I attended CAST this year in Grand Rapids and as usual it didn’t disappoint. For most returning CAST’ers the reason they come back year after year is the high level of interaction or conferring. And while that is very true of CAST what I find interesting is the transformations that occur in the matter of 2 days from this conferring.
Each year CAST attracts a number of new attendees that feel that software testing is really about being the sentry of quality. They view themselves as the gatekeepers of quality and often talk about standing in the way of shipping products. I’m always interested in seeking these people out, discussing this with them, and seeing how their opinions change by the end of the conference. Typically by the end of the conference they have shifted their focus away from quality assurance and toward quality assistance, which is amazing.
For me I love the fact that CAST provides an environment where testers can quickly learn how to advance the state of our industry trough interactions and informal discussions in the hallways, over dinners, and between sessions.
If you haven’t had the chance to experience CAST you really need to, especially if you’ve been testing for some time. CAST 2011 will be in Seattle Washington and is looking like it will be an amazing experience. Be sure to check out the promo video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NpLcIFmmSF8