CAST 2012 recently wrapped up.  The annual Conference of the Association for Software Testing was held in San Jose, California, Monday and Tuesday, July 16 and 17, 2012.  Wednesday the 18th saw tutorials.  Thursday was the Board of Directors meeting.

First, even though I had helped plan the Emerging Topics track, I had some conflicts arise that kept me away (physically).  I was a tad disappointed that after the work that went in, I would not be drinking in the goodness that is the CAST experience.

Why is that a big deal? 

Its a conference, right?

CAST is unlike any conference I have ever attended.  They make it a point of being a participatory, engaged, function – not merely sitting listening to someone drone on reading power point slides.  There is required time in each session for questions and discussion around the presentation.  Some of them can be quite brutally honest.

This becomes an issue for some people.

When one engages with people who think, rote-learned answers do not hold up well.  Watching the interplay as people, including the presenters, learn, is something that is in itself, a top-flite education in testing.

And I could not be there.  Bummer.

I chose the next best thing – I joined in the video stream as much as the day-job and other responsibilities allowed.  I listened to Emerging Topics presentations, keynotes, a panel discussion on the results of Test Coach Camp and CASTLive – the evening series of interviews with speakers and participants – with online chat and… stuff.

While I could not be there in person, this was a pretty decent substitute.

Other cool things

Keynotes by Tripp Babbitt and Elizabeth Hendrickson.  Great panel discussions on what people learned from at Test Coach Camp, and, cool stuff.

Simply put, there are recordings to be viewed and listened to here.

Other things happened as well, like announcing the election results for AST Board of Directors.

I was elected to the Board of Directors to serve a single year, to fill a position left vacant by a Board Member who could not finish his term.

I am deeply honored to have been selected to serve in this way.

I am humbled, and looking forward to this new chapter in testing adventure.