TWST – The Toronto Workshop on Software Testing

TWST is an annual peer conference for software test practitioners, co-founded and co-hosted by Fiona Charles and Michael Bolton.  We hold it  in central Toronto over a weekend. Each year we meet to present on, and discuss, a single topic central to the practice of our craft. So far, we’ve had:


Conference attendance is by invitation only, since we want to ensure a high level of participation and professional commitment. There is a maximum of 20 participants in any session.

TWST is not affiliated with any organization. There is no charge for the workshop sessions. Participants are responsible for arranging their own travel and accommodation, and for the associated costs.

The conference is modeled on LAWST—the Los Altos Workshop on Software Testing—which is itself modeled on a particular type of academic conference.

The TWST model is simple. A small group of committed people gets together for a couple of days over a weekend, to explore in depth a single topic important to software testing. Each participant is asked to come prepared to present informally and briefly (20 minutes maximum) on his or her experience with the topic. The meeting is facilitated by a single volunteer, or by one of the participants in turn. There are no formal minutes, although sometimes participants volunteer to share their notes.  

The purpose of the conference is two-fold. Principally, we want to provide an intensive opportunity for experienced test practitioners who are both passionate and thoughtful about their work to get together and share their experiences and insights. Secondarily, we want to promote contributions to the field, and help to move thinking about testing forward.

To that end, all participants are encouraged to publish the workshop’s discussions and findings, if there are findings. The only restriction is that the author must credit the TWST workshop and all of its participants in the publication.

All participants are expected to make a presentation on the workshop topic, based on their own experience (which could be an academic research project). The presentation is retstricted to 20 minutes. It may be accompanied by illustrations, diagrams or other handout material that enhances the presentation. Joint presentations are welcome.

We currently have a full list of participants, but we’re always open to hearing from people who have interesting things to say about testing. If you’d like to be considered for a future session, please send me an e-mail with 'TWST' in the subject line and tell me about your experience and your interests: