121: Testing Video Games Using API Automation with Amber Race

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Amber Race TestTalks

Have you ever wondered how gaming companies test their video games? 
If so, this episode is for you. Amber Race, a senior test developer at Big Fish Games with a penchant for playing bingo for money, gives us an insider’s peek at how she approaches game testing.

Amber shares some of her favorite testing techniques and tools like Postman, which helps her to leverage APIs to automate many back-end testing activities. So if you ever wanted to know what it takes to become a tester at a gaming company you won’t want to miss this episode.

About Amber Race

Amber Race

Amber Race is a Senior SDET at Big Fish Games. She has over 15 years of testing experience at Big Fish and Microsoft, doing everything from manual application testing to tools development to writing automation frameworks for web services. Amber has worked on a wide variety of products and written automation in C#, C++, Python, and Java. She currently specializes in test automation and performance testing for high volume back-end services supporting iOS and Android games.

Quotes & Insights from this Test Talk with Amber Race Api Testing Games

  • Program languages are very similar in their logic. That's the important thing. Liberal use of stack overflow, of course, is very helpful for any sort of coding exercise. I think just being open and just thinking just cause I've never coded anything in Ruby or never understood anything in Ruby, if you understand the logical flow of a programming language pretty much any language you can at least get some familiarity with I think.
  • Usually how it works is the game play is happening. There's the gaming engine and then if they're hooking it in with backend services the development cycles are not all that closely linked together so game play development can be happening independently of the server side. They'll come up with this game and they're playing the game and they're like, “Oh, hey, we want to add chat to our game,” or “We want to add gifting to our game,” so now we're going to pull in this backend service that there needs to be tested. Ideally everything would come together at the same time, but that's not how it generally works in practice.
  • Postman is a rest client basically. You can use it, it started as a Chrome plugin. Now there's native versions for both Mac and Windows. The simplest level you can use it to send a post request to your web server and then it gives you the response back. You can setup all the headers and all the cookies and everything the way you want it and then check the response when it comes back. That's basically what it is, but it has a lot of other features built into it. The cookie management is really good.
  • Postman is a tool I happened across it. It's super useful as a client. It has a very rich interface that a lot of the previous rest clients didn't have. It makes it real easy to share your knowledge with your coworkers because you can package up all your requests and expected responses and you can send it off to somebody else so that they can look at it also. It's just a really useful tool.
  • I think with Postman what you do is one person is doing the research and figuring out all this stuff, and then you're saying, “This is our API.” You put it on the wiki, this is our API, and everybody can run it and make sure that what they're doing doesn't break what's already there. It just makes it pretty easy because it's very collaborative tool. You can even put a button on your internal website saying run in Postman. Run my API's in Postman and make sure everything works.
  • The best advice I would have is to just play around with the API. Once you get a request response conversation figured out just tweak this, tweak the request, tweak the headers, tweak the cookies if there's cookies involved. I think that's just experimenting, play with the API is really an important thing


Connect with Amber Race

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