Not a conference but a CASTalyst

Firstly, apologies for the terrible play on words, its got to be one of the worst pun ever! Put it down to a lack of imagination.
I’m going to be busy at CAST 2011 this year as not only am I attending but I’ll be holding a workshop and a track session.

The 1/2 day workshop is on Career Management for Software Testers and the  track session is on Skype coaching.

You can find out more about the details about all the tutorials here and the track sessions here. There are some great talks on this year and I’ve earmarked a few, hopefully there not on the same time as me!

Any tester who is serious about testing needs to consider going to CAST. It’s a conference that you will not forget. Trust me.

I had the opportunity to go to CAST 2010, sponsored by the software testing club and I wrote about the experience here and here

Its been six months since then, and on reflection, going to that conference wasn’t an event but more a catalyst to learning and experiencing more about testing.

Rebecca Fieldler has on her Skype profile the following quote by Will Durant: ” Education is a progressive discovery of our ignorance.” and I think that sums up nicely my feelings on CAST. It wasn’t so much what I learnt, but the realisation on how little I knew.

Since then, I’ve made a real effort to up my game. My book library has exponentially grown and I’ve even read some of them!

I made a commitment to myself at CAST 2010 to start speaking a conferences.  I’ve spoken at a few conferences since then, and speaking at CAST 2o11 is like coming full circle on that promise.

I’m also making more of an effort to keep in touch with other testers I met at the conference, people like Karen Johnson and Fiona Charles.

So, you see, what I mean when I say catalyst!

I hope to see you there,


Update: If you feel its the right time for you to start speaking at conferences, CAST is offering an emergent session run my the indominatble Matt Heusser. You can get all the details on this blog


Blasting off to CAST 2010

It’s my first outing to CAST this year.

CAST has been on my wish list for a couple of years now, but with moving countries, raising kids, and earning a living I’ve found it hard to make it. This year I decided no more excuses, it was time to go.

As well as wanting to attend the conference and meet some great testers, I wanted the chance to complete the BBST Instructors course which is being held as a post conference session. I’ve been assisting in the Black Box System Testing courses for a while now. I find teaching them very satisfying and to boot, I get taught by some great testers on giving courses.

The post CAST session is being run by Becky Fielder a long time trainer and Cem Kaner. So as well as being taught by some of the best, I  get to meet them too. There is some information here on the course.

I was looking for sponsorship for this one though. There was no way I was going to be able to make it on my own. Fortunately the Association For Software Testing stepped in and have sponsored me the conference fees. So a BIG THANK YOU to the AST for that.

The Software Testing Club offered to sponsor my accommodation, so another big THANK YOU to Rosie Sherry and the crew at the STC.   The STC crew work really hard to make a genuine and real experience for many software testers.

I’ve had great support from them in so many areas, from mentoring, recruiting, publishing my articles as well as some great discussions on their testing forum.  It’s also nice to see people bringing fun into testing. I think sometimes we take ourselves way to seriously.

I’m still on the hunt for more sponsorship, so if you know of a company or association willing to support, get them to contact me. I’m happy to wear a T-Shirt at the conference, blog about how supportive they are etc. Another way to sponsor me is to offer me some work!

Below, I’ve included information about this year’s CAST. I hope you can make it!

Attend CAST 2010

The 5th annual Conference of the Association for Software Testing

August 2-4, 2010, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

“Skills in Testing”

About CAST

CAST reflects the AST’s core mission: to build community amongst scholars, practitioners, and students for the advancement of the practice of software testing. In 2010, CAST aims to leverage peer collaboration to build an enhanced understanding of how various skills influence tester effectiveness.

CAST offers a unique opportunity to learn and confer with others that simply isn’t found at other conferences. Each scheduled session allocates time for facilitated “open season” discussions that encourage participants to question and challenge the presentation. What takes place in the hallways, at receptions, and during meals and lightning talks truly sets CAST apart; for many attendees, the greatest value is derived from the opportunity to discuss and delve into the topics that matter to them.

Space is limited Register Today!

More information and Registration:

We can’t wait to see you in Grand Rapids!