Keynote: Testing Like A Kid

Presenter: Mike Lyles

From 1952 to 1970, Art Linkletter was the host of a TV show called “House Party”. In this TV show, he had a segment called “Kids Say the Darndest Things”. He would ask children simple questions, after which he would receive astounding responses. The humorous and surprising responses clearly showed that children many times see things differently than adults. As adults, we have grown up with assumptions, understandings, and we often confine ourselves to a pre-defined belief in how the world operates.


Throughout history, the most creative people in the world have been those that do not let the preconceptions and ideas of “this is how we have always done it” drive their strategies and approaches. Just like young children, they stepped into new ideas and strategies without any boundaries, which resulting with new ideas, innovations, and changes.


In testing, there is a tendency to do things “as we always have”. We lock ourselves into processes and methodologies that may not be as effective today as they were years ago. In order to be effective, we have to remove the restrictions and boundaries, and think outside the box…just like a kid would do.


In this keynote, we will compare the perceptions that children have for various topics and products to those of adults and testers. We will examine case studies for how kids have approached solutions to common and new problems, and compare them to the solutions proposed in the workshop.


Join us as we jump in the “fountain of youth” and learn how to be more effective, productive, thinking-testers for our organizations!


Key Takeaways:

  • Case studies where children are faced with common tester problems and how they solved them
  • A review of the differences between how children and adults think
  • Suggestions for how to free your mind from years of preconceptions which can limit your ability to be a great thinking tester

Mike Lyles


Mike Lyles is a Director of QA & Project Management with over 20 years of IT experience in multiple organizations, including Fortune 50 companies. He has exposure in various IT leadership roles: software development, program management office, and software testing. He has led various teams within testing organizations: functional testing, test environments, software configuration management, test data management, performance testing, test automation, and service virtualization.

Mike has been an international keynote speaker at multiple conferences and events, and is regularly published in testing publications and magazines. (you can find all of his speaking events, articles, and talks here: ).

Mike’s passion to help others improve and grow, in the field of testing, leadership, and management, is his key motivation. His first published motivational book will be released this year.

You can learn more about Mike at where you can also find his social media links and connect with him there also. You can find more on his upcoming book at


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