Alex Elentukh


During my 25 years professional career, I taught various software engineering and project management courses at Boston and Northeastern University and authored numerous papers on quality assurance and software reliability. At EMC, as a Consulting Engineer (Agile Coach), I introduced the backlog grooming to improve collaboration between product owners and engineering. As an Enterprise Architect at Fidelity, I managed the regression-intensive verification used by multiple scrums, cutting the field complaint rate by fifty percent. At Akamai, I belonged to the release team that harmonized various organizational forces to stabilize the cycle time. I also held the positions of Quality Assurance Director at two successful start-ups, Jupiter and Reveal.

Courses that I teach are both educational and engaging. The lecture track with theories and methodologies – parallels the practical track with implementation of an actual software system. A semester-long project is accounted for thirty percent of a grade. The whole class is divided into teams of five, with each team building a useful software application. The initial composition of a team is based on the pre-class survey, to make sure folks belonging to the same team have complementary background. Over the years, as the repository with completed projects grew, the next projects ‘stand on the shoulders of their predecessors’ to become increasingly sophisticated and effective.

Here are several examples of assignments offered in the class covering modern techniques from real software companies. Application of Machine Learning to Quality Assurance to compare Cost Of Quality (COQ) for a mature versus immature organization. Documenting test results at Real Time Bidding (RTB). Commenting on a structure of a test case repository and merging from a release into regression. Formulating privacy laws during collection of cookies to define an archetype personas.

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