11 - 13 May 2016

thestudio, Manchester, UK

Testing ...our cognitive biases!

Oana Juncu cOemerge

Session type: Hands-On
Session duration: 90 minutes

About this Hands-On

Are you a software developer? A tester? A business analyst? Do you think that you contribute a piece of software that users want?

Well, that could or could not be the case. Only one thing is sure: that piece of software reflects your own mental model of what those users want.

Our life goes by making assumptions. Then we make decisions based on assumptions we take for granted. This is how we build business, software, testing strategy and anything else. When reality contradicts our assumptions, we eventually get angry because the world is not compliant with our 'test scenarios'.

In this workshop participants will experiment with the traps of some of the most common cognitive biases (from attribution to familiarity) and learn how our brains build hypotheses on them. Biases often lock our minds in blind spots, from where it may be hard to step out.

You will learn:

  • how to distinguish assumptions from facts by using a set of observation exercises
  • how we really make decisions
  • how to validate our hypotheses with true observation rather than by downloading preformatted mental models

About the Speaker

Oana has more than 15 years of experience in software development management, and since 2007 she's had a lot of fun mixing practices from agile, design thinking, Lean Startup, neuroscience and storytelling. She helps organisations find their purpose and become proud of their achievements.


To buy tickets to see this fantastic talk, and many others like it head over to our ticket page.

Session Types

Need help planning which sessions to attend? We've provided a breakdown of our various session types below.

Case Study/Experience Report

A presentation and discussion of real-life (not theoretical) experiences of the application (or mis-application) of Agile and Lean practices. Case studies and experience reports include some discussion of lessons learned and an indication of how novel the work is.


Participants learn a new approach, tool or technology through using it to solve one or more practical exercises. Any software/hardware requirements are disclosed in the session description.


A session focused around some specific tool, technique or issue. Primarily led by the speaker, tutorials usually include some elements of interactivity or individual / group exercise.


An in-depth working session on a specific topic. May include paper presentations.