Imagine you are minding your own business and suddenly find yourself exposed to a huge group of unknown animals. They all stare at you. You are not sure if they are hostile (or even want to eat you) and there is no tree in sight to climb. It makes you very uneasy.

This is how your brain might interpret the situation of being up on stage shortly before starting a public speech or a presentation. Why would anyone in her/his right mind engage in such behaviour deliberately? What’s to gain?


Becoming a public speaker is an immensely rewarding process and the Association for Software Testing offers the perfect platform for you with its annual conference, CAST. While preparing for your session, you’ll realize that you are going deeper and learning the topic more than most. Conference preparation is a time to immerse yourself in whatever you are interested in, grow your knowledge, and learn how to share it.

Not only that, but you will also be happy to see that your level of interaction with fellow testers increases. People will want to talk to you. They will share their experiences and knowledge with you. Your professional life will become richer.

The context-driven testing community is a splendid place to start a speaker’s career because there are so many opportunities to be coached and get help. I’d like to point to our wonderful partners, Speak Easy,where you can get your own mentor for your first public appearance. Or how about reaching out directly to one of the speakers you liked listening to? 

We are looking for a diverse set of speakers, to achieve diversity of thought and exchange of ideas, with a good mix between seasoned folks and people who will be speaking for their first time. We want a variety of backgrounds, and we want CAST to be lively and thought-provoking. If you have a special story to tell, we want to hear about it.

This year’s conference theme is “Testing: Software Development Catalyst”. We are interested in your stories about how you made a difference in your software development project. How did you change the perception that testing is only the necessary evil to be done at the end of the project? How did you influence your team to develop a broader mental model of what testing can be? You can find more details on the conference theme here.

Why not start now? Sketch your session, review and refine it, and then submit here.

Yes, right now. Stop reading, and start typing. We are looking forward to your proposal.

– Ilari Henrik Aegerter, for the AST Board of Directors