June 12, 2008

Let's Talk Testing at CAST

Posted by Ben Simo

Attend CAST
I attended the Conference of the Association for Software Testing (CAST) last year and discovered something new: a conference that does a great job of mixing presentations by testing thought leaders and practitioners with conferring. CAST is now my favorite testing conference.

In addition to learning from expert keynote presenters (including Jerry Weinberg and Cem Kaner), I look forward to time spent with people that care about software testing.

Testers tend to question things. The organizers of CAST recognize this and allow for questioning of every presentation. I saw this in action last year. I heard audience members add insight to what was presented. I heard assertions challenged and discussed. I even observed discussion move into another room and continue beyond the scheduled session. I observed testers teaching and learning from one another. Discussions I usually see happen in the hotel bar after scheduled conference activities occurred during the conference. Conferees conferred.

Although the early-bird registration has past, you can still get the reduced pricing by joining AST. CAST is about half the cost of typical testing conferences. Read below and check out www.CAST2008.org for more information.

See you in Toronto.



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

High Demand Causes Three-Day Software Testing Conference to Add Fourth Day

TORONTO -- June 9, 2008 -- The Association for Software Testing announced Monday an update to its traditional 3-day conference program -- a fourth day.

The decision came from conference organizers on Monday because of demand for Jerry Weinberg's Monday, July 14 tutorial titled "The Tester's Communication Clinic", which sold out last week. Weinberg has agreed to host the tutorial again on Thursday, July 17.

Weinberg, who many consider the software testing industry's first tester, has a 50-year track record of influencing the craft of exposing bugs and issues in software. Among his notable accomplishments was establishing the first separate software testing group, aiding in producing life-critical software for Project Mercury.

Since then he has produced hundreds of articles and over 30 books. According to his website (www.geraldmweinberg.com), his book "The Psychology of Computer Programming" published in 1971 is considered "the beginning of the study of software engineering as human behavior." The conference will also be the site for the launch of his new book, "Perfect Software and Other Testing Myths."

Weinberg will also be a keynote speaker, presenting a talk titled "Lessons from Past to Carry into the Future", about the steps needed to create software testing into a bona fide profession.

"Jerry's a legend in our business," said Jon Bach, AST Vice President for Conferences, "and by helping us in this way, he seems to understand that like a tester on a software project, you adapt your strategy to act on emerging information. He always seems to practice what he preaches, and maybe that's why he continues to be such an influence."

Weinberg isn't the only draw. The conference also features a keynote from industry influencer Cem Kaner, author of the best-selling book on software testing ("Testing Computer Software"). Kaner, a professor at the Florida Institute of Technology, coined the term "exploratory testing" and is actively involved in issues surrounding the integrity of electronic voting machines. His keynote is titled: "The Value of Checklists and the Danger of Scripts: What Legal Training Suggests for Testers."

Held in Toronto, Canada -- a city chosen for its diversity in culture, businesses, educational institutions and the arts -- the conference theme is: "Beyond the Boundaries: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Software Testing". In that spirit, it will include a keynote by Rob Sabourin and his wife Anne, titled "Applied Testing Lessons from Delivery Room Labor Triage" about their experiences helping women give birth at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal.

Also following the interdiscipline theme is noted performance testing expert Scott Barber who will be presenting a talk titled "Lessons Learned from Civil Engineering." Weinberg, Kaner, Sabourin and Barber are among the few notables in the software testing industry in attendance at CAST. For the full program, see http://www.cast2008.org.

The conference expects to draw software professionals from 60 companies around the world. Registration is open to AST members and non-members. Fees are posted at http://www.associationforsoftwaretesting.org/drupal/CAST2008/Registration .

  Edit