Maaret Pyhäjärvi is a tester extraordinaire specializing in breaking illusions about software through means of exploratory testing. She is a software specialist with soft spots for hands-on testing, helping teams grow and building successful products and businesses. She’s been working with software since 1995 in various roles and delivers talks as popular speaker in Finland as well as internationally. She works as a tester at Granlund and trains testing on the side through Altom. Networking through public speaking is her favorite pastime, and she delivered over 30 presentations in year 2015 around the world.
In addition to speaking, she is a serial volunteer for different non-profits driving forward the state of software development. She’s currently the chairman of Software Testing Finland ry, the main organizer for Agile Finland ry’s Tech Excellence Finland Pod, volunteering mentor for Speak Easy volunteer with Learn with Llew (teaching kids) and the head organizer for European Testing Conference, aiming to change the world of non-profits and conferences to be more sustainable than pure volunteer organizations can ever be.
Skilled exploratory testing includes a lot of tacit knowledge, often acquired over a long period of time, learning in layers. The testers themselves have hard time explaining what and why they are doing to cover the application and identify risks and problems. What does skilled testing look like? How do you learn to test like an exploratory tester, with intent of understanding coverage while finding useful information? Mob testing - a group testing activity utilizing one computer - voices out the tacit knowledge in the group of individuals on a shared task. It makes a great mechanism for building habits and transferring skills over passing knowledge.
With this demo mob testing session of five pre-selected mob members, you get a glimpse into the heads of testers while they test because “for an idea to go from your head to the computer, it must go through someone else’s hands”. This is a specific communication style called Strong-style pairing, and it connects the group of brilliant minds in the mob and in the audience on a shared experience. The talk shows you how exploratory testing is learning about an application, one empirical experiment at a time and gives you ideas on how you could learn from your peers in a mob format.
We close the session with a group discussion retrospective. You were part of the experience as observers in the audience, what did we learn watching the patterns of this testing? Did the core group in the mob miss something the observers could pay attention to?