AST Conference

CAST 2017

What the heck do testers really do?

August 16 – 18, 2017

Nashville TN

AST 2017 is taking a deep look at the practice of software testing. We want to help testers become so good they cannot be ignored. CAST 2017 focuses on the actual tactical work required to perform excellent, effective and influential testing.

Today, testers are challenged to identify important product risks in turbulent contexts. Business focus follows a fickle consumer market, harshly driven by demanding investors. Organizational frameworks are evolving and changing, often within a product’s lifetime. Solution technology frantically advances moving from tiered architectures to micro services among a hyper distributed internet of things.

Emerging practices sometimes shuffle testing activities earlier, or later in the life cycle. Some development approaches may even obscure testing. CAST 2017 will focus on the tactical work testers do in a variety of contexts with different tools and techniques.

Please join us for our 12th annual conference at the Gaylord Opryland hotel in Nashville, TN, August 16 – 18 2017.

Schedule (Subject to Change)

View the Cast 2017 schedule & directory.

CAST 2017 Dates:

August 16-18, 2017 – Conference

Conference Chair: Justin Rohrman

Program Chair: Rob Sabourin

All AST event attendees must abide by the AST code of ethics and anti-discrimination policies.

What makes CAST unique?

  • For testers, by testers
  • We strive to advance and improve the science of software testing
  • We share, discuss, and question
  • Meet industry leaders (authors, bloggers, and personalities)
  • Network with peers, and experts
  • Reasonably priced, high ROI

Who should attend CAST?

  • Software Testers, Practitioners, and Managers
  • Scholars and Researchers
  • Students
  • Developers

The core mission of The Association for Software Testing (AST) and CAST is to help build an active community of software testing scholars, practitioners, and learners who can in turn positively influence and advance the practice of software testing.

CAST is more than a conference, it’s a unique opportunity to learn and discuss not found anywhere else. Each scheduled session is split into two parts. Half of the session is a presentation by a speaker, however the balance of the time is a facilitated “open season”. This open season allows attendees to question, discuss, and test the presentation.

What makes CAST truly unique is the discussions that take place in the hallways, at receptions, during meals, and after hours. For many the true value of CAST is the ability to discuss topics you are interested in with peers, experts, and academics that are leading change in our profession. At CAST you are among friends…let’s confer!

Mission and Style of CAST

The conference is designed not only to allow but also to encourage a high-level of interaction among presenters and participants. Flexibility is built into the schedule to facilitate productive brainstorming and impromptu debates. The conference organizers are observant and responsive: when this interaction builds the interest and energy for a particular topic, the flow of events and allocation of time to topics will be fine-tuned. Trained, seasoned moderators will help ensure that discussion sessions are productive.

CAST is free from thinly veiled sales pitches and offers up fresh content: CAST sessions are about experience, practice, and ideas — not just products. All sessions are related to the conference theme to enable in-depth exploration of each topic. Most of the presentations and tutorials at CAST are first-run content. We’ve assembled a cast of practitioners and thought-leaders with interesting stories and provoking ideas.

CAST is accompanied with unique tutorials: AST lines up unique interactive full-day tutorials — each led by recognized thought leaders in their areas of expertise.

Our hope is that CAST helps you advance the understanding and practice of testing — at your organization and around the globe. You’ll have opportunities to share your ideas and learn from thought-leaders, trainers, authors, and peers. CAST is a participatory conference where everyone is encouraged to participate and enjoy.

CAST puts CONFER back into Conference: What makes CAST unique is that we focus on the confer part of the word conference over anything else. Each scheduled session consists of a presentation followed by facilitated discussion about that presentation. Unless instructed otherwise, you may only ask clarifying questions while a speaker is presenting. Once a speaker is done, it becomes Open Season – at which point the floor is opened for discussion.

CAST 2017 Keynote Speakers

Dave Snowden

Dave Snowden

Founder, Cognitive Edge

Dave Snowden has been one of the leading figures in the movement towards integration of humanistic approaches to knowledge management with appropriate technology and process design. Well known for his work on the role of narrative and sensemaking, he is an entertaining speaker and a formidable realist, and one of the few thought leaders who can bring together the academic and practitioner perspectives into a single, comprehensible purview.

He is Founder & Chief Scientific Officer -Cognitive Edge (formerly the Cynefin Centre) which focuses on the development of the theory and practice of social complexity. The Cynefin Centre spun off from IBM in July 2005 to allow it greater freedom to explore new trans-disciplinary and participatory approaches to research and the creation of an open source approach to management consultancy. The Cynefin framework which lies at the heart of the approach has been recognized by several commentators as one of the first practical application of complexity theory to management science and builds on earlier pioneering work in Knowledge Management.

A native of Wales, he was formerly a Director in the IBM Institute for Knowledge Management where he led programmes on complexity and narrative. He pioneered the use of narrative as a means of knowledge disclosure and cross-cultural understanding. He is a leading keynote speaker at major conferences around the world and is known for his iconoclastic style, pragmatic cynicism and extensive use of stories to communicate what would otherwise be difficult concepts. Tom Stewart, the new editor of Harvard Business Review in his latest book states in the context of tacit knowledge “Dave Snowden, the best thinker I’ve found on the subject …” although by way of counter he also comments “he is Welsh and a bit mad”.

Dave Snowden has an MBA from Middlesex University and a BA in Philosophy from Lancaster University. He is adjunct Professor of Knowledge Management at the University of Canberra, an honorary fellow in knowledge management at the University of Warwick, Adjunct Professor at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and MiNE Fellow at the Universita Cattolica Del Sacro Cuore in Italy. He teaches on various university programmes throughout the world. He regularly consults at the board level with some of the world’s largest companies as well as to Government and NGOs and was recently appointed as an advisor on sense making to the Singaporean Ministry of Defence. In addition he sits on a number of advisory and other bodies including the British Standards Institute committee on standards for Knowledge Management.

Mary Thorn

Mary Thorn

Director of Agile Practices at Ipreo

Chief Storyteller of The Three Pillars of Agile Testing and Quality, Mary Thorn is Director of Agile Practices at Ipreo in Raleigh, NC. Mary has a broad testing background that spans automation, data warehouses, and web-based systems in a wide variety of technologies and testing techniques. During her more than nineteen years of experience in healthcare, HR, financial, and SaaS-based products, Mary has held manager- and contributor-level positions in software development organizations. A strong leader in agile testing methodologies, Mary has direct experience leading teams through agile adoption and beyond.

The Tales of Agile Testers: Transforming Agile Testing at Scale.

Scaling Agile Teams is hard. Getting senior leadership buyin when they can barely spell Agile and never had invested in good testing is even harder. Then you add the complexity of laying the ground work of good testing practices and development practices and being consistent across multiple teams and you have a big ball of mess. Come along with Mary were she tells the stories of transforming her organization from waterfall to agile, building out the entire testing practice, and changing a culture from date driven to quality driven.

There will be tales of successes when she expected failure, tales of failures that lead to major learnings and tales of changing a culture to care about quality. The journey will describe how consistency drives quality, how defining a vision/mission and strategy empowers testers to own the practices, and knowing the goal of “What Good Testing Looks Like” allows you to model this across many teams.It might also tell you what testers really do in Agile.

A location for inspiration 

Gaylord Opryland hotel in Nashville, TN, August 16 – 18  2017.