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Fun, Friends, Future of testing: My takeaways from Agile Testing Days 2023

The 15th iteration of the Agile Testing Days -conference was held in Potsdam, Germany from November 14th to 16th 2023. I had the privilege of being among the attendees and I’m excited to share my key takeaways from this great experience.

The event consisted of talks and interactive workshops having high standard of quality and focus ranged broadly from AI in testing to sustainability in IT.


AI in software testing

One of the significant themes was AI in software testing. Kristel Kruustuk in her talk “10 x software testing” highlighted the challenges to do rapid enough and not too expensive test automation development when complex systems are developed very fast. She encouraged to start adopting AI and use it to help with test creation, test refactoring and issue factoring. She also reminded that it should be done cautiously as there are challenges with AI in this early phase, like its unpredictability and security concerns.

In a workshop led by Lisa Crispin and Rachel Kibler titled “Leveraging the power of AI“ the utility of AI in testing was further explored. They discussed its applications in writing test reports, doing documentation and executing automated exploratory testing. Cognitive biases where also discussed in this session, especially anchoring bias, and strategies to mitigate this bias using AI. As a book recommendation, they mentioned “Prompt Engineering for Anyone” by David Bernstein and ChatGPT.


Humble Inquiry in QA

In Virginia Weidhaas and Lizaveta Nikalayevich’s talk “Humble inquiry as a QA Coach tool” they offered insights into enhancing tester-developer relationships. They suggested a ‘humble inquiry’ approach that is based on curiosity, being non-judgemental, active listening and paying attention to relationship building. They recommended a book “Humble inquiry” by Edgar H. Schein & Peter A. Schein and a TV series called Ted Lasso.

Climate crisis and IT sustainability

A particularly moving session was “Agilists, the planet is (silently) screaming!” by John Buck & Jutta Eckstein where we were almost twenty people attending and representing many parts of the world. We listed together actionable steps to take, like using shared resources for testing, creating fewer test cases, testing as much as possible as early as possible and doing more exploratory testing.

In conclusion

The conference was not just a learning event but a place for relaxation, networking and getting to know new people. It was a great experience in a relaxed atmosphere, and I can highly recommend it to all testing (and also other IT) professionals.