Good Practices, In Context 

  1. The value of any practice depends on its context.
  2. There are good practices in context, but there are no best practices.

– Context-Driven Testing Principles #1 and #2

Software systems are complex systems. Effective testing requires selecting strategies and techniques that fit the context — the people, the product, the purpose, the constraints, and more — in which the software is designed, implemented, delivered, managed, and consumed. 

Deciding how and what to test without significant consideration for the context can lead to inefficient, or even ineffective, testing; poor testing can lead to unnecessary ignorance of risks. Thinking first about the context and the information needed to address risks can enable us to effectively test our software products and services, and provide information that helps increase value and reduce risk. 

Rather than simply implement techniques others proclaim to be “best”, context-driven testers assess the context and select testing practices that fit their current situation. Context-driven testers recognize that practices that work well in some places and at some times may not work well for others. Great testers fill their tool boxes with a variety of information and techniques from which they can draw to solve the specific testing challenges they encounter. And that’s where you come in!  

Tell us about your testing practices, the contexts in which you practice them, and what makes them good. And if they turned out to be not so good, tell us about that too! We want to hear real-world testing stories; stories about your selection and application of testing techniques and tools.

For CAST 2020, we want real world stories about the practice of testing:

  • Stories about fleshing out requirements.
  • Stories of balancing risk and value.
  • Stories about the struggle to select the most valuable tests.
  • Stories about designing experiments.
  • Stories about the performance of testing.
  • Stories of sharing your discoveries with others. 

We want to hear about your testing practices: why you selected them, how you refined them, and the contexts in which the practices helped (or hindered) in accomplishing your testing missions.


Call for Proposals 

*** Now Closed ***

We invite you to share your experiences and thoughts related to our theme, Good Practices, in Context. We are looking for a broad and diverse scope of submissions.  We strongly encourage and prefer proposals based on your personal experiences. 


What are we really looking for? 

We are looking for talks that engage people in deep discussions, bringing forward something attendees would continue to talk about after the session is over. We also encourage sessions which can be very interactive and let the participants be more hands on. We wish to see a great mix of both technical and non-technical sessions of this type. 

You don’t need to be a tester to submit a proposal. Perhaps you have stories about how your view of testing has changed from negative to positive? Maybe you have worked with a great tester? We welcome proposals from anyone who feels that they have something to contribute in line with this year’s conference theme.  


Types of Sessions 


We are seeking proposals for 1-hour presentations and 2-hour workshops. We also invite proposals for other types of sessions. 

Presentations consist of a 40 minute talk followed by 20 minutes of moderated discussion. The preferred track session is an experience report. An experience report is a story of real-world experience told by a person involved in the described work. Good experience reports provide the audience with context along with the practices implemented, the results achieved, and the lessons learned. 

Workshops are 2 hour sessions in which the presenter leads discussions and/or conducts exercises. We’re looking for workshops that teach techniques you have practiced and are comfortable talking about the contexts in which they have been (or have not been) useful to you. Workshops that involve performances of software testing are even better. Please detail the session, learning objectives, and deliverables created by students in your proposal.

Speaker Defined Sessions may be of varying length and formats. Please describe, to the best of your ability, how much time you need, what sort of resources you will need, and how you imagine you will present your material. If you want to narrate a live testing session, test breakfast tacos, hold a mini peer conference, or present findings from a study, this is the place to describe that. Surprise us!


Proposals  *** Now Closed *** 

Proposals are to be submitted through PaperCall.IO. You do not need to be a member of AST to submit a proposal or to speak. 


Speaker Compensation  

The speaker for each Track or Interactive Workshop session will receive $250 in speaker compensation, two nights of accommodation, plus up to $500 additionally in travel expense reimbursement, and will receive free admission to the CAST 2020 conference. Paired presenters will split the honorarium and travel benefits, but both will receive conference tickets.


Code of Conduct  

All Speakers and Attendees are subject to the CAST Code of Conduct. By applying to speak, you are indicating your willingness to comply with the Code.

Important CFP Dates and People

October 28, 2019 – Call for Proposals Opens 

January 10, 2020 – Call for Proposals Closes

February 15, 2020 – Initial speaker selection will be complete. Speakers will be notified shortly afterward.

Around March 15, 2020 – Program will be Announced

August 3-6, 2020 – CAST 2019


Conference Chair: Simon “Peter” Schrijver

Program Co-Chairs: Amanda Nobil and Ben Simo 

We encourage new speakers!


Speak Easy


 Speaker selection is hard. One challenge is including known, experienced speakers while encouraging new and diverse voices and creating opportunities for development. AST partners with Speak Easy to help. Please send us any other ideas on balance and speaker selection to [email protected]