When I accepted the role of President of AST in August of 2014, it came from being involved in the details of what we do as the Treasurer and as the Chair of the Education Special Interest Group (now the Education Committee). In those roles, I had two main focuses; keep the education initiatives moving, and make sure the money our members paid in and what it was spent on was accounted for and managed carefully. Stepping out of that tight focus and representing a broader view of the entire organization has been a real learning curve. The past several months have been challenging, enlightening and clarifying, to say the least.

I joined AST because I wanted a software testing organization I could relate to and interact with. Teaching BBST, getting involved in other education initiatives, serving on the board as Treasurer, giving back to the community as a whole, and the code of ethics that AST represents as a model for the industry are my motives to be involved. Helping to seed communities around the world with grants and support to partner on spreading our message of better software testing through craft, initiative and a desire to learn more is also very important to me.

There is an initiative that all members can contribute to that we are iterating and developing. WHOSE (WorksHop On Self Education) is a resource for testing skills that people can learn about and use immediately. More important, it is designed to be a “living document” that encourages context and how individuals actually applied the ideas, the good results that developed, and the issues they discovered along the way.

CAST is the largest single event that AST works on each year. Early bird registration for 2015 is now open, and we encourage everyone to take advantage of the discount pricing while you can. We have an exciting program to offer for 2015, with four great tutorials, and a speaker program to be announced shortly. Additionally, CAST is proud to be working with Speak Easy to encourage a broader range of presenters. Alessandra Moreira talked with Fiona Charles and Anne-Marie Charret about their reasons for creating Speak easy and their goals with it going forward. We are already receiving proposals for CAST 2016. Would you like to see CAST happen in your city? Are you willing to be part of the conference committee and help make it happen? if so, check out “how do I get CAST hosted in my city” and get your proposal in!

We are also proud to be involved with a number of initiatives aimed at helping people interested in software testing get started in what we hope will be an exciting and challenging career. SummerQAmp and PerScholas are notable groups that AST has partnered with to help encourage a focus on software testing as a skill, as a craft, and as a cognitively challenging endeavor. We have worked with several meetups around the world, and have helped sponsor small conferences and workshops in several countries. Email us if you would like to see how your testing community can get involved.

That’s my view of AST… but as the title of this asks, how do you see it? Are we focusing on initiatives that matter to you? If so, which ones? If not, again, what would you like to see us do? Please reply and tell us what matters most to you.