TECH KEYNOTE 1: The Automationists Gambit

September 28, 2022 from 9:15 to 10:15

Speaker: Maaret Pyhäjärvi, Vaisala (FI)

Maaret is an exploratory tester extraordinaire with a day-job at Vaisala as Principal Test Engineer. She is an empirical technologist, a tester and a (polyglot) programmer, a catalyst for improvement, a speaker and an author, and a community facilitator. She has been awarded the two prestigious global testing awards, Most Influential Agile Testing Professional Person 2016 (MIATPP) and EuroSTAR Testing Excellence Award (2020), and selected as Top-100 Most Influential in ICT in Finland 2019, 2020 and 2021 and awarded Tester Worth Appreciating Award in Finland 2022 . She’s spoken at events in 25 countries delivering over 400 sessions. With 25 years of exploratory testing under her belt, she crafts her work role into a mix of hands-on testing and programming, and leading and enabling others. She leads TechVoices enabling new speakers, blogs at and is the author of three books: Ensemble Programming Guidebook, Exploratory Testing and Strong-Style Pair Programming.

In exploratory testing, we intertwine design and execution, and learn between tests in a way that changes the next test we perform for more impactful testing. This learning requires agency, a human connection between the two tasks with power of making decisions in the moment. In the keynote Maaret extends agency from a person making decisions about design and execution of tests to making these decisions about use of automation. When we enter exploratory testing with programming skills, test automation becomes a way of documenting our testing and extending our reach. We can’t explore well without automating; we can’t automate well without exploring. And we need to learn between the tests in a way that changes the next test we perform. Opening the game with an „Automationist’s gambit“ is a good option for solid foundation of testing. We need to talk about the impact of opening to the middle and end game of testing a product as well as building a career with testing emphasis. The skills the future of the testing craft requires have already shifted. Good testing includes exploring with automation as well as without, intertwined.