CAST 2007 Day 1

It's late and I've got to get up early tomorrow but first a few words about day 1 of CAST 2007.

Nice keynote from Lee Copeland on his view of testing innovations.  Q&A was his asking the audience what they thought upcoming testing innovations would be.  A bit of discussion on testing certification in the Q&A indicated to me that it's a hot topic.

For the morning breakout session, I attended Mike Kelly's session Specialists and Other Myths.  He admitted the session wasn't fully baked but it generated some interesting discussion.  In the Q&A there was some good discussion and one question in particular that helped me.  The people in the audience that put themselves out there encouraged those of us who don't to put ourselves out there.  What about our fear of appearing incompetent or getting in over our head?  The community will help you if you ask was the reply.  After day 1, I believe it.

Afternoon keynote was Esther Derby with some practical advice on how to bring stuff from the conference back to your job in an effective way.  Esther was easily the best speaker of the day.  The way she delivers presentations is very subtle.

For the afternoon breakout, I attended Ryan Gerard's presentation on what he calls "Meta-Framework" - a new pattern for test automation.  This was an interesting session more for the people it brought together than for the presentation itself.  It turns out there are multiple people who are doing the same thing in slightly different ways and so the pattern isn't that new.  The session was great, though for the Q&A and the discussion afterwards.

I sat in on the preamble for the tester competition and the AST board of directors election and status presentation but I had to leave before the meat of the competition.  I was glad I could stay for those two events because it gave me more insight into the people that are a part of AST.  The word community came up a few times today and it really feels like one so far.