Thursday, January 12, 2012

CAST 2012 Tracks, Workshops, Emerging Topics, Coaching And Deadline #1

CAST 2012 is fast approaching! 

Well, some folks may think that JULY is not all that "fast approaching" in January - HOWEVER - there are some important dates coming up.

The Call For Participation is up (here). There are three basic types of presentations:

Interactive Workshops (140 minutes);
Regular Track Sessions (70 minutes - at least 25 minutes for discussion);
Emerging Topics (20 minutes - at least 5 minutes for discussion);

The deadline for Regular Tracks and Workshops is January 16.   As I write this, that is FOUR DAYS AWAY! 

The information you need to know about submitting proposals is on the website at the link above. If you are a Thinking Tester, I encourage you to consider attending CAST. If you are interested in telling people about your ideas, I encourage you to consider submitting a proposal.

Now, if you think you might like to present, and are unsure of actualling presenting - the Emerging Topics track may be a solution.  These are 20 minute snippets - enough for you to present the core of an idea and answer questions.  The deadling for THOSE submissions is June 18.  You can submit through the same process the Regular Track and the Workshop sessions are submitted. 
Here's where it gets interesting.  If you are a THINKING TESTER - and help people become better testers - the Test Coach Camp is the weekend before CAST!

Test Coach Camp will be held at the same hotel where CAST will be held.

Matt Heusser wrote about it here. The official AST release and Call for Participation can be found here.

These folks said it better than I can.

If you are interested in helping testers do their testing better, which is what Test Coaching is all about, and in Thinking Testers - Look into both of these - THEN ACT.

This is going to be a great week.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Janus Part 2: Looking Ahead 2012

Last year was really incredibly busy for me.  Work stuff happened that was crazy hectic, then the "speaker" thing moved from 1st to 2nd gear. Then the broader community expanded a bit more - or maybe my awareness of it did.  The local testing group moved from "once in a while" to "monthly meetings".

What am I looking forward to in 2012?  That is an interesting question.

Personal/Professional Development

This is something that is kind of included in the following areas.  There is much I want to learn and much I want to participate in - to help learn and see how things work in the world and not just in the theory/idea stage.  Broadly, I want to "engage closer" in the local test community, the broader community of thinking testers, a variety of projects and meetups and... life.

So, a little more detail...

Projects, Writing, Work.

The day-job is the day-job.  Yeah, there will be some interesting projects there, including a cool mobile device project.  The projects I mean here are some interesting side-projects - things with other people.  There are some cool initiatives with Matt Heusser that are interesting.  Matt is a bundle of energy with lots of ideas.  I'm flying as his wing-man on some items coming up (more on that as they get closer on the horizon.)

I'm looking into doing more writing.  Writing is cool.  It is work I can do anywhere and still have some semblance of a home life.  Its funny - the more you write on a topic, the more you find there is to learn about on the same topic.  So, if I can continue the process of writing/learning/sharing - so much the better.  There are some magazines I've decided I want to approach about article submission - and follow-up on some contacts from late in 2011.  Look for more on this in the near future.

This past August, I expressed an interest in getting more involved in the EdSIG - Education Special Interest Group of the Association for Software Testing.  Aside from a few emails, I've been really lax in that.  I want to change that this year.  I'd like to become more involved with, and as a result learn more about, training software testers - helping them learn and think and grow as craftsmen.

Two interesting factors here - First is the announced Test Coach Camp the weekend before CAST - the Conference for the Association of Software Testing.  This year's conference theme is The Thinking Tester - its going to be cool.  The Coach Camp though is a new addition and it looks fantastic - a peer conference to talk about improving how we coach testers.  I'm excited about that.

The second interesting factor is I volunteered to be a "contingency" instructor (I kind of missed the rush of people signing up to be "assistant" instructors because I let non-work email slip a bit while wrapping a project) for the BBST Foundations Course this March.  I don't know if it will balance out, but I'm looking forward to it. 


Aside from the education and learning stuff, there are other aspects I'm looking forward to engaging (OK, note, don't try and write something after watching "Office Space" and trying to sound "professional").  The local tester group is up and running - next meeting is in two weeks and on a topic that should bring about good discussion - we're talking metrics.  Oh yeah, pass the popcorn. 

Toward the end of 2011, I began attempting to be more helpful in online forums - I'm afraid some folks consider my approach "annoying" - others seem to realize I'm asking questions to help me form an answer, and will "play along". 

There are, of course, a pile of conferences out there - the mentioned CAST conference in July.  STPCon Spring, I'm afraid I can't make work, but there are other possibilities out there.  It will be a busy, fantastic year that way, I think.

Cool People

There are many folks out there that I spend time with as much as I can.  There are others that, if I can, I want to spend more time with, learning from, learning with, sharing ideas and getting a clue.  Now, some are broadly spread - over North America, Europe, some in India... So, kind of a "I'd like to and I'm not sure I can make it work, but I want to" list. 

In generally alphabetical order, people I really want to find a way to hang with and learn from this year...

Perze Ababa   Ajay Balamurugadas   Bernie Berger   Paul Carvalho  
Salena Delesie   Markus Gaertner    Paul Holland     Phil Kirkham  
Micahel Larsen   Darren McMillan   Catherine Powell   Mark Tomlinson
And of course, the folks I enjoy learning from already, although meetings are sometimes few and far between, and often only by Skype - Fiona Charles, Michael Bolton, James & Jon Bach, Griffin Jones, Nancy Kelln, Lanette Creamer, Matt Heusser, Mel Bugai, Lynn McKee... and all the rest.

For all you have done to help me learn, thank you.  I look forward to learning with you all this year.