A Thanksgiving tribute to my gurus in testing

Brijesh Deb
4 min readNov 24, 2023
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez 🇨🇦 on Unsplash

I am a day late on this one but I will do this nonetheless. It’s is Thanksgiving time and I wanted to take an opportunity to thank a bunch of extraordinary people who have help me learn about testing and leadership and have helped me be what I am today.

This list is in random order.

Dorothy Graham — Although this is a random list, the first name has to be that of Dot whose article really inspired me and helped me get started with testing. I have had the fortune of interacting with her and in fact meeting her in person more than 2 decades later and that is one of my most cherished memories ever.

Lisa Crispin and Janet Gregory — I like to call them the Agile Testing twins. I have never been able to take their names separately. It all started with their books on Agile Testing and I was simply blown away by the ease with which their work changed my mind towards testing in the agile world.

James Bach — I have followed and learnt from the work of James for more than a decade and half and it has been a life changing experience. I followed the early 2000s trend of getting an ISTQB certificate and feeling like a hero but it was. James’ work that changed my perspective and made me realize how shallow my knowledge was. Now with The Test Chat community and James’ contribution to it, I feel honored and proud that I am a better tester.

Michael Bolton — Just like James, Michael has just changed my thinking towards testing and helped me become a better tester. His vast knowledge and experience and the fact that he’s so well read only helps me get better at the craft every single time I interact with him.

Richard Bradshaw and Mark Winteringham — These two gentlemen opened my thinking towards automation in testing and how we could leverage the power of automation to get more efficient in what we do. Two great community champions have really helped me get the perspective on communities as well.Mark’s book on API testing is something I would recommend to every tester wanting to learn about API testing.

Naveen Khunteta — Naveen’s fantastic work on automation has been my go to solution every time I have had a problem. His enormous repertoire and immense knowledge has been the source of a lot of my knowledge around tools.

Maaret Pyhäjärvi — What can I say about Maaret that hasn’t been said before. I have learnt different ways to approach problem solving from her work and her journey. It is incredible how she manages to keep trying different things. Her work on exploratory testing is an example of that.

Mukesh Otwani — The Mercedes Benz of the testing world as I fondly call him for his attitude. of always putting others before him. Mukesh is an automation powerhouse and through his videos has changed the lives of thousands of testers and he continues to do so with a smile.

Bas Dijkstra — For me Bas’ work with automation concepts such as BDD has been nothing but exemplary. What I simply love about Bas is the clarity of this thoughts on testing and automation and how easy he makes it to understand stuff.

Seema Prabhu — My mentor and guide to the world of leadership especially leadership in testing. Her compassionate and patient way of listening to the problems as a mentor and offering guidance comes from the immense knowledge and experience that she has. She’s not very active on social media and that is only indicative of how dedicated and disciplined she is towards her work. I wouldn’t be where I am today if not for her mentorship and guidance.

Dan Ashby — Dan opened my mind to the world of continuous testing. That was my starting point for following his work and it just blew my mind how easily and eloquently he could talk about testing in complex situations.

Pradeep Soundararajan — It all started with long posts and comments and counter comments on social media with Pradeep but when I started learning about him and his work, I realized how he was creating a world of difference. Over the past several years I have been greatly influenced by Pradeep and hispassion and my interactions with him have been always so enriching.

There are many more who have influenced me and my growth as a tester and I want to thank them all.



Brijesh Deb

In God we trust, everything else I Test! Views expressed here are personal.