The Association for Software Testing (AST) recently announced the tutorial lineup for its upcoming conference in Colorado Springs. It’s an impressive lineup, covering both mainstream topics (like agile) and more daring conference topics (like self-learning).
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Looking at the AST tutorial lineup got me thinking. How does this compare to other conference tutorial lineups? And what are the current tutorial themes at conferences today? I suppose I could have looked at keynotes or track presentations, but I like tutorial topics because people often pay extra for them. That means they, in theory, might represent the topics people are most interested in.
A quick look at the upcoming Conference for the Association for Software Testing, Software Test and Performance Conference, and STAREAST yields the following breakdown (using my arbitrary topic classifications):
Test management covers building and managing the test organization, process improvement and metrics. It’s a broad classification (I know), but I didn’t want 30 categories. Test analysis includes any topic that provides a structured way to design tests (with the exception of exploratory testing which I broke out into its own category because I wanted to see how often that was offered). Agile includes all the tutorials that have “agile” in the title — automation and performance are built out in a similar way.
So what might this tell us? If you group the numbers, you can see that we spend roughly equal amounts on management (25%), analysis (23% for analysis and exploratory testing), and coding (23% for automation, performance and database). I think that balance is important and I’m happy to see it emerge from the data. It’s a mix that shows the multifaceted problem of software testing.