Test Coach Camp

Test Coach Camp 2012 – Call For Participants [CLOSED]

San Jose, California, July 14 -15 2012. Precedes the Conference of the Association for Software Testing (CAST).

Participation will be limited to 25 (at most, 30) people, selected on the basis of applications to attend. See the notes on HOW TO APPLY below. There is no conference fee, AST is defraying all the expenses which include facilities, and supplies. There is an optional dinner Friday, July 13th. (Participants cover their own costs for dinner.)

Hosts: Matthew Heusser, Doug Hoffman and Matt Barcomb.

This call and all subsequent updates to this call are available online.


Test Coach Camp is an open spaces style conference. The value we find in the conference will be a reflection of the value that we bring.

Although the Camp is a new format for us, it is one of AST’s sponsored events to advance the practice of software testing through open, collaborative discussion among its leaders.

We intend to run the event as an open space meeting with up to three tracks. Based on demand, we may develop some preplanned sessions.

We believe that hanging out in the hallway, shooting the breeze, making plans, or issuing test challenges is perfectly acceptable behavior. We’d be disappointed if it doesn’t happen at least a little.

This is a can’t-miss event because:

  • We put the best people in the field in one room – people doing software testing, test coaching, and helping others do it
  • That group of people will decide on a small handful of things we could do to impact the software test community in a wildly positive way (generally through coaching of software testers)
  • This will include discussion what coaching is, how to do it, and how to do it better
  • We will document some of our existing test coaching practices
  • We will invent and experiment with new test coaching practices
  • It may involve discussing new, fundamental roles for testers and leaders of testers
  • We will discuss, document, and create new ways to inspire and encourage testers
  • We will leave the event with some things actually done, and hopefully launch a slew of new projects


The goal of this meeting is to build relationships and ideas that are useful to the greater test community in the area of coaching, to develop plans to advance the practice of test coaching, and the field of software testing.


We want to provide at least one definition of test coaching that stands up to scrutiny, examples of test coaching, ideas to help people get started (or continue) in test coaching, along with starting several projects designed to advance the role of the test coach, the field or software testing, the mission of the AST, or all three.



7PM-11PM – Optional kick-off evening dinner and social


8AM-9AM – Opening Kickoff Session.

9AM-6PM – Conference. Breakfast and lunch will be provided.

6PM-8PM – Optional Dinner at (location). (Participants cover their own costs.)

8PM-11PM – Continue discussion at (location). Beer/Dessert/appetizers will be provided.


9AM-6PM – Conference

4PM-6PM – Closing Plenary Session/Retrospective 6PM-8PM – Optional Dinner at (location). (Participants cover their own costs.)


If you want to attend the meeting, send an email to Matt Heusser (matt.heusser@gmail.com) Doug Hoffman (doug.hoffman@acm.org), and Matt Barcomb (mgbarcomb@gmail.com) that briefly describes your software testing background, your experience with or knowledge about coaching and test leadership, what you could contribute to this type of event and why you would want to attend.


We are expecting attendance will include several groups:

  • Consultants and senior thinkers (who can help us think strategically about this project)
  • Educators (academic or commercial trainers) and authors who perform a test leadership or coaching role for the community
  • Managers and Technical Leaders (for example, hiring managers or managers who have responsibility for the career growth/development of their staff, internal coaches and consultants, etc.)
  • Individual testers
  • People doing test coaching of all stripes
  • People outside this group who have something to contribute, for example, “Agile Coaches”, etc.


When you apply, please tell us in your note which group(s) we should see yourself belonging to.

Please send in your application by April 15, no more than one page of text (but you can link to your websites or published papers or other published material).


The meeting will be co-located with CAST at the Holiday Inn San Jose – Airport (formerly Wyndham Hotel). The event is free. Sunday, we will probably stop at 3 p.m.


This workshop has been scheduled in the same city as CAST, immediately before CAST. It is a formal event of the AST and co-located with CAST. Registration for CAST does not entitle one to attend Test Coach Camp or visa-versa; the events are not one and the same.

Finally, although the title of this activity is ‘camp’, we do not expect anyone to bring a tent or sleeping bag. However, for those truly struggling to can find a way to make it, yes, the conference organizers can find a place for you to crash.


The Agile Coach Camp is an emerging but established format for developing talent, reputation, learning, and having fun. Read more about the Coach Camp Concept here.

Our format is inspired by this format.  Note the style is a coach camp. This is not a LAWST-Style workshop (e.g., we will not be using K-cards for facilitation).

Our Bottom Line

Well, we GET TOGETHER with other people who LOVE TESTING and we TALK ABOUT IT. And PRACTICE IT.

And maybe we share that with the world. If the world is lucky. And we feel particularly inspired. But mostly, it’s about KICKING BUTT and MEETING AWESOME PEOPLE and CHEWING BUBBLE GUM. And we’re all out of BUBBLE GUM.

QUESTIONS? COMMENTS? Write Matt Heusser or Doug Hoffman