Maaret Pyhäjärvi


Maaret Pyhäjärvi

Maaret Pyhäjärvi is a feedback fairy with a day job at Vaisala, where she works as Principal Test Engineer. She identifies as empirical technologist, tester and programmer, catalyst for improvement, author and speaker, and community facilitator and conference organizer. She was awarded as Most Influential Agile Testing Professional Person 2016, listed on 100 most influential in ICT in Finland by TiVi 2019, and has spoken at events in 25 countries delivering over 400 sessions.

With 25 years of exploratory testing under her belt, she crafts her role into being a mix of leading, hands-on testing and programming. She is a serial volunteer and organizing powerhouse contributing to European Testing Conference and TechVoices, as well as Finnish non-profit scene. She blogs at, and is the author of three LeanPub books: Mob Programming GuidebookExploratory Testing and Strong-Style Pair Programming. Her web page is

Session Details

Topic: Contemporary Exploratory Testing

When I sit in front of a new application, ready to test it, I do exploratory testing. It means I put learning in the center of my work. The application is my external imagination, as I set on a quest to do the best possible work testing – providing information – as I possibly can.

My best possible testing includes two forms of test automation. I leave test automation behind as documentation, that does a part of the testing work for me even when I am no longer attending to the application. And I create test automation that enables me to test things that would otherwise stay out of my reach that I may dispose of as it has served its purpose.

Contemporary exploratory testing raises from the observation in teams that we too often do a bad job at both manual testing and test automation for the outcomes we seek in projects. What does it look like when we frame the two together, through an example of an application, of testing done and automation created?

All good testing is exploratory to an extent, but not all testing is exploratory testing.

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