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Test Management

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Test Management Is Dead: Building the Future by Managing Up

“Congratulations! The company is going through a major reorganization, and you will be leading a new test team.” Irja thought, “Finally! Challenge accepted!”. And everything was fine until one fine spring day she received a message: “Can’t we just automate all the tests and make them green?”.

Irja thought years of experience in different roles would make her ready for the challenge, but things weren’t quite as evident as they seemed at first because she understood the priorities differently. She thought her priority was creating and leading a team. But after that message, it became clear – her job is not just to “lead the team” but to “lead the people above her” first. In this talk, Irja’ll share her experience and how she learned that managing up is a crucial skill for a tester but somehow invisible because no one teaches it to us. Irja want to tell the story and elevate the visibility of those skills so that tomorrow you can use them to have agency over shaping testing for the better.

What you’ll learn

From this talk you will learn how to:

Managing up is the most crucial skill for a tester, but we are never told about that nor trained.

Understand the importance of elevating the invisible skill - managing up and pick up a few practical tips on how to manage up as a tester.

Learning from failure: I'll illustrate what happens when managing up isn't prioritized and the consequences of failing to do so.

Session details

Track 2

12:00h - 12:45h · May 30th

40 min talk + 5 min Q&A

Topic: Test Management & Strategy

General Level

Talk in English, Translated to Spanish


Irja Straus

Irja Straus is a Quality Manager at Gideon with almost 15 years of experience in the IT industry. She started her professional adventure as a software tester and business analyst, after which she took over the product manager role in the first Croatian unicorn. After a multi-year product adventure, Irja decided to accept the challenge of establishing testing practices and integrating quality from the very beginning. For the past few years, she has focused on modern exploratory testing, developing quality engineering practices, process organization, and encouraging healthy collaboration between teams.