Paul Gerrard

Gerrard Consulting, UK

Paul Gerrard is a consultant, teacher, author, webmaster, developer, tester, conference speaker, rowing coach and a publisher. He has conducted consulting assignments in all aspects of software testing and quality assurance, specialising in test assurance. He has presented keynote talks and tutorials at testing conferences across Europe, the USA, Australia, South Africa and occasionally won awards for them.

Educated at the universities of Oxford and Imperial College London, in 2010, Paul won the Eurostar European Testing Excellence Award and in 2013, won The European Software Testing Awards (TESTA) Lifetime Achievement Award. Paul was the Programme Chair for the EuroSTAR Conference in Dublin in 2014 and is the 20176 Programme Chair for ExpoQA in Madrid.

Paul wrote, with Neil Thompson, “Risk-Based E-Business Testing” and several other Pocketbooks - “The Tester’s Pocketbook”, “The Business Story Pocketbook”, "Lean Python" and “Digital Assurance”.

He is Principal of Gerrard Consulting Limited, Director of TestOpera Limited and is the host of the Assurance Leadership Forum in the UK.

Will Robots Replace Testers

Will tools and automation continue to support testing or will robots replace testers in the future? This talk sets the scene and perhaps a direction for the future of tools and automation in testing. Right now, the software world is going “bot mad”. It looks like many jobs in the next ten to twenty years will be done by bots and those jobs will effectively disappear as career choices. Inevitably, there has been some talk of testers being replaced by bots and tools. The common response to date has been to say, “Impossible!” But I’m not sure such a kneejerk reaction is sensible. Futurists might suggest the destination is intelligent robot testers. I’m not sure that is where we are heading. The next steps we take will not require sophisticated AI or Deep Learning. But the next generation of testing tools will force a change of thinking and culture. Our goals with tools will change too and we may then have a clearer view of where we are heading. Tools that use ML may then be part of the tester’s armoury.

This talk suggests how we might make sense of the tools landscape of the near future, where the pressure to modernise processes and automate is greatest, and what a new test process supported by tools might look like.

Maaret Pyhäjärvi

F-Secure Corporation, Finland

Maaret Pyhäjärvi is a software professional with testing emphasis. She identifies as an empirical technologist, a tester and a programmer, a catalyst for improvement and a speaker. Her day job is working with a software product development team as a hands-on testing specialist with focus on exploratory testing. In addition to being a tester and a teacher, she is a serial volunteer for different non-profits driving forward the state of software development. She was recently awarded as Most Influential Agile Testing Professional Person 2016. She blogs regularly at and is the author of two LeanPub books.

Making Teams Awesome

The key to high-performing teams is psychological safety - the ability to be vulnerable in front of others with our diverse viewpoints, to take risks and trust that everything will be ok. At times we think of the working culture as something given or as something management creates, yet each of us has a role to play in creating it. Each of us can take the initiative in building better relationships between testers, test automators and developers. This is a story of how I’ve been working with my teams over the last few years to enable them to be awesome. It is about enabling awesome through building trust in the role of a tester. A tester who has moved from tester through test manager to “just as tester” to learn that no one is just a tester. A tester who has taken her teams from chain of contributions to on-time collaboration with emergent learning.

I hope I can inspire you to realize that the work we do is worth doing well. Whatever you see that could be improved, pretend it is possible and ask for it. Don’t let yourself tell you it can’t be done.