First, I need to paraphrase this with something you will be seeing a lot from me in the coming weeks:

CAST 2014 will be held in New York City August 11-13, 2014.

I will be giving a talk along with Harrison Lovell. Details on this will follow, but not until it gets officially posted.

I want to see as many of you as possible come attend CAST 2014, because I feel it is one of the best, if not THE best, software testing conferences a software testing practitioner can attend and come away with real value for their time and investment. As I said previously, you will see me doing a lot more commentary and promotion for CAST going forward.

Having said all that, I want to talk about something that is a preamble to CAST, and looks to be turning into an annual event that I support and want to see thrive. That event is called “Test Retreat”.

Test Retreat is rapidly becoming one of my favorite events to attend each year. This year it will be held Saturday, August 9, 2014 from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM (EDT). I attended the inaugural event in 2012, when it was introduced at CAST 2012 in San Jose, CA and then in Madison, WI during CAST 2013. 

What makes Test Retreat worthwhile? 
Many other events allow a select few to present on ideas that have to be highly structured. The Open Conference option that Test Retreat offers allows me, and others, to present ideas that might be very preliminary and embryonic. Through the event, these preliminary ideas often develop into calls for action, with input from many other participants, that are significantly better than anything I would have proposed on my own. It’s this rich level of interaction, conferring with peers, and all willing to work together to develop “better ideas” that make this format a success. Several of my better talks (Let’s Stop Faking It, Balancing ATDD, GUI Automation and Exploratory Testing, and others) that I have given at Meet-Ups, conferences and have written up as published articles and papers have had their genesis in Test Retreat.
For those wondering if it makes sense, or if it’s worth it to attend a Saturday event (yes, I know Saturdays  are precious), I say “yes”! So far, it has proven to be every bit worth it these past two years. I’ve already signed up for year three. 
Will I see you there? Will we, perhaps, come up with better ideas together than we would separately? I hope you will come attend and find out!