Maaret Pyhajarvi


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.
Presentation: Hands off Exploratory Testing – How to Manage Test at Scale


Agency – the capacity of individuals to act independently and make their own free choices – is at the heart of learning. Learning is core to Exploratory Testing, to optimize the value of testing we do. However, exploratory testing in projects is rarely a single person job but we need to share testing work across multiple people in teams and even multiple teams in a system of systems. We need to ensure we pay attention to both testing of today and testing of the future. How do we manage testing to maintain agency while ensuring coverage? 

In this talk, we approach managing exploratory testing at scale from my most recent project experience. In a system of systems where five teams each release their subsystems co-dependently building independence for continuous releases intertwined with six conceptual subsystems with external owners, what does managing testing to enable exploratory testing look like? 

This is not a story about managing testing based on sessions. This is a story of working with product owners to identify gaps and assign responsibilities, working with teams to make the right skills available for different kinds of testing tasks across roles, identifying testing roadblocks with data deep dives and creating space where test design and test execution always come together while navigating corporate documentation requirements. 

Hands off when people explore. Hands on when you explore to be capable of coordinating coverage.