Lisi Hocke

Main focus: Testing & Quality

Twitter handle: @lisihocke


Languages: English, German

Country: Germany

Topics: agile, testing, learning, collaboration, software quality, ensemble programming, ensemble testing, pair programming, pair testing

Services: Talk, Workshop management


Having graduated in sinology, Lisi fell into agile and testing in 2009 and has been infected with the agile bug ever since. She’s especially passionate about the whole-team approach to testing and quality as well as the agile culture mindset behind it. Building great products which deliver value together with great people is what motivates her and keeps her going. She received a lot from the agile testing community; now she’s sharing her stories to give something of her experience back to the community. She tweets as @lisihocke and blogs at In her free time you can either find her in the gym running after a volleyball, having a good time with her friends or delving into games and stories of any kind.

Examples of previous talks / appearances:

Growing an Experiment-driven Quality Culture

You know your own product team needs to improve when it comes to testing and quality, yet you are not sure how to tackle this challenge? Many teams out there feel the need to grow a quality mindset, considering this to be a major stumbling block in their environments. At my current company, tech leadership had a clear mission: improve the testing and quality culture of our product teams by leveling up knowledge, skills and practices. The problem: how to get there?

Experiments to the rescue! In a complex environment like ours, no one could tell what would work, so we had to try things out. I designed an experiment to increase transparency, raise awareness, and especially drive experimentation in individual teams to grow a quality culture. Together with a newly formed working group, I supported four pilot teams to design, run and evaluate their own measurable experiments in their own specific context. These teams tried various approaches like exploratory testing, pair and ensemble testing, or documenting architectural decisions.

In this talk I will share our lessons learned, the outcome and impact of these experiments, and what influenced the next experiments to try. Get inspired by our continuous journey towards making experiments a part of team culture across the company!

- Understand why small, frugal experiments are crucial in complex environments
- Learn how to design your own measurable experiments, in your team or globally
- Get tips on how to run and evaluate experiments
- Gain insights on how to learn from experiment results and decide on next steps
- Start a movement towards an experiment-driven quality culture

This talk is in: English
A Story of Ensemble Programming, Testing and Everything

Back in time, I started out as a strong individual contributor. I loved to have a team around me and collaborate with them, but when it came to doing “my part”, I did it only by myself. I was uncomfortable when another one “peeked over my shoulder” to see what I was doing, or when they even wanted to do it together with me.

But then I heard about this strange new approach of ensemble programming, having the whole team work on the same task, same place, same time, same computer - which was such an unusual idea that it instantly fascinated me. I told my team about it; they surprisingly agreed to give it a try; and it changed our world.

Join us on our journey and see what we discovered along the way. Learn how our ensembling experience helped us to start pairing, on various tasks across “disciplines”. This is our story of how the whole team is growing even closer together, constantly learning from each other, while delivering our best.

Key takeaways:
- Get to know the realization of the whole-team approach: working as an ensemble
- Discover the value of pairing on many topics besides programming
- Learn about advantages and disadvantages of different ways of collaboration and how they can change team dynamics
- Find out how you can grow closer with your team while increasing your seniority at the same time
- Get inspired to experiment with your own team to improve overall quality

This talk is in: English
Grow Your Technical Confidence (Workshop)

Have you ever heard yourself saying “I’m not technical”? Have you ever looked at code and felt overwhelmed right away? Have you ever shied away from using the command line and instead looked for a graphical interface? Have you wanted to change this yet found it hard to gather courage and find guidance where to start on this journey?

If that is you, there’s a way out. I’ve been there myself and learned over the years that a lot of this is based on mere perception, from the outside world and from messages we internalized ourselves. “Oh, that’s too technical for you, you won’t understand this.” - “You’re not technical, you don’t code.” The key is changing this perception, starting with ourselves by growing our confidence that we can do this indeed and then honing our skills. Every tiny step will increase our understanding and help us be better at our job - no matter the role we identify with right now.

Let’s grow our technical confidence together in this workshop. We will look at code samples to discover what we can already make sense of and enable us to ask better questions. We will go through pull requests to understand what changed and the potential impact of these changes. We will make our first steps on the command line to get familiar with a text-based interface and discover the possibilities it offers. Let’s make all of this less scary and re-discover the fun of learning!

Key learnings:
- Understand that “technical” is a perception and it’s all about growing your own confidence
- Get tips and tricks for reading code on a higher level
- Learn how to understand pull requests and how you can use the information they provide
- Discover how to navigate the command line and the freedom it can offer
- Get inspired to grow your technical confidence step by step with joy

This talk is in: English
Ensemble Exploratory Testing (Workshop)

Ever wondered how experienced testers provide feedback quickly, discover unknown unknowns, and find that issue yet again on the first touch of the application? Let's lift the curtain together and discover the magic behind exploratory testing - as an ensemble. Whether you identify yourself as a developer, product person, tester, or anything else, whether you consider yourself a newbie or rather experienced, you are welcome to join this ensemble. Let's practice and explore together!

Main learnings:
- Learn the basics of the ensemble approach and practice them hands-on
- Experience the benefits of ensemble testing
- Practice exploratory testing hands-on together

This talk is in: English
Learning to Learn in an Ensemble (Workshop)

Ensemble programming, ensemble testing, or generally ensembling is a wonderful approach to uncover implicit knowledge and learn from each other. It’s “all the brilliant people, working on the same thing, at the same time, in the same space, and at the same computer“. But what if you introduce a new technology no one in the ensemble had worked with before? What if you suddenly need knowledge in the team that nobody has? Does ensembling still prove to be an efficient way of learning in that case? Join this experiment and learn something nobody in the ensemble has done before. Let’s see how far we get in mastering a new skill together!

Key takeaways:
- Learn the basics of the ensemble approach and practice them hands-on
- Experience the benefits of uncovering and sharing implicit knowledge to help everyone learn
- See how having all brains in helps solve unknown challenges and get the best out of everybody

This talk is in: English
A Code Challenge of Confidence

“This is scaring me as hell - and that’s exactly why I need to do it!” Can you relate to that? This year, my personal challenge was to become code-confident. As a tester, I felt the need to up my game here. My hypothesis: “I believe that doing many small hands-on coding exercises and challenges, on my own as well as together with other interested people, will result in increased confidence in my programming skills. I’ll know I have succeeded when I have developed a small product from scratch.”

What I did was to finally use my GitHub account and create my very first public repository. I called for collaboration and found people willing to review my code and to pair up with me on further challenges. Rinse and repeat! The question to be answered: was jumping headfirst a viable way to improve my coding skills?

Join me on this walk through my code - along with the stories of my struggles, the solutions found, and the lessons learned.

- Understand why honing our skills is essential for us as testers
- Learn how scary challenges can help you grow in short time when you have people who support you
- See how pairing speeds up your learning journey and make more things possible than you would have ever imagined

This talk is in: English
Cross-team Pair Testing: Lessons of a Testing Traveler

Did you ever wonder how to improve your testing skills? Well, I did. I wanted to learn where I stood in terms of my testing knowledge and at the same time improve my exploration and automation skills. Maybe dive deeper into special areas like security or accessibility testing. I read and thought a lot, but what I felt I was missing was hands-on practice. So I decided to run an experiment.

My hypothesis: “I believe that pairing and mobbing with fellow testers from the community on hands-on exploratory testing and automation will result in continuously increasing skills and knowledge as well as serendipitous learning. I’ll know I have succeeded when I noted down at least one concrete new insight or applied one new technique per testing session and shared that with the community.”

In this talk, I will share the lessons learned on my journey as well as tips for doing pair testing sessions yourself. Let’s uncover if my hypothesis proved true, that a testing tour is indeed a feasible and valuable way to improve your testing knowledge and skills!

Key takeaways:
- Hear about lessons learned as a testing traveler
- Get tips on how to make the most out of pair testing sessions
- Learn why collocation is not a requirement but an excuse and how you can benefit from geographical dispersal
- Get inspired to run experiments for your own personal development

This talk is in: English
Next Stop: FlixBus! A Tester Exploring Developer Land

Welcome to our journey with FlixBus! My name is Lisi and I’m your guide today. Our tour will start way back in history where we will discover testing constructions of ancient times. From this starting point we will move on, and observe how testing at FlixBus evolved over time to a whole-team approach of building quality in. Let’s have a rest at the experiment-driven park of collaboration, and finish our tour at the fun fair of alternative futures. Snackable pieces of knowledge are included throughout our trip and you're welcome to take notes and photos to keep your memories fresh! Looking forward to some fun time together!

Key takeaways:
- Learn how testing throughout the workflow helps to shorten feedback loops and build quality in
- Find out how to engage the whole team to resolve bottlenecks
- Experiment with different approaches to find solutions in your context
- Tips to foster cross-team collaboration and grow a company-wide testing community
- Discover how to explore beyond your product to drive continuous improvement

This talk is in: English
'I am Groot' - Learning Agile Testing

Everybody's talking about continuous learning and how essential it is for a tester. You have to keep growing, keep stretching yourself, keep exploring new worlds so as not to miss the forest for the trees.

But how do you actually do that? Okay, since you’re reading this it seems that you're at least thinking about going to conferences to learn. But is learning once a year enough? If not, how do you grow on a daily basis? How can you become a better tester? And what about learning as a team, company, community? In this talk, I will share my personal experience and concrete tips on how to constantly reinvent yourself and the world around you. We are Groot!

Key takeaways:
- Hands-on tips & resources on how to learn, grow, and flourish every day
- Find answers to your problems & learn what’s new in the testing world
- Overcome the fear of learning, failure, or success
- Create & foster a safe environment for learning
- Enhance your growth by sharing your lessons learned

This talk is in: English