CAST 2016 by the numbers:

In all, 138 people came together at Simon Fraser University Harbour Center in Vancouver, Canada in August to talk about software testing and development.  

Our theme this year was Testing: Software Development Catalyst. Presenters and attendees came away with new ideas and practices to incorporate into current and future projects.  We explored how testing can bring additional value to our projects and we shared what our organizations may be doing differently.

Attendees may have been looking to incorporate automation to enhance their exploratory testing  or develop further manual test techniques to enhance their automation. Either way there were sessions that covered all these topics and more. The most important thing that CAST provides is the opportunity to learn and discuss; CAST becomes the catalyst for change you can take back to your organization.  

Nicholas Carr’s Tuesday keynote challenged us to think about technology and culture. As testers, we need to be aware of our focus and biases and constantly think about how we engage with technology so we do not lose practiced skills and instinctive knowledge.  His new book “Utopia is Creepy” came out earlier this month.  Like his keynote, his book explores how our relationship with technology changes our lives, and encourages critical thinking about what these changes are and mean.

 Anne-Marie Charrett’s  keynote on Test Management compared and contrasted Test Management in waterfall, agile, and continuous development cycles.  Test managers’ roles have morphed into test leadership. Anne-Marie provided ideas on how to evolve your knowledge and improve your test teams to stay relevant in the software industry.

 Sallyann Freudenberg’s Wednesday keynote “Neurodiversity and Software Development: Why the Tech Industry Needs all Kinds of Minds and How We can Support Them” became a catalyst for new insights both personal and professional.  It was an interesting and thought-provoking correlation between human psychology and software testing.  Anne-Marie and Sallyann’s presentations are posted to the AST YouTube page.

I am sure everyone enjoyed the terrific weather and sightseeing opportunities in and around the Vancouver area. Many testers turned into foodies and enjoyed local fare, including the traditional Canadian Poutine.  JapaDog, a local hot dog vendor with Japanese variations, was the food truck favorite of a number of attendees.  The beer flowed during the Monday evening beer tour hosted by our own Ilari Aegerter, who even shared some of his own homebrew.  Many enjoyed an evening boat cruise, the Gastown Steam Clock, Granville Island Public Market, or the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park.  No matter what the interest, Vancouver held something for everyone.  The view from the venue overlooking the harbor was a spectacular for each morning’s Lean Coffee and it was equally attention-getting from our banquet room.   

 The Association for Software Testing would like to thank our Program Chairperson, Christin Wiedemann, for her hard work and dedication to putting together a well-rounded assortment of tutorials and track sessions.  We want to thank all of our presenters for their thought-provoking tutorials and presentations.  We want to thank our volunteers for the time and hard work to make this event run as smoothly as it did.   Finally we would like to thank our attendees for making this conference a catalyst for success.  

 It was great to see old friends in Vancouver and exciting to meet many first time attendees.

Roxane Jackson