The theme was "Bridging Between Communities", a theme I really loved. It is great to exchange experience with other testers working in a similar context. It is also great to share knowledge with testers working in different ones. And it is great to learn from people who do not identify as tester as well! Maria Kedemo was program chair and created a wonderful offer. It was really hard to pick a session and I would have loved to go to each and every one of them. Thanks a lot for the diversity provided.
Organizers in general were great and really supportive. Together with their volunteers they did a great job! I felt very welcome, communication was easy, and facilitation and support during the conference was awesome. Especially as a speaker this part is nowadays really important for me. Though we had some short-term changes in the schedule or regarding rooms, everything went smooth and without major problems.
Getting to a conference as speaker is a great thing for me in any case. It's not only that I get the chance to share my experience and give back to the community from which I received so much myself, or that I receive the opportunity to level up my presentation and training skills, but also that I learn so much from these conferences myself. I learn as an attendee, I can reach out to fellow speakers way more easily, and I get approached myself by other participants myself. As I identify as introvert at heart, this helps me so much to connect with people and learn from them. Thank you for making it so much easier for me.
At CAST 2018, there were so many wonderful people with whom I enjoyed many insightful conversations.
- Lisa Crispin. I consider myself really lucky that we had so many opportunities over the last year to meet and exchange thoughts. I enjoy all our conversations and am already really happy that we are going to meet again at three more conferences within the next half year!
- Marianne Duijst. Thank you for listening, for providing constructive feedback, for facilitating the questions for my talk, for your most wonderful sketch notes, and last but not least for spending a full day with me after the conference doing awesome touristic stuff! I am so glad I got to know you.
- Ashley Hunsberger. It was such a great coincidence that we had a first call just a few weeks before CAST! It was even more lovely meeting you in real life, and just picking up things from where we left them. Thanks for the evening spent talking about anything and everything.
- Lena Wiberg & Tomas Rosenqvist. It was fabulous to meet you in person, and that even already on the plane to Orlando. Thank you for sharing your experience. You gave me so much food for thought!
- Angie Jones. Finally I had the opportunity to join one of your tutorials! It was great. Even better was the opportunity to talk with you. Thanks for making it easy, as well as for your feedback! :-)
- Amit Wertheimer. It was great meeting you again, I really enjoyed our deep conversations on so many topics! Already looking forward to the next chance.
- Jan Eumann. There are still not too many people who already experienced mob programming, mob testing, or mob anything. I really enjoy sharing thoughts with those who did! Even greater considering the fact that we now submitted a proposal for a mob session at another conference together.
If you came that far in my post you might think this conference was all about people. Well, I think conferences are indeed about the people, just like software development is. Still, those people also shared great content. I learned a bunch again and took several ideas with me back to work. Here are my highlights of each conference day I attended.Women in testing dinner @ cast2018— Lena Pejgan Wiberg (@LenaPejgan) August 11, 2018
So big a Group that we needed two pictures to get everyone in it!
This is the most awesome community I’ve ever met. Thank you all for being amazing. The tweet length won’t fit everyone, Please help me add twitter handles! pic.twitter.com/VqyKMtjTgA
- Tutorial day. The tutorial "Advanced Automation for Agile: UI, Web Services, and BDD" by Angie Jones. She taught everyone how to create a well designed automation framework, shared her experience, demoed what she told, and made sure everyone shared the same page. At times I perceived the pace as slow, yet "slow allows for thoughtful thinking" to quote Maaret Pyhäjärvi. It felt good to learn that I know more than I thought I would. That I could easily follow and still had time to help others, and was able to do so.
- Conference day 1. This day is tricky, as I had two favorite sessions. The workshop "An Exploration of Observing - Creating system awareness in our quest for quality" by Louise Perold was great to practice our observations skills hands-on and especially debrief what happened and what we perceived. And the talk "Risk Based Testing: Communicating Why You Can't Test EVERYTHING" by Jenny Bramble was so entertaining that I even forgot that I was next! It also made obvious how important communication, talking about risk to guide our testing, and team morale really is.
- Conference day 2. Finally I could hear Marianne Duijst's talk "Wearing Hermione’s Hat: Narratology for Testers". Learned a lot about biases, perspectives, trust when it comes to information, as well as enabling others. It was simply awesome. If you get a chance to hear it, take it. It should have been a keynote for everybody to hear.
Really enjoyed @techgirl1908's tutorial at #CAST2018 today. Valuable input to bring home to work! Also, learned again I know more than I think I do; still need to practice more and get deeper. Bonus: glad I could help some people 😊— Elisabeth Hocke (@lisihocke) August 8, 2018
Reflecting on my #CAST2018 experience: one of the best talks was @marianneduijst's "Wearing Hermione's Hat: Narratology for Testers". So glad I finally heard it live! Was a perfect closing talk. Really should have been a closing keynote.— Elisabeth Hocke (@lisihocke) August 12, 2018
Lisi, a newer voice who is appearing everywhere, shares her sources of inspiration.— Angie Jones (@techgirl1908) August 8, 2018
That sure is an amazing list of influencers! No wonder Lisi is on fire 🙌🏾 #CAST2018 pic.twitter.com/r2WlCNpqj4
Lisi Hocke's Testing Tour on stage! Teaming up with testers around the world & learning to become better testers together. Great story & lessons learned. Go read her blogs about her tour: https://t.co/0OzjFAQOrL #sketchnote @lisihocke pic.twitter.com/WBX31mqdQ7— Marianne Duijst (@marianneduijst) August 8, 2018
The slides for my talk "Cross-team Pair Testing: Lessons of a Testing Traveler" are now available here: https://t.co/xXuG93yHIo #CAST2018 #TestingTour https://t.co/dMq1gXfNl6— Elisabeth Hocke (@lisihocke) August 10, 2018
In addition to my talk, I gave my workshop "Mobservations - The Power of Observation in a Mob". I had less time to prepare myself for it as expected as schedule slots were swapped, so I felt less energized and the session less organized as it could have been. Still it went out okay, people got value out of it, and I also received constructive feedback how to improve it further. As Louise Perold shared with me, workshops are never perfect, they can always be improved. And they depend also on the people you have and your skills to adapt to them and the context.Ever wondered how does passion about testing look like? You should listen to @lisihocke speaking in #CAST2018. It's contagious in the most positive way possible— always fearful (@always_fearful) August 8, 2018
'Mobservation: The Power of Observation in a Mob' by Lisi Hocke at #CAST2018 If you are learning or contributing in a mob, you are in the right place. Ideas need to be vocalized before they can be acted upon. Kindness, consideration and respect. Thank you @lisihocke #sketchnote pic.twitter.com/QZDbyeUx5x— Marianne Duijst (@marianneduijst) August 9, 2018
In conclusion, the people were great. The conference was great. And then also the social activities around were great! For example, the sponsors enabled most of the people to visit Kennedy Space Center where we all had dinner together. What a location for that!There should be more of those in conferences. Mobbing, especially in a conference is challenging, but a very interesting way to learn https://t.co/eSQq5qHbZU— always fearful (@always_fearful) August 9, 2018
Just watched the Parker #SolarProbe atop a #DeltaIVHeavy rocket lift off to the sun! Thank you #CAST2018 for an experience that's one of a kind 🌞 pic.twitter.com/YdRyHN1EpU— Elisabeth Hocke (@lisihocke) August 12, 2018
Last but not least: I have the most awesome team ever.It's our last night at Cocoa Beach. I spent 1/3 nights getting up to watch rockets (Parker in vid!) and all the others dreaming about them. Pelicans, lizards, live music, thunderstorms... oh, and there was a pretty awesome conference too. Thank you for bringing me here! #CAST2018 pic.twitter.com/F0qG7OT08o— Liz Keogh (@lunivore) August 13, 2018
After #CAST2018 and a bit of vacation I returned to work today. And found: everything's tested and done, nothing waiting! So proud and thankful for a calm and smooth start, my team did an awesome job to keep everything flowing 💪 #proudflixtech— Elisabeth Hocke (@lisihocke) August 16, 2018