Meet the Speaker UKSTAR 2018 | Marianne Duijst

Next up in our ‘Meet the Speaker’ Series for UKSTAR 2018 is Marianne Duijst.


Marianne is employed as a Test Specialist at Sogeti, and held previous roles as a Software Engineer, Scrum Master, Developer and High School Teacher.

She enjoys speaking about critical thinking, work culture and being a Girl Scout. She sketchnotes live at conferences to share and learn.

Her love for IT and the Testing profession comes from a love for puzzles, logic, and structure mixed together with her creative, writing and crocheting mind. She loves to explore, meet people from different countries and cultures, read voraciously and dream outrageously.


Marianne will present her session ‘Self-Organizing the 24h GoForIT Innovation Challenge‘ at UKSTAR 2018 in London.


1. What is your favourite testing book/blog? Why is this your favourite?

Maaret Pyhäjärvi’s blog is a fountain of interesting information about testing, programming and life. She first introduced me to the concept of mob testing, speaks elegantly about topics of feedback, programming, learning, and mostly how to value cooperation over the polarization as we often see in debates in the industry.

Similarly, Lisi Hocke blogs regularly on her testing journey. She sets herself challenges, and then pursues them publicly while writing about her experiences. It is inspiring to read and encouraging to see how much she (and I) are learning from her journey.

Last to mention here is Heather Reid who started in the software testing industry only recently, yet she has been actively sharing and learning ever since. She wrote the articles she wished she had when she started: ’30 Things Every New Software Testing Should Learn’ and reminded me that no matter how far we are in our journey as software testers, there are always worthwhile things we can share.


2. How do you keep up to date with the software testing industry?

It can be a whirlwind to try and keep up to date as there are so many conferences, people to meet, articles to read and stories to share.

I am grateful to be invited to speak at conferences, where I can learn by sharing my stories and listening to others, and mostly by meeting inspirational people.

I keep in touch with the people I meet by following them on twitter and am now reversing the process: I am happy to meet people I met on twitter at conferences.

The Women in Testing slack is a highly inspirational and encouraging place, and I read and watch a lot of the content shared there. So, all in all, I led myself be let by recommendations online via the Ministry of Testing newsletter, my twitter feed & slack.


3. What is the biggest misconception about testing that you’ve heard?

One of the bigger misconceptions is that all testers do is verify the product works and find bugs to fix, which also leads to the impression that testing as such can be automated.

It is certainly an aspect of our work, and automation is one of the tools at our disposal. Yet, testing encompasses so much more: a questioning of process, people and our products. An exploration for possibilities that might not follow the original design or intent, a search for (and hopefully discovery of) potential problems and solutions.

When we restrict testing to a validation and a final check at the end of the software development process, we miss out on much of the value and magic that testing can bring. An often-mentioned phrase in this context: It is not ‘does the product work’, but ‘are we building the right product?



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