Matt is standing for election to the AST board 2023.
I am an accomplished Software Testing professional with over a decade of extensive experience spanning several industries, including Insurance, Startups, SaaS, and Healthcare, among others. I hold a Bachelor of Science degree in Software Development from Western Governors University.
Throughout my career, I have taken on diverse roles and contract work, each adding a new facet to my testing proficiency. My skill set encompasses a wide array of testing techniques such as API, Integration, Performance, Accessibility, UI, Usability, Mobile, and Contract testing.
An integral part of my expertise lies in the development of Test Automation Frameworks, where I have leveraged programming languages like Java, C#, Typescript, and Python. My recent tenure as a team lead allowed me the rewarding opportunity to foster the growth of individual testing capabilities within my team and provide focused coaching.
For a deeper look into my thoughts and contributions to the field, I invite you to explore my blog at https://beardedtester.substack.com/. You can also learn more about me on my personal website: https://beardedtester.netlify.app/ and my LinkedIn profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mattgilbert90/. I am passionate about driving innovation and excellence in the realm of Software Testing, and I am excited to bring my expertise and insights to new opportunities.
1. Please share your vision for the future of the AST, and how would you help to accomplish this vision in case you were part of the AST Board of Directors?
2. Is there an area where you feel AST is lacking in its role as a professional organization? If so, what would you suggest doing to begin to change that and increase the value to AST members and the testing community at large?
1/2. One area where AST could improve is in establishing stronger connections and collaborative relationships with commercial entities. Although AST is involved with a range of activities such as teaching, creating, and running conferences, there is room for expanding the engagement with businesses, especially those who employ or seek software testers. This gap can be particularly prominent in the fast-paced software testing world where the landscape is continuously evolving due to new technologies and methodologies.
A strategic approach to address this gap would be the development of partnerships with industry stakeholders. These could include software companies, testing tool vendors, educational institutions, and even individual professionals in the field. Collaborating closely with these entities would provide mutual benefits. For AST, it could lead to a better understanding of current industry needs, trends, and challenges. For the partners, it offers access to the latest research, a pool of certified professionals, and potential influence on the curriculum and certification standards. A specific action to kickstart this initiative could be the creation of an ‘AST Industry Advisory Council’ or similar body. This council would consist of representatives from different industry stakeholders. Their role would be to provide input on the latest trends, share the current challenges they face, and suggest areas where AST could play a supportive role. This initiative will provide valuable insights and can help shape AST’s strategies and programs to better serve the needs of the community and the industry at large
I also believe that AST could do better to promote itself as the go-to source for fundamentals as well as more advanced topics for the software testing community as a whole. From my vantage point, the first thing that people think of when it comes to “professional certifications” is still, sadly, ISTQB. One way to improve that is through outreach, LinkedIn groups, blog posts, etc. If I were to become a board member I would love to help with the community outreach aspect as well as any technological needs that are required. Last year I started to blog at https://beardedtester.substack.com/
3. In what ways have you supported the mission of AST?
A while back I was helping James Thomas with the WordPress site to update the old conference pages to use the new UI/UX. Had some family stuff come up so wasn’t as focused on that as I had been initially, however.