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The best software QA and testing conferences of 2021

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Linda Rosencrance Freelance writer/editor
 

Software QA and testing conferences scheduled for 2020 were thrown into turmoil amid the coronavirus pandemic. Some went virtual, while others were canceled outright. And conference organizers are still trying to figure out what to do about their 2021 events.

Some organizers have decided to hold them in person (coronavirus willing), others have opted to move them online again, and still others have canceled their conferences for 2021 amid the ongoing uncertainty about the state of the pandemic.

But whether the 2021 QA and testing conferences are held in physical locations or online, there are several reasons you should attend. For one thing, you'll hear from experts in the field who can share useful information to help you improve your software testing skills and techniques.

You'll also learn about industry-leading QA tools and technologies and glean ideas to help you improve existing processes or figure out ways to solve new problems.

With the state of QA and testing evolving, conferences also provide excellent opportunities to exchange ideas, experiences, and knowledge. Here is TechBeacon's short list of the most popular QA and testing conferences in 2021.

February

Automation Guild

Twitter: @testguilds / #automationguild
Web: guildconferences.com/ag-2021/
Date: February 8-12
Location: Virtual
Cost: $197 to $297

Automation Guild is a 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 kicks off the year with a focus on test automation. Recordings are available 24 hours after the conclusion of each conference day. 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

March

Micro Focus Universe 2021

Twitter: @microfocus #MicroFocusUniverse
Web: https://www.microfocus.com/universe2021 
Date: March 23-25
Location: Virtual
Cost: Free

This conference attracts customer and partners of Micro Focus products and services, and runs this year as a virtual event, with regional agendas for Europe, the Americas, and Asia-Pacific. This year’s theme is on "Winning in a Digital Economy." Attendees can register for the regional agenda for Europe, the Americas, and Asia-Pacific. Attendees will hear from Micro Focus experts, partners and customers, who will discuss use cases, and best practices around software development, testing, and a range of other areas.

Who should attend: Software developers and testers.

TestBash Brighton

Twitter: @ministryoftest / #TestBash
Web: dojo.ministryoftesting.com/events/testbash-brighton-2020
Date (2020): March 26-27 (2020 conference was canceled). Organizers are working on scheduling the 2021 event.
Location (2019): Brighton, UK
Cost: TBD

This is one in a series of TestBash conferences held in Europe and the United States. TestBash opens with three days of courses about agile, automation, and testing essentials. It has a full day of workshops and includes a conference day with nine talks.

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

April

Virtual ICST 2021

Twitter: @icstconference
Web: icst2021.icmc.usp.br
Date: April 12-16
Location: Virtual
Cost: Varies (time-sensitive pricing and discounts for IEEE members and students available)

The IEEE's International Conference on Software Testing, Verification, and Validation provides a common forum. It allows practitioners and others around the world to present their latest research findings, ideas, developments, and applications in the areas of software testing, verification, and validation. ICST 2021 will include keynote addresses by eminent scientists, as well as special, regular, and poster sessions.

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

STPCon Spring - CANCELED DUE TO COVID

Twitter: @SoftwareTestPro / #STPCon
Web: stpcon.com
Date: April 19-21
Location: TBD (It will either be virtual or in St. Louis, Missouri, USA)
Cost: TBD

STPCon promotes itself as "designed by testers for testers." Organizers emphasize testing management and strategy to help attendees expand 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

SauceCon 2021

Twitter: @saucelabs
Web: saucecon.com
Date: April 20-22
Location: Virtual
Cost: TBD (The 2020 event was free.)

SauceCon is Sauce Labs' annual event for the testing software vendor's global community, but it also attracts many pros who don't use Sauce Labs products but are otherwise involved with automated testing. The multi-track virtual conference brings together the global testing community to learn from each other and explore best practices for ensuring digital confidence.

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

STAR East Virtual

Twitter: @TechWell / #StarEast
Web: stareast.techwell.com
Date: April 25-30
Location: Virtual
Cost: Free to $999

The STAR conferences are organized by TechWell, an independent IT consulting firm that provides 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. STAR West, a sister conference, will be held October 3-8 in Anaheim, California, USA.

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

June

Nordic Testing Days

Twitter: @nordictestdays
Web: nordictestingdays.eu
Date: June 2-4
Location: Tallinn, Estonia
Cost: Conference, €310 to €390, plus VAT (time-sensitive discounts available); tutorials, €350 to €400, plus VAT; package, €610 to €690, plus VAT (2020 tickets valid for 2021)

This regional conference attracts testers largely from the Baltics and other Northern European countries, and the event has something to offer both seasoned and new-to-testing professionals. 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."

Who should attend: Originally for testing professionals only, the conference now attracts everyone from programmers and UX specialists to project managers and designers

Agile + DevOps West

Twitter: @TechWell / #AgileDevWest
Web: agiledevopswest.techwell.com
Date: June 6-11
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Cost: Free to $999

Agile + DevOps conferences offer the latest in methods, process, technology, tools, and leadership principles to help newbies and seasoned pros deliver software with greater speed and agility while meeting quality and security demands. No matter your level of agile or DevOps adoption, you will find thought-provoking keynotes, deep-dive training classes, engaging tutorials, and session topics that will guide and inspire you. In 2020, the conference went virtual.

Who should attend: Agile teams and leadership; digital transformation teams; automation, developers, testers, and release staff; product owners; and managers

AgileTD Open Air

Twitter: @AgileTD
Web: openair.agiletestingdays.com/
Date: June 9-10 / 1st edition
Location: Dusseldorf, Germany
Cost (2020): From €1,600; hands-on, in-depth workshops included

The AgileTD Open Air Festival is a two-day open-air conference with five parallel tracks. Attendees can expect up to six keynotes, 24 talks, and 12 workshops led by international experts, mixed with fun interactive networking opportunities. The parent event—Agile Testing Days, also held in Germany—was held in November 2020 but has yet to be scheduled for 2021. (There is a US version of Agile Testing Days; see the item below this one.)

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

Agile Testing Days USA

Twitter: @AgileTDUSA
Web: agiletestingdays.us
Date: June 20-24
Location: Chicago, Illinois, USA
Cost: Conference, $2,095 to $3,390 (time-sensitive and group discounts available; all prices will rise with time)

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.

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 (ISSTA)

Twitter: @issta_conf
Web: conf.researchr.org/home/issta-2021
Date: July 12-16
Location: Aarhus, Denmark
Cost: TBD

ISSTA is a research symposium on software testing and analysis that is dedicated to exploring new ideas for how to analyze and test software systems. That includes theoretical and 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

Mile High Software Testing Conference

Twitter: @SoftwareTestPro
Web: milehightesting.com
Date: July 27-28
Location: Denver, Colorado, USA
Cost: $499 to $599 (time-sensitive and group discounts available)

The Mile High Testing Conference is billed as a new way to experience learning in a community and environment that encourages attendees to personalize their experiences throughout both days. Attendees will also have the opportunity to seek out information from service and tool providers that can help them increase the efficiency of their testing teams.

Who should attend: Software testing and quality assurance practitioners, developers

August

ICSTP 2021: International Conference on Software Testing Process

Twitter: @wasetorg
Web: waset.org/software-testing-process-conference-in-august-2021-in-amsterdam
Date: August 5-6
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Cost: €300 to €500 (early registration discounts available)

Who should attend: Students, academics, educators, industry researchers, and practitioners interested or involved in software testing

September

SeleniumConf

Twitter: @seleniumconf
Web: 2020.seleniumconf.in
Date (2020): September 10-12
Location (2020): Virtual
Cost (2020): Conference, Rs. 15,000

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.

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

Test & Quality Summit Online

Twitter: @UKITestingBoard
Web: testqualitysummit.com
Date (2020): September 16
Location (2020): Virtual
Cost (2020): Free

The UK and Ireland Testing Board (UKITB) and EuroSTAR sponsor this one-day conference about new trends in software testing and quality assurance. It offers conference-goers an opportunity to tackle their own testing challenges and take solutions back to their workplaces.

Who should attend: Software testing and quality assurance practitioners

RTC2020 Online (formerly Romanian Testing Conference)

Twitter: @RomaniaTesting
Web: romaniatesting.ro
Date (2020): September 28-October 1
Location (2020): Virtual
Cost (2020): €25 to €150, plus 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.

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

October

STAR West

Twitter: @TechWell / #StarWest
Web: starwest.techwell.com
Date: October 3-8
Location: Anaheim, California, USA
Cost: TBD

The STAR conferences are organized by TechWell, an independent IT consulting firm that also provides 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.

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

Pacific NW Software Quality Conference (PNSQC)

Twitter: @PNSQC / #pnsqc
Web: pnsqc.org
Date: October 11-13
Location: TBD
Cost: TBD

The mission of the Pacific Northwest Software Quality Conference (PNSQC) is to allow knowledge exchange that produces higher-quality software. Organizers seek to increase the awareness of the importance of software quality. The nonprofit corporation promotes software quality by providing education and opportunities for information exchange within the software community.

The theme for PNSQC 2021 is "Quality Coming Together." Just as in a mosaic, where many pieces come together to create an image, there are many ways to bring together the people, ideas, and processes needed to build a quality software system.

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

Tricentis Virtual Summit

Twitter: @Tricentis
Web: Tricentis Virtual Summit
Date (2020): October 20-22
Location (2020): Virtual
Cost (2020): Free

This event covers the intersection of testing and agile, DevOps, cloud migration, enterprise application modernization, and more. At the Tricentis Virtual Summit, attendees learn about the latest testing innovations, as well as best practices for implementing them.

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

Quest for Quality

Twitter: @Quest_4_Quality
Web: questforquality.eu
Date (2020): October 27-28 (2021 TBD)
Location (2020): Virtual, 2021 TBD (virtual or in-person in Dublin, Ireland)
Cost (2020): €200

Quest for Quality is a two-day annual conference that discusses the latest trends and topics in artificial intelligence, testing, and quality assurance, while bringing together international thought leaders to discuss and address the latest challenges of new technologies. Quest for Quality began in 2016 in Ljubljana, Slovenia, before moving to Dublin, Ireland. In 2019 and 2020, the conference explored the AI world more in-depth.

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

November

EuroSTAR

Twitter: @esconfs / #EuroSTARConf
Web: conference.eurostarsoftwaretesting.com
Date: November 1-4
Location: In person and online
Cost: TBD

EuroSTAR is Europe's longest-running testing conference, started in 1993. (Note: EuroSTAR is not related to the TechWell STAR conferences.) The conference's key strength is the community that steers it. EuroSTAR is an independent and all-inclusive community where software testers can collaboratively work toward evolving their profession while fulfilling their professional potential.

Each November, 1,000 delegates attend four days of keynotes, educational tutorials, and over 40 track sessions with world-class speakers.

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

Agile + DevOps East

Twitter: @TechWell / #AgileDevEast
Web: adceast.techwell.com
Date (2020): November 14-19
Location (2020): Orlando, Florida, USA
Cost: Free to $999

Agile + DevOps conferences offer the latest in the methods, process, technology, tools, and leadership principles needed to help newbies and seasoned pros deliver software with greater speed and agility while meeting quality and security demands. No matter your level of agile or DevOps adoption, you will find thought-provoking keynotes, deep-dive training classes, engaging tutorials, and session topics that will guide and inspire you.

Who should attend: Agile teams and leadership; digital transformation teams; automation, developers, testers, and release staff; product owners; and managers

Agile Testing Days

Twitter: @AgileTD
Web: agiletestingdays.com
Date (2020): November 15-18
Location (2020): Potsdam, Germany
Date (2021): TBD
Cost (2020): Conference, €722 to €1,911 (time-sensitive and group discounts available; all prices will rise with time)

Agile Testing Days is one of Europe's main software testing events. It starts off with one-day tutorials, followed by a three-day conference. Attendees can expect to hear from over 100 international speakers and nine keynote speakers. Organizers promise the conference will offer interactive sessions and plenty of opportunities to network and discuss ideas, experiences, and learnings. Topics include artificial intelligence, agile leadership, test automation, agile transformation, user story splitting, and modern test management.

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

December

STC 2020 (Software Testing Conference)

Twitter: @QAISTC
Web: qaistc.com/2020
Date (2020): December 3-4
Location (2020): Virtual
Date (2021): TBD
Cost (2020): Complete pass, Rs. 5,000

This year's theme is "The Future of Quality Engineering: Imagine, Innovate and Build the 'new normal' this year." The conference offers ideas, experiments, and experiences to explore challenges and suggest techniques and innovations to overcome the common problems.

STC 2020 brings together practitioners, thinkers, and thought leaders to present tools and techniques to help attendees understand their environments better, organize their thoughts, create transformation enablers, and ultimately prepare them to thrive in the future.

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 2021, 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.

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