CAST 2020 Tutorials

We are happy to offer six different full-day tutorials spread over Monday the 3rd and Tuesday the 4th of August 2020.

Monday August 3rd:

Robert Sabourin

Zen and the Art of Test Management

Successfully leading teams on projects that consistently meet time, quality, and budget constraints is a critical skill set of the test manager. But when transitioning to agile, the test manager is often left out in the cold, with the argument that there is simply no need for them anymore. But this role is not obsolete; the test manager remains critical in both agile transitions and agile team creation, development, and evolution. Rob Sabourin will show how the test manager can become an influential advocate and trusted advisor to product owners, stakeholders, and agile team members. He’ll provide methods and techniques to help test managers make a difference and actually drive success in agile product development efforts through proven, effective, real-world techniques. You’ll learn to become an influential agent of change by identifying critical skills, implementing transitional pathways, and mentoring testers as they participate in agile projects. You’ll leave with methods and techniques to energize testers, promote effective collaboration among agile team members, and provide sage guidance to agile product owners.



Robert Sabourin has more than thirty-five years of management experience leading teams of software development professionals. A highly respected member of the software engineering community, Rob has managed, trained, mentored, and coached hundreds of top professionals in the field. He frequently speaks at conferences and writes on software engineering, SQA, testing, management, and internationalization. Rob authored I am a Bug!, the popular software testing children’s book; works as an adjunct professor of software engineering at McGill University; and serves as the principal consultant (and president/janitor) of AmiBug.Com, Inc. 


Hilary Robb-Weaver

Zero to API Testing Champion in One Day

Web services and APIs make up a huge chunk of the code in the applications we test, but either we’re not aware of the APIs or we’re asked to focus on the user interface instead. But those APIs are where all of the business logic for the application is exposed, and can hide some pretty nasty bugs.

In this full-day workshop, we’ll learn what APIs are and then tackle an API testing project ourselves – from understanding the documentation, how the UI uses the API using DevTools in the browser, testing with Postman, and finally writing some automated checks with C#. By the end of the day, you’ll have a solid understanding of what APIs are and why we should test them, how HTTP response codes fit into our testing, how familiar UI tests translate into API tests, how to use Postman to test our APIs, how to read some common API documentation, how to use DevTools to find how the UI is using the API, prioritize and plan our automation, and create a framework with some automated checks against the API in C#. You can walk into work after this ready to champion the API testing love and add valuable tests right away!


Hilary Weaver-Robb is a software quality architect at Detroit-based Quicken Loans. She is a mentor to her fellow testers, makes friends with developers, and helps teams level-up their quality processes, tools, and techniques. Hilary loves to help train folks in API testing and automation, using static analysis to inform our testing, and has always been passionate about improving the relationships between developers and testers, and evangelizes software testing as a rewarding, viable career. She runs the Motor City Software Testers user group, working to build a community of quality advocates. Hilary tweets (a lot) as @g33klady, and you can find her thoughts and experiences in the testing world, at

 Lisa Crispin and Melissa Eaden

Growing a DevOps Culture: How testers and others contribute

Have you ever found the need for change, but had no idea how to move forward? Without a clear path or the support necessary to succeed, change – especially cultural change – can be daunting. Transformation can be scary and faced with resistance, but it doesn’t have to be. 

At the heart of DevOps is the idea that teams work together to innovate faster, reducing the length of feedback loops and delivering value. Applying principles of collaborative practices, continuous improvements, incremental testing, and continuous learning can transform culture – not only within development teams, but also in some less obvious places.
Join us as we go through some real-world examples of applying principles that can lead to real change! We’ll look at principles and practices from agile, continuous delivery, testing, DevOps and more.
Participants will practice techniques that help testers and other specialists on the team contribute to cultural change. We’ll take a look at ways to get organized and find your team’s purpose, identify and prioritize work, learn and define iterative feedback loops, and design experiments for continuous learning.

 Learning takeaways: 

  • How to apply Modern Testing principles to help build a quality culture 
  • Ways to get the whole team, including operations specialists and business stakeholders, collaborating to build quality in and continually improve 
  • Tools such as the test suite canvas and pipeline visualization to design a pipeline that gives your team confidence to release frequently 
  • Ways to shorten feedback loops, identify and mitigate risks 
  • Ways your team can design experiments to address the many challenges of testing in a continuous world 

Audience: Testers/QA professionals, managers, coaches, developers, anyone on a delivery or operations team looking to embrace DevOps values, practices and principles and succeed in our continuous world.  

Participant requirements: Nothing! No computers. All the exercises use simulations.


Lisa Crispin

Lisa Crispin is the co-author, with Janet Gregory, of More Agile Testing: Learning Journeys for the Whole Team (2014), Agile Testing: A Practical Guide for Testers and Agile Teams (2009), the LiveLessons Agile Testing Essentials video course, and “The Whole Team Approach to Agile Testing” 3-day training course. Lisa was voted by her peers as the Most Influential Agile Testing Professional Person at Agile Testing Days in 2012. She’s a testing practitioner who enjoys helping people find ways to build more quality into their software products. Please visit and for more.

Melissa Eaden

Melissa Eaden has worked for more than a decade with tech companies such as Security Benefit, HomeAway, ThoughtWorks, and now Unity Technologies. Melissa’s previous career in mass media continues to lend itself to her current career endeavors. She enjoys being an editor and writer for Ministry of Testing, supporting their community mission for software testers globally. She can be found on Twitter and Slack @melthetester.  

Tuesday August 4th:

Angie Jone

Visual Validation for Test Automation

Functional test automation is a wonderful way to frequently and expeditiously execute regression testing. However, the test scripts that we write are limited to the few assertions we’ve considered. Many times, these assertions only cover the tip of the iceberg and account for a small fraction of what a human being would have subconsciously verified.

For example, a test automation script can verify that when adding 2 and 2 via a calculator app, the sum that is returned on screen is 4. But does the 4 appear correctly? Is it upside down? Or sideways? Is it the right color? Are there errors that appear on other areas of the screen? These are all things that the human eye would notice, but an automated regression test would not. The test would continue to pass, even with all of the aforementioned errors. This is where visual validation comes in!

Visual validation is a relatively new concept to add to your test automation toolbox. Applitools, a sophisticated visual validation tool, uses AI to mimic the human eye and brain to verify the look and feel of your application.

In this workshop, you will develop automated UI tests using Java, Selenium WebDriver, JUnit, and Applitools. You’ll learn when and where to add visual assertions, how to work with various match levels including ones suitable for dynamic content, and how to evaluate and resolve visual test results.

Existing familiarity with test automation (even if with different tools) will be helpful for this workshop. 


Angie Jones is a Senior Developer Advocate who specializes in test automation strategies and techniques. She shares her wealth of knowledge by speaking and teaching at software conferences all over the world, writing tutorials and technical articles on, and leading the online learning platform, Test Automation University.

As a Master Inventor, Angie is known for her innovative and out-of-the-box thinking style which has resulted in more than 25 patented inventions in the US and China. In her spare time, Angie volunteers with Black Girls Code to teach coding workshops to young girls in an effort to attract more women and minorities to tech.

Damian Synadinos

Improv(e) Your Testing

Improvisational comedy—sometimes called improv—is a form of theater in which the performance is created in the moment. Successful improv involves learning and using a variety of skills and techniques which allow performers to quickly adapt to a constantly changing environment and new information. Now reread the previous sentence, but replace the word improv with testing.

In many ways, improv is a great analogy for testing. As both an experienced improviser and tester, Damian Synadinos presents some of the many similarities between improv and testing. Each improv tip and trick is thoroughly described and demonstrated with help from the audience. Damian then explains and shows how the very same idea can be applied in a testing context. Using creative metaphors and critical analysis, old ideas about testing are reframed in novel and notable ways.

Whether novice or experienced, you are sure to laugh, learn, and leave with ways to help improv(e) your testing!


For more than 25 years, Damian Synadinos has been helping “build better software and build software better” through testing. Now, through his company Ineffable Solutions, he helps “build better people”. Damian is an international keynote speaker and trainer, delivering talks that are focused on fundamental topics and people-skills, based on real-world experience, and supplemented with deep research. His diverse experience spans many roles, companies, and industries, including finance, retail, insurance, education, and realty. Damian also helps organize an annual, regional testing conference (, has over 10 years of theatrical improv experience, and authored and illustrated a children’s book, “Hank and Stella in Something from Nothing” (

Ash Winter and Rob Meaney


Risk-Driven Design Through Testability & Operability 

Testability and operability together give us a powerful set of tools and techniques to manage risk. Improving our testing through testability enables us to manage risks that we can anticipate better. Testing as a single risk management strategy is not enough, as there are always risks we can’t anticipate. Operability gives us the ability to manage these risks. Giving our systems the capability to recover quickly and minimise impact helps us to mitigate and learn from these inevitable challenges.

Many systems are built without a diverse range of stakeholders involved in their design. Limited thinking around risk is a common phenomenon coupled with a belief that risks will never manifest themselves. Testers are well placed to bring their skills to this design process. Often though, we see testers who struggle to advocate for the design changes needed to mitigate for risk and make their testing lives better. We can be key contributors to risk driven design. 

This tutorial will focus on four operability attributes and the tactics to acheive them: 1. Controlled risk exposure using techniques such as feature toggles and blue-green deployment. 2. System observability using logs, traces and metrics to detect and anticipate risk. 3. Decomposed deployment using a single change-set. 4. Simplified deployment using single click deploy and rollback.

Ash and Rob will bring their experience of advocating for testability and operability in various organisations. In addition, the shared knowledge of writing, speaking and training in these contexts for the last few years. This knowledge is shared and enhanced through your stories of design and architecture. Each system design needs to address its own set of risks. Having the tools and knowledge to help our teams drive design with risk is crucial for testing. 


  • Recognise the key concepts of testability and operability in a design context.
  • Understand how testability and operability relate to known and unknown risks.
  • Identify the tactics use to improve the four operability attributes.
  • Apply these tactics to risk driven design challenges. Biography


Ash Winter

I’m Ash Winter, an independent tester and conference speaker. My formative years as a consultant gave a broad background in software development. Experience in testing, performance engineering, and automation of both build and test. I even spent a while being a Scrum Master and Product Owner. This set me up for a move into the crazy world of startups, which left me with a tale or two to tell. After exploring all these options, I decided that focusing on testing was my path and I work for myself now. Spending my time speaking, training, writing, performing testing and coaching when invited. In order for testing to advance as a craft, I believe in a strong focus on community. Sharing knowledge and skills within and across organisations is key to helping everyone to be the best they can be. To this end, I am very proud to say I’m a co-organiser for the Leeds Testing Atelier. A free full day community testing workshop, for all people involved in testing. There are many roles that are involved in testing a product, it is important to hear from all of them to find the information we seek.

Rob Meaney

Rob Meaney is a tester that loves tough testing and software delivery problems. As Head of Quality Engineering in Glofox, Rob works with development teams to improve the quality of both their software products and processes using agile and lean principles. He is an active member of the online testing community, co-founder of Ministry of Test Cork, speaks frequently at software conferences and is the co-author of “Team Guide to Software Testability” alongside Ash Winter. Previously he has held positions as Test Manager, Automation Architect and Test Engineer with companies of varying sizes, from large multinationals like Intel, Ericsson & EMC to early-stage startups like Trustev. He has worked in diverse areas from highly regulated industries like safety automation & fraud detection to dynamic, exciting industries like gaming.