by Rik Marselis

Intelligent machines require a new vision on quality engineering and testing. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotics are very rapidly entering our lives. The world of testing has to align and adapt.

In this keynote-presentation Rik introduces his book which covers many topics around testing OF intelligent machines and testing WITH intelligent machines. Examples include testing of chatbots, evaluating the business impact of new technology such as autonomous cars and validating the impact of all this new technology on our social lives. This asks for using new quality characteristics to assess the quality of the products and their impact on business and society.

With everything digital there are more possibilities for test automation and using the data derived from testing. Based on the data that results from both testing and monitoring we strive towards “quality forecasting” where artificial intelligence is used to predict quality problems so that these can be fixed even before users experience any failures. A roadmap of 5 hops leads your organization to this ultimate goal of quality forecasting.

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Speaker’s bio

Rik Marselis is a testing expert at Sogeti in the Netherlands. He is a well-appreciated presenter, trainer, author, consultant and coach in the world of quality assurance and testing. He supported many organizations and people in improving their testing practice by providing useful tools & checklists, practical support and having in-depth discussions. As a fellow of SogetiLabs, since several years he focusses on testing OF intelligent machines and testing WITH intelligent machines.

Rik has contributed to 19 books about quality assurance and testing and he is one of the authors of the recently published book “Testing in the digital age; AI makes the difference”. His presentations are always appreciated for their liveliness, his ability to keep the talks serious but light, and his use of practical examples with humorous comparisons.


  • Where you see Software Testing in future (in next 5 to 10 years)?

In my opinion testing will be an integrated activity amongst all other IT-activities that are performed by a team. However in my opinion most teams will find that it’s good to have at least one person on the team that has specialist knowledge of testing. Just like it’s also a good thing to have a specialist analyst and a specialist programmer and a specialist operations person on a team.

  • Is testing long-term dream job forever or just on step/stop on your life journey?

I started as a COBOL-programmer 39 years ago and back then learned that a program is not ready until there is a test set with it. So I’ve always been testing. Since the Y2K-era I have specialized in quality assurance and testing, so having worked in this field for over 20 years and still enjoying it I can say that it’s my dream job and I hope to continue working in this field until my retirement (and maybe even beyond that 😊)

  • What is the biggest obstacle or roadblock in SW testing that is slowing down improvement and innovation?

The biggest problems in day-to-day testing are that still the number of automated regression tests is quite limited, so a lot is done manually, and that causes that people in testing roles don’t have enough time available to investigate and explore, which are the real acitivities that testing can make a good contribution to the business value of an IT-system. Secondly I still often see poor test reporting. And since the report is the only tangible result that testing produces in which the stakeholders are really interested, reporting should be a top priority of testers. Therefore I always advise: when you start a new testing job, the first thing to think about is what you are supposed to report about and how you can best bring this to the stakeholders. In practice this normally means you have to report on 3 levels, very detailed for the testers and other team members, for example to have information to investigate anomalies, on a higher level for people like project managers, and a report with mainly smileys for the business stakeholders that only want to know on a high level whether the IT-system is of good enough quality.