What is the WORDS workshop?

WORDS is a 3-day facilitated meeting of experienced software testers who want to contribute to the AST Dictionary Project. This is an effort to build an authoritative dictionary of software testing terminology. Inspired by the Oxford English Dictionary, this is not an attempt to limit the development of testing expressions, but rather to reflect and analyze the usage of terms among thoughtful testing practitioners.


Our objective at WORDS is to clarify the policies, processes, and design of the AST Dictionary Project, and get the first of the definitions typed in to the Dictionary Wiki. We will discuss and debate some definitions, as well.

How will the meeting be run?

The meeting will be chaired by James Bach and Cem Kaner.


Who will participate?

Participation is by invitation only and is limited to 15 people. Participants must be experienced testers (oh let’s say 5 years of field experience on test projects, but we will make exceptions for people with a special reputation or an unusually relevant base of experience) who have a demonstrated interest in the use of precise language to describe and explain testing.

Email James Bach (james@satisfice.com) with information about yourself. The deadline for these applications is June 12th.


How much will it cost & who will pay for it?

Attendance is free, except for your own travel and lodging costs. We want your ideas, not your money.


When and where will it take place?

The meeting will happen in Seattle, on August 5-7 (just prior to the CAST conference). The venue is still to be decided. We will gather at 8:30AM and officially begin at 9 and work until 5pm.

The exact address and travel directions will be announced to the participants upon acceptance.