Elizabeth Zagroba
Mendix (NL)


Elizabeth is Quality Lead at Mendix in The Netherlands. She discovers and fills in the gaps in exploratory testing by coordinating integration testing, actively listening, and setting out to prove that when “it should just work” it actually does. She's the go-to person for thinking critically about what’s being built, creating a common understanding, supporting colleagues outside the prescribed management structure, and writing API tests and English effectively. She injects what she learns from books, conferences, and meetups into her daily work, spreading her knowledge through the workshops and leadership book club she facilitates. Her goal is to build enough skills in individuals and teams to make herself redundant. She’s currently serving as a co-organizer for the Friends of Good Software Conference (FroGS Conf) and program committee member for Agile Testing Days. You can find Elizabeth's big thoughts on elizabethzagroba.com and little thoughts on Mastodon @ez@chaos.social.

About the Presentation

Live Exploratory Testing
Session Speech


We don’t often see the nitty-gritty, everyday work of a tester live on a conference stage. It feels like it might be boring. We do a lot of our work by ourselves, alone at the computer screen. We spend big chunks of time interacting with the software, making decisions, and thinking about what to do next. Very few of our colleagues hear about what happens, and even fewer see enough of it to describe or pick up some of the skills themselves.

I’m going to perform some exploratory testing live on stage. I’ve built a simple Bookshelf web application, so we’ll have the opportunity to look inside the product: the code, the API specs, the API tests, and the front end in a browser. I’ll also have references available on http status codes, accessibility standards, and other relevant guides to use as oracles in our exploration.

I’ll spend a chunk of time narrating how I’m deciding whether something is expected or unexpected behavior (oracles), how I’m making decisions about what to look at next in the moment (microheuristics), and delivering the test debrief/report that I’d provide in my next conversation with the team.

We’ll see that specific example first, then we’ll build a general understanding of the tools and techniques I used. Armed with the name and descriptions of the exploratory testing thought process, you’ll be better equipped to map them to your own and turn what feels like ad-hoc poking around into a stategic, repeatable process yielding valuable results that you can share with your colleagues.