I’m running for the 2020-2022 AST Board of Directors

I’m running for the 2020-2022 AST Board of Directors
Photo by Mika Baumeister / Unsplash

Elections just opened for the Association for Software Testing’s Board of Directors for which I’m a candidate. If you are a voting-eligible member of the AST I’d appreciate the consideration as I run for my 2nd term.

For those who are voting (or possibly just interested) I completed a list of candidate questions. For fun you can compare them to my answers from 2018.

I did want to highlight a few questions that I think are important:

How do you intend to promote diversity within the AST? How could AST promote diversity, of all kinds, within our own organization and within the wider testing and technology communities?

Although it sounds corny, we need to create the communities we want to see. If we want a more diverse and inclusive community, whether that be within the AST or among the wider technology community it means spending the time to find the people and build those relationships.  It’s not about waiting for people to join. It means proactively reaching out to people who are doing things we like and highlighting their work for all of the community to see. If, in the rare instance, they aren’t part of the community it means asking them to be part of it and to help support them.

This is what I’m doing. Watching, listening and highlighting the good work of others so I can reach out to build those relationships. 

Please share your vision for the future of the AST’s BBST program.

The next big changes for our existing classes will revolve around dropping the AST-BBST name. BBST is a registered trademark of Altom and the use of AST-BBST doesn’t provide enough of a differentiation of that trademark. In order to continue our updates and still be able to market our classes we need to drop the BBST trademark. 

Second and perhaps most challenging is the process of updating, augmenting and in some instances outright replacing our lecture videos. In addition to wanting to use the new slides, we also want to be able to expose those lectures to more formats of classes including potential self-training options. This just isn’t possible given their current format. 

Our classes have a wealth of knowledge about testing but they aren’t designed to be consumed in the most useful ways. We are looking into additional ways to share that knowledge but in more consumable formats and for wider audiences.

There are of course many other things we want to do. We still have yet to find a way to give instructors better supporting tools but this seems really solvable. We are also in the very very early stages of planning out at least one additional class. 

Our training classes generally have lots of volunteers but I think it’s time to start asking people to help out more, both in the creation of new content, in helping us run things. I think it’s time to build out this community in a more direct way. 


My view of diversity and community building have changed over the last few years. So far my biggest lesson learned is that we have to actively recruit for the communities we want. This directly affects diversity. We need to be watching the community at all levels, tapping active members and generally being more inclusive.

We’ve great strides to improve the AST’s testing education materials. The first part of that process is starting, a second wave will be coming but this is a long process that I feel really passionate about. I wish I had more time to write about this, perhaps I will do so in the near future!

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Jamie Larson