I just attended my second professional testing conference, ever, and overall really enjoyed the experience. Since this year’s CAST was held in my hometown of Seattle, Washington it really was a no-brainer to decide to attend and four of my team committed to going. I have so many new ideas rattling around in my head demanding attention, I can tell I’m going to be busy noodling through them over the next few days.
Before I stumble off to bed to sleep the sleep of the mentally exhausted, I wanted to note down a couple things I noticed that make CAST stand out as a extremely useful conference:
- CAST is a community-based conference. Conferring is encouraged. Commenting and questioning is encouraged through facilitated question and answer time after each session. Debate is encouraged. It’s a conference that is one large conversation about testing, specifically context-driven testing.
- All the sessions touch on skills and concepts, not necessarily specific tools, so you can walk out of a session thinking of ways it could be applied to your testing context.
- It’s small, but global. This of course will change, but at the moment it attracts passionate, dedicated attendees from all over the world while still being a manageable size. It really lets you feel like you could walk up and have a chat with anyone.
I will definitely be attending next year, and will definitely be working with my team to add some new tools to our tool belt.
Tomorrow I’ll write more about CAST 2011, after I get some sleep! Also, next week I will start the BBST Foundations course through the AST. Wish me luck, I hear it’s quite an experience…