Bertold Kolics
Verosint

Biography

Bertold Kolics is a testing specialist with many years of experience in commercial software engineering teams. Working in various roles at commercial software companies of all sizes during his career, Bertold developed a unique understanding that accelerates businesses delivering value while satisfying customer expectations at the same time. His relentless drive to get to the root cause of issues early in the career earned Bertold the nickname of bulldog engineer by none other than Intel’s current CTO. He had the opportunity to work on legacy software projects, projects inherited through acquisitions as well as first-version releases as well. Bertold enjoys collaborating in cross-functional groups with diverse backgrounds and constantly seeks ways that lead to high-performing teams. He also held management positions where he got to hone transformational leadership skills with open, honest communication tuned to the needs of the team and the business. Bertold has first-hand experience building, developing and testing distributed software products created with languages such as JavaScript, Java, Go, C/C++ to name a few. The importance of code reviews during the software development process is a constant theme that followed him from project to project. Examples include a software application inherited through an acquisition with subpar quality as well as a telco-grade, highly-scalable middleware product servicing hundreds of thousands of operations per second. Bertold currently works at Verosint, a small early-stage software startup that set out to help businesses detect and prevent online account fraud. As a sole software testing specialist, he gets not only to practice traditional quality assurance tasks, but to enable his team to elevate software delivery practices. Modern testing principles guide his approach that highlight the importance of decisions based on production data as opposed to feelings or past experiences, and the software quality as seen through the eyes of the customer. You can find Bertold, his social media links, past talks and appearances at https://bertold.kolics.net . He welcomes new connections and is open to discussing software challenges both in English and his native language, Hungarian.

About the Presentation

The Testers’ Secret Weapon – Code Reviews
Session Speech

 

Discover a hidden superpower possessed by test professionals that often goes overlooked—the ability to influence the quality of code. While some organizations already involve test engineers in peer reviews, coding skills are not a prerequisite for adding value during this phase. In fact, I have personally witnessed the significant impact that engaging in code reviews can have on software quality right from the start.

 

During this talk, I will share my experience from multiple companies, illustrating how test professionals can make a meaningful contribution to code reviews and elevate the overall quality of software. You will learn how testers can bring value to the process through tasks like codifying procedures, asking clarifying questions, validating requirements, addressing testability concerns, and identifying anti-patterns that could hinder maintainability over time. The emergence of generative AI technologies recently will undoubtedly have an impact on this critical activity, but it cannot eliminate this process and you will learn that – when properly applied – how AI can be a powerful collaborator.

Key topics covered in this talk include:

 

  1. Establishing an Effective Process:

    * Strategies for setting up rules that gain buy-in from the entire team

    * Conducting peer reviews using an example guideline with dos and don’ts

    * Real-world case study from my time at Sun Microsystems, where we created a comprehensive code review template that initially seemed complex but ultimately led to higher-quality code and earned respect from the QA team.

 

  1. Conducting a Successful Code Review:

   * Actions testers with and without coding skills can take to contribute effectively

   * Essential questions to ask during code reviews

   * Identifying common anti-patterns and assessing quality aspects like maintainability, testability, architectural smells, and component coupling

   * Leveraging the help of code assistants

   * Making informed decisions about third-party library selection and usage

   * Insights from my experience as the Director of Quality at ESO Solutions, where we established code review guidelines involving both testers and developers, resulting in reduced unplanned work.

 

  1. The Social Dynamics of Code Reviews:

   * Facilitating knowledge sharing within the team

   * Promoting cross-functional learning between testers and developers

   * Techniques for providing constructive criticism without offending authors

   * Optimizing the effectiveness of code reviews through in-person, pairing, and asynchronous methods, depending on the context

   * Real-world examples from my current role at a startup, highlighting how I successfully engaged the entire team, influenced stakeholders, and fostered a more productive, collaborative, cohesive, and trusting team environment.

Join me in this enlightening session to uncover the superpower of test professionals and learn how you can transform code reviews into a catalyst for improved software quality and team synergy.