GTR 2016 – Speaker Series – Featuring Olaf Lewitz

Our fourth featured speaker who will be at Global Testing Retreat 2016 is Olaf Lewitz.


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

Schalk Cronjé invited me, we met at the Agile Coach Camp in Norway.

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

It will be my first trip to India. I’m totally excited! I’ve been working with a lot of Indian colleagues over the years, and I have great curiosity and admiration for their mindset and what they told me about their culture.

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

Move out of your comfort zone, learn something new. And: dare to connect. Most business conferences have this big gap between speakers and participants (some paid to speak, some paying to listen). Many people coming to agile conferences do not expect the speakers to be open, humble, approachable. In my experience this is even more true for the agile testing community. So, talk to us! Just that someone has written a book, gathered a number of followers or got invited to a conference abroad does not mean they won’t love talking to you.

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

GOOS: Growing Object-Oriented SW guided by tests, by far. It’s opened my eyes after almost 20 years of writing software for a living…
and: Linchpin by Seth Godin. It has taught me to question not only the software and its requirements, but also the workings of the systems I’m part of (aka “the way we work”) and my own assumptions about myself and what I can achieve in life.

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

The skill of challenging assumptions, finding the cracks in the matrix that enable to insert a lever and pull, and not letting go unless we have a coherent understanding of something – these are skills we need to improve organisations, to improve the world. Testing skills should be applied to so much more than just software.

—> TALK TOPIC: I will talk about integral quality. What does quality mean, and how can we integrate quality into our organisations, and our lives?

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

Curiosity in general. Lateral thinking specifically: what else … what if… taking something out of context, changing the perspective, challenging it…

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

Step back and see the whole. Bugs in software are created because the systems we build to create the software (our organisations) are not designed to increase clarity of thought, and clarity of intent. Bugs happen (mostly) because human beings work under stress. Engage with the cause, apply your thinking to the software AND the system.

You deserve to love what you do.

Olaf Lewitz will be a keynote speaker at GTR 2016.  He will also be conducting a one day workshop on “Growing Trust in Teams.”

You can find him online at:

LinkedIn –
Twitter – @OlafLewitz
Blog –


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 learnings 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
Schalk Cronjé
Renu Rajani