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Maaret Pyhäjärvi

maaret pyhajarvi

Maaret Pyhäjärvi

Principal Test Engineer, Vaisala, Finland


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 and 2021 and awarded Tester Worth Appreciating Award in Finland 2022 . 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 Guidebook, Exploratory Testing and Strong-Style Pair Programming.

How to Get Better at Exploratory Testing
Exploratory testing (noun) is an approach to how we frame our testing focusing on agency and return on investment. When focusing on agency, we limit handoffs to enable learning. When focusing on return on investment, we look at both bookkeeping and opportunity costs in relation to the value of information. When we do exploratory testing (verb) we can say all testing is exploratory to a degree, and the conversation is around how to be more exploratory.

When discussing how to get better, we work on two scales:

  • the noun – the organization’s expectations on how we organize for testing
  • the verb – the tester’s ability to provide results

In this talk, we focus on the latter. How do we, when we test, become better at doing exploratory testing. We will look at ways of self-development allowing us to provide better feedback with versatile ideas of how to design tests to get information working with the application.