I'm back from CAST 2011, and I've had some time to digest the experience and think about what thoughts I want to share. There have been many excellent write-ups that give detailed account of what transpired at the conference, and there is no need for another (worse) one. Instead, I'll make some short remarks on my impressions.
I had very high expectations, but I'm still amazed.
What drives me in life in general and as a tester in particular is a continuous strive forwards and a desire to learn and progress. I have no sympathy whatsoever for people who seem to consider testing to be nothing more than a way to pass time and earn your paycheck. What made CAST 2011 such a fantastic experience was that it was a gathering of enthusiastic, engaged, creative and ambitious testers. All willing both to learn and to teach. Everyone was friendly and approachable and willing to share. I was in awe of all the experience and knowledge that was surrounding me.
Even though there were of course different opinions on various topics on a smaller scale, it was fantastic to see such a large body of people all strive in the same general direction, sharing the same goal. And I find it very comforting to see people (testers) take such pride in their work.
I learned a lot and got a bunch of new ideas to try out, but mainly I was just soaking up the joy and energy. Thank you everyone who attended and thereby contributed to making CAST 2011 one of the best conference I've ever been to.
I'm proud to be a tester.