabriella will also discuss the critical staff management challenges that have to be overcome on the road to CI/CD.

16:45pm

DevOps Culture: A Path to Engineering Excellence at US Bank

Speaker: John Yopp, Director Software Engineering - US Bank

Companies implement DevOps and Agile practices to benefit from consistent, fast cycle feedback on functionality that fully showcases engineers’ talents. However, those practices are generally only effective if placed in a culture that supports and rewards the principles of these disciplines. We will explore the roots of an engineering excellence culture, which aspects of Agile and DevOps they enable and what specific behaviors teams and leaders can leverage.

17:15pm

Cocktail Reception

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