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CAST 2015 has ended
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.”

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webCAST [clear filter]
Tuesday, August 4
 

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... 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... Read More →



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

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... Read More →



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

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... Read More →


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

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

Consultant and Founder, Black Koi Consulting
Maria is the Conference Chair for CAST 2019. She is also a Board Member of the Association for Software Testing. She has a vast experience within Software Development where she focuses on the holistic approach to Quality Engineering and Software Testing. She has spoken at several... Read More →



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

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... Read More →



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... 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... Read More →

Tuesday August 4, 2015 6:30pm - 7:30pm
Ambassador West
 
Wednesday, August 5
 

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... 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

Delivery Manager at Qapitol QA (India), Qapitol QA Services Pvt. Ltd
Ajay Balamurugadas, goes by the handle ‘ajay184f’ in the testing community and is continuously reinventing his testing methodology. He co-founded Weekend Testing - a worldwide movement for skilled testing, authored six small books under the theme "What If" downloadable at his... Read More →



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

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 Jess Ingrasselino, Ed.D

Jess Ingrasselino, Ed.D

Director of Quality Assurance at Salesforce.org (USA)
Dr. Jess Ingrassellino is the Director of Quality Engineering at Salesforce.org, where she developed and implemented the testing philosophy. She is active in the education community as a member of the Industry Advisory Board for CUNY Techworks, and teaches Python and testing to participants... Read More →


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

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... Read More →


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

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

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

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... 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... 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... 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... Read More →

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