CAST 2023

NASCAR Hall of Fame, Charlotte, North Carolina November 06, 2023, November 07, 2023

CFP closed at  April 30, 2023 23:59 UTC

This year’s theme is “Context: TEAM” and will be hosted at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, NC. What a winning combination!

What does it take to win a single NASCAR race? Or to win a season championship? Is it only a good driver, or a good car? Doubtful. But, even if we teamed up with a great driver and great car, does that translate to winning every race throughout the season? Again, doubtful. Each race is unique and the cars must be tuned appropriately. The driver must be prepped. The pit crew must plan and stock the right equipment and parts. But even with all that tuning for the upcoming race’s context variables, changing conditions during the race will require the entire TEAM (manager, driver, and pit crew) to adjust strategies and make real-time decisions right up to the finish line. And the team’s spotter is one of the key sources of information throughout the race. They must know what to look out for and report on during the race to provide the greatest value to the team and increase their collective chance of success. With success, the team enjoys better sponsorship opportunities and can thrive.

So, what does it take to “win” a software development project? Will an excellent testing process and great testers alone be able to guide a team’s success? Doubtful. If the process and people don’t consider changing context factors at the outset and during the race, it’s possible to miss the mark and waste effort along the way.

What experiences, tips, and tools can you share about factors enabling a TEAM’s success? Some examples include:

  • Aligning team goals for better collaboration

  • Acquiring sponsorship, champions, tools, and time

  • Flexibility of processes, practices, and tools that enable a team to pivot

  • Playing the role of a quality coach within the team as a servant leader

  • Cross-training efforts, paired work, and sharing roles and responsibilities within a team

  • Relevant, timely, and effective information-gathering and sharing methods

  • Tuning information for various stakeholder needs (project vs. technical stakeholders)

  • Tuning information based on the stage of the project, shifting priorities, goals, etc.

The first day of the conference will be our tutorial and team-building day. During the first half of the day, we’re looking for a tutorial that will give attendees an applicable way to help their teams or provide some ways the attendee can be more in tune with their team. The tutorial will likely have between 50 - 70 people in attendance, but we think this could be a great opportunity to create a team-based tutorial. Following lunch, we’ll have a team-building exercise that lets you get some experience working with a team at the conference using equipment and activities that are all NASCAR themed.

The second day will have keynote talks, workshops, and track sessions that will focus on teamwork and helping attendees be part of a winning team.

If any of the above has you fired up and ready to roll, then submit your Proposal for a Tutorial, Track Session, Workshop, or Keynote by April 30, 2023.

CFP Description

Now that you know the format, we are looking for your participation as a speaker. If you have a particular approach, practices, skills, processes or anything that you feel can be applied to creating a winning team then we want to hear from you. Please apply to speak whether you have tips and tricks on building a team, working with a team, building testing skills on the team, or any other aspect around teams and applying a context-driven approach.

We are looking for diversity in topics, diversity in speakers, and diversity in teaching methods. We are always on the lookout for new speakers. Please do not think to yourself: “no one is interested in what I am doing.” If what you are doing is working with a great team, or even if you aren’t part of a great team and have some failure experiences to share, we’re interested to learn from you and share those learnings with the AST community.

Each type of Talk you submit (Track Session, Keynote, Workshop, Tutorial) is expected to include a timed portion for attendees to ask questions about your presentation. We call this part of our conference Open Season and allows and encourages our attendees to ask any questions about the material presented and get more information on a particular context or a different context. So, an example of a Track Session would be 40 - 45 minutes of presentation followed by our Open Season questions that would be between 15 - 20 minutes long. We have a facilitator in each presentation to help keep track of questions and threads.