Friday, June 25, 2010

Presenting at CAST 2010

In early August, I will be presenting a paper at CAST 2010 in Grand Rapids, Michigan with Carsten Feilberg entitled "Nice words are not enough". The paper describes our experiences with introducing session-based and exploratory testing approaches in organisations that are more accustomed to detailed scripted tests. Projects where tests are designed upfront and progress is measured in numbers of tests passed. It also looks at some ways we used our skills to face the challenge.

I met Carsten at CAST in Toronto - in 2008. One of the many benefits of attending CAST is that you end up building a network of people that you can call on, debate things with. People who are just generally fun to hang out with. Carsten is one of those people and he has encouraged me to do this with him. Although it is a scary thing for me, I am also glad that I am finally stretching myself in this way.

Putting the paper together has been an interesting process. Although we are on opposite sides of the planet, in terms of our experiences with using session based testing as as approach we faced very similar challenges. It was also interesting to collaborate with someone that you are not in the same room with. There is a level of trust and understanding required when communicating in this way. I think we had that down.

So why did we write the paper? Well, Carsten thought that we might have something interesting to share... and I agree :)
I am hoping that people will take away some ideas they can experiment with on their own projects. I am also hoping that we have some cool debate and discussion around the "numbers game". Finally, I am hoping that people get a sense that they are not alone. That there are lots of us all over the world struggling with these same kinds of projects and project managers. :) All trying to figure out how we can communicate better and add the most value possible.

CAST is a really special kind of conference. One where you end up meeting people that inspire you. One where debate and discussion is not only encouraged, but where the environment, facilitation and organisation supports it. There is also an opportunity to meet and debate with some of the most thoughtful and thought-provoking super testers around - Cem Kaner, Scott Barber, Karen N. Johnson, Doug Hoffman. And my friends who will also be presenting, Carsten Feilberg, Henrik Andersson and Johan Jonasson.

I'm excited. Hope I see you there!