2011-2012 Nominations and Election

2011-2012 Board of Directors Candidates

The nomination period for the 2011-2012 Board of Directors is officially closed. Thank you to those who provided nominations. There are three open spots on the board this year and these are the candidates:

  • Matthew Heusser

Cem Kaner
  • Michael Larsen
  • Catherine Powell
  • Peter Walen

Learn more about each of the candidates in the Candidate Bios section below.

AST members will be voting electronically on August 7th at 12:00 am (GMT) – August 9th at 12:00 am (GMT). The results of the election will be announced during the Annual Members Meeting to be held on August 9th from 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm (PDT), 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm (GMT), during the CAST Conference.

‘Ask the Candidates’ Event

The 2011 election candidates are hosting a live, town-hall style event on Twitter on Monday, August 1st from 9:00 PM – 10:00 PM (EDT), 1:00 AM – 2:00 AM Tuesday, August 2nd (GMT). Participants are encouraged to ask questions using the hashtag #ASTElect. Questions can be directed at specific candidates or general questions that will allow anyone to answer.

We hope you will attend this event to learn more about this year’s candidates, and to help us understand the issues you think are important in our community.

‘The Great AST Board of Directors Debate’ Podcast Series

The 2011 election candidates held an interactive debate sharing their interest in participating on the AST Board of Directors. Check out the series of podcasts here:

Candidate Bios

Please see the following bios for this year’s candidates sharing their interest in participating on the AST Board of Directors.

Matthew Heusser

Matt Heusser has been a technical contributor and coach on software projects for his entire professional career.

Out of the work week, Matt’s professional life is equally intense. This year, Matt contributed to the forward to Robert Martin’s “The Clean Coder”, a book aimed primarily at programmers. He also served on the “Influential Voices” program for the American Society for Quality. He is the lead editor for “How to Reduce the Cost of Software Testing”, a testing anthology project managers, customers, and executives will want to read. Matt also writes a column for STQA Magazine which highlights important voices in the context-driven community. He blogs and speaks on the key topics of the day.

Most of Matt’s successes come by working with people, and building relationships. Although Matt is primarily a tester, his work is consistently absorbed and referenced outside of the context-driven test community.

For his role in the AST, Matt is interested in a three-legged platform. First, he would like to help create real, meaningful training for new testers. This will both provide recognition for the profession in the marketplace, and also differentiation for those with hard testing skills. Second, he’d like to see (and create!) more career path options for mid-to-senior level testers besides ‘going into management’. Third, Matt would reach out to those outside the community, providing information about the value excellent testers can bring to a development team. To accomplish this, in 2011-2012, Matt will focus on organizing peer conferences and publishing, including possibly restarting AST Press, helping with the AST newsletter, or helping to build the AST forum as a more vibrant community.

Cem Kaner

Cem Kaner has pursued a multidisciplinary career centered on the theme of
the satisfaction and safety of software customers and software-related workers. With a law degree (practice focused on the law of software quality), a doctorate in Experimental Psychology, and 17 years in the Silicon Valley software industry, Dr. Kaner joined Florida Institute of Technology as Professor of Software Engineering in 2000. Cem is senior author of three books: Testing Computer Software (with Jack Falk and Hung Quoc Nguyen), Bad Software (with David Pels), and Lessons Learned in Software Testing (with James Bach and Bret Pettichord). At Florida Tech, his research is primarily focused on the question, How can we foster the next generation of leaders in software testing? (See TestingeEducation.org for some course materials and this Proposal to the National Science Foundation for a summary of the course-related research.) Cem was one of the founders
of AST and he has been a Director since then. His primary value to the Board (in his opinion) are (a) he carries a lot of organizational memory, providing context for several previous Board actions or policies; and (b) his legal knowledge is sometimes useful; he’s the only lawyer on the Board. Cem also chairs the Education SIG. Most of his AST-related work over the past two years has involved creating new video courses and applying for grants to cover development, maintenance, sys admin and some of AST operational costs associated with these courses.

Michael Larsen

Michael Larsen believes in fostering and developing community, and focusing on the people rather than the process. To this end, Michael is actively involved and engaged in helping testers learn and develop their craft, both through AST and other means.

He is an active instructor with AST and has taught (as an assistant or lead instructor) several Foundation and Bug Advocacy courses. He produces a podcast each week with Matthew Heusser called “This Week in Software Testing”, offering the opportunity for testers to understand the testing field and community from many different angles and from many different participants. He is a co-founder and facilitator of the Americas Chapter of Weekend Testing, and enjoys facilitating and leading testing sessions with his fellow testers, who come from all over the globe to participate. Michael is currently in the process of assisting Albert Gareev with the development and facilitation of “Project Sherwood”, which is meant to be a more in-depth and regular meeting of Weekend Tester participants, designed to be the next step in the Weekend Testing methodology of self-organized testing and training. Michael is a brown belt in the Miagi-do School of Software Testing, and enjoys mentoring and working with other testers. His blog, TESTHEAD, is written from the viewpoint of helping other testers learn from his mistakes, as well as occasional good guesses and successes. Outside of Software Testing, Michael is an active adult leader in the Boy Scouts of America, where he has served in numerous leadership positions over the past 18 years (currently as the Scoutmaster for BSA Troop 250 in San Bruno, CA).

In all of these endeavors, Michael realizes that it is the people that participate in these endeavors that make them work. It’s with the goal of reaching out and engaging the participants in AST to become involved and take part that he feels he can be most effective, and hopes that that excitement and engagement will help inspire other testers to likewise reach out to others

Catherine Powell

Catherine Powell is not very good at staying in boxes. She has held many roles in technology, ranging from tester to manager to developer to support to agile coach, and is currently a principal at Abakas. She has a soft spot for the art of testing, and has been active in the testing community since she first discovered that testing was a whole lot of fun and filled with thinking people. She has written articles for numerous journals, spoken at STPCon and CAST, and been an AST member since 2007. When not writing articles with Matt Heusser or talking through a test conundrum – technical or human – with Pete Walen, Catherine also blogs at http://blog.abakas.com.

Catherine has been the volunteer coordinator at AST for the past year, and would spend her time on the board doing very similar things: working to make AST a tool of the members and the testing community as a whole. AST is not about a conference (although CAST is awesome), and it’s not about the board. AST is about what the membership makes it. Catherine is dedicated to opening AST up to the membership as a whole, and working with the existing and new board to helping members connect – online and in person. Those connections between testing practitioners are what will take testing forward, and Catherine is excited to be part of that.

Peter Walen

Pete Walen is a software tester. He has been in software development for over 25 years. After starting as a programmer and moving up in technical responsibility, he moved to testing to start a test team from scratch. He set out to learn good testing and teach it to his group while learning it himself. He found there was much contradictory if not misleading information being distributed. That started his search for what was good testing. That led Pete to AST.

Many people suggested AST as a good fit for what he was trying to learn. Meeting and sharing ideas with bright people like Lynn McKee, Nancy Kelln and Griffin Jones has been a huge help, and joy, for him. Being comfortable enough to engage Michael Bolton or Fiona Charles in a skype or email conversation around a thorny issue shows a unique aspect of the membership of AST, a thoughtful, thinking group looking to perfect the craft we share.

This past spring Pete completed the BBST Foundations course, where he met Catherine Powell (cyberly) and others. Meeting Matt Heusser came indirectly though AST. However, since then they have been building a relationship on projects small and large that has reinforced the idea of broader community. Work commitments have kept him a very quiet member of the Education SIG. However, Pete intends to join in more actively particularly as he recently completed the pilot online BBST Instructor Course.

Pete has served on the board of non-profit organizations in the past, including a Credit Union, cultural heritage organizations and a drum and bugle corps. He blogs at RhythmofTesting.

2011 Nomination and Election Committee

AST’s 2011 Nomination and Election Committee (NEC) includes:
Lynn McKee (Chair)
Griffin Jones
Nancy Kelln

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this year’s election, please write the NEC at [email protected]


4 Responses to 2011-2012 Nominations and Election

  1. […] MembershipJoin Us!Skype CoachingSponsorshipVolunteeringGovernanceMeeting MinutesBoard of Directors2011 Nominations and ElectionPast LeadershipSpecial Interest Groups (SIG)STiFS WorkshopWorkshops (LAWST)LAWSTLAWST-inspired […]

  2. […] MembershipJoin Us!Skype CoachingSponsorshipVolunteeringGovernanceMeeting MinutesBoard of Directors2011 Nominations and ElectionPast LeadershipSpecial Interest Groups (SIG)STiFS WorkshopWorkshops (LAWST)LAWSTLAWST-inspired […]

  3. […] on the AST Board of Directors including providing online bios and photos, hosting a live ‘Ask the Candidates‘ event on Twitter, and creating the ‘Great AST Board of Directors Debate‘ podcast […]

  4. […] MembershipJoin Us!Skype CoachingSponsorshipVolunteeringGovernanceMeeting MinutesBoard of Directors2011 Nominations and ElectionPast LeadershipSpecial Interest Groups (SIG)STiFS WorkshopWorkshops (LAWST)LAWSTLAWST-inspired […]