AST 2016-2017 Board of Directors Election

NameNationality,
Employer
Who Seconds your Nomination?How long have you been a member of AST?
Alessandra

Alessandra Moreira

USA
Self-Employed
Carol Brands, Vernon Richards4 years
I'd like to continue working on the initiatives I'm currently working on with the AST such as monthly webinars, an international conference. And I'd like to work on new initiative to increase the AST's reach and diversity.
 
 
What do you think the AST board has historically done well, and what do you think needs to change?
In the last seven years, it has felt a bit like AST's mission has become a little stale: CAST, BBST, a few SIGs, and a few Grants for meetups and webinars, but not much really relevant but new that seems to expand what AST is or enhances its overall mission. Is there an area where you feel AST is lacking in its role as a professional organization? If so, what would you suggest doing to begin to change that and increase the value to AST members and the testing community at large?I believe questions 1 and 2 are closely related, so I'll answer both together. The AST provides a quality alternative for software testing education at a very affordable price. It also puts together an annual gathering of testers: CAST, which helps the community by bringing people together, inspiring confering and discussion in a friendly environment. Community grants are also a great way to impact communities worldwide, and it has been considerably expanded this year. There's room for improvement in many areas, including more varied couses, influence in the community and inspiring conferences in other parts of the world. We are working towards implementing these initiatives. Being a volunteer organization the pace of change is not always as fast as we'd like to see, but we are mitigating this constraint by being better at getting the membership involved in projects and getting more hands on deck.
Conflicts of Interest are situations where a Board Member has to make decisions concerning AST while there are potentially other factors that influence their decision-making. These factors might be based on competition with other business or nonprofit interests the person has, or they may arise from relationships that could be potentially affected by decisions the Board Member makes.

Conflicts of Interest are not always obvious, but they can be insidious. Even if the Board Member believes they can safely navigate the conflict, the external perception of a conflict of interest could these conflicts worth identifying and discussing. Every Board Member will encounter potential Conflicts of Interest. What matters is how they are identified and handled.

While conducting AST business, if any potential conflicts of interest arise, you should be the first to notice the potential conflict. You might ask the rest of the board if you should be recused from the discussion and any potential votes. In other cases, you may need external perspective to see the potential conflict; the rest of the board may need to offer this help. The rest of the board would generally consider the nature and severity of the potential conflict, and decide whether recusal is appropriate. Here are some examples of potential conflicts of interest for an AST Board Member:

- You will need to vote on issues relating to the support, expansion, pricing, management of BBST. If you offer testing training as part of your professional life through any direct relationships or partnerships, you should consider how it might appear to have them make decisions about BBST.

- You will participate in planning CAST and other conferences. If you are involved in producing another testing conference, some potential conflicts could arise:
a. Which conference gets your best ideas and energy?
b. Could you participate in selecting a tutorial leader, speaker, or chair without the perception of a quid pro quo if you lead a tutorial, speak, or chair a conference someone else organizes? Another issue could arise from sponsorship for a conference, whether AST sponsors or AST is sponsored.

- AST provides Grant funds to non-profit meetups and certain conferences. Being a recipient and a giver at the same time could be an obvious conflict. It's also worth considering some of the other angles mentioned in the previous example for conferences, specifically around quid pro quo relationships.

- Any employee-employer, supervisory, business, or mentoring relationships/partnerships a Board Member has can introduce a potential conflict. An example of this is if the person a Board Member has a relationship with is asking for grant money, applying to speak at CAST, or sponsoring CAST.

a. Please describe two or more potential conflicts of interest you could personally encounter as an AST Board Member.
b. How would you recommend the rest of the board address these conflicts?
There are several potential conflicts mentioned in the question. Having them outlined here is great and a good reminder of some of the possible conflicts we could encounter. I don't currently organize any other conferences, offer training as part of my professional life. In my case an employee-employer conflict is one that could potentially occur. I believe transparency and oppeness is key to avoid many pitfalls, including conflicts of interest. I am always vigilant and if or when any potential conflicts occur, I'd recuse myself from the situation and would trust the decision to the other board members.
How should AST engage with other communities? With other non-profit testing organizations? With commercial organizations?The AST already engages other communities, for example local communities and meetups via the Grant Program. There are opportunities to engage other organizations and groups via sponsorships and/or promotions that would be beneficial to both parties.
Do you feel Board Members are responsible to act as a representative of Association membership, even when the general beliefs of the membership may contradict their personal beliefs?As Board Members we are elected to serve the membership. We strive to hear the community and to represent it in the best possible way. There will be times when our roles as Board Members could be at odds with a personal belief. As professionals of any kind, this should be something we are used to deal with. As employees we often represent a company, but could have a different stance or outlook in a given subject. When that occurs its important to distinguish clearly between a personal and a representative opinion.
Anna

Anna Royzman

USA
Self-Employed and Founder of A Quality Leadership Institute
Carol Brands, Matt HeusserSince 2007
I have been a long standing supporter of AST mission and actively promoted AST throughout the years in leadership positions. In 2012, I organized AST Quality Leader SIG and chaired it for 2 years. In 2013, I organized Test Leadership Bootcamp, a one day unconference post-CAST in Madison, Wisconsin. In 2014, I hosted CAST in New York as a Conference Chair. Right after, I co-organized NYC Testers meetup, the community that now connects over 1200 testers.
In 2015, I established A Quality Leadership Institute, a non-profit organization whose mission is to become the world leading advocate for quality in technology. One of the known AQLI programs is Test Masters Academy. TMA is recognized for engaging famous CDT speakers as conference presenters and masterclass teachers. The September’s New Testing Conference lineup speaks for itself: testmastersacademy.org
When I am elected, I intend to strengthen and develop a global network of local testing meetups. My vision is a Hub that offers support and provides resources to testing meetup organizers globally and assists with starting a local meetup. The Hub would be a place for meetup organizers to share practices and a “news alert” for the local communities of testers when a known speaker is in town.
 
 
What do you think the AST board has historically done well, and what do you think needs to change?Historically, AST Board had very strong representatives, who maintained traditions of the original idea behind the birth of the Association. Every year, the board members change, yet the spirit of dedication remains strong.
For a while, I followed AST Board work closely, leading AST programs and events in 2012-2014. What I think would benefit the board is the visibility. As an AST member, I am interested in board decisions. Having AST board meeting minutes in pubic location will be beneficial.
In the last seven years, it has felt a bit like AST's mission has become a little stale: CAST, BBST, a few SIGs, and a few Grants for meetups and webinars, but not much really relevant but new that seems to expand what AST is or enhances its overall mission. Is there an area where you feel AST is lacking in its role as a professional organization? If so, what would you suggest doing to begin to change that and increase the value to AST members and the testing community at large?I would like to see AST providing more support and guidance to local grassroots movements: testers meetups. Local meetups often run by AST members. I happen to know, as I am one of them: a co-organizer of NYC Testers, with over 1000 members. Our meetup is open to everyone, but the leadership belongs to CDT community. I know many testing meetup organizers across the globe, who are our peers. Grants and financial support are often not the issue, more important is sharing resources and valuable information between meetup organizers, and encouraging more AST members to start meetups in their local communities. That will increase the value to AST and the testing community at large.
Conflicts of Interest are situations where a Board Member has to make decisions concerning AST while there are potentially other factors that influence their decision-making. These factors might be based on competition with other business or nonprofit interests the person has, or they may arise from relationships that could be potentially affected by decisions the Board Member makes.

Conflicts of Interest are not always obvious, but they can be insidious. Even if the Board Member believes they can safely navigate the conflict, the external perception of a conflict of interest could these conflicts worth identifying and discussing. Every Board Member will encounter potential Conflicts of Interest. What matters is how they are identified and handled.

While conducting AST business, if any potential conflicts of interest arise, you should be the first to notice the potential conflict. You might ask the rest of the board if you should be recused from the discussion and any potential votes. In other cases, you may need external perspective to see the potential conflict; the rest of the board may need to offer this help. The rest of the board would generally consider the nature and severity of the potential conflict, and decide whether recusal is appropriate. Here are some examples of potential conflicts of interest for an AST Board Member:

- You will need to vote on issues relating to the support, expansion, pricing, management of BBST. If you offer testing training as part of your professional life through any direct relationships or partnerships, you should consider how it might appear to have them make decisions about BBST.

- You will participate in planning CAST and other conferences. If you are involved in producing another testing conference, some potential conflicts could arise:
a. Which conference gets your best ideas and energy?
b. Could you participate in selecting a tutorial leader, speaker, or chair without the perception of a quid pro quo if you lead a tutorial, speak, or chair a conference someone else organizes? Another issue could arise from sponsorship for a conference, whether AST sponsors or AST is sponsored.

- AST provides Grant funds to non-profit meetups and certain conferences. Being a recipient and a giver at the same time could be an obvious conflict. It's also worth considering some of the other angles mentioned in the previous example for conferences, specifically around quid pro quo relationships.

- Any employee-employer, supervisory, business, or mentoring relationships/partnerships a Board Member has can introduce a potential conflict. An example of this is if the person a Board Member has a relationship with is asking for grant money, applying to speak at CAST, or sponsoring CAST.

a. Please describe two or more potential conflicts of interest you could personally encounter as an AST Board Member.
b. How would you recommend the rest of the board address these conflicts?
a. My role as an organizer of Test Masters Academy NYC conferences could be perceived as a conflict of interests in the public view. While Test Masters Academy conferences are local, and focus on targeting a different audience, complementary to CAST attendees -- the questions could be raised. In this case, I will approach the board and bring up the potential conflict thus making sure that the AST reputation is not affected.

Another case could be family matters. There are unpredictable events that one has to attend to without planning. When I run CAST 2014 in New York, I observed several incidents where family or business matters took over and the AST board member had to give up previous commitments.

b. I recommend the board member, who is foreseeing a potential conflict of interest, to speak upfront and let the whole board decide whether the member who might have potential conflict of interest, shall participate in a specific decision making, whether it will be a voting or other type of involvement. When the board member cannot keep previous commitments due to unforeseen circumstances, other board members shall offer support and address the change in responsibilities, so that AST projects will not suffer.
How should AST engage with other communities? With other non-profit testing organizations? With commercial organizations?There could be a lot of opportunities. Many technology communities are missing strong testing voices. AST could reach out and start building bridges with such communities. With regards to engaging with non profit or commercial organizations, I would recommend to see whether our missions and goals align, and engage with such organizations on basis of mutual benefit and greater visibility of AST as an organization.
Do you feel Board Members are responsible to act as a representative of Association membership, even when the general beliefs of the membership may contradict their personal beliefs? I believe that the Board Member has made a conscious choice to join the board, thus pledging his or her support to the AST mission and beliefs of its membership.
dan_ashby

Dan Ashby

UK
AstraZeneca
Ale Moreira1 year
I am heavily involved in the testing community in London, running the Software Testing Clinic, the Testing In The Pub podcast, helping with meetups, mentoring and coaching and speaking at lots of conferences in Europe.

I feel that I'm in a good position to be able to help advance on building up the AST's reputation and activities within the UK and Europe, with my reputation and relationships within the testing community and other communities (Agile, Lean, Continuous Delivery, etc communities) within the UK and Europe. I also feel that I'd be able to learn a huge amount personally if I’m lucky enough to experience being on the board, through the interactions with other board members and the management and organisation required to run such an established association.

Given the opportunity, I’d like to push for expanding on the great work that you have been doing with the webinars pulling in people from the community in the UK to get involved. I’d also love the opportunity and would strive to try and host the CAST conference in the UK or Europe too – somewhere that the conference has never been hosted, with a crowd that has had limited access to AST events.
 
 
What do you think the AST board has historically done well, and what do you think needs to change?The AST has built a fantastic wealth of resources for software testers to learn. I think the CAST conference is a phenomenal achievement from the AST. As are the webinars and the promotion of BBST. There are a few things I'd look to enhance though – I think CAST is ready to be brought to Europe, so if I was elected I'd try to make that happen. I also would like to promote the AST’s sponsorship and get them involved in other activities more outside the US. And promote the AST being more active in other communities too, while trying other marketing activities to build up membership further.
In the last seven years, it has felt a bit like AST's mission has become a little stale: CAST, BBST, a few SIGs, and a few Grants for meetups and webinars, but not much really relevant but new that seems to expand what AST is or enhances its overall mission. Is there an area where you feel AST is lacking in its role as a professional organization? If so, what would you suggest doing to begin to change that and increase the value to AST members and the testing community at large?I think “stale” might be the wrong word here. I think “familiar” might be a better word to describe current AST activities. But I agree. I think the AST should and can be doing more. There are much more new pockets of meetups and communities around the world that the AST can be reaching out to, to help grow and become more visible. The same goes for online communities and resources – podcasts, slack channels, forums, etc. These are fast becoming popular avenues for people to learn and the AST should be using its power and resources to help enhance these things. In doing so, it might help grow AST membership and popularity in return too.
Conflicts of Interest are situations where a Board Member has to make decisions concerning AST while there are potentially other factors that influence their decision-making. These factors might be based on competition with other business or nonprofit interests the person has, or they may arise from relationships that could be potentially affected by decisions the Board Member makes.

Conflicts of Interest are not always obvious, but they can be insidious. Even if the Board Member believes they can safely navigate the conflict, the external perception of a conflict of interest could these conflicts worth identifying and discussing. Every Board Member will encounter potential Conflicts of Interest. What matters is how they are identified and handled.

While conducting AST business, if any potential conflicts of interest arise, you should be the first to notice the potential conflict. You might ask the rest of the board if you should be recused from the discussion and any potential votes. In other cases, you may need external perspective to see the potential conflict; the rest of the board may need to offer this help. The rest of the board would generally consider the nature and severity of the potential conflict, and decide whether recusal is appropriate. Here are some examples of potential conflicts of interest for an AST Board Member:

- You will need to vote on issues relating to the support, expansion, pricing, management of BBST. If you offer testing training as part of your professional life through any direct relationships or partnerships, you should consider how it might appear to have them make decisions about BBST.

- You will participate in planning CAST and other conferences. If you are involved in producing another testing conference, some potential conflicts could arise:
a. Which conference gets your best ideas and energy?
b. Could you participate in selecting a tutorial leader, speaker, or chair without the perception of a quid pro quo if you lead a tutorial, speak, or chair a conference someone else organizes? Another issue could arise from sponsorship for a conference, whether AST sponsors or AST is sponsored.

- AST provides Grant funds to non-profit meetups and certain conferences. Being a recipient and a giver at the same time could be an obvious conflict. It's also worth considering some of the other angles mentioned in the previous example for conferences, specifically around quid pro quo relationships.

- Any employee-employer, supervisory, business, or mentoring relationships/partnerships a Board Member has can introduce a potential conflict. An example of this is if the person a Board Member has a relationship with is asking for grant money, applying to speak at CAST, or sponsoring CAST.

a. Please describe two or more potential conflicts of interest you could personally encounter as an AST Board Member.
b. How would you recommend the rest of the board address these conflicts?
a. I am hugely involved in community activities outside of the AST: I run a podcast (Testing In The Pub) which regularly interviews testers at various conferences, I blog personally, I run a fortnightly class called The Software Testing Clinic which teaches less experienced people about testing and more experienced people about mentoring, I regularly speak at conferences and run workshops, I'm also hoping to co-chair the testing track at the Agile 2017 conference too (if accepted by them). There is lots I do outside of the AST activities.

b. I'm actually of the opinion that these things that I am involved in can help grow the AST.

If I am able to promote the AST during these external activities, then that might allow people to learn more about the AST and get involved in the AST activities also.

I also think that staying involved in these other activities will help me grow my experience for bringing back into the AST activities, such as chairing a conference, etc.

It's also important to mention that I would always be open with discussing these other activities with other board members and seek their input if there was any direct clash of interests. If I was elected to be a board member, I recognize that I'd have a huge commitment and allegiance with that responsibility.
How should AST engage with other communities? With other non-profit testing organizations? With commercial organizations?The AST could do a better job at reaching out to other communities and activities, particularly in Europe. Im a strong believer that people shouldn’t just be part of one single community, but that we'll all learn much more with involvement in other communities too.

Additionally, the AST could expand into other communities too, such as; agile, DevOps, continuous delivery & continuous deployment, automation communities, etc. I think such an expansion could help begin to solve a lot of the common misunderstandings about testing within these other communities.

One way to expand could be through sponsorship of the other communities’ meetups, or with a stand at conferences aimed at those other communities, or even just through participation. We could also invite speakers from other communities into our community through the CAST conference and our webinars.
Do you feel Board Members are responsible to act as a representative of Association membership, even when the general beliefs of the membership may contradict their personal beliefs?Yes. I believe board members have a responsibility to represent the membership of the association that they are in the board of. If there is something that contradicts their belief, then that thing might contradict many peoples beliefs, so we should discuss that thing and ask the question of whether it should be changed.

For things that cant change, I see this in a similar light as taking a job with a company that might be involved in something controversial. E.g. I work at AstraZeneca. They are involved with stem cell research. I had to make a decision when joining on whether I was ok with that. I see being on the panel in the same light.

We should be aware of what membership means and involves, and be asked the same question of whether we are ok with that if we are elected.
ErikDavis

Erik Davis

US
Hyland Software
Claire Moss4 years
I am running for a second term on the board because I would like to continue working on programs that help AST and the greater testing community. I feel I was able to provide value to the AST membership by helping to create the Grants Committee and with my work on the program (both printed and content) for CAST 2016. The current board has a lot of great ideas in the works and I would like to continue to be involved with them at the level I am currently. I have built good relationships with the current board members and feel I get along with and can work with many different personality types.
 
 
What do you think the AST board has historically done well, and what do you think needs to change?Since I have only been aware of AST since 2012, I cannot speak for any prior board. Since then however, I think the board has put on a number of strong, compelling CASTs, promoted and maintained the BBST program, and tried to find ways to involve our membership in the community through the creation of various SIGs, committees, and programs like SummerQAmp and webinars. Since joining the board in 2014, I have heard again and again how well the members of both the 2014 and 2015 boards worked together. I would love to see this continue into the future as it has helped us devote time to getting things done for our members rather than bickering and squabbling.

I would like to see the board work even more with our members, especially those outside of the US, to help spread the ideas of context driven testing and to help with AST initiatives. AST was not meant to be a US only organization, so our work should not only be focused on the US. The current board has made strides over the past year to delegate former board-only work to member volunteers, including some not in the US, but I feel we need to do more.

We need to improve and expand the BBST program. Some of this work is already underway but we need to find ways to continue the work.

I would like to see an expansion of CAST style events. I don't have a master plan of what that might look like, but I do know our audience has changed over the years and clinging to the one conference a year pattern just doesn't seem to reach enough people anymore.
In the last seven years, it has felt a bit like AST's mission has become a little stale: CAST, BBST, a few SIGs, and a few Grants for meetups and webinars, but not much really relevant but new that seems to expand what AST is or enhances its overall mission. Is there an area where you feel AST is lacking in its role as a professional organization? If so, what would you suggest doing to begin to change that and increase the value to AST members and the testing community at large?I would really love to see AST creating some kind of content for testers, outside of the BBST program and out webinars. Saying this, I know it is a very difficult undertaking considering AST is a completely volunteer organization. I feel that in the past year the board has increased the amount of work being done by non-board volunteers, but it would still be difficult to find people willing to devote time and energy to creating content for the AST. This does not mean I do not want to try, just that I have an understanding of the magnitude of the task.
Conflicts of Interest are situations where a Board Member has to make decisions concerning AST while there are potentially other factors that influence their decision-making. These factors might be based on competition with other business or nonprofit interests the person has, or they may arise from relationships that could be potentially affected by decisions the Board Member makes.

Conflicts of Interest are not always obvious, but they can be insidious. Even if the Board Member believes they can safely navigate the conflict, the external perception of a conflict of interest could these conflicts worth identifying and discussing. Every Board Member will encounter potential Conflicts of Interest. What matters is how they are identified and handled.

While conducting AST business, if any potential conflicts of interest arise, you should be the first to notice the potential conflict. You might ask the rest of the board if you should be recused from the discussion and any potential votes. In other cases, you may need external perspective to see the potential conflict; the rest of the board may need to offer this help. The rest of the board would generally consider the nature and severity of the potential conflict, and decide whether recusal is appropriate. Here are some examples of potential conflicts of interest for an AST Board Member:

- You will need to vote on issues relating to the support, expansion, pricing, management of BBST. If you offer testing training as part of your professional life through any direct relationships or partnerships, you should consider how it might appear to have them make decisions about BBST.

- You will participate in planning CAST and other conferences. If you are involved in producing another testing conference, some potential conflicts could arise:
a. Which conference gets your best ideas and energy?
b. Could you participate in selecting a tutorial leader, speaker, or chair without the perception of a quid pro quo if you lead a tutorial, speak, or chair a conference someone else organizes? Another issue could arise from sponsorship for a conference, whether AST sponsors or AST is sponsored.

- AST provides Grant funds to non-profit meetups and certain conferences. Being a recipient and a giver at the same time could be an obvious conflict. It's also worth considering some of the other angles mentioned in the previous example for conferences, specifically around quid pro quo relationships.

- Any employee-employer, supervisory, business, or mentoring relationships/partnerships a Board Member has can introduce a potential conflict. An example of this is if the person a Board Member has a relationship with is asking for grant money, applying to speak at CAST, or sponsoring CAST.

a. Please describe two or more potential conflicts of interest you could personally encounter as an AST Board Member.
b. How would you recommend the rest of the board address these conflicts?
a1. I have personally encountered the employee-employer conflict while working as a member of the program committee for CAST 2015. I had an employee on my team who submitted proposals to speak at the conference. Several members of the program committee had similar conflicts. We simply noted these possible conflicts in the document we used to rate the proposals, which was visible to other members of the committee, and recused ourselves from voting on those sessions. I also went beyond that and told my employee that I would not be rating, voting on, or discussing their proposals with anyone on the committee.

b1. This is something the board will continue to encounter, but based on my work on both CAST 2015 and 2016, I can say these conflicts were brought to light, discussed, and avoided within the committee.

a2. The grant conflict is another I can see happening, especially given that we have had an increase in the number of grant request we see since early last year. I co-founded a meetup in Cleveland, Ohio. It's very small, and has only met once so far. I mentioned the AST grant program to the other co-founders in case we decided that we needed funding to help with anything at any point. I also told them that as a member of the grant committee, I would not request the grant, and I would not participate in discussing or voting on the grant. I would also tell the rest of the grant committee (of which I am the only board member) if the request was submitted that I would expect them to review it with the same diligence they have every other grant they have reviewed, but without my input.

b2. This one again would be handled within the committee, but to bring it back to the board I would say that the board should discuss, and has discussed, potential conflicts of interest when creating committees. This has helped us instill in committee members some of the types of conflicts that could occur, and that we, as a board, expect them to brought up and avoided.
How should AST engage with other communities? With other non-profit testing organizations? With commercial organizations?First, we need to figure out who these organizations are, what benefit we would get from working with each other, and then see who we need to contact. We should look to our membership for ideas, as well as testers that are not a part of AST.
Do you feel Board Members are responsible to act as a representative of Association membership, even when the general beliefs of the membership may contradict their personal beliefs?In the way our elected political officials do, yes. Board seats are filled by a majority vote. Since being on the board, I have not heard of, or witnessed, anyone getting 100% of the votes, which means no one on the board should feel that 100% of the membership shares the exact same beliefs as them. As the board, our job is to represent the membership as best we can. This means not being wasteful with AST funds, doing our best to put together meaningful conferences and other material for our members. Does this mean everyone in our membership will agree with everything everyone on the board does? No. The board may not always agree with everything everyone else on the board does. But when we do not see eye to eye, we talk things over, and at worst, come to a better understanding of why we do what we do as individuals.
Geoff Loken

Geoff Loken

Canada
Athbasca University
Fiona CharlesSince 2013, when I took BBST Foundations.
I'm deeply impressed and appreciative of the philosophy of the organization, and its commitment to teaching and mentorship. Fundamentally, I think it’s well envisioned, and has a strong, stable foundation. I’ve taken courses, attended the conferences, and networked with people I met there… and that helped shape me professionally.

I’m not bringing forward any big new ideas or initiatives. Instead, I want to work to support the organization as it is, and the projects that are already underway. I’m more than happy to take on the unglamorous behind the scenes work, from organizing, to editing, to grant writing. I’ve done this for local community groups (Heritage, Fire Department, etc) and sat on Boards and governing bodies within my University, so I’ve some experience with this kind of role.

I’m currently in the midst of attacking a Master’s thesis on testing related topics, and with seven years spent in the software test industry (four of those heavily influenced by the AST) it’s time I started giving back. I’d do this by collaborating with the other board members, both to support the existing infrastructure, and to help build towards any new projects that the organization brings forward.
 
 
What do you think the AST board has historically done well, and what do you think needs to change?One of the biggest strengths of the AST board is the operation of accessible professional programs that nurture new testers. Everything from BBST, to CAST, to the grant programs is accessible and aimed at engaging people -- that's what brought me in, and I'm sure I'm not alone. I'm not here on a platform of change, I see this as a service opportunity; if I were elected, I'd work to support and continue the existing initiatives and programs.
In the last seven years, it has felt a bit like AST's mission has become a little stale: CAST, BBST, a few SIGs, and a few Grants for meetups and webinars, but not much really relevant but new that seems to expand what AST is or enhances its overall mission. Is there an area where you feel AST is lacking in its role as a professional organization? If so, what would you suggest doing to begin to change that and increase the value to AST members and the testing community at large?If anything about AST is stale, the blame needs to be leveled at the entire industry. There's been little in recent years that would substantially move the field forward. I'm currently working on a Master's degree with a focus on testing, and I see some real gaps between the academic theorists and the practitioners. I'd like to see a stronger focus on research and evidence, and more engagement between the theorists and the people doing the work. We shouldn't have to rely on the character and charisma of speakers to convince, we should be able to definitively resolve some of the questions being asked in the industry, by engaging practice and theory.
Conflicts of Interest are situations where a Board Member has to make decisions concerning AST while there are potentially other factors that influence their decision-making. These factors might be based on competition with other business or nonprofit interests the person has, or they may arise from relationships that could be potentially affected by decisions the Board Member makes.

Conflicts of Interest are not always obvious, but they can be insidious. Even if the Board Member believes they can safely navigate the conflict, the external perception of a conflict of interest could these conflicts worth identifying and discussing. Every Board Member will encounter potential Conflicts of Interest. What matters is how they are identified and handled.

While conducting AST business, if any potential conflicts of interest arise, you should be the first to notice the potential conflict. You might ask the rest of the board if you should be recused from the discussion and any potential votes. In other cases, you may need external perspective to see the potential conflict; the rest of the board may need to offer this help. The rest of the board would generally consider the nature and severity of the potential conflict, and decide whether recusal is appropriate. Here are some examples of potential conflicts of interest for an AST Board Member:

- You will need to vote on issues relating to the support, expansion, pricing, management of BBST. If you offer testing training as part of your professional life through any direct relationships or partnerships, you should consider how it might appear to have them make decisions about BBST.

- You will participate in planning CAST and other conferences. If you are involved in producing another testing conference, some potential conflicts could arise:
a. Which conference gets your best ideas and energy?
b. Could you participate in selecting a tutorial leader, speaker, or chair without the perception of a quid pro quo if you lead a tutorial, speak, or chair a conference someone else organizes? Another issue could arise from sponsorship for a conference, whether AST sponsors or AST is sponsored.

- AST provides Grant funds to non-profit meetups and certain conferences. Being a recipient and a giver at the same time could be an obvious conflict. It's also worth considering some of the other angles mentioned in the previous example for conferences, specifically around quid pro quo relationships.

- Any employee-employer, supervisory, business, or mentoring relationships/partnerships a Board Member has can introduce a potential conflict. An example of this is if the person a Board Member has a relationship with is asking for grant money, applying to speak at CAST, or sponsoring CAST.

a. Please describe two or more potential conflicts of interest you could personally encounter as an AST Board Member.
b. How would you recommend the rest of the board address these conflicts?
There's a lot of meat here, so I apologize in advance if I miss part of the question.

I'm currently employed as the lead for a test unit in the central IT department at a publicly funded university, and completing a Master's of Science with a focus on testing. That puts me in an excellent position to participate, conflict free, in organizations like AST that are driven by non-profit principles. I'm in an excellent position to freely exchange knowledge, and skills, and eager to do that. Outside of my own research and employment, this would be my professional focus for the entire term. I think that's fair, and helps limit conflicts, and ensure that I can focus on the work at hand.

As suggested in the question, I have participated in the conference in the past as a speaker. As an elected member on the Board I wouldn't be doing so, I think these responsibilities alone should be more than enough to keep me occupied, and there should be room for new speakers. I've read the organization's bylaws, and found nothing that would preclude me from participation, and have sat on similar boards in the past without ethical issues.

All members of the Board have access to the codified principles, bylaws, and responsibilities of the organization. If there's a conflict, that should be the first stop. The second, would be to appeal to the rest of the board for guidance. If there is still doubt, I'd generally recommend a principle I learned in scouts: “Leave places better than you found them.”
How should AST engage with other communities? With other non-profit testing organizations? With commercial organizations?The organization is tasked with outreach, advocacy, and the discovery of knowledge. That's an extremely broad mandate, and it necessary has to extend to communities, not-for profits, and commercial organizations. We have a responsibility to encourage the open exchange of information and ideas, and to ambassador the organization's principles. AST already has a number of good programs designed to encourage meetups, conferences, and to support smaller organization, and it has clearly defined principles for how and when to support those. Those largely excludes profit generating, or commercial interests, but that doesn't mean AST won't have a relationship with them. With the vast majority of testers employed by profit generating organizations, I think we have a strong mandate there for outreach and advocacy.
Do you feel Board Members are responsible to act as a representative of Association membership, even when the general beliefs of the membership may contradict their personal beliefs?Members of a Board are representative of that institution, and their behaviour should be carried out accordingly. As elected representatives, a Board's authority is only as strong as the confidence of its members: it is the responsibility of members of that board to both gain, and maintain, that confidence. That will sometimes mean putting aside personal beliefs in the service of membership. Other times, disagreements can be had in a respectful and courteous manner, without violating the trust of that membership. Elected officials walk a line between leadership, and service to their members.

If you read the ACM Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct on the AST's website, it is a very strong call for respect, courtesy, and fairness. Those values absolutely must extend to instances of disagreement.
justinrohrman

Justin Rohrman

USA
Self-Employed
Carol Brands, Vernon RichardsSince 2009 I think?
I have completed one term now; one year as VP of Education, and one year as President.

In that 2 year period, I got the WHOSE skill wiki published, participated in the program committee for CAST2015, began an effort to update BBST exercises, distributed work traditionally done by the board to volunteers (grants committee), began creating our first conference outside of the US, and participated in academic research workshops (deepspec).

I am running again because I still have energy and passion for the AST mission. I am specifically interested in putting a lot of time in the education aspects of our organization -- namely adding and updating exercises, facilitating creation of video content, and attending and reporting on academic events. I also have a strong interest in continuing to drive management of programs away from the board where it makes sense and toward skilled and dedicated volunteers.
 
 
What do you think the AST board has historically done well, and what do you think needs to change?The organization we have today exists because of the work done by every board member since the first founding board in 2003. In that time, a relatively small group of people created a professional organization with a strong membership and set of guiding principles. These people created a conference that is currently in its 11th year, and all the programs and committees that directly benefit our membership. I do not believe it is my role to criticize the work of former boards, or board members. I was not there to participate in the decision making or to observe the context in which those decisions were made. AST as it exists today is testament to the quality of leadership the membership has chosen to elect.

My last two years were focused on the future of AST more than its past. The questions of how can AST continue to offer educational and training material to a wide audience, how can we engage our membership as creators and contributors to the field of software testing, and how can we expand our reach are on my mind the most.

One area I think we can be more vigilant in, and I hope I have been setting an example to other board members in this regard, is being open and honest about anything that might conflict with our roles on the board.
In the last seven years, it has felt a bit like AST's mission has become a little stale: CAST, BBST, a few SIGs, and a few Grants for meetups and webinars, but not much really relevant but new that seems to expand what AST is or enhances its overall mission. Is there an area where you feel AST is lacking in its role as a professional organization? If so, what would you suggest doing to begin to change that and increase the value to AST members and the testing community at large?In the past two years, AST has published a skills wiki, we have made several updates to exercises in BBST courses, and we have created a new webinar series. These are all new initiatives relevant to our membership and our mission of developing the understanding and practice of software testing. CAST has a new theme, new speakers, and unique content every year. Our grants program is a community effort that helps people create meetups and run workshops. All of these directly contribute to our mission, and I don’t view any of them as stale.

The important thing to remember here is that we are a non-profit organization run by small group of volunteers and the board of directors. Everything thing created through AST is done by someone that has a job, a family, and a life. To develop what we have, and create new content, we need an engaged membership.
Conflicts of Interest are situations where a Board Member has to make decisions concerning AST while there are potentially other factors that influence their decision-making. These factors might be based on competition with other business or nonprofit interests the person has, or they may arise from relationships that could be potentially affected by decisions the Board Member makes.

Conflicts of Interest are not always obvious, but they can be insidious. Even if the Board Member believes they can safely navigate the conflict, the external perception of a conflict of interest could these conflicts worth identifying and discussing. Every Board Member will encounter potential Conflicts of Interest. What matters is how they are identified and handled.

While conducting AST business, if any potential conflicts of interest arise, you should be the first to notice the potential conflict. You might ask the rest of the board if you should be recused from the discussion and any potential votes. In other cases, you may need external perspective to see the potential conflict; the rest of the board may need to offer this help. The rest of the board would generally consider the nature and severity of the potential conflict, and decide whether recusal is appropriate. Here are some examples of potential conflicts of interest for an AST Board Member:

- You will need to vote on issues relating to the support, expansion, pricing, management of BBST. If you offer testing training as part of your professional life through any direct relationships or partnerships, you should consider how it might appear to have them make decisions about BBST.

- You will participate in planning CAST and other conferences. If you are involved in producing another testing conference, some potential conflicts could arise:
a. Which conference gets your best ideas and energy?
b. Could you participate in selecting a tutorial leader, speaker, or chair without the perception of a quid pro quo if you lead a tutorial, speak, or chair a conference someone else organizes? Another issue could arise from sponsorship for a conference, whether AST sponsors or AST is sponsored.

- AST provides Grant funds to non-profit meetups and certain conferences. Being a recipient and a giver at the same time could be an obvious conflict. It's also worth considering some of the other angles mentioned in the previous example for conferences, specifically around quid pro quo relationships.

- Any employee-employer, supervisory, business, or mentoring relationships/partnerships a Board Member has can introduce a potential conflict. An example of this is if the person a Board Member has a relationship with is asking for grant money, applying to speak at CAST, or sponsoring CAST.

a. Please describe two or more potential conflicts of interest you could personally encounter as an AST Board Member.
b. How would you recommend the rest of the board address these conflicts?
a. My potential conflicts of interest arise from my association with Excelon Development. Excelon Development has run the TestRetreat peer conference before CAST for the past five years. This year, TestRetreat is an official event sold alongside CAST and endorsed by AST. I believe Excelon is also a CAST2016 sponsor. I have recused myself from decision making, as well as the conversation surrounding the decision, in any scenario involving AST and Excelon Development. To further make my point, I paid the entrance fee to attend TestRetreat and have no financial involvement (i.e. I make no money from a successful TestRetreat).

Another possible conflict is in Excelon Development being heavily involved in Agile Testing Days USA. This is potentially a conflict because Agile Testing Days USA adds another conference to the US testing conference market, and as an AST board member I am at least partly responsible for the success of CAST. I am not, and will not while I am an AST board member, be involved in the decision making, planning, or building of this conference. If I want to attend Agile Testing Days US, I have to submit through their CFP, or pay the entrance fee.

b. I recommend any board member, present or future, to talk about their conflicts publicly and recuse themselves from the conversation (to avoid biasing the board) and decision in every case. If there are conflicts to the extent that a board member's overall effectiveness would be diminished, I would encourage that person to consider whether or not they should sit on the board.
How should AST engage with other communities? With other non-profit testing organizations? With commercial organizations?I see two possible interpretations of the word community here, I’ll address both.

AST currently has a a grants program that we use to assist people in creating meetups in their cities. This is to remove financial barriers to reserving space, providing food, and recruiting speakers. Similarly, we sponsor non-profit organizations and conferences that align with our mission and occasionally partner with organizations like PNSQC.

The other interpretation of the word community I see here is groups of people that have some sort of aligning value system and theme. Examples of that might be agile, lean, and academic circles. My view is that each different community in this sense has a different context, or at least a different understanding of a context that may be familiar to us. I welcome these groups of people to participate in the testing discussion, to present at CAST, and to generally explore what testing means to them. While it may not be immediately apparent, I suspect they all have something to add to testing. I hope I showed this by attending and reporting on the DeepSpec workshop.
Do you feel Board Members are responsible to act as a representative of Association membership, even when the general beliefs of the membership may contradict their personal beliefs?AST is a corporate entity and one individual speaking in some unofficial platform (twitter for example) is not acting as a representative of the organization. Though, I do see how it could be perceived that they are representing the organization in some way. Official statements from AST come from the AST website.
OliverErlewein

Oliver Erlewein

New Zealand
Self-Employed
Eric Progler, Richard Robinson, Rajesh Mathur, Matt Heusser5 years
I have been in testing for two decades now and specialise in performance testing, but my passion lies with the whole testing world. I actively support our community in Wellington (NZ) by holding the annual Kiwi Workshop on Software Testing (KWST) and openly share my knowledge with others by speaking at conferences and in written form. I hope that becoming part of the AST board will be my next step in helping others.

Over the past decade, Oceania has come a long way in the world of testing. Modern, thinking, humanistic methods that align with context-driven have a sure foothold, but we are at a crucial time. The groundwork that has been laid out now needs to spread to become common place. We have a fast growing and vibrant community that has been supported by the AST in their endeavours.

This is an opportunity for me to do more for my community and the AST community at large. I would like to significantly extend the reach of AST and what it stands for into the Asia and Pacific regions. This not only means more memberships but also championing things like BBST and supporting conferences in this area. I also want to encourage and enable speakers from AsiaPac to share their experiences with the wider world.
 
 
What do you think the AST board has historically done well, and what do you think needs to change?The AST is the only large community that stands for the values in testing I believe in. It is the AST mission that drives me.

“advancing the understanding of the science and practice of software testing according to Context Driven principles”

The AST has run CAST extremely successfully for many years and has fostered numerous testers through BBST and other courses. It is indispensable for getting the funding needed for small communities to get up and going.

I suggest the following changes…

AST is focussed mainly on North America. It has to become a truly global organisation.
It needs to provide a framework and safe-haven for testers wherever they may be.
It should actively extend the services it offers to a wider community. Not only providing opportunity but also advertising the availability thereof.
AST should be an amalgamation point for knowledge and its dissemination. I think a lot can still be done to extend that. In order to do so I also see our members as being fundamental in feeding back this know-how.

I am sure that as I get more involved there will be much more opportunities to improve and extend the value of AST.
In the last seven years, it has felt a bit like AST's mission has become a little stale: CAST, BBST, a few SIGs, and a few Grants for meetups and webinars, but not much really relevant but new that seems to expand what AST is or enhances its overall mission. Is there an area where you feel AST is lacking in its role as a professional organization? If so, what would you suggest doing to begin to change that and increase the value to AST members and the testing community at large?Every community goes through phases of fast growth and innovation and slower periods of quiet and consolidation. This in itself is not a problem, if the focus is on the community to survive. Over the years I have learnt that keeping a community going is a lot of hard work and the returns seem minor at first. We expect grand things and are disappointed if they don't eventuate. We are generally bad at recognising and celebrating the successes we have actually achieved.

Throughout the questions here I sense disappointment with the past and that there is a perceived lack of action from the AST. I would disagree with that.

I myself have seen what difference the AST can make. Without the AST, the testing world in Wellington and New Zealand wouldn't be where it is today. It has actively supported the community here for at least 5 years. The AST in conjunction with local people has made a big difference and I think we're by far not the only ones. What people don't realise is how much the AST is actually involved. We need to extend this awareness and the possibilities that the AST offers.

As members we need to be aware that even small steps sometimes mean a lot in context. Yes, these are “just some meetups” or “webinars” but their wider impact on a community is often huge. So whatever was done in the past it should continue and we should actually take a look back at how far the AST has already come and build upon it. Maybe even the board isn’t always aware what they are actually enabling.

That's no excuse, though. The AST can and should do more. What I personally miss most is the international presence or, rather, the lack thereof. So my focus would be to…

see more international involvement with local support and backup, making the connection between our members and the AST easier
get more exchange of information, presenters, topics and even issues on a global basis
start a drive to extend AST awareness and membership numbers outside of North America

I realise it is impossible to make everyone happy all the time. The AST needs to be clear who they cater for and where its limits lie. What is important is that we serve a broad base of our members well and communicate what that looks like. And for those feeling left out, I encourage to interact with the AST so that we can lift the game.
Conflicts of Interest are situations where a Board Member has to make decisions concerning AST while there are potentially other factors that influence their decision-making. These factors might be based on competition with other business or nonprofit interests the person has, or they may arise from relationships that could be potentially affected by decisions the Board Member makes.

Conflicts of Interest are not always obvious, but they can be insidious. Even if the Board Member believes they can safely navigate the conflict, the external perception of a conflict of interest could these conflicts worth identifying and discussing. Every Board Member will encounter potential Conflicts of Interest. What matters is how they are identified and handled.

While conducting AST business, if any potential conflicts of interest arise, you should be the first to notice the potential conflict. You might ask the rest of the board if you should be recused from the discussion and any potential votes. In other cases, you may need external perspective to see the potential conflict; the rest of the board may need to offer this help. The rest of the board would generally consider the nature and severity of the potential conflict, and decide whether recusal is appropriate. Here are some examples of potential conflicts of interest for an AST Board Member:

- You will need to vote on issues relating to the support, expansion, pricing, management of BBST. If you offer testing training as part of your professional life through any direct relationships or partnerships, you should consider how it might appear to have them make decisions about BBST.

- You will participate in planning CAST and other conferences. If you are involved in producing another testing conference, some potential conflicts could arise:
a. Which conference gets your best ideas and energy?
b. Could you participate in selecting a tutorial leader, speaker, or chair without the perception of a quid pro quo if you lead a tutorial, speak, or chair a conference someone else organizes? Another issue could arise from sponsorship for a conference, whether AST sponsors or AST is sponsored.

- AST provides Grant funds to non-profit meetups and certain conferences. Being a recipient and a giver at the same time could be an obvious conflict. It's also worth considering some of the other angles mentioned in the previous example for conferences, specifically around quid pro quo relationships.

- Any employee-employer, supervisory, business, or mentoring relationships/partnerships a Board Member has can introduce a potential conflict. An example of this is if the person a Board Member has a relationship with is asking for grant money, applying to speak at CAST, or sponsoring CAST.

a. Please describe two or more potential conflicts of interest you could personally encounter as an AST Board Member.
b. How would you recommend the rest of the board address these conflicts?
I am comfortable with dealing with conflicts of interest, both my own or others’. As the question states, it is something that happens and needs to be dealt with. It is just another part of of being on the board. In my 20 years in business, I have had lots experience in dealing with all kinds of problematic or even confrontational situations. My peers confirm that my striving for unity usually shows in my words and actions. I like simple solutions, and I realise they are often hard to come by.

With the state of testing today, I strongly believe there is more than ample space for everyone and everything. There are surely not enough conferences, training courses, people, mentors, etc., to cover every need out there. Negative competition and rivalry is not really needed. It's just a question of getting it all to fit so we get most out of everything we do.
A positive attitude and some lateral thinking can go a long way to solving problems and conflicts to everyone's advantage. This might be a tad optimistic but it's my first goto, and I do get a bit antsy about politics and blatant profiteering.

The code of ethics of the AST gives me a good guide on how to avoid and/or deal with conflicts.

As for me,
I am a free contractor so have no affiliation to any vendor or organisation
I run the yearly KWST (Kiwi Workshop on Software Testing) in Wellington (New Zealand). It is co-funded by the AST and due to the success I see from that I am pro the AST grant programme. I would love to see that extended as far as the AST can manage. Should I become board member though, I would abdicate my position as organiser for the KWST to mitigate any conflict of interest
I have strong beliefs and opinions on testing which might not agree with everyone
I am a strong advocate of mentoring and peer-learning
I generally favour open source over commercial products as I am more for investing time, effort and money in people rather than products
I will be partial to supporting any venture in the Asia Pacific area as long as that is not to the disadvantage of other members
And lastly I am keen to work with the AST board to get the best outcomes for our members
How should AST engage with other communities? With other non-profit testing organizations? With commercial organizations?As said before, I believe the world is big enough for all of us. So I see advantages in combining efforts and playing alongside each other. Especially as communities are our lifeblood, we should support them as best we can. If possible, aligned communities should be drawn in closer to the AST so we can build on our combined strengths.

The interactions with organisations in general (not for profit and for profit alike) can sometimes be tricky. I'd think those need to be looked at individually. Important is that organisations do not break the code of ethics of AST, and that they align with the mission of AST and what it is trying to achieve for it's members.
Do you feel Board Members are responsible to act as a representative of Association membership, even when the general beliefs of the membership may contradict their personal beliefs?What are the "general beliefs of the membership"? That may be difficult to pinpoint. I also have a problem with the term "general" here. I'd much rather say "...when the fundamental beliefs of the membership may..." and this is more the spirit of the answers I have given.

I understand that the AST functions as a representative system. That is, people vote for board members. So with your vote you choose whoever suits your ideas and ideals. So you vote for me if you align with what I stand for. This is then how you make sure that the AST board represents you.

Of course opinions and beliefs change over time and there will be some margin of error, but I do believe a single board member should not intentionally contradict the known beliefs of its members. Where there is a conflict of interest or a personal issue it should be taken up with the board as a whole. Until such a time it would be best for the board member to stay neutral.


The board as a whole could contradict the AST members under special circumstances. If that is the case, there must be a good reason that conforms to the codes and intent of the AST. Currently the only scenario I could come up with is, if it were necessary to save the AST from disbanding or becoming liable for damages. Even so, where this is the case, all decisions need to be transparent to the members.
RobSabourin

Robert Sabourin

Canada
Amibug.com, Inc.
Ilari Henrik AegerterSince AST was formed.
I would like to apply my personal knowledge, skills and experience to building the AST community.

I believe the AST membership is much smaller than it could be. I am hard pressed to identify value we offer to members which would attract new members, other than BBST courses (origin Dr Kaner) and the annual CAST conference.

I foresee AST initiatives which would actively promote local peer conferences with shareable experience reports, examples and case studies. AST supported peer conferences could help the community build a repository of shared exemplars and context relevant assets available to members.

The AST could foster open critiques of these assets - considering business, technical, organization and cultural context factors which make them relevant.

I want to nudge the AST away from fuzzy notions of community building to real tangible stuff that would be openly available and of considerable interest to members.

We could share tons of example test charters - test session notes - test project dashboards - product risk assessments - test idea inventories - test status reports - from all manner of life cycle models, technical platforms and vertical markets. (Sanitized and obfuscated to be sure)

My vision is to help build a community that attracts practitioners who desire to be skilled professionals in our beautiful craft.

Every year I see the importance of software testing increase. I am sure we all know at least one person whose life actually depends on software. Software testing is not just a job, nor a role nor a skill set – today software testing is a social responsibility. Let’s attract members who take this seriously and want to evolve our practice.
 
 
What do you think the AST board has historically done well, and what do you think needs to change?Frankly, I have not been tracking what the AST board has or has not done.
I base my response on the little I know about based on my personal experience.
I think that the AST board has done a great job in finding dedicated
volunteers to help with CAST and BBST.
I think it is great that the AST board has liability insurance for
board members, this was not the case when I was last on the board.
In the last seven years, it has felt a bit like AST's mission has become a little stale: CAST, BBST, a few SIGs, and a few Grants for meetups and webinars, but not much really relevant but new that seems to expand what AST is or enhances its overall mission. Is there an area where you feel AST is lacking in its role as a professional organization? If so, what would you suggest doing to begin to change that and increase the value to AST members and the testing community at large?Take a deep look at the practise of software testing. What do testers
really do?.
Share and provide safe mechanisms for community provided constructive
criticism of testing examples of all sorts.
Conflicts of Interest are situations where a Board Member has to make decisions concerning AST while there are potentially other factors that influence their decision-making. These factors might be based on competition with other business or nonprofit interests the person has, or they may arise from relationships that could be potentially affected by decisions the Board Member makes.

Conflicts of Interest are not always obvious, but they can be insidious. Even if the Board Member believes they can safely navigate the conflict, the external perception of a conflict of interest could these conflicts worth identifying and discussing. Every Board Member will encounter potential Conflicts of Interest. What matters is how they are identified and handled.

While conducting AST business, if any potential conflicts of interest arise, you should be the first to notice the potential conflict. You might ask the rest of the board if you should be recused from the discussion and any potential votes. In other cases, you may need external perspective to see the potential conflict; the rest of the board may need to offer this help. The rest of the board would generally consider the nature and severity of the potential conflict, and decide whether recusal is appropriate. Here are some examples of potential conflicts of interest for an AST Board Member:

- You will need to vote on issues relating to the support, expansion, pricing, management of BBST. If you offer testing training as part of your professional life through any direct relationships or partnerships, you should consider how it might appear to have them make decisions about BBST.

- You will participate in planning CAST and other conferences. If you are involved in producing another testing conference, some potential conflicts could arise:
a. Which conference gets your best ideas and energy?
b. Could you participate in selecting a tutorial leader, speaker, or chair without the perception of a quid pro quo if you lead a tutorial, speak, or chair a conference someone else organizes? Another issue could arise from sponsorship for a conference, whether AST sponsors or AST is sponsored.

- AST provides Grant funds to non-profit meetups and certain conferences. Being a recipient and a giver at the same time could be an obvious conflict. It's also worth considering some of the other angles mentioned in the previous example for conferences, specifically around quid pro quo relationships.

- Any employee-employer, supervisory, business, or mentoring relationships/partnerships a Board Member has can introduce a potential conflict. An example of this is if the person a Board Member has a relationship with is asking for grant money, applying to speak at CAST, or sponsoring CAST.

a. Please describe two or more potential conflicts of interest you could personally encounter as an AST Board Member.
b. How would you recommend the rest of the board address these conflicts?
a. I teach courses in many aspects of software engineering including
software testing.
(professionaly, University, My courses, Other peoples courses).
I host a LAWST style workshop called MOIIST.

b. If I were on the AST board I would not offer training or tutorials at
AST events.
I would never accept any funding from AST related to MOIIST or any
other peer conference.
If this is not acceptable then I will be happy to resign.
How should AST engage with other communities? With other non-profit testing organizations? With commercial organizations?I suggest that the AST should not engage with other communities.
I suggest we engage DIRECTLY with other testers.
I suggest that the AST engage with testers who may or may not be in other communities.
I do not believe AST should support political or social agendas outside of the scope of AST responsibilities.
Do you feel Board Members are responsible to act as a representative of Association membership, even when the general beliefs of the membership may contradict their personal beliefs?I feel that if general beliefs of the membership contradict my personal beliefs then I should no longer act as a board member.
This is a matter of
integrity.

Candidate Questions

We welcome questions for the candidates from any of our members. We will publish all serious questions, and choose a shorter list to submit to the candidates.

To submit a question for the candidates, please use this Google Form.

Outline of Election Proceedings

June 15: Open Nominations, ask membership for Candidate Questions

July 8: Close of Nominations, 11:59PM (UTC/GMT -7)

On or around July 12: Announce Eligible Candidates

On or around July 19: Send Candidates Membership-Sourced Questionnaire

On or around Aug 5: Publish Candidate Questionnaire Answers

Aug 7: Start of Voting. All eligible members will be sent a link to vote electronically for up to four candidates.

Aug 9: Voting closes, 6:00PM (UTC/GMT -7)

Aug 10: 2016-2017 AST Board Announced at CAST

If you have any questions about the election proceedings, please contact us via [email protected]

About Serving on the Board

We would like to share our experience being on the board in order to help you make your decision about whether to run. Remember, running for the Board is a public service to your profession and your fellow testers. It requires dedication, sacrifice, and commitment. If you get elected, someone else will be turned away. Make sure that you are willing and able to serve. Read on for more.

Ideas and New Initiatives

Everyone thinks they have ideas of some new thing the AST should do. We’ve collected dozens. In fact, there are already far more ideas than we could ever get started, and the overhead of sustaining current initiatives is substantial. Consider this if your goal in getting elected is to start new programs for the AST.

Barely or never started initiatives are not only not helpful, they are detrimental to the organization, as they take our scarcest and most precious resource – time – away from other initiatives. People who want to start something should understand it will be more work than they think, they must be committed to seeing things through, and they must convince the board they are not going to let it fizzle.

The Work

What we do have a shortage of is time and effort. There is a significant amount of work necessary just to keep the lights on – BBST, CAST, Grants, the website, etc. Serving on the board is a duty and a responsibility to the membership and the people who brought the organization this far.

For Directors, there are three to four in-person board meetings (including CAST) each year. At a minimum, board members are expected to attend all of these, monitor and participate regularly in our Slack instance, and write a few blog posts. Some do more. There is no geographic restriction on being a board member, as long as you can attend all the meetings and do the work. For executive committee members, including all officers, there are monthly conference calls and additional responsibilities attached.

Consensus and Decisions

The 2015-16 board is fairly high-functioning – debates are short and end in decisions, we all get along, etc. The position, however, requires fielding any number of opinions from people who literally are professional critics. It requires some strength and some sacrifice of emotional energy to have your volunteer efforts harshly and flippantly judged.

Rewards

If you are joining to put sweat equity back into a non-profit that has done a lot for your career and your friends’ careers, has advanced the study and practice of your chosen profession, and helped you develop into the formidable tester you are today, you are thinking about it the right way.

If you want the honor/prestige/resume line, you are not thinking about it the right away. If you think you’ll show up to a couple meetings, give opinions, and leave – you are not. If you think you are going to show up and use your vision to refocus the spare time of a small handful of volunteers who are high-achievers at work with families and lives – you are not.

If you are ready to work hard, with little visibility and the reward of more criticism, then come on out. We need you, AST needs you, and your present and future colleagues do too. You can help people make more money, get promoted, and improve the craft. 

Yours Sincerely,

The Board of Directors Election Committee 2016
Eric Proegler & Ilari Henrik Aegerter

 

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