The best software testing conferences of 2018

Some may see testing as a fairly boring and static set of practices, but the leaders in this space know that it is a vibrant practice that is constantly improving every year thanks to exciting new techniques made possible by better automation tools and artificial intelligence. Attending conferences is the best way to keep your skills and knowledge about these trends up to date—and connect with your peers in the larger testing community.

Here is our shortlist of the most popular testing conferences in 2018. We've listed them all, although not all dates, locations, and pricing were available at publication time, especially for those events taking place later in 2018. In those cases, we have provided historical information on the event to give you an idea of what to expect, and what you'll get out of attending. Keep checking back: We'll update this guide as more information becomes available.

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Software Test Automation

January

Automation Guild

Twitter@AutomationGuild
Web: https://automationguild.com/
Date: January 8-10
Location: Online
Cost: $197 (20% off for groups of 5 or more)

Automation Guild is a fairly new but already-popular conference, conveniently accessible from the comfort of your home. With over 20 speakers and more attendees than many small but more expensive conferences, Automation Guild is a conference and community forum that kicks off the year with a focus on test automation. Recordings are available 24 hours after the conclusion of each conference day, and even if you can't make it, you can still purchase the videos afterward—you'll miss out on the many interactive opportunities though.

Who should attend: Software testers and developers

CodeMash

Twitter: @codemash
Web: www.codemash.org
Date: January 9-12
Location: Sandusky, Ohio, USA
Cost: $350-$650 

CodeMash is focused on being fun and family-friendly. The event is held at Kalahari Resort, Ohio's largest indoor water park. There's even a parallel conference just for children and young adults called KidzMash, with several rooms designated just for kids to enjoy STEM-based, hands-on activities. KidzMash is a free event for the spouses and families of CodeMash attendees.

Who should attend: Developers, testers, and anyone else who works with code.

February

European Testing Conference

Twitter: @EuroTestingConf
Web: europeantestingconference.eu/2018/
Date: February 19-20
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Cost: €1,299 

Organizers didn't want the European Testing Conference to "feel more like sales pitches than practitioners sharing the craft," so this event focuses on creating many opportunities to network, including frequent coffee breaks. 

Who should attend: Software testers and developers

QA or the Highway

Twitter: @QAortheHighway
Web: qaorthehighway.com
Date: February 27
Location: Columbus, Ohio, USA
Cost: N/A; though the website promises it will be "affordable"

This one-day regional conference focuses on software testing and quality. Organizers describe the event as a "regional, professional conference featuring real-world experience and thought leadership in the QA and testing industry."

Who should attend: Software testers, practitioners, managers, and developers

TISQA Conference 2018

Twitter: @TISQA_RTP
Web: tisqa-rtp.squarespace.com
Date: February 27-28
Location: Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
Cost: $15-$250

A small conference with some big names, the one-day TISQA conference also includes workshops. It's located in a rapidly growing region for STEM companies that includes Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, and Research Triangle Park, of North Carolina. Workshops cover topics such as mobile testing, testing automation, agile testing, and continuous performance testing. Session topics include risked-based testing, next-generation testing technologies, performance engineering in a DevOps world, and building a security assurance test plan.

Who should attend: Agile practitioners, software developers, software test and QA professionals, software development managers, and QA/test managers

CASTx18

Twitter: @AST_News
Web: associationforsoftwaretesting.org/conference/castx18/
Date: February 28-March 1
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Cost: A$390-A$1,430 for conference and training for non-members

Organizers of this conference encourage a high level of interaction between presenters and participants. Sessions are split roughly evenly between presentations and an "open season," where participants can question, discuss, and test a presentation. The conference focuses on networking, with several receptions, meals, and lightning talks, where attendees can hash over topics with peers, experts, academics, and other industry leaders. Organizers say the conference focuses on discussing context-driven testing principles, but covers other perspectives as well.

Who should attend: Software testers, practitioners, managers, scholars, researchers, students, and developers, as well as people who favor context-driven testing.

March

SauceCon 18

Twitter: @saucelabs
Web: saucecon.com
Date: March 1-2; workshops February 28
Location: San Francisco, California, USA
Cost: $499-$1,398

SauceCon is Sauce Labs' annual event for the testing software vendor's global community, but it also attracts many automated testing pros who don't use Sauce Labs products. The day before the main conference starts, SauceCon offers a day of workshops on various testing topics. The conference usually features a roster of more than 30 speakers from some of the most successful tech companies. Past speakers have come from Uber, Buzzfeed, Twitter, GitHub, and USA Today.

Who should attend: Test automation professionals, users of Sauce Labs products, and anyone doing testing with a device cloud service

TestBash Brighton

Twitter: @ministryoftest / #TestBash
Webdojo.ministryoftesting.com/events/testbash-brighton-2018
Date: March 12-16
Location: Brighton, UK
Cost: £99-£1,400

This is one in a series of TestBash conferences held in Europe and the United States. The Brighton bash is a week-long event that starts with a three-day training session and one day-long session. That's followed by a day of workshops that include hands-on challenges and sessions. The final day includes the conference keynotes. Capping off the week's activities is an "Open Space," where attendees can schedule sessions with other attendees to talk and learn about their pet interests.

Who should attend: Test automation and QA professionals, developers, software development managers, and test managers

UKSTAR

Twitter: @esconfs 
Webhttps://ukstar.eurostarsoftwaretesting.com/
Date: March 12-13
Location: London, UK
Cost: £429-£659

The EuroSTAR conference organization, which has its own conference in November, also runs this fairly new conference each year.  The committee that organizes this conference includes Alan Richardson (the author of EvilTester.com). The conference includes networking breakfasts, four keynotes, six workshops, and dozens of sessions.(Note: UKSTAR is not related to the TechWell STAR conferences.)

April

STPCon Spring 2018

Twitter@SoftwareTestPro / #STPCon
Web: stpcon.com
Date: April 9-12
Location: Newport Beach, California, USA
Cost: Ranges from $745 (one conference day) to $2,195 (conference and all workshops)

STPCon promotes itself as “designed by testers for testers.” Organizers emphasize testing management and strategy to help attendees improve their techniques, get up to speed on the latest tools and trends, improve processes, and better understand the testing industry.

Who should attend: QA and testing professionals, developers, software development managers, QA and test managers

IEEE International Conference on Software Testing, Validation and Verification

Twitter@icstconference
Webwww.es.mdh.se/icst2018/
Date: April 9-13
Location: Västerås, Sweden
Cost: N/A; last year's pricing info is here

The IEEE's ICST—not to be confused with the International Conference on the Shroud of Turin—is a forum for the latest research findings, ideas, developments, and applications in software testing, verification, and validation. In addition to keynote speeches by leading scientists, the conference includes nine workshops during the first and last days of the conference, including the first-ever workshop on Internet of Things verification and validation.

Who should attend: Researchers, scientists, engineers, and software industry practitioners

QualityJam Atlanta

Twitter@QASymphony
Webqualityjam.net/atlanta/
Date: April 10-11
Location: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Cost: $299 before December 31; $399 after December 30

QualityJam, sponsored by test management software vendor QASymphony, bills itself as a thought leadership destination for quality professionals, technology leaders, and agile development teams. Many of the speaker slots at the forum are filled with people from QASymphony. Exit polls from last year's conference indicate a high degree of satisfaction with the event.

Who should attend: QA professionals, DevOps engineers, product leaders, software testers, and developers

TestBash Netherlands

Twitter@ministryoftest / #TestBash
Webministryoftesting.com/2017/07/testbash-netherlands-2018/
Date: April 12-13
Location: Utrecht, Netherlands
CostConference prices range from €350 to €500; workshop and course prices range from €400 to €650. VAT included in all prices.

TestBash Netherlands includes a pre-conference course, a day with six workshops, and a daylong single-track conference with nine talks. The single-track format means you don't have to worry about choosing one talk over another, because there is no overlapping scheduling. TestBash also includes its trademark 99-second talks, which allow any conference attendee to talk on stage about a topic for 99 seconds. "It was a very challenging activity I must say, and I really admire people who were brave enough to step up and push [themselves] to do it," writes Volodymyr Iakymenko, a QA Engineer at Xing Mobile Platform and Partners.

Who should attend: Test automation and QA professionals, developers, software development managers, and QA/test managers

STAR East

Twitter@TechWell / #StarEast
Webstareast.techwell.com
Date: April 29–May 4
Location: Orlando, Florida, USA
Cost: Ranges from $595 to $3,295 for the summit; view additional conference and training packages here.

The STAR conferences are organized by TechWell, an independent IT consulting and training firm that organizes conferences and training on a wide variety of topics in the IT space. Gerie Owen, a test manager at QualitiTest, called the STAR conferences “among the most prestigious QA and testing conferences in North America,” and “suitable for junior-level testers as well as seasoned test professionals and test managers.” The conferences are geared toward practical knowledge that attendees can apply immediately at work, and include short sessions, half- and full-day tutorials, multi-day in-depth trainings, and a leadership summit.

Who should attend: IT directors, QA/test managers, analysts, test practitioners and engineers, development managers, developers, and CTOs

May

Romanian Testing Conference

Twitter@RomaniaTesting
Webromaniatesting.ro
Date: May 9-11
Location: Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Cost€100-€400, excluding VAT

Billed as the "Biggest Testing Conference in Central Eastern Europe," this forum attracts quality assurance and software testers from all over the world. The conference workshops are especially useful for entry- and mid-level testers. Helpful conference organizers and "amazing" audiences make the RTC an excellent place to start speaking, wrote 2017 attendee Kamila Mrozek. "No BS stuff," says Santhosh Tuppad.

Who should attend: Software testers, QA practitioners, and developers

TestBash Dublin

Twitter@ministryoftest / #TestBash
Webdojo.ministryoftesting.com/events/testbash-dublin-2018
Date: May 18
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Cost: N/A

The testing community in Dublin has grown so large that the Ministry of Testing, sponsor of the TestBash series of conferences, is putting on an event there. The organizers are encouraging new speakers to join the veterans who will speak at the conference, especially those with testing stories to share during TestBash's famous 99-second talks. 

Who should attend: Test automation and QA professionals, developers, software development managers, and QA/test managers

QAI QUEST 2018

Twitter@QAIquest
Webqaiquest.org/2018
Date: May 21-25
Location: San Antonio, Texas, USA
Cost: Workshop, conference, expo combos range from $2,195 to $2,895; single admission items range from $595 to $1,945.

Focused on software engineering, delivery, and testing, QUEST (quality engineered software and testing) features classes, tutorials, sessions, hands-on workshops, discussions groups, an expo floor, and networking events. Topics covered include agile, test design, automation, performance, mobile, security, and DevOps.

Who should attend: QA and testing professionals, developers, operations practitioners, and network architects

June

Nordic Testing Days

Twitter: @nordictestdays
Webnordictestingdays.eu
Date: June 6-8
Location: Tallinn, Estonia
Cost: Excluding 20% VAT: Tutorial Day, €350; conference, €280 (early bird) to €350 (full price); tutorial and conference, €630 (early bird) to €630 (full price)

This regional conference largely attracts testers from the Baltics and Northern European countries, and the event has something to offer both seasoned and new-to-testing professionals. "It is a community-driven conference," writes Thomas Sundberg, an independent consultant based in Stockholm. "I really loved the conference," adds Katja Budnikov, who attended the event in 2017. "The organization was awesome, the location was central and had enough space for all the attendees, and the talks and speakers were of high quality." You can get a flavor of this conference on this YouTube channel.

Who should attend: Originally for testing professionals, the conference now attracts everyone from programmers and UX specialists to project managers and designers. The forum's organizers say it's a good conference for "Anyone who is interested in dipping their toes into testing and contributing to smoother software development cycle and quality."

Better Software West

Twitter@TechWell
Webbscwest.techwell.com/program/interests/software-quality-testing
Date: June 3-8
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Cost: Training and conference packages range from $1,595 to $3,995

Better Software West offers a full menu of conference services, including talks from recognized subject matter experts, and training and certification classes the day before the official conference begins. There's also an expo for discovering the latest solutions for testing, and half- and full-day tutorials on various subjects. The conference runs in parallel with Agile Dev West and DevOps West. Get a feel for what the three conferences have to offer by viewing these videos.

Who should attend: Software managers, developers, testers, and QA practitioners

Testing Guild

Web: testingguild.com
Date: June 20-22

This is a new online conference from Joe Colantonio. It was organized quickly so there's not a lot to say, but the lineup looks great.  Lot's of high-profile speakers.

Agile Testing Days USA

Twitter: @AgileTDUSA
Webagiletestingdays.us
Date: June 25-27
Location: Danvers, Massachusetts, USA
Cost: Tutorials range from $795 to $895, conference passes from $1.945 to $2,195, and conference-tutorial packages from $2,195 to $2,495. More details here.

The 2017 Agile Testing Days USA event was supposed to be the inaugural US version of this conference, but had to be canceled due to a travel ban on some Middle Eastern countries, but the event is back for 2018. It includes eight full-day workshops on agile and testing topics and daily keynote speeches. Also included: short workshops that run from 30 minutes to two hours.

Who should attend: Anyone involved with software testing as well as software architects, application developers, IT managers, CIOs, CTOs, and software engineers

 

July

ACM SIGSOFT International Symposium on Software Testing and Analysis

Twitter@issta_conf
Webconf.researchr.org/home/issta-2018
Date: July 16-21
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Cost: For the 2017 Santa Barbara conference, prices ranged from $850 to $950 for non-members (2017 pricing page).

ISSTA is a research symposium on software testing and analysis that is dedicated to new ideas, problems, and experiences on how to analyze and test software systems. That includes theoretical or empirical research, new techniques, and case studies of testing and analysis tools and methods.

Who should attend: Academics, industrial researchers, and practitioners interested or involved in software testing and analysis

August

STeP-IN Forum

Twitter@stepin_forum
Webstepinsummit.stepinforum.org
Date: August 31-September 1
Location: Bengaluru (Bangalore), Karnataka, India
Cost: N/A; last year's costs: $92.88 (Rs. 6,000) to $170 (Rs. 11,000)

Billed as one of the largest testing conferences in Asia, this single-track forum offers two days of talks on software testing and quality. It is preceded by a separate event in the same space called "TestAutothon"—as in a hackathon for testing professionals—with participants automating business cases within a limited time to win prizes.

Who should attend: CEOs, CIOs, CTOs, directors, quality and test management professionals, test leads, software test engineers, QA leads, software QA engineers, and project management professionals

September

WeTest

Twitter@WeTestNZ
Webwetest.co.nz/
Date: September 2018
Location: Auckland and Wellington, New Zealand
Cost: N/A

These twin conferences, closer to meetups in size and style, are staged by New Zealand's testing community. The forums aim to bring together people who are passionate about testing to share ideas and learn through experience-based sessions and workshops. You'll find presentations from previous conferences here

Who should attend: Testers, QA practitioners, and developers

KWSQA Targeting Quality 2018

Twitter@KWSQA
Webkwsqa.org/tq2018/
Date: September 24-25
Location: Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
Cost: N/A

The Kitchener Waterloo Software Quality Association (KWSQA) is a peer-run, nonprofit community of software professionals in the Kitchener-Waterloo area of Canada who are focused on software quality. Its regional Targeting Quality conference annually attracts speakers of both national and regional reputation. 

Who should attend: Software testing and QA professionals and managers

American Software Testing Qualifications Board conference

Twitter@astqb / #ASTQB
Webastqb.org/certified-tester-resources/astqb-software-testing-conference
Date: September 15
Location: Irvine, California, USA
CostExam fees range from $150 to $375

ASTQB is heavily focused on the testing certifications and standards communities in the US. It features tutorials, classes, keynotes, sessions and networking opportunities, and is designed to teach attendees “practical, ready-to-use" software QA and security strategies. Breakout sessions cover areas such as mobile, agile, security, and performance testing, as well as test automation and business analysis/UAT.

Who should attend: QA professionals, software testers, managers, directors, developers, security professionals, CxOs, and engineers

CopenhagenContext

Twitter@CPHcontext
Webcopenhagencontext.com/
Date: Not confirmed; the 2017 conference was in late September
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Cost: N/A; last year's was €300-€900

Billed as a conference for context-driven testing, this Denmark-based forum has in the past attracted testing professionals from 10 nations—and well-known figures in the testing community.

Who should attend: QA professionals, software testers, managers, directors, developers, security staff, CxOs and engineers

STAR West

Twitter@TechWell 
Webstarwest.techwell.com
Date: September 30-October 5
Location: Anaheim, California, USA
Cost: Conference only, $1,945-$2,195; conference, tutorial, and training packages, $2,195-$3,295. More details here.

This West Coast iteration of the TechWell testing conferences is geared toward practical knowledge that attendees can apply immediately, and includes short sessions, half- and full-day tutorials, multi-day in-depth training, and a leadership summit.

Who should attend: Software and test managers, IT directors, QA managers and analysts, test practitioners and engineers, development managers, developers, and CTOs

October

SeleniumConf

Twitter@seleniumconf
Webseleniumconf.us
Date: Autumn 2018 (usually October)
Location: Chicago, Illinois, USA
Cost: N/A

SeleniumConf serves users of Selenium, the popular open-source tool for web-based test automation. Conference tracks focus largely on Selenium issues, with a few broader testing topics thrown into the mix. Attendees can share their experiences during two-minute "lightning talks." Videos from last year's event will give you a feel for the conference. Testalks' Joe Colantonio also posted a summary of the 2016 conference here.

Who should attend: Selenium users, developers, testers, and QA pros

STAR Canada

Twitter@techwell
Webstarcanada.techwell.com/
Date: October 15-20
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Cost: Conference only, $2,195 (US currency); training and conference packages range from $2,495 to $3,895. More details here.

As with TechWell's other testing conferences, this Canadian edition is geared toward practical knowledge that attendees can apply immediately. It includes short sessions, half- and full-day tutorials, multi-day in-depth training, and a leadership summit.

Who should attend: Software and test managers, IT directors, QA managers and analysts, test practitioners and engineers, development managers, developers, and CTOs

Quest for Quality

Twitter@Quest_4_Quality
Webquestforquality.eu
Date: October 3-4
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Cost: Ranges from €615 to €984.

Q4Q covers traditional and modern forms of quality assurance, along with how QA practices should interoperate with agile and DevOps practices. Lina Zubyte, who has been both a speaker and attendee, said: "I was impressed that Quest for Quality had such amazing speakers, and I loved the selection of topics. All the topics were linked to the challenges of quality assurance and digital transformation in this fast-paced IT world." 

Who should attend: QA professionals, software testers, QA professionals, testing professionals, and IT managers

Pacific NW Software Quality Conference (PNSQC)

Twitter@PNSQC / #pnsqc
Webpnsqc.org
Date: October 8-10
Location: Portland, Oregon, USA
Cost: N/A; Last year's costs: Workshops, $320-$645; technical program, $715-$995; conference, technical programs and workshop package, $1,060-$1,410. Group rates available.

Billed as the Northwest's premier software quality event, PNSQC covers testing, data, development, management, security, and more. Richard Sheridan, chief storyteller and co-founder of Menlo Innovations, loved the passionate crowd. "My talks apparently hit the mark, which was a thrill for me," he said. "And the ensuing hallway conversations and personal and professional connections made here have enriched my life." You can take a look at conference papers and session videos from previous years here.

Who should attend: QA professionals, software testers, managers, directors, developers, security staff, CxOs, and engineers

November

EuroSTAR Software Testing Conference

Twitter@esconfs 
Webeurostarsoftwaretesting.com
Date: November 12-15
Location: The Hague, Netherlands
CostRanges from €865 to €2,310.

EuroSTAR, Europe’s longest-running testing conference, has a rich history reaching back to 1993. (Note: EuroSTAR is not related to the TechWell STAR conferences.) The conference's key strength is the community that steers it. Each year a newly selected program committee and 40-person panel of volunteers score upward of 500 submissions and select the best to create a comprehensive program that caters to a broad range of testing topics and specialties. Daniel Knott, the author of Hands-on Mobile App Testing, highly recommends EuroSTAR. "The conference is one of the software testing conferences in Europe that every tester should try to attend," he writes.

Who should attend: Software testers and test managers, test consultants, test analysts, senior IT managers, and software developers

Agile Testing & BDD eXchange

Twitter@skillsmatter 
Webskillsmatter.com/conferences/10367-formerly-known-as-agile-testing-and-bdd-exchange-2018
Date: November 8-9
Location: London, UK
Cost: £795 plus VAT (£200 before December 29)

This conference is getting a facelift. According to its organizers, it will get a new name and other changes. This year's conference will be aimed at professionals interested in discovering the latest agile, collaboration, and behavior-driven development (BDD) practices.

Who should attend: Software testers and test managers (especially those practicing BDD), test consultants, test analysts, senior IT managers, software developers, and business analysts

Better Software East

Twitter@TechWell
Webbsceast.techwell.com/program/interests/software-quality-testing
Date: November 3-9
Location: Orlando, Florida, USA
Cost: A variety of training and single- or multiple-day packages are offered.

BSE is another TechWell conference focused on software quality professionals. But unlike the STAR conferences, it covers a broader range of topics across the entire software development lifecycle, including digital transformation, project management, planning, metrics, career and professional development, requirements and user stories, software quality and testing, architecture and design, and development and testing frameworks. The conference is held in conjunction with Agile Dev East and DevOps East, so there's plenty of opportunity for cross-conference attendee interaction.

Who should attend: Software and test managers, IT directors, QA managers and analysts, test practitioners and engineers, development managers, developers, and CTOs

Agile Testing Days

Twitter@AgileTD
Webagiletestingdays.com
Date: November 12-16
Location: Potsdam, Germany
Cost: Early-bird registration discounts available until December 31. Otherwise, €850 for one conference day or one all-day tutorial; €2,100 for all four conference days; additional pricing options and discount information here.

Agile Testing Days is one of Europe’s main software testing events. By design, the conference venue isn't massive—the organizers want attendees to spend plenty of time during the regular breaks between sessions mingling and discussing ideas. To foster those interactions, ATD has plenty of food and beverages on hand.

Who should attend: Anyone involved with software testing, as well as software architects, application developers, IT managers, CIOs, CTOs, and software engineers

Google Test Automation Conference (GTAC)

Twitter@googletesting
Webdevelopers.google.com/google-test-automation-conference
Date: No 2018 date set yet
Location: London, UK
Cost: Free; by invitation only

GTAC, first held in 2006, draws engineers from industry and academia. It focuses on the latest technologies and strategies in test automation and test engineering. Google said it canceled this event in 2017 in order to take a hard look at the discipline of engineering productivity as the next logical step in the evolution of test automation. It is rethinking what an engineering productivity-focused conference should look like today. It plans to incorporate those new ideas into its 2018 conference.

Who should attend: Software engineers and testers

December

ConTEST NYC

Twitter@TestMastersAcad / #contestnyc
Web: The 2017 conference: testleadershipcongress-ny.com/contest2017/
Date: Late November or early December
Location: New York, New York, USA
Cost: N/A; last year's rates ranged from $250 for an online pass to $2,499 for a full access pass

ConTEST offers a broad array of activities—keynotes, classes, breakout sessions, workshops, TED-like presentations, trial labs, and networking opportunities —to help testing and QA community members discover trends, share best practices, examine and investigate new technologies, and sharpen teamwork and leadership skills. This is a fairly new conference, but it has a strong following and is growing fast.

Who should attend: Software developers, software test and QA professionals, software development managers, QA and test managers, and IT and security team members

Software Testing Conference (STC) 2018

Twitter@QAISTC
Web: The 2017 conference: qaistc.com/2017/
Date: Early December
Location: Bangalore, India
Cost: N/A; the 2017 conference fees: full conference, $193.75 (Rs. 12,500); one-day pass, $131.75 (Rs. 8,500)

STC has a new theme every year, but every conference includes five tracks that cover business leadership, emerging areas, program management, agile and DevOps, and tools and automation.

Who should attend: Agile practitioners, software developers, software test and QA professionals, software development managers, QA and test managers, IT software team members, and line-of-business managers

There you have it: the best software testing conferences of 2018, month by month. Review the options and make your choices soon: Prices may vary based on how early you register. Also, remember that hotel and travel costs are generally separate from the conference pricing.

 

 

What are your favorite conferences and why? Post your comments below, and let us know if there are any other events or conferences we missed.

Image: Courtesy of CodeMash

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Software Test Automation
Topics: Dev & Test