GTR 2016 – Speaker Series – Featuring Schalk Cronjé

Our second featured speaker who will be at Global Testing Retreat 2016 is Schalk Cronjé.


1. What attracted you to speaking at GTR 2016 this year?

I am one of the initiators of this conference. We have discussed this idea for a long time and along with my friends from QAAgility, this has been realised. I am very excited to play my part in the very active Indian tech industry.

2. What are you most looking forward to at this year’s conference?

This is a brand new conference. It is also a big experiment for all of us involved with this conference. We want something that will improve the skills of attendees, excite them and also motivate them to make a positive difference in their own local societies and organisations. I am definitely excited about meeting a lot of new people and seeing some old friends. Talking about tech in India is a great experience as people are so eager to learn.

3. What piece of advice would you give conference attendees to maximize their experience at GTR 2016?

Don’t be afraid to talk to any of the presenters, irrespective of who they are. Be open to new thinking.

4. What are your favorite reading references (books/blogs/etc) that have helped your grow as a testing professional?

#1 Jim Highsmith – Agile Software Development Ecosystems. In my opinion this book is a classic. The only experience that too many people have with Agile is Scrum. This book which is already over 10 years old describes a number of lightweight methodologies that have been around including interviews with their main proponents. I always attribute this book to have given me a much bigger picture of the Agile philosophy.

#2 Dorothy Leonard – Wellsprings of Knowledge. Keep take away from this book is how people have different ways of approaching work depending on their training, background and mental building blocks. It also discusses the psychological aspects of introducing new technology to people.

#3 Jpoie Coetzee – The Social Contract with Business. Understanding the internal and external impacts of an organisation as it related to their actions and products. Seeing the difference between a positive and negative social impacting business. Seeing the bigger picture allows people to think about the product rather than just test see whether paper requirements are met.

None of these books are actually about testing, they are about making you think and see the bigger picture.

5. What do you enjoy about the testing “field”/what keeps you in testing?

I do many things in the tech industry. I see testing as an important part of tech and personally I think it is even far more important than development in many contexts. I still like finding obscure bugs, because I think that improves products and allows one to discuss edge cases for a product that might never have surfaced during initial product discussions. I have many friends that are very good developers and a lot of them have written test tools, because they needed to addresses gaps in the tools market. These tools are now open-source. Geb, Betamax, Aquillian & Spock are just a few I can mention off-hand.

6. What do you think is the most important skill(s) software testers should have?

1. Be able to think
2. Be able to code

7. What advice would you give to new testers or to those looking to find their “testing spark” for reigniting their passion for testing?

Work on open-source. Be part of a project. Help test or help code. Oh, and learn to think for yourself. Don’t just think something is acceptable because any three big names in the industry are saying it’s good.

Schalk Cronjé will be speaking on the topic “Cool JVM Tools to help you Test.”
He will also be involved in the post-conference workshop, “Fast-track JVM development.”

You can find him online at:

Twitter: @ysb33r


Global Testing Retreat(GTR) is a global QA and Testing Professional Conference (“UnConference”) featuring not only real world experience and thought leadership in the QA and Testing industry but a chance to participate in various testing, agile and sports competitions. Agile Testing Alliance is organizing this first of the kind global event in Pune, India. GTR wants all the testers to enjoy this 3 day event not only for learning but to un-wind and have fun while participating in various events a truly one of a kind TESTING RETREAT.

GTR is brought to you by Agile Testing Alliance (ATA).

You can find more information about GTR 2016 by going to the following links:


Previous speakers featured from the Global Testing Retreat 2016 – Speaker Series:

Rajini Padmanaban