The best software testing conferences of 2019
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 discipline 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 to connect with your peers in the larger testing community.
Here is our shortlist of the most popular testing conferences in 2019. 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 the year.
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.
CodeMash is focused on being fun and family-friendly. The event is held at the 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 who works with code
TISQA Conference 2019
A small meeting with some big names, the one-day TISQA conference also includes workshops. It's located in a rapidly growing region in North Carolina for STEM companies that includes Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, and Research Triangle Park.
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
Automation Guild is a fairly new but already popular conference, conveniently accessible from the comfort of your home or office. 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; however, you'll miss out on the many interactive opportunities.
Who should attend: Software testers and developers
European Testing Conference
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. These include frequent coffee breaks and "speed meets," where mind maps are used for everyone to meet at least 10 new people with similar interests.
Who should attend: Software testers and developers
QA or the Highway
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
Twitter: @AST_News / #ticca19
Date: February 28-March 3
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Cost: Conference, A$650; workshops, A$725 each (AST member discounts available)
The Testing in Context conference is sponsored by the Association for Software Testing and promises to be one of the biggest testing events of the year in Australia. This year's sessions include how to be a successful tester in an agile team, leveraging the power of API testing, and building a VR testing effort.
Who should attend: Software testers, practitioners, managers, scholars and researchers, students, and developers
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 Dan Billing, co-host of the Screen Testing podcast, and Anne-Marie Charrett, who blogs as the Maverick Tester. This multi-track conference includes networking breakfasts, four keynotes, six workshops, and dozens of sessions.(Note: UKSTAR is not related to the TechWell STAR conferences.)
Who should attend: QA and testing professionals, developers, software development managers, and QA and test managers
STPCon Spring 2019
Twitter: @SoftwareTestPro / #STPCon
Date: April 1-4
Location: Burlingame, California, USA
Cost: Conference, $1,995 to $2,495; workshops, $745 to $1,695 (time-sensitive discounts available)
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, and QA and test managers
Twitter: @ministryoftest / #TestBash
Date: April 3-5
Location: Brighton, UK
Cost: Conference, £299 to £349 (time-sensitive and MoT Pro member discounts available); automation in testing course, £1,600
This is one in a series of TestBash conferences held in Europe and the United States. The Brighton Bash is a weeklong event that starts with a three-day pre-conference course, from April 1-3, about testing automation.
Day one of the conference is a single track on testing essentials. Day two is a workshop day with ten half-day sessions and two talk tracks. Day three is a single track with nine talks. 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. A TestBash is also planned for the Netherlands in May and Germany in October.
Who should attend: Test automation and QA professionals, developers, software development managers, and test managers
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 of the 2018 conference are available online. A sister conference has been planned for October 7-8 in London.
Who should attend: Selenium users, developers, testers, and QA pros
IEEE International Conference on Software Testing, Validation and Verification
Date: April 22-27
Location: Xian, China
Cost (2018, converted from Swedish krona): Conference, $893 to $1,452; workshops, $247 to $396 (time-sensitive, IEEE membership, and student discounts available)
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 poster sessions, workshops, a PhD symposium, software testing contest, tool demonstrations, social events, and an excursion to the museum where the Terracotta Army of Emperor Qin Shi Huang resides.
Who should attend: Researchers, scientists, engineers, and software industry practitioners
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.
Who should attend: Test automation professionals, users of Sauce Labs products, and anyone doing testing with cloud services
Twitter: @TechWell / #StarEast
Date: April 28–May 3
Location: Orlando, Florida, USA
Cost: Conference, $1,945 to $2.195; tutorials, $1,595 to $1,795; leadership summit, $595 to $695 (time-sensitive discounts available)
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. 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. Two sister testing conferences will be held by TechWell: StarWest in September and StarCanada in October.
Who should attend: IT directors, QA/test managers, analysts, test practitioners and engineers, development managers, developers, and CTOs
Focused on software engineering, delivery, and testing, QUEST (Quality Engineered Software and Testing) features classes, tutorials, sessions, hands-on workshops, discussion 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
Accelerate (formerly QualityJam Atlanta)
Test management software vendors QASymphony and Tricentis sponsor this conference. The two companies merged in 2018, and now have combined their formerly separate conferences.
This bills itself as a thought leadership destination for quality professionals, technology leaders, and agile development teams. Many of the speaker slots at past years' events were filled with people from QASymphony.
Who should attend: QA professionals, DevOps engineers, product leaders, software testers, and developers
Nordic Testing Days
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.
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."
Agile + DevOps West
Date: June 2-7
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Cost: Training and conference packages range from $1,595 to $3,995 (time-sensitive discounts available)
Agile + DevOps 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.
Who should attend: Software managers, developers, testers, and QA practitioners
Romanian Testing Conference
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.
Who should attend: Software testers, QA practitioners, and developers
Agile Testing Days USA
This conference is aimed at all software engineers and testing professionals. According to the conference organizers, the forum offers a fun platform to connect and network with the agile community through tutorials, workshops, keynotes, talks, and social events. Key topics at this year's conference include test automation and integration, exploratory testing, mob programming, Scrum excellence, UX/interaction design, continuous delivery, agile management, and DevOps.
Who should attend: Anyone involved with software testing as well as software architects, application developers, IT managers, CIOs, CTOs, and software engineers
ACM SIGSOFT International Symposium on Software Testing and Analysis
ISSTA is a research symposium on software testing and analysis that is dedicated to new ideas and problems encountered when testing and analyzing software systems. The new ideas include theoretical or empirical research, new techniques, and case studies of testing and analysis tools and methods. ISSTA 2019 will be co-located with SPIN 2019, Testing Competition, and Diversity@ISSTA-Ada workshop.
Who should attend: Academics, industrial researchers, and practitioners interested or involved in software testing and analysis
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
Date: August 12-15
Location: Cocoa Beach, Florida, USA
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
American Software Testing Qualifications Board conference
ASTQB is heavily focused on the testing certifications and standards communities in the US. It features tutorials, classes, keynotes, sessions, and networking opportunities. It's 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/UA testing.
Who should attend: QA professionals, software testers, managers, directors, developers, security professionals, CxOs, and engineers
KWSQA Targeting Quality 2018
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, especially those in the Kitchener area
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.
Who should attend: Testers, QA practitioners, and developers
Quest for Quality
Quest for Quality started in 2016 in Ljubljana, Slovenia, where it attracted professionals from 12 European countries and 79 companies. In 2017, it was moved to the European Silicon Valley in Dublin, Ireland. Q4Q covers traditional and modern forms of quality assurance, along with how QA practices should operate with agile and DevOps practices.
Who should attend: QA professionals, software testers, QA professionals, testing professionals, and IT managers
Pacific NW Software Quality Conference (PNSQC)
Billed as the Northwest's premier software quality event, PNSQC offers keynotes, workshops, and panel discussions that cover testing, data, development, management, security, and more. The theme for the 2019 conference is "A Culture of Quality" and will focus on how a quality culture can be shared among teams and companies and in the workplace.
Who should attend: QA professionals, software testers, managers, directors, developers, security staff, CxOs, and engineers
P3X - People, Product & Process eXchange
Date: November 7-8
Location: London, UK
Cost (2018): £225 to £795, plus VAT (time-sensitive discounts available)
Formerly the Agile Testing & BDD eXchange, P3X is built around three conference tracks: people, products, and process. The tracks focus on topics such as aligning business and technical teams toward the same vision, removing waste from development processes, removing opportunities for misunderstanding, identifying the quickest path to value, maximizing opportunities for feedback and learning, and maximizing the effectiveness of all disciplines within a cross-functional team.
Who should attend: Agile/Scrum practitioners, product managers, team leads, developers/engineers, software architects, and anyone in the software development cycle
Agile + DevOps East
Formerly called Better Software East, this TechWell conference is focused on software quality professionals. But unlike the STAR conferences, it covers a broader range of topics across the entire software development lifecycle. Topics include 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.
Who should attend: Software and test managers, IT directors, QA managers and analysts, test practitioners and engineers, development managers, developers, and CTOs
Google Test Automation Conference (GTAC)
Date: No 2019 date set yet
Location: London, UK
Cost: Free; by invitation only
Google canceled the 2017 GTAC, saying it was rethinking what an engineering productivity-focused conference should look like. It promised to bring the conference back in 2018. That didn't happen, either. "The evolution of GTAC will return in 2019, with expanded scope," Google director of engineering Jens Pillgram-Larsen wrote in September on the Google Testing Blog. Details about the event, however, have yet to appear.
Who should attend: Software engineers and testers
Twitter: @TestMastersAcad / #contestnyc
Date (2018): November
Location: New York, New York, USA
Cost (2018): Conference, $2,195; tutorials, $1,195; conference and tutorials, $2,495
ConTEST offers a broad array of activities, including keynotes, classes, breakout sessions, workshops, TED-like presentations, trial labs, and networking opportunities. The goal is 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
EuroSTAR Software Testing Conference
Twitter: @esconfs / #EuroSTARConf
Date: November 11-14
Location: Prague, Czech Republic
Cost: Conference, €1,935 to €2,115; without networking events, €1,850 to €2,030 (time-sensitive discounts available)
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.
Who should attend: Software testers and test managers, test consultants, test analysts, senior IT managers, and software developers
Agile Testing Days
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 session breaks 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
Software Testing Conference (STC)
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. The 2018 theme was "Quality by Design."
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 2019, 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 STPCon