August 10th, 2016

buzzed, B&W

CAST 2016

I just got done attending the Conference of the Association for Software Testing 2016 (aka CAST 2016).

It's been a long 3 days and nights (mainly since for some reason I go all extrovert at conferences and go out in the evenings with other folks).  In any case, I think this was technically my first tech conference as well as my first software testing conference.  Some quick thoughts:

  1. The actual sessions/presentations were less interesting than I'd hoped.  While there was a fair amount of breadth in the topics, the depth really felt lacking.  I was familiar with most of the stuff already, and the stuff I wasn't really felt like I could have read a blog post and got about the same takeaway.  My gut feel is the content would have been great for junior testers.

  2. The conference stated they "focus on the confer part of the word conference."  This is stressed with the presentations being about 2/3 speaker, and 1/3 group discussion/Q&A/etc.  The group discussion is interesting in that they use a mechanism called K-Cards. Everyone has a stack of 3 cards, and if you want to participate, you hold up the appropriate card:Interesting mechanism and it seemed to work pretty well.

    • Green: Please place me on the new thread list

    • Yellow: Please place me on the same thread list

    • Red (or pink): Oooh, oooh, I must speak now (or important admin issue: e.g.: I can’t hear)

  3. This was a small conference (I'd guess less than 150 attendees?), which also helped with the confer aspect

  4. International aspect was good - got to interacted with folks from Ireland, New Zealand, Canada, Croatia, etc.

Hopefully more complete thoughts to come later.