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Community Spotlight Presents Pekka Marjamaki

  • 12/07/2013
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  • Posted by EuroSTAR

The Community Spotlight is a brand new feature on the EuroSTAR Blog which brings to focus those who matter in software testing industry in Europe – you, the members of the EuroSTAR Community!

We want to give you the chance to get to know more about your peers throughout Europe and share your own experiences, career highlights and some fun facts with the testing community by taking our Community Spotlight interview.

This Community Spotlight features Pekka Marjamaki, Pekka is a speaker at the 2013 EuroSTAR Conference and will be presenting a Track Session called Testing Me.


community spotlight pekka marjamaki


1. Name

My birth name is in fact Antti-Pekka but I decided as a kid that people should call me Pekka. So you can call me Pekka (IPA: /pɛk’kə/ almost like “pecker” J ). Some people call me Peksi (which is my nickname), but it seemed that James Bach had some difficulties with the pronunciation (“peck-see”), and he called me “Pesky” (which also suits me just fine).


2. Where are you from?

I’m 28-years old dude from Helsinki, Finland. I’ve lived here from March 2013 and I lived in Tampere for 20 before that. I live with my beautiful wife and my adorable 5-year-old daughter. I used to have a think long hair and a beard but since my daughter was born, I’ve been balding quite fast. I’m an outgoing man: I like running with my dog (a sad-eyed beagle), swimming in the summer, going to the gym, etc. I also like all artsy-kinda stuff: I play electric bass (I used to play in a punk band, industrial metal band and in a blues band. Guys said that the rehearsals were “an hour long bass solo”), I paint miniatures, draw (poorly) and I write poetry (in Finnish, but still). I like games also, especially strategy and logic games. I think two of my favorite hobbies are painting and reading.


3. Where do you work?

I work at F-secure corporation here in Helsinki as a Senior Quality Engineer. I do testing currently in a back-end team, but the responsibilities include training and coaching, E2E testing, performance and reliability, and I think test management is also there, but really subtly. I am also the community facilitator (equivalent to a chairman) of the Finnish Association of Software Testing. I also tweet and blog (sometimes more, sometimes less) and I write column to a Finnish testing magazine – Laatu ja Testaus (“Quality and Testing”) – three-four times a year.


4. Can you tell us how you got involved in testing?

My first touch to testing was when I was about 6-years old and my father had a boat. I wanted to test if the boat keys would float and threw them to water. Unfortunately they didn’t float and went straight to the bottom. About 7 years ago when I was an Application Specialist (or a tech support person) at Logia Software in Tampere, I got my first testing assignment. My job was to plan the testing of a web application system. I didn’t know squat about testing at that time so I read Maaret Pyhäjärvi’s presentation about test planning, a few other articles and started to plan. I was the only one at the time who really had interest in software testing, but I rapidly formed a reputation as a “knowledge sponge” and absorbed all the knowledge I could muster.


5. How many times have you been to EuroSTAR?

As for EuroSTAR, I’m a virgin. I have never been to the conference before and to be able to be a speaker at the conference, makes me so proud. I’m looking forward to seeing all you guys and gals there and to have fun!


6. What would you have been if you weren’t involved in testing?

If I wasn’t a tester I would be a teacher, possibly physics and math teacher. Or a meteorologist! Or a rock star! Ultimately I think there is no other thing I would rather do than testing (bar world famous rock star, although professional testers can be similar to rock stars in our industry)


7. If you were stranded on a desert island what 3 things would you like to have with you?

If I was to be stranded on a desert island, I would take these items with me: Rubik’s cube, all J.R.R. Tolkiens books (including essays, letters, articles and notes) in original language (some encrypted to elven language) packed in a hermetic container so it would count as one item and they wouldn’t degrade in the humidity of the desert island, Oxford English dictionary. If there would be no food in the island, at least I would starve entertained, enlightened and frustrated because I couldn’t solve the friggin’ cube.


8. What has been your biggest software testing challenge so far?

One of the most usual obstacles in my testing would be motivation, so I try to procrastinate productively. After my summer vacation I had trouble getting back to the flow, so I stumbled upon a website that had articles about Hutchison effect – “highly-anomalous electromagnetic effect which causes the jellification of metals, spontaneous levitation of common substances, and other effects.” You can never learn too much! ;) But I do try to keep myself motivated, so I read books about motivation and harnessing that energy to creative work.

9. What’s your favourite motivational quote?

And even though my life has been a bit of a struggle for the past year, here a quote from Samuel Beckett that I took to heart and it keeps me going: “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.”


Contact Pekka

Oh, and here’s some links I’d like to share to the community:
– The Finnish Association of Software Testing (
Laatu ja Testaus (“Quality and Testing”) (only in Finnish) (
– My blog “How do I test?” (

You can find me on Twitter (@pekkamarjamaki), Facebook ( and skype (anttipekkamarjamaki)

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