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The Association for Software Testing is pleased to announce its tenth annual conference, CAST 2015 “Moving Testing Forward,”to be held in Grand Rapids, Michigan, August 3-5.Since our first CAST we  have seen dramatic changes in the nature of communications and the nature of delivery, from PC to client/server to the web and web services. Deployment is different; monitoring is different, builds and test tooling are different. We have a variety of new models and methods for our testing. CAST is where we talk about how they actually work out in practice, based on experience. At our tenth CAST, in 2015 speakers will be presenting stories, workshops and tutorials regarding their experiences surrounding how to advance software testing.

Join us this summer for our tenth annual conference in downtown Grand Rapids at the beautiful Grand Plaza Hotel August 3-5, as we explore “Moving Testing Forward.”

IMPORTANT NOTE: Creating a profile on this site does not constitute registering to attend the conference. If you would like to attend and have not yet registered, please Learn More » or Register Now »

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Monday, August 3
 

8:00am

Breakfast
French Toast Buffet
Fried Potatoes
Bacon
Turkey Link Sausage
Yogurt
Fruit
Breads/muffins
Coffee, tea, water & juice

Monday August 3, 2015 8:00am - 9:00am
Ambassador East

8:00am

Registration
Volunteers
avatar for Dawn Haynes

Dawn Haynes

Senior Trainer and Consultant, PerfTestPlus
Dawn Haynes is a Senior Trainer and Consultant for PerfTestPlus, and has previously held the position of Secretary and Director for the Association for Software Testing. A highly regarded trainer of software testers, she blends experience and humor to provide testers of all levels with tools and techniques to help them generate new approaches to common and complex software testing problems.  In addition to training, Dawn is... Read More →
avatar for Dee Ann Pizzica

Dee Ann Pizzica

Sr. Software Quality Engineer, Salesforce
Dee Ann Pizzica is a software tester in the Chicago area. She is currently employed at Salesforce, where she works remote with a fantastic Indianapolis-based team. Dee Ann has been exploring the software industry for over ten years. She is an active member of the Association for Software Testing since 2007. She served two terms on the AST board of directors, holding executive committee positions as both Executive Vice President and... Read More →

Monday August 3, 2015 8:00am - 9:00am
Registration Desk

9:00am

Mobile App Coverage Using Mind Maps

All testers know to derive functional tests from the available requirements. But the key problems in mobile app testing is factoring in mobile devices integrated features like orientation, location tracking, notifications and demanding and impatient mobile phone users.

Join Dhanasekar Subramaniam to discover how to create better test coverage models using mind maps for apps build on iOS and Android. Explore to design tests using LONG FUN CUP test model at the UI level to identify issues beyond the usual functional and non-functional testing. Even if a smartphone app has a sleek UI, users will uninstall the app if it drains their battery, crashes frequently or wastes the user’s data plan. Learn how to design mobile tests and what tools he uses to uncover issues hidden under mobile UI.

Dhanasekar will demonstrate and consult the audience on providing better test coverage for mobile apps using mind maps, do session based testing, simplify a complex looking testing problem and ensure no wandering and accountable mission based mobile app testing success.


Speakers
avatar for Dhanasekar Subramaniam

Dhanasekar Subramaniam

Head - Mobility Testing CoE, Nous Infosystems
Dhanasekar Subramaniam(DS) describes himself as “A pragmatic software tester and a firm believer in Context Driven Testing with over 10 years of software testing experience, with current focus on testing iOS and Android apps. An avid mindmapping specialist, inspired by Steve Jobs, Gerald Weinberg and Jony Ive and a strong believer of technology that gifts better life to mankind.” He currently leads twenty young, energetic testers in... Read More →


Monday August 3, 2015 9:00am - 5:00pm
Vandenberg B

9:00am

Speaking Truth to Power: Delivering Difficult Messages [SOLD OUT]

A passion for the truth is essential for a tester. But the truths we uncover in the exercise of our craft can be bad news to our co-workers or to people who hold more power in the hierarchy than we do.

Testers are paid to deliver unwelcome messages. Too often, the interaction doesn’t go as well as we’d like and we have to deal with adverse reactions ranging from merely disbelieving to downright hostile.

Delivering bad news well takes courage and skill, as does dealing with many of the recipient’s reactions. For most people, the ability to do these things at all—let alone well—does not come easily.

In this tutorial, we will practice delivering difficult messages and addressing the fallout, building relevant skills and knowledge along the way. We will explore the factors that can inhibit us in delivering a message, as well as those that might influence a recipient’s reactions.

Topics we’ll cover include:

  • Common pitfalls in delivering difficult messages, and how to avoid them
  • Questions to ask and things to do before we speak
  • Strategies, models and techniques that can help us understand and deal with difficult conversations successfully

 Delivering unwelcome news isn’t fun, but we can have fun exploring and practicing how to do it. This tutorial will consist primarily of experiential exercises and debriefs. We will practice with real situations that have happened for real testers, including past or current problems brought by participants.


Speakers
avatar for Fiona Charles

Fiona Charles

Principal Consultant, Quality Intelligence
Fiona Charles teaches organizations to manage their software testing risk, and IT practitioners project skills "beyond process" - hands-on practical skills essential to thrive and excel on any kind of software project. An expert test consultant and manager, she has been in the thick of the action through 30+ years of challenging projects across the business spectrum on both sides of the Atlantic. Throughout her career, Fiona has advocated... Read More →


Monday August 3, 2015 9:00am - 5:00pm
Governors Room

9:00am

Testing Fundamentals for Experienced Testers [SOLD OUT]

Through years of experience you have mastered testing in your domain. But are important bugs still slipping by? Can you transfer your skills to new applications? Why can’t others get the job done? Test fundamentals can help.

Rob Sabourin breaks testing fundamentals into five areas, philosophy, scientific method, problem solving, math and rhetoric. Test philosophy improves purposeful testing revealing truths about what testing can and cannot do. Scientific method provides frameworks to advance knowledge confirming or refute conjectures while designing great test experiments. Many problem solving strategies exist based on modeling knowledge and the unknown. Math (discrete, logic, combinations and probability) improves test design and result interpretation. Rhetoric skills improve tester’s communication, argumentation and persuasion.

Applying testing fundamentals focuses testing, closes gaps, eliminates waste and helps you do the right things well. Rob teaches you “how to know about what to test” and “what to know about how to test”.


Speakers
avatar for Robert Sabourin

Robert Sabourin

principle consultant (and president/janitor), Amibug
Robert Sabourin has more than thirty years of management experience, leading teams of software development professionals. A well-respected member of the software engineering community, Robert has managed, trained, mentored and coached thousands of top professionals in the field. He frequently speaks at conferences and writes on software engineering, SQA, testing, management, and internationalization. The author of I am a Bug!, the popular... Read More →


Monday August 3, 2015 9:00am - 5:00pm
Gerald R Ford Room

9:00am

“Follow-your-nose” Testing – Questioning Rules and Overturning Convention [SOLD OUT]

Is testing really keeping up with the advances of software development? Are our testing approaches evolving as quickly as the new technologies, or are we being left behind, using the same methods and techniques as we did a decade ago?

Testing needs to get more innovative, find new ways to test more efficiently and effectively, and to better adapt to each unique context. The first step is to realize that testing is not about finding answers, but about asking questions. Nobel laureate Dr. Michael Smith advocated “follow-your-nose research” in his field, biotechnology; he was willing to pursue new ideas even if it meant that he had to learn new methods or technologies. Similarly testers should do “follow-your nose testing”, exploring new approaches and questioning old habits.

This tutorial suggests an approach for test planning that encourages innovation and overcomes barriers to quality. Through a cogent discussion of ideas around brainstorming, collaboration and creativity, you are provided with new insights that can help you revolutionize the test industry! Working in smaller groups we explore different examples of test challenges we have experienced ourselves, covering topics ranging from tools and environments to methodologies and teams. Using our new tools for encouraging innovation through collaboration, we try to come up with revolutionary suggestions for how to address these challenges. Focusing on asking the right questions, we might also come up with a few answers.

Takeaways

  • A presentation of ideas about why testing needs to get more innovative
  • Why classic brainstorming doesn’t work, and how to build creative, innovative teams
  • Tools to re-invent testing practices
  • An understanding of what “follow-your-nose testing” is, and how to apply it on any software development project

Speakers
avatar for Christin Wiedemann

Christin Wiedemann

Chief Scientist, Professional Quality Assurance (PQA) Ltd
After finishing her PhD in Physics at Stockholm University, Christin Wiedemann started working as a software developer for the Swedish consulting company HiQ. Christin soon discovered that software testing was more interesting and challenging than development and subsequently joined the Swedish test company AddQ Consulting. At AddQ, she worked as a tester, test lead and trainer, giving courses on agile testing, test design and exploratory testing... Read More →


Monday August 3, 2015 9:00am - 5:00pm
Vandenberg A

10:30am

Break
Coffee, tea, water & soft drinks

Monday August 3, 2015 10:30am - 10:45am
Foyer

12:00pm

Lunch
Open Pit BBQ Buffet
 - Vegetarian options available
Coffee, tea, water & soft drinks

Monday August 3, 2015 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Ambassador East

3:00pm

Break
Monday August 3, 2015 3:00pm - 3:15pm
Foyer

5:45pm

Tips and Tricks for New Speakers
This is a short, informal session for people who are new to speaking at conferences or are interested in speaking but have never done it before. Rob Sabourin will walk you through a relaxed session and share ideas and lessons from his great repertoire and experience.

Speakers
avatar for Robert Sabourin

Robert Sabourin

principle consultant (and president/janitor), Amibug
Robert Sabourin has more than thirty years of management experience, leading teams of software development professionals. A well-respected member of the software engineering community, Robert has managed, trained, mentored and coached thousands of top professionals in the field. He frequently speaks at conferences and writes on software engineering, SQA, testing, management, and internationalization. The author of I am a Bug!, the popular... Read More →


Monday August 3, 2015 5:45pm - 6:30pm
Vandenberg B

6:00pm

Facilitator Meeting
Review what facilitators do at CAST, make sure everyone is comfortable with the role and is ready for the start of the conference itself.

Moderators
avatar for Peter Walen

Peter Walen

Conference Chair
Peter Walen has been in software development for over 25 years.  After working many years as a programmer, he moved to software testing and QA.  After dabbling in Project Management and Business Analysis, he returned to software testing, where he has been working since 1999.  He converted to Context Driven testing 2001, rejecting his former heresy and repenting since then. Part of this repentance has been to spread the word... Read More →

Volunteers
avatar for Dee Ann Pizzica

Dee Ann Pizzica

Sr. Software Quality Engineer, Salesforce
Dee Ann Pizzica is a software tester in the Chicago area. She is currently employed at Salesforce, where she works remote with a fantastic Indianapolis-based team. Dee Ann has been exploring the software industry for over ten years. She is an active member of the Association for Software Testing since 2007. She served two terms on the AST board of directors, holding executive committee positions as both Executive Vice President and... Read More →

Monday August 3, 2015 6:00pm - 6:30pm
Vandenberg A

7:00pm

"Beer Testing" Tour

This is an extra session, not part of the conference or tutorials. Grand Rapids has been featured in several beer magazines and was named “Beer City” for the number an quality of the breweries that call the city home. We are offering a “Tour” of some of the local breweries, including Founders, Mitten Brewing and Grand Rapids Brewing Company.

This features a rotating shuttle from the venue to each of the locations, with around 15 minutes between each bus pulling up. The shuttles will run between 7:00 PM and 11:00 PM.

The per-person cost is $15 to cover the cost of the shuttle buses. This does not include any beer – just hassle-free transportation.

Starting at 7:00 PM, Monday evening, a shuttle bus will leave the Grand Plaza (Lyon Street entrance) and head to the following locations: The bus will return to each location in 15 to 20 minutes, depending on traffic.

To reserve a spot, click here.

Monday August 3, 2015 7:00pm - 11:00pm
Lyon Street Entrance to Hotel
 
Tuesday, August 4
 

8:00am

Breakfast
Scrambled Egg Buffet
Fried Potatoes
Turkey Bacon
Link Sausage
Yogurt
Fruit
Bread & muffins
Coffee, tea, water & juice

Tuesday August 4, 2015 8:00am - 9:00am
Ambassador East

8:00am

Registration
Volunteers
avatar for Dawn Haynes

Dawn Haynes

Senior Trainer and Consultant, PerfTestPlus
Dawn Haynes is a Senior Trainer and Consultant for PerfTestPlus, and has previously held the position of Secretary and Director for the Association for Software Testing. A highly regarded trainer of software testers, she blends experience and humor to provide testers of all levels with tools and techniques to help them generate new approaches to common and complex software testing problems.  In addition to training, Dawn is... Read More →
avatar for Dee Ann Pizzica

Dee Ann Pizzica

Sr. Software Quality Engineer, Salesforce
Dee Ann Pizzica is a software tester in the Chicago area. She is currently employed at Salesforce, where she works remote with a fantastic Indianapolis-based team. Dee Ann has been exploring the software industry for over ten years. She is an active member of the Association for Software Testing since 2007. She served two terms on the AST board of directors, holding executive committee positions as both Executive Vice President and... Read More →

Tuesday August 4, 2015 8:00am - 9:00am
Registration Desk

9:00am

Welcome
Volunteers
avatar for Peter Walen

Peter Walen

Conference Chair
Peter Walen has been in software development for over 25 years.  After working many years as a programmer, he moved to software testing and QA.  After dabbling in Project Management and Business Analysis, he returned to software testing, where he has been working since 1999.  He converted to Context Driven testing 2001, rejecting his former heresy and repenting since then. Part of this repentance has been to spread the word... Read More →

Tuesday August 4, 2015 9:00am - 9:25am
Ambassador West

9:25am

Moving Testing Forward

What is our current knowledge base? What gaps in our knowledge do we want to address? Who and where can we look to for continued learning? Karen outlines a way forward which includes contemplating yourself, your coworkers, the leaders in your life and the wider professional community. She envisions a future that involves more than just technology changes, but also changes in the business world and the evolving global economy.

Karen looks at how business influences our careers, our opportunities and our future.  After her ideas on how to think about how these ideas come together to move forward, Karen ends the session answering your questions, and ends with a proposal for how you can move testing forward.


Speakers
avatar for Karen N Johnson

Karen N Johnson

Sr QE Manager, Salesforce
Karen N. Johnson has worked as a software test consultant for several years. She currently works at Salesforce. While focused on software testing and predominantly working with the testers throughout an organization, Karen helps teams and organizations improve quality overall. Her professional activities include speaking at conferences both in the US and internationally. Karen is a contributing author to the book, Beautiful Testing by O’Reilly... Read More →



Tuesday August 4, 2015 9:25am - 10:45am
Ambassador West

10:45am

Break
Coffee, tea, water & soft drinks

Tuesday August 4, 2015 10:45am - 11:05am
Foyer

11:05am

Building A Culture Of Quality, A Real World Example
“Quality is everyone’s responsibility.”  This statement is frequently used in the software industry when talking about the role of a tester, often times without an explanation of what it means or how to achieve it. If there is a description provided, the focus is often on the skills and task of the tester. Focusing on the tester seems almost ironic when the statement talks about making quality *everyone’s* responsibility.

So how do we make quality everyone’s responsibility? We build a culture of quality; all the tools, skills, and processes in the world won’t help raise the quality bar without quality being part of the DNA of the company. How the heck do we do that?

Josh will give real world examples from Amazon and Salesforce that have helped build and evolve a quality culture from the ground up. He will also share painful examples that can become a reality if you don't build quality into your culture.

Speakers
avatar for Josh Meier

Josh Meier

Architect, Quality Engineering, Salesforce
Josh Meier is a Quality Engineering Architect at Salesforce currently working on infrastructure engineering. He has been working with software for about 15 years. He originally started as a developer but was drawn towards quality. After making the switch he has been focused on helping people understand that quality isn't a job title but is an integral part of the software process.



Tuesday August 4, 2015 11:05am - 12:20pm
Vandenberg A

11:05am

Learning To Lead: Making An Impact By Improving Yourself

Sometimes we recognize a need for improvement in our test organization, but it can be difficult to accomplish when you are not in a formal leadership position. For me, the solution was to first commit to self-improvement. I read blogs, magazines, and Twitter, and joined groups like Weekend Testing, Miagi-Do, and Software Development 24/7. I learned techniques like pair/collaborative testing and evaluating risks to determine what to test.

New projects and hallway discussions helped me introduce these techniques to my team. My relationships with the Customer Support team allowed me to introduce pair testing for training, replacing assigning scripts to new trainees. I improved coverage and reduced effort on a regression project by evaluating risk to determine which test cases to include. I started a team discussion on our existing test cases, and as a result, I've been asked to study how the team can write better test cases. By sharing self-improvement ideas and ways to build relationships inside and outside of the test team, attendees can learn to improve their test team’s effectiveness.


Speakers
avatar for Carol Brands

Carol Brands

Software Tester, DNV GL Software
Carol Brands began her software career working as a technical support representative, where she developed an empathy and understanding for her users. After choosing to focus on testing, she moved to DNV GL Software and spent the next three years developing her testing skills and studying online. Carol became a student of Miagi-Do School of Testing, presented a poster paper at PNSQC, joined Software Delivery 24/7, and actively participates in... Read More →



Tuesday August 4, 2015 11:05am - 12:20pm
Governors Room

11:05am

The Context Driven Tester In The Lean Startup
The Lean Startup movement focuses relentlessly on pushing value to customers quickly and reducing waste, in part through encouraging a culture of exploration and experimentation. As testers, we can apply our critical thinking and analysis skills, and our willingness to be creative and notice what no one else does to greatly improve product/market fit and generate revenue-producing information for our firms.  In this talk, we will examine some of the main ideas of the Lean Startup movement (build-measure-learn, A/B testing, minimum viable product, and continuous innovation) in the light of the principles of context-driven testing. The current interest in Lean techniques in the enterprise indicates a massive demand for testing skills that may not be identified as such.  We will map our experiences as testers to the Lean Startup ideas (and buzzwords) to assist in making the case for a crucial role for testers in the product marketing function.

Speakers
avatar for Thomas Vaniotis

Thomas Vaniotis

Product Manager, Liquidnet
Thomas Vaniotis has over ten years of experience as a tester, developer, and product analyst. At NYC-based institutional brokerage Liquidnet, he is the product manager for internal and external customer tools that manage multiple complex trading applications. He is interested in data-driven business analysis, customer experience design, exploratory testing, and the theory of software creation. His undergraduate background in music and... Read More →


Tuesday August 4, 2015 11:05am - 12:20pm
Vandenberg B

11:05am

From Test Cases to Context-Driven: A Startup Story
The financial industry is notorious for its unwillingness to change. Change is often avoided unless absolutely necessary, and usually at the behest of company executives. This is the story of Gary's journey moving from test cases to context-driven testing in a start-up financial technology company and the invitation to change that never arrived.

He felt motivated to change the company's approach and moved from a test case culture to a testing program based on a heuristic test strategy model. This journey required planning, passion, a leap of faith, and applying other tester’s advice and experiences.  His team incorporated techniques and approaches learned in rapid software testing, learning many lessons through this experience.

Gary will show you how to plan your own journey towards context-driven testing and how to gain confidence in enacting that change. Additionally, he will show how to combine community advice with your own experience to catalyze improvements and forward momentum. He will also share tips on how to obtain support from people who matter, and how your passion for testing can help teams embrace change.

Speakers
avatar for Gary Miller

Gary Miller

Director of Testing and Release, Boku, Inc
Gary Miller is the Director of Testing and Release at Boku Inc. in San Francisco, where he and his team have moved from a test case culture to context-driven testing. He has been in software testing for 12 years, starting out as a test pilot for an auto club startup, then making his way through e-commerce, dating/media portals, and most recently, mobile payments. When he isn’t testing software, he spends time in the kitchen, relying... Read More →



Tuesday August 4, 2015 11:05am - 12:20pm
Ambassador West

12:20pm

Lunch
Southwest Lunch Buffet
Coffee, tea, water & soft drinks

Tuesday August 4, 2015 12:20pm - 1:30pm
Ambassador East

1:30pm

Should Testers Code?
Some people have suggested that the days of the human, thinking-only tester are numbered. Others believe that time writing code means time spent not testing, and that coding subtly changes the perspective of the tester away from the customer.

We invited two leaders in the field, Henrik Andersson and Jeff "Cheesy" Morgan, to assume these opposing positions and lead a debate. Hear both perspectives, see what aligns with your context, and make your own informed decision to move your own part of test forward.

Moderators
avatar for Erik Davis

Erik Davis

Manager of Testing, Hyland Software, Inc.
Erik is currently responsible for the overall testing effort of a team of 170 testers. He owns, reviews, and finds ways to improve the way testing is done including; bringing new ideas to the team, finding ways to engage testers in testing as a career, and building a stronger community for testers in the Northeastern Ohio region. Erik is a sometimes speaker, blogger, and participant in online tester communities. He is the founder of NOTiCE... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Henrik Andersson

Henrik Andersson

CEO, House of Test
Henrik Andersson is Co-founder and CEO of House of Test Consulting, a context driven testing consultancy based in Sweden, Denmark and China. Besides House of Test, Henrik also co-founded Let´s Test, Europe´s first annual conference on context driven testing. The conference has set a new bar for testing conferences around the world. | 2013 has was a busy year; Henrik founded the local user group ConTest in Malmö, Sweden... Read More →
avatar for Jeff

Jeff "Cheezy" Morgan

CTO / Agile Coach, LeanDog
Cheezy is an international speaker and keynote presenter in different Agile conferences. He has spoken 6 times at the Agile 20XX conferences as well as other ones like Agile development East and West, Mile High Agile, Agile and Beyond, Path to Agility, etc.


Tuesday August 4, 2015 1:30pm - 2:45pm
Governors Room

1:30pm

Testing Is Your Brand: Sell It!

Do you feel misunderstood? Do you feel like what you do isn’t respected by those you work with? Are you afraid for the future of testing at your company? You aren’t alone. Those feelings are common in the testing community. Most people feel that there is nothing they can do to help the situation.

This interactive talk will give individuals the tools they can practically use to become the solution they are looking for. We’ll dive into how to own your own reputation, the importance of setting clear expectations, and how to talk to non-testers about testing. This may sound like marketing … and that’s because it is.

As the Director of Quality Assurance at a Digital Advertising Agency Kate Falanga has seen where marketing and testing can successfully merge. Testing is a brand and you represent that brand. Are you Walmart or Tiffany’s? You decide. Here’s how.


Speakers
avatar for Kate Falanga

Kate Falanga

Director, Quality Assurance, Huge
Kate Falanga (Director, Quality Assurance at Huge) has over 14 years of digital experience. At Huge she works with a full time team of quality assurance professionals as well as actively supports projects and project teams with testing mentorship. As part of her role she works alongside other leadership within the company on overall technical strategy. Outside of Huge, Kate co-created  the New York City Testing meetup group whose goal is... Read More →


Tuesday August 4, 2015 1:30pm - 2:45pm
Ambassador West

1:30pm

Black Box Accessibility Testing: A Heuristic Approach

In United States and parts of Canada, Accessibility is the hot topic because of the laws (Section 508, AODA) and compliance deadlines that are coming up. Businesses are struggling in attempts to meet the compliance requirements both "in the letter and in the spirit". It is indeed tricky, especially for the Web Accessibility.

Often, software developers find themselves unfamiliar with the requirements model, given by Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). Product owners find holistic accessibility concept conflicting with feature-driven delivery approach. Testers are getting lost, too - there are no clear expected results they are used to verify.

In the workshop, authors provide practical and effective heuristic methods of accessibility testing regardless of availability of detailed requirements. In agile team, testers will also be able to contribute to accessible design and development.

Presentation includes overview of the following:

  • Special needs that require accessibility
  • Assistive technologies
  • Accessibility of Web Elements

Accessibility Testing techniques include coverage of the following:

  • Accessible Scanning
  • Accessible Reading
  • Accessible Navigation and Operation

Speakers
avatar for Albert Gareev

Albert Gareev

Practice Lead, Software Testing, Agidale Consulting, Inc.
Albert Gareev is software testing craftsman and practice lead; Toronto based consultant and contractor. With over 20 years of diverse industry experience, Albert ran testing for challenging projects and successfully implemented complex test automation. | Albert is a founder-organizer of Toronto Testing Meetup and also facilitator for the Americas chapter of Weekend Testing. | Visit his blog at http://automation-beyond.com and follow @AGareev on... Read More →


Tuesday August 4, 2015 1:30pm - 4:15pm
Vandenberg B

1:30pm

What's My Context?

We talk about context and we identify ourselves as driven by context. But do we really understand what “context” means? Let’s get together and find out!

In this interactive workshop, we’ll use group exercises to explore the idea of context and some practical means for helping to discover it:

  • Its dimensions and attributes (as many as we can think of)
  • Its manifestations
  • Heuristics for discovering context elements of it that may be essential others that could be peripheral

A final debrief will give participants the opportunity to consolidate and share their insights and experiences.


Speakers
avatar for Fiona Charles

Fiona Charles

Principal Consultant, Quality Intelligence
Fiona Charles teaches organizations to manage their software testing risk, and IT practitioners project skills "beyond process" - hands-on practical skills essential to thrive and excel on any kind of software project. An expert test consultant and manager, she has been in the thick of the action through 30+ years of challenging projects across the business spectrum on both sides of the Atlantic. Throughout her career, Fiona has advocated... Read More →


Tuesday August 4, 2015 1:30pm - 4:15pm
Vandenberg A

3:00pm

Feedback And Its Importance In Delivering High Quality Software.
Broadly, feedback comes in three forms: appreciation, coaching and evaluation. Often the receiver wants to hear one type of feedback, while the giver actually means something else. In your testing career, you will need to understand how to give and receive feedback, from bug reports to discussing quality with executives. Ken will share his experiences of the feedback process during various points in his software development career.

Areas where this type of information will help you:
- Coaching: giving and receiving comments during test case and session-based reviews.
- Evaluation: developing relationships with various levels of management where criticism is encouraged and used to move the organization forward.
- Appreciation: helping to preserve the value of the software you are testing.

Think bug reports.

Attendees will take away:
- How to give and receive feedback, by identifying the various triggers
- Ways of practicing it in a safe environment

Speakers
avatar for Ken De Souza

Ken De Souza

Software Engineering Manager, Exinda, Inc
Ken De Souza has been in software development for over 15 years, starting as a developer bent on automatically checking everything he built. Currently he is specializing in exploratory testing, with a passion for delivering high quality software at a rapid pace. He occasionally retweets at @kgdesouz and sometimes blogs at blog.tkee.org.



Tuesday August 4, 2015 3:00pm - 4:15pm
Governors Room

3:00pm

Visualizing Testability
The simplest way Maria Kedemo knows of describing testability is “How easy it is to test a specific product”. Low testability would be anything that slows you down or makes it harder to test. Frustrated testers might be a symptom of such. A high degree of testability helps not only testers, but everyone involved in the development of the product.

Through out her career as a test manager she has seen her fellow testers suffer daily from things affecting their testing negatively. Flaky test environments, buggy code, exclusion from relevant information, difficulties in creating test data and lack of knowledge in a specific domain were only a few of the problems.

The suffering was not the testers’ alone. It affected the project, the development teams and the organization. So Maria decided to make “Visualizing Testability” the mission for year 2014, thus moving testability forward to a common awareness and ownership.

Maria will share:
- Why she thinks testability is important.
- The problems lack of testability caused.
- How techniques used to visualise testability helped her team.
- How helping non-testing peers understand testability helped her team.

Speakers
avatar for Maria Kedemo

Maria Kedemo

House of Test
Maria recently started a new career at House of Test teaching software testing at a vocational program. She has been working within software development for over 15 years in many different roles and industries. What she appreciates the most in each and every assignment she's had is the learning opportunities. She loves sharing her experiences and helping others to improve. Occasionally she shares her thoughts on... Read More →



Tuesday August 4, 2015 3:00pm - 4:15pm
Ambassador West

4:15pm

Break
Coffee, Tea, Water & Soft Drinks
Snacks (healthy and un-healthy)

Tuesday August 4, 2015 4:15pm - 4:45pm
Foyer

4:45pm

A leap towards Context Driven Testing
Early 2012, at a multinational telecom company, Erik Brickarp joined a new team. The orders were clear: “the team's output must stay the same as everyone else’s.” Output meant, among many things, big document templates and loads of test cases.

In the end the team had for its context, a lightweight and open test process where various flavors of exploratory testing were a common approach.

But it took quite an adventure to get there.

Speakers
avatar for Erik Brickarp

Erik Brickarp

Teacher in Software Testing, House of Test
Erik Brickarp is a consultant working for House of Test, Sweden. He's currently responsible for a 1½ years software testing education but his commitment to the context-driven community goes way beyond his work. In his spare time he's an enthusiastic student of testing, mentors other testers, blogs, is active in his local test community and in other ways shares his knowledge about testing. All in all, a passionate test thinker and... Read More →



Tuesday August 4, 2015 4:45pm - 6:00pm
Vandenberg B

4:45pm

Bad Metric, Bad
Metrics have always been used in corporate sectors, primarily as a way to gain insight into what is an otherwise invisible world. Not only that, "standards bodies", such as CMMi, require metrics to achieve a certain maturity level. These two factors tend to drive organizations to blindly adopt a set of metrics as a way of satisfying some process transparency requirement. Rarely do any organizations apply any statistical or scientific thought behind the measures and metrics they establish and interpret.

In this talk, we'll look at some common testing metrics and discuss why they fail to represent what most people believe they do. We'll discuss the real purpose of measures, issues with measure and metric programs, how to leverage measure and metrics effectively, and finally specific measure and metric pitfalls organizations encounter.

Speakers
avatar for Joseph Ours

Joseph Ours

National Quality Assurance and Testing Service Lead, Centric Consulting
As Centric Consulting's National Software Quality Assurance and Testing Service Offering Lead, Joseph Ours has nearly two decades of career experience in Information Technology and Certified Project Management consulting. He believes in finding ways to harmoniously work with all core IT competencies, and as such as works as a developer, tester, business analyst, and program manager. His strategic thought process and ability to translate... Read More →


Tuesday August 4, 2015 4:45pm - 6:00pm
Vandenberg A

4:45pm

Growing Testers from the Ground Up
Megan was a former tester.  Now, she trains testers.

She is responsible for her QA department’s three-year-old New Employee Orientation program.  Her job?  She runs a week-long curriculum that immerses new employees into her company's software, and then, introduces them to basic testing concepts. 

The successes?  New employees are more prepared to contribute right away, according to management.  All employees now have a common base of knowledge upon which they are expected to be able to build.

The challenges?  Many new employees have no experience testing.  The class size might be one employee, or ten. If an employee falls behind early in the week, catching up can be difficult.

The plans?  Expand the program.  Offer classes and workshops for new employees over a six-month span.  Create classes in performance testing, working with databases, and a pair testing workshop.  Use tester games to help teach testing fundamentals. 

The fledgling program helps create better-equipped testers.  Let Megan share how.

What you can expect from this session:
  • Ideas on how to educate brand-new testers
  • Stories of what worked and what didn’t
  • An outline of their program
  • How her team keeps department leadership “in the loop”

Speakers
avatar for Megan Studzenski

Megan Studzenski

QA Education Trainer, Hyland
Megan Studzenski is a Quality Assurance Education Trainer, which is an official way of saying she teaches people to be better testers. She is responsible for teaching introductory testing skills to new employees, as well as devising testing workshops and experiences for more skilled testers. Megan spent two years as a technical writer before transitioning to testing, and from there her love of public speaking led her into her current... Read More →


Tuesday August 4, 2015 4:45pm - 6:00pm
Governors Room

4:45pm

Using Feedback to Reduce Truthiness
“My team is great! They all love what they’re doing and we work together as a really cohesive
unit.” Are you a testing manager that would use similar words to describe your team? What
evidence or facts do you base your description upon? If your answer includes references to your intuition or “gut,” then you are practicing truthiness - stating what you wish or believe to be true, rather than the facts.

As a leader, facts and reality should far outweigh truthiness. Feedback is an essential and
powerful tool to use to determine what is real – for you as well as your team.

Join Jeffrey as he shares his thoughts on seeking, giving, and receiving feedback. Topics to be included:
● Truthiness in the context of testing and leadership?
● Developing the feedback habit
● Heuristics to use to improve the feedback you give and receive
● Creating a culture of feedback can strengthen a team


Speakers
avatar for Jeffrey Woodard

Jeffrey Woodard

Senior Manager, Quality Engineering, Salesforce
Jeff Woodard is a Senior Manager in Quality Engineering at Salesforce in Indianapolis, Indiana. He has been performing software testing in a variety of roles in a variety of industries for over 20 years. In his current role at Salesforce, he leads a team of testers focused on data, messaging, and security. If you ask his team, much of his time is spent testing their patience.



Tuesday August 4, 2015 4:45pm - 6:00pm
Ambassador West

6:30pm

CAST Live
“CAST Live” is a show broadcast live each evening following the close of the conference. CAST Live is hosted by Benjamin Yaroch and joining Ben again this year will be Dee Ann Pizzica. Each night Ben and Dee will recap that days events, interview influential testers, and discuss all things testing.

We will be broadcasting live both evenings, so stick around after the close of the conference and watch “CAST Live.”

Tonight:
"Notes on the Keynotes" with Robert Sabourin
Interview: Training Testers with Megan Studzenski
Panel Discussion: Hiring Testers with Rob Bowyer

Volunteers
avatar for Dee Ann Pizzica

Dee Ann Pizzica

Sr. Software Quality Engineer, Salesforce
Dee Ann Pizzica is a software tester in the Chicago area. She is currently employed at Salesforce, where she works remote with a fantastic Indianapolis-based team. Dee Ann has been exploring the software industry for over ten years. She is an active member of the Association for Software Testing since 2007. She served two terms on the AST board of directors, holding executive committee positions as both Executive Vice President and... Read More →
avatar for Benjamin Yaroch

Benjamin Yaroch

Senior Software Quality Engineer, Salesforce
Benjamin Yaroch is a software tester who views software testing as a skilled craft and his chosen career. Ben has held both individual contributor and management roles within software testing. He has also served on the board of directors of the Association for Software Testing and most recently as President. Ben is located in Madison WI and enjoys sharing his passion for testing with others and is active in the software testing community both... Read More →

Tuesday August 4, 2015 6:30pm - 7:30pm
Ambassador West

6:30pm

Reception

Join us for a cocktail, light hors d’ oeuvre, and socializing. 

 


Tuesday August 4, 2015 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Ambassador East

6:30pm

Testing Games
Join us for a CAST tradition, tester games. Test your testing abilities with dice and card games.

Tuesday August 4, 2015 6:30pm - 9:30pm
Ambassador East

7:00pm

Lightning Talks
A CAST tradition - Short presentations on topics abput or related to software and testing. Informal and fast paced.

Tuesday August 4, 2015 7:00pm - 8:30pm
TBA
 
Wednesday, August 5
 

8:00am

Breakfast
Scrambled Egg Buffet
Fried Potatoes
Turkey Sausage
Bacon
Cheese Blintzes
Fruit
Breads & muffins
Coffee, teat, water & juice

Wednesday August 5, 2015 8:00am - 9:00am
Ambassador East

9:00am

Announcements
Volunteers
avatar for Peter Walen

Peter Walen

Conference Chair
Peter Walen has been in software development for over 25 years.  After working many years as a programmer, he moved to software testing and QA.  After dabbling in Project Management and Business Analysis, he returned to software testing, where he has been working since 1999.  He converted to Context Driven testing 2001, rejecting his former heresy and repenting since then. Part of this repentance has been to spread the word... Read More →

Wednesday August 5, 2015 9:00am - 9:25am
Ambassador West

9:25am

The Future of Testing Is Here
With technology changes being the only constant, it is challenging to predict what "moving forward" means for the industry in general, let alone you, the person attending this conference. A few ideas on the horizon include the future of centers of excellence, rise of more startups and test consultants. These will be closely challenged by industry practices such as crowd sourced testing approach, artificial intelligence and IBM's Watson. Some ponder on why software testing is not included in educational institutions and we might also consider the inter subjectivity revolution and the various modes of self-learning. Will we have an All-in-One standard and one big school of software testing?

The debate about programmers learning testing and testers learning to code might keep us busy for few more years. With the increased emphasis on para-functional tests, will we see a different testing strategy going forward? Let us not forget the impact of social media on the product and organization's reputation and the ever changing customer expectations. These are the sorts of things Ajay Balamurugadas thinks about when he considers the term 'Moving Testing Forward'. Some of them seem to have a definite answer, others are less clear. Ajay takes a look at the recent past and present to project at least one possible future (and likely many.), suggesting that we brainstorm on some of the authentic problems and revisit the unknown unknowns. Join Ajay, as he presents his perspective of the times ahead - His journey filled with rich stories and failures, and other experiences might just trigger a few ideas on how to take testing forward in your context.

Speakers
avatar for Ajay Balamurugadas

Ajay Balamurugadas

Ajay Balamurugadas, goes by the handle 'ajay184f' in the testing community and is always continuously re-inventing his testing methodology. He loves being involved with Weekend Testing, Test Maniac, ISST and STeP-IN Forum. His passions include conducting online and in-person workshops on exploratory testing, mobile testing and helping testers discover their potential. Ajay shares his testing activities and learning through his blog... Read More →



Wednesday August 5, 2015 9:25am - 10:45am
Ambassador West

10:45am

Break
Coffee, tea, water & soft drinks

Wednesday August 5, 2015 10:45am - 11:05am
Foyer

11:05am

Experiences from Asking Outsource Partners to Shift to Context Driven Testing
A continuing trend in software development is the move to outsourced developers and in our case specifically, testers. Usually this is done for cost measures and has little to do with the effectiveness or quality of the testers employed.  Many of these test organizations have a set strategy they use for testing.  Their testing paradigm attempts to account for the lack of timely communication and physical proximity by utilizing a "more is better" philosophy with little thought put into testing in a risk-based or context driven approach.

Phil and Carl will share a journey on how HomeAway attempted to move three outsource partners from traditional testing paradigm to the Context-Driven School of software testing. 

This talk will present actions taken to educate these partners, the challenges that were
presented, the tooling that was leveraged, and the final outcomes.

How many outsource partners do you think were successful in making this transition?

Speakers
avatar for Phil McNeely

Phil McNeely

Senior QA Manager, HomeAway
Phil is currently a QA Manager for HomeAway.com in Austin, TX. His start in testing came over 17 years ago in a game startup run by a close friend. While the game failed to post enough sales to keep it viable, it did open the door to the world of testing and ignite a passion for finding defects. With stints at Hewlett-Packard, Winternals Software, Hire.com and various other startups, Phil has continued to learn and adapt to the changing... Read More →
avatar for Carl Shaulis

Carl Shaulis

Director of Quality Engineering, HomeAway
Carl Shaulis is the Senior QA Engineer at homeAway.com.  Prior to 2000, Carl was a chemist managing an air laboratory in Austin, Texas.  In 2000 a close friend encouraged Carl to enter the dot-com boom and apply his analytical skills as a tester for Excite@Home.  Carl’s passion for performance testing, test automation, and continuously improving agile testing practices has driven his opportunity to work with start-ups... Read More →



Wednesday August 5, 2015 11:05am - 12:20pm
Governors Room

11:05am

Reason And Argument For Testers
A key part of a tester’s skill is the ability to convince others that the information they are presenting is true. This skill can be enhanced by the tools of analytical philosophy, which make up a framework for rigorously converting everyday rhetorical conversation into formal arguments that can be analyzed and discussed rationally. In this talk, we will present basic argument analysis: distinguishing between validity and soundness, identifying the type of reasoning used in an argument, and signs of common fallacies. We will also demonstrate that disputes are often a result of hidden or misidentified disagreements and how to use rational argument as a method of improved discourse. Finally, we will present some ideas in epistemology: belief, justification, and knowledge. The topics covered will be illustrated with examples from real-world experiences that Thomas & Scott have encountered in the software testing community and in their professional experience.

Speakers
avatar for Scott Allman

Scott Allman

Managing Partner, Complex Systems Management
Scott Allman is an independent software consultant specializing in software integration and testing. He has taught all the BBST classes, regularly presents at SQuAD (Software Quality Assurance of Denver) and has taught software engineering as an adjunct professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He has a BA and an MA in Philosophy where he wrote his thesis on epistemology and software testing. Since the 1960's he has been writing... Read More →
avatar for Thomas Vaniotis

Thomas Vaniotis

Product Manager, Liquidnet
Thomas Vaniotis has over ten years of experience as a tester, developer, and product analyst. At NYC-based institutional brokerage Liquidnet, he is the product manager for internal and external customer tools that manage multiple complex trading applications. He is interested in data-driven business analysis, customer experience design, exploratory testing, and the theory of software creation. His undergraduate background in music and... Read More →


Wednesday August 5, 2015 11:05am - 12:20pm
Vandenberg A

11:05am

The World's First CDT Education
This track session is about the world’s first Context Driven Test-education that runs over one and a half year is currently ongoing with two classes in Sweden and this presentation is about the thoughts behind and the challenges creating such an education. It is also about the results we could see from our students and the value they could provide from day one.

There are government sponsored professional educations that focus on specific needs of the industry and this year the Software Testing-education has been remade after a CDT-model. When structuring the education one thing was clear: One and a half year is really not that much time for covering even the most common test contexts so we had to limit ourselves and focus on the core of testing, giving a solid foundation for the students to develop their skills on.

Speakers
avatar for Martin Nilsson

Martin Nilsson

Consultant, House of Test
Martin is a consultant at the firm House of Test. He started out his testing career working when applying by mistake for a position to test mobile platforms. He refers to this mistake as the best one he has made his in his professional life because working with testing has suited his temperament perfectly; he loves technology and he loves working with people. He has been through multiple different test assignments, from API testing on... Read More →



Wednesday August 5, 2015 11:05am - 12:20pm
Vandenberg B

11:05am

The Art and Science of Questioning

As skilled testers, asking good questions about the object under test is of the utmost importance. However, asking just any random questions will not do. How do we, as testers, decide what questions to ask? Social science, specifically the practices used in qualitative research, can provide testers with methods to ask more revealing questions, enhancing our testing process and providing our stakeholders with better information to make decisions about the product.

Attendees of this talk will learn about specific questioning techniques, such as becoming more mindful of harmful assumptions, embracing doubt, and examining themselves and their non-testing experiences as generative to their own testing process.

Speakers
avatar for Jessica Ingrasselino

Jessica Ingrasselino

Software Enginer in Test, Bitly
Jess Ingrasselino is a Software Engineer in Test at Bitly. She has worked at several startups in lead positions performing exploratory manual testing as well as creating automated frameworks to aid her testing process. She delivers tech talks in NYC about her testing experiences. Prior to her career in testing, Jessica was a music teacher for ten years, and served as an educational consultant and curriculum writer.  Jessica is active... Read More →


Wednesday August 5, 2015 11:05am - 12:20pm
Ambassador West

12:20pm

Lunch
Grand Burger Lunch Buffet
-- Vegetarian Options Available
Coffee, tea, water & soft drinks

Wednesday August 5, 2015 12:20pm - 1:30pm
Ambassador East

1:30pm

Beyond the UI: Becoming a More Technical Tester
Exploring the User Interface (UI) gives us a solid view of how software is functioning from the perspective of our users.  But if this is our only view, how do we really know what’s going on under the hood?  Each of us has the ability to become a stronger, more well-rounded tester, and the journey begins with admitting that there’s something more to learn.  Some testers are apprehensive about becoming more technical because they do not know how to learn the skills, or because they lack confidence in their own ability to do so. 

During this talk we will explore how to encourage ourselves and others to ask better questions, how to seek help from others, and how to learn about common tools used in testing.  This session will give the encouragement to help testers as they take their next steps toward moving beyond the UI.

Speakers
avatar for Erica Walker

Erica Walker

Senior Software Quality Engineer, Salesforce
Erica Walker is a Senior Software Quality Engineer at Salesforce, and has been working in tech for seven years.   She managed a project team for a learning management system, then managed a testing and support team, and is now testing full time.  Erica is also the co-leader for Girl Develop It Indianapolis, and is focused on bringing more women into tech by offering an encouraging learning environment.  She believes that... Read More →



Wednesday August 5, 2015 1:30pm - 2:45pm
Governors Room

1:30pm

Visual Testing: It's Not What You Look At; It's What You See
How many mundane tasks do we do in a day that, if we think about them, we don't actually  remember anything about doing them? Our mind was in a different place and we were functioning on autopilot. Sometimes our eyes are so familiar with the things we see every day, our brains do not recognize when something has been taken or moved to a new location.

The TV show “Brain Games” is based on the premise where the audience is asked to pay attention and focus on what is happening.  Focusing on a specific area or activity prohibits the audience from seeing things that are going on around them.  This “inattentional blindness” causes key details to be missed.  Our brain is the most complex tool we have in our possession.  However, with a highly complex tool comes the need to ensure that it is used appropriately and to its full potential.

In testing, such focused concentration leading to “inattentional blindness” can impact the product being delivered.  We must find a way to constantly challenge our visual images and prohibit our brain from accepting that there are no changes which could impact the quality of the product.  It is critical to be aware of the entire surroundings of the testing activity and to be able to recognize and call out changes that may be easily overlooked without an attention to detail.

In this session, Mike Lyles will challenge participants to “think outside the box”.  There will be specific exercises to show how that the human mind sometimes overlooks details when they seem visually insignificant or unrelated.  We will examine how testers can become better prepared for such oversights and discuss strategies that can be used immediately in your organizations.  The key to eliminating the risk of oversight and missed problems is learning how to identify the areas where we may have originally ignored a focused effort.

Key Takeaways:
  • An understanding that no matter how good we believe we are as testers, we have to realize that there is the possibility of being so familiar with a product that our eyes do not notice changes that sneak in.
  • Tips to recognizing patterns and potential gaps that many visual testing activities may miss.
  • Techniques that can be used in becoming a better visual tester.

Speakers
avatar for MIke Lyles

MIke Lyles

Quality Engineering Program Manager, Belk
Mike Lyles is a Quality Engineering Program Manager with over 22+ years in IT: development, PMO, and Software Testing. His experience spans functional testing, test environments, software configuration management, test data management, performance testing, test automation, service virtualization, building testing organizations, defining processes and methodologies, and standing up measurement programs Mike is an international/keynote... Read More →


Wednesday August 5, 2015 1:30pm - 2:45pm
Vandenberg B

1:30pm

Fomenting Change

Many companies are risk averse, especially when the risk is to human life and/or involve significant financial impact. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) builds, launches and operates spacecraft that flyby, orbit and roam planets, moons and asteroids in our Solar System. Loss of a mission and the scientific knowledge that can be obtained by the mission is the highest concern, and engineers focus their talents on obtaining high science return by ensuring spacecraft safety. In addition, because spacecraft are unique and can cost billions of dollars to build and operate, the loss of a spacecraft is very costly. The development and operations environments for missions are process heavy and risk averse, yet change is necessary to reduce costs and improve the quality of software used for the missions. It is difficult to marry change and risk aversion. An approach for changing software, software testing and processes include:

1. understanding the application and use cases
2. brainstorming ideas with yourself and/or with others
3. performing changes incrementally
4. obtaining approval or asking for forgiveness instead of permission
5. implementing the changes

This presentation will describe changes in the software testing at JPL (including pictures and videos) as well as describing the processes that leads to those changes.


Speakers
avatar for Barbara Streiffert

Barbara Streiffert

Senior System Engineer, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Barbara Streiffert is a Senior Systems and Software Engineer at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) specializing in the development of software approaches for use in ground data systems for spacecraft missions. She has worked in all aspects of systems and software development for commercial, military and aerospace projects. She is currently the Test Engineer for the Multi-Mission Software that supports over 19 applications including spacecraft... Read More →


Wednesday August 5, 2015 1:30pm - 2:45pm
Ambassador West

1:30pm

From Velcro to Velocity: A Hands On Tactile TDD Workshop
You hear a fair amount about TDD and testing these days.  Really, Test Driven Development is a development/programming approach in which unit tests are constructed prior to coding.  Each increment tested is a new aspect of the software being developed.  Developers create just enough of a unit test to fail and they write just enough code to pass the failing unit tests.  Tests can be repeated to quickly catch unexpected changes.

Explore the strengths and weaknesses of this approach. Try it out with Rob using an IDE of black felt, laminated index cards and, of course, tons of velcro.

During this fun and highly interactive workshop you will create an application with TDD even if you have never programmed before. Rob lets you compare your results with answers from the teacher edition.  He will also lead a group affinity analysis of TDD vs test after unit testing approaches. You may gain ideas in how testers can benefit from their development teams doing TDD.

Speakers
avatar for Robert Sabourin

Robert Sabourin

principle consultant (and president/janitor), Amibug
Robert Sabourin has more than thirty years of management experience, leading teams of software development professionals. A well-respected member of the software engineering community, Robert has managed, trained, mentored and coached thousands of top professionals in the field. He frequently speaks at conferences and writes on software engineering, SQA, testing, management, and internationalization. The author of I am a Bug!, the popular... Read More →


Wednesday August 5, 2015 1:30pm - 4:15pm
Vandenberg A

3:00pm

Beyond the UI: Using Tools to Improve Testing
As testers we have a wide range of tools that can help us gain a deeper understanding of the application being tested, and better understand the source of observed failures. When we observe defects in the UI, we may be uncertain whether the failure is a result of an errant request or an issue with processing by the middle tier.  If the API is available for testing before the UI, we can lose valuable time by waiting for front-end code. In this session we will focus on using browser consoles, testing APIs, and validating results in a database. 

Each section will be divided into a brief description, examples of application, and common tools and practices.  Many tools are available at low or no cost within the browser, and these tools will help us provide more details to developers and management as we document issues.

Speakers
avatar for Jeremy Traylor

Jeremy Traylor

Sr Software Quality Engineer, Salesforce
Jeremy has been testing software for a decade, and strives to expand his skill set with each passing year. He moved to ExactTarget (now Salesforce Marketing Cloud) in the summer of 2010, and found an experience much different than prior software testing jobs. Where before the focus had been on creating appropriate documentation and getting all the right business unit sign-offs, here he found he was encouraged to go beyond testing at a high... Read More →



Wednesday August 5, 2015 3:00pm - 4:15pm
Governors Room

3:00pm

Testing with a Zone Defense
At one time or another, every tester hears the dreaded question, “Why didn’t you guys catch these bugs?” We all have some standard responses (and they are most likely true), but what can we learn about our testing when we look beyond the easy answers? Pamela Gillaspie proposes that the key to improving your testing is determining the areas where bugs are slipping past your defenses. When you group the bugs into “zones”, you can devise a strategy to cover these zones more effectively.

Join Pamela as she shares her experience as defensive coordinator, addressing the developers’ playbook (What kinds of recurring problems do we see?), trick plays (The user is doing what?), and penalties (That wasn’t in the requirements!)

Speakers
avatar for Pamela Gillaspie

Pamela Gillaspie

Managing Test Engineer, TestPlant
Pamela Gillaspie is a Founding Mother and Managing Test Engineer at TestPlant, maker of the eggPlant range of test-automation tools. At TestPlant, Pamela does functional testing of load-testing tools, integration-testing of mobile-testing tools, and a little bit of everything in between. Above all, she appreciates the opportunity to help shape the tools of her trade. Pamela is a co-organizer of the Boulder QA Meetup Group, and an active... Read More →


Wednesday August 5, 2015 3:00pm - 4:15pm
Vandenberg B

3:00pm

Why Should I Hire You
As a test manager, coach and mentor, Rob has been involved in the careers of numerous testers. As a lifelong learner he tried to capture and absorb as much information about career development as he can.

Over time, he has cultivated a wealth of practical advice on managing and developing a career in software testing.

In this session he will share much of what he has learned over the years. So whether you’re just starting out in software testing, looking to transition your career or just want to add to your tool kit, this session will have something for you.

Speakers
avatar for Rob Bowyer

Rob Bowyer

Qaulity Assurance Manager, eSolutions Group
Rob has been helping people and teams test software in a rapid and cognitive manner for over a decade. As a coach and leader, Rob focuses on mentorship and enabling testers to succeed. With a strong foundation in the context driven school of testing Rob has had experience in a wide variety of domains – including healthcare, mobile, education and municipal. | In his own back yard, Rob maintains a stewardship role in his local software quality... Read More →


Wednesday August 5, 2015 3:00pm - 4:15pm
Ambassador West

4:15pm

Break
Coffee, Tea, Water & Soft Drinks
Snacks (healthy and un-healthy)

Wednesday August 5, 2015 4:15pm - 4:45pm
Foyer

4:45pm

Driving Adoption of Chartered Exploratory Testing In An Agile Organization
Pivotal is adding the practice of explicit, directed exploratory testing to our work on Cloud Foundry. We have dedicated explorers who rotate through development teams. We use charters to organize exploratory efforts; PMs prioritize them in backlogs along with chores, bugs and features using Pivotal Tracker. Programmers pair with explorers on execution of charters, and explorers with programmers on feature delivery. We're developing charter writing and execution as skills throughout our development staff.

This experience report will discuss the adoption and integration of exploratory testing in the Cloud Foundry project at Pivotal. It will focus on challenges we've encountered and practices we've found effective in the context of Pivotal Labs' opinionated and refined agile process, which is rooted in Extreme Programming. We'll discuss how exploratory testing’s been used to inform stakeholders, how they've recognized the business value of the practice, and techniques to make exploratory work something distinct from checks programmers write in TDD.

Speakers
avatar for Jesse Alford

Jesse Alford

Exploratory Tester, Pivotal
Jesse Alford is an Exploratory Tester (no really, that's the job title, slightly embarassing though it may be - he would rather be called an "Orbital Drop Shock Tester" but no one will go for that and it's nonsense anyways) for Pivotal in San Francisco. His principle goal is to help people, and he principally does this by learning things. In the last two years he's spent his time introducing deliberate exploratory testing as a development... Read More →


Wednesday August 5, 2015 4:45pm - 6:00pm
Vandenberg B

4:45pm

Waterfall, Agile and Beyond: The Power of an Exploratory Tester
This talk is about how testers skilled in exploratory testing can help any software project, no matter which development methodology is followed in the project.

Do you face a situation where the customers are expecting more in less time? Is your project stuck and teams are playing the blame game? Are customers finding important bugs before your test teams report? Are your testers struggling to cope up with the changes in testing models being used? Do you agree that though the models have evolved, the problems seem to reappear.

If you answered yes to above, meet Ajay Balamurugadas, a student of context-driven school of testing who answers these five important questions about ‘The Power of an Exploratory Tester'.

  1. What is Exploratory Testing and how is an exploratory tester more powerful?
  2. Who can do exploratory testing?
  3. Why exploratory testing is suited for most kinds of projects?
  4. When exploratory testing should be performed?
  5. Where do tools fit in exploratory testing?

Speakers
avatar for Ajay Balamurugadas

Ajay Balamurugadas

Ajay Balamurugadas, goes by the handle 'ajay184f' in the testing community and is always continuously re-inventing his testing methodology. He loves being involved with Weekend Testing, Test Maniac, ISST and STeP-IN Forum. His passions include conducting online and in-person workshops on exploratory testing, mobile testing and helping testers discover their potential. Ajay shares his testing activities and learning through his blog... Read More →



Wednesday August 5, 2015 4:45pm - 6:00pm
Vandenberg A

4:45pm

When Cultures Collide
What do these books have in common – “When Cultures Collide”, “Understanding Cultural
Differences”, “Beyond Culture”? Yes, it involves people from different cultures trying to interact with each other and sustain in this diverse corporate environment which we now call – Our Workplace.  This session is based on our real life experiences interacting, observing and working with people from different cultures, backgrounds, race, and religion in a corporate environment.

As testers, we had to understand and study how different verbal, oral and behavioral patterns are interpreted in different ways by different people. In this session, we try to highlight these different communication patterns with examples. We will show how understanding and recognizing these patterns can help testers to sustain and collaborate with others. As the saying goes, “Solutions are often simple but getting to it is complicated”. Come join us as we share our research and experiences, and discuss how software testers can become more effective communicators.

Speakers
avatar for Raj Subramanian

Raj Subramanian

Senior Quality Engineer, Orbitz
Raj Subramanian, a former developer for a payroll processing company, decided to move into testing to focus on his passion. Raj currently works as a mobile test lead for a travel booking company. He actively contributes to the testing community by speaking at conferences, writing articles, blogging, and being directly involved in various testing-related activities. Raj serves on the board of a cleveland conference group and is the... Read More →
avatar for Carlene Wesemeyer

Carlene Wesemeyer

Senior Test Technician, Hyland Software
Carlene Wesemeyer is a Senior Tech Technician at Hyland, Creator of OnBase. She focuses on manual testing with an end-user perspective. Carlene has lived abroad as student, and later an au pair, in Berlin and Stuttgart Germany, respectively. She has had many cross-cultural experiences, both personally and professionally, and enjoys learning about new cultures. She has previously presented at STPCon, and at many public speaking competitions in her... Read More →


Wednesday August 5, 2015 4:45pm - 6:00pm
Governors Room

4:45pm

Taking Control Of Your Test Environment

Most of us have had to deal with red builds blocking our testing or have been told to test on flaky environments where half the issues you find would ‘never happen in production’. As a tester, I used to think this wasn’t my problem.

What happens though when a thinking tester decides this is her problem and wants to be part of the solution?

This talk exposes some of the possible causes why builds stay red or an environment is “flaky”. For instance:
1. There are bugs in your build.
2. You are dependent on a third-party system that is not functioning correctly.
3. Your deployment may have gone awry, something may be missing.
4. Your environment is not set up in a consistent way.

We’ll look at some approaches that target each of these causes and show testers how they can acquire the skills necessary to take control of their test environment.

In case of bugs in existing functionality, you need to ask yourself: Are you running automated checks against the build? If yes, either you don’t have the right checks in place, are ignoring failed checks, or, even worse, the issue is intermittent. Testers that seek out a deep technical understanding of their product can be capable of chasing an issue down the whole technology stack without relying on a developer.

Stubbing out a third-party service can counteract uncertainty about the functionality of your own product. To deal with the real issue though, a tester can communicate directly with the third-party team, providing information to and from both sides.

Testers can get involved with the automation of both the deployment and environment setup, which are traditionally Operations roles. This is also often the realm of “magic scripts” that are not considered part of the deliverables and are not properly tested. A tester’s input can be very valuable here.


Speakers
avatar for Ioana Serban

Ioana Serban

Software Engineer in Test, eBay
Ioana Serban started working as a Software Engineer in Test in 2011. With a strong leaning towards the more technical side of testing, she’s interested in learning all aspects of the craft and is a big fan of challenging assumptions of what a tester is or isn’t “supposed” to do. Ioana previously worked for Adobe and is currently working for eBay as an embedded tester in an agile team. She Blogs at... Read More →



Wednesday August 5, 2015 4:45pm - 6:00pm
Ambassador West

6:15pm

Closing
Join Pete Walen as he shares his "take-aways" from CAST 2015 and a brief summary of key points gathered. He'll also encourage the participants to share their own nuggets of wisdom gained throughout the conference during the rest of the evening.

Board Members
avatar for Peter Walen

Peter Walen

Conference Chair
Peter Walen has been in software development for over 25 years.  After working many years as a programmer, he moved to software testing and QA.  After dabbling in Project Management and Business Analysis, he returned to software testing, where he has been working since 1999.  He converted to Context Driven testing 2001, rejecting his former heresy and repenting since then. Part of this repentance has been to spread the word... Read More →


Wednesday August 5, 2015 6:15pm - 6:30pm
Ambassador West

7:00pm

CAST Live
“CAST Live” is a show broadcast live each evening following the close of the conference. CAST Live is hosted by Benjamin Yaroch and joining Ben again this year will be Dee Ann Pizzica. Each night Ben and Dee will recap that days events, interview influential testers, and discuss all things testing.

We will be broadcasting live both evenings, so stick around after the close of the conference and watch “CAST Live.”

Tonight:
"Notes on the Keynotes" with Rob Sabourin
Panel Discussion: Remote Working with Ben Simo and Stephanie Liu-Barnes (via Skype)
Interview: Becoming a More Technical Tester with Erica Walker

Volunteers
avatar for Dee Ann Pizzica

Dee Ann Pizzica

Sr. Software Quality Engineer, Salesforce
Dee Ann Pizzica is a software tester in the Chicago area. She is currently employed at Salesforce, where she works remote with a fantastic Indianapolis-based team. Dee Ann has been exploring the software industry for over ten years. She is an active member of the Association for Software Testing since 2007. She served two terms on the AST board of directors, holding executive committee positions as both Executive Vice President and... Read More →
avatar for Benjamin Yaroch

Benjamin Yaroch

Senior Software Quality Engineer, Salesforce
Benjamin Yaroch is a software tester who views software testing as a skilled craft and his chosen career. Ben has held both individual contributor and management roles within software testing. He has also served on the board of directors of the Association for Software Testing and most recently as President. Ben is located in Madison WI and enjoys sharing his passion for testing with others and is active in the software testing community both... Read More →

Wednesday August 5, 2015 7:00pm - 8:00pm
Ambassador West

7:00pm

Testing Games
Join us for a CAST tradition, tester games. Test your testing abilities with dice and card games.

Wednesday August 5, 2015 7:00pm - 9:30pm
Ambassador East