Hello! I know some of you have seen me around, but I’d like to take the chance to introduce myself.

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I am a newer member of AST, who not very long ago had context blinders removed, revealing what software testing can be. I’ll never go back to prescriptive process!

Because I love an adventure, the AST Board asked me to fly to Vancouver check out the venue for CAST 2016, and take some pictures. This will be my first CAST, and I cannot wait to meet the people I’ve followed and read. I am really looking forward to meeting some of my heroes in Vancouver!

I arrived at YVR (Vancouver’s main airport) in early evening. I had an easy trip through Immigration. It’s pretty easy to get through this part of travel, as long as you’ve planned ahead. Then, I took a 25 minute train ride from the airport to the end of the Canada Line at Waterfront Station. One and half blocks east of there, I checked into the Delta Vancouver Suites, the recommended CAST hotel.

After a quick late night bite, I returned to my hotel to plan my visit the next day to Simon Fraser University’s Harbour Centre Campus. Never miss a chance to have a Coffee Crisp when you visit Canada!

A bedtime chocolate and planning for tomorrow #coffeecrisp #canadaonly

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In the morning, I crossed the street – yes, it’s that close – and checked out the venue.

SFU Harbour Centre is a satellite campus of Simon Fraser University. The conference rooms are all close together, on the main level of the facility.

SFU_Concourse

I started with the main room for the keynote. It was very nice. I tried out a front-row seat, and claimed it for August. Seriously guys, it’s mine.

Saved my spot for the keynote #tinatoucan #cast2016 #nicholascarr #upfront

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I started thinking about what it must be like to speak in the theatre, so I went up on the stage to see what it felt like.

On second thought, a capacity of 200 is pretty intimidating. Maybe I should talk with Speak Easy about Toucan Under-Representation in conference speaking.

Theatre_From_Lectern

I looked in on a couple of the track session rooms next.

It’s good to have the essentials nearby.

The Board was happy to hear my updates, but asked me to get more pictures.

I took a quick peek in the dining room. It looks nice enough – but the view!

Dining_Room

The main venue looks pretty great. But I wasn’t done yet. I needed to go check out the TestRetreat location next.

Walk_To_TestRetreat

Just a short walk down Granville Street is the Best Western Plus Chateau Grandville, the venue for TestRetreat.

Test_Retreat_Main_Room

One of the three secondary rooms for breakouts:

Test_Retreat_Extra_Room

Looks solid enough. After my grueling day, it was time for a break.

My work done, it was time to see a few more things in Vancouver before I left.

Required #steamclock #gastown #tinatoucan #cast2016 #tourism #passport

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Very diverse here #bestcoastwestcoast #roar #tinatoucan #cast2016

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Minecraft Whale #8bitart #cast2016 #harbourside #tinatoucan #publicart

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Enjoy the view #publicart #olympictorch #tinatoucan #cast2016 #harbourside

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Time for dinner. Poutine is amazing in general, but I wanted to be selective. You can’t have all of the poutine, or at least you shouldn’t! I briefly considered, but didn’t stop in here:

magic_poutine

Instead, I stopped at one of the dozens of craft beer spots in Vancouver. It definitely worked out.

Then it was back on the train to the airport. Kind of bummed to leave, but I am excited to be coming back in August. Hope to see you there!