Maaret Pyhäjärvi


Maaret Pyhäjärvi

Maaret Pyhäjärvi 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. 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 GuidebookExploratory Testing and Strong-Style Pair Programming 


Title:I have a Rock in My Shoe - Navigating Improvement


When you land to work on something new and appreciate the landscape, you will notice things you appreciate and things you wish were different. Over my career, I have found myself landing at new teams, and such opportunities are currently an essential part of my work as a mixed tester / change agent driving through transformations to frequent releases, worthwhile contemporary exploratory testing with test automation, whole-team testing and productivity increase. In fact as testers we are often expected to not only do our work but to fix our organization to be able to do so.  


So, you have a rock in your shoe? Let’s talk about three rocks I have in my shoe and how I deal with them to learn to navigate improvement: sufficient coverage, sharing work, living up to expectations. A motivation around testing is to hold space for our users’ and business’ interest, and in this talk we figure out how to hold space for doing a good job at that in teams.  


What You Will Learn:  

  • Navigating discomfort by naming your discomfort 
  • How to fit all that testing and test automation in frequent releases 
  • How to involve tester and developer colleagues in the testing you do 
  • How to navigate process and requirements to do good work