If you haven’t noticed, the free test platform, TestProject.io, has made community one of the core principles of their company.
To further that mission they provide a forum, a blog, and an add-on ecosystem where automation engineers can easily support, troubleshoot, share best practices and test innovation, as well as collaborate with one another.
In a past article, Why Testers Need Community (Top Benefits), I listed the reasons meet-ups are so crucial for testers.
For folks who are the sole testers at their firms, meet-ups provide a space for them to not only discuss what they're currently working on, but also to identify the technologies other companies are working with.
But meet-ups and conferences are not the only places for testers to support and share information with one another.
Many automation tools like Selenium provide slack channels and forums where you can join to ask questions.
One of the new forums I’ve been using is hosted by TestProject.io.
When you visit the TestProject forum, you'll see in their Welcome message that their goal is to create a test automation community to help testers, developers and DevOps folks troubleshoot day-to-day challenges, share best practices and innovations in the test automation field, and help them with their automation projects.
One of my daily practices is to go to a test automation forum to see if there are any topics or questions I can help folks with. This also helps me find test techniques and fixes for issues that I might not have even known existed.
For example, being new to TestProject myself I wasn’t sure how to capture a parameter from one test and pass it to another. While visiting the forum, I found that exact question and answer already posted. Awesome!
If you are into technology, this type of constant learning is critical for you to stay up to speed with the latest and greatest in software test development.
(Some of you may find forums antiquated, but in my opinion they’re still a great go-to resources for many issues.)
While TestProject isn’t the largest forum for automation testing out there, it is steadily growing, and it appears they have dedicated forum-testing experts available that will jump in as soon as you post a question.
So if you have an issue and want some free help, it can’t hurt to post it to the forum and see what happens.
In addition to their forum, I’ve also been checking out TestProject’s blog at least once a week.
Bas has written an excellent five-part series for TestProject on getting started with SpecFlow. Rex wrote a three-part article on the Power of Using TestNG. Corina has a post on Using Java Object for Comparing API and DB Test Data, and Kinga lays out the benefits of having a nightly build.
As you can glean from the titles, there’s a diverse range of topics covered.
Additionally, there are posts on:
- API testing
- Tips for landing an automation job
- Much, much more
One of the most significant parts of the TestProject solution that helps drive collaboration and community are the add-ons.
As I mentioned in my previous post, TestProject: a Community-Based Test Tool, add-ons allow testers around the globe to use functionality that other testers are sharing in TestProject.
You can think of add-ons as test automation building blocks that can be reused by others. When you log on to the TestProject portal, you can see the add-ons available to you under the Community Menu.
There seem to be add-ons for everything. It feels like an app store for testers!
For instance, one of the folks in the forum asked if they could perform API testing with TestProject.
Of course, the answer was Yes…with an add-on.
Someone created an excellent add-on called RESTful API Client that allows you to send GET, POST, PUT, and DELETE requests.
When deciding whether the add-on is right for you, there are also statistics like how many times it been downloaded, as well as a star rating.
Share Your Code Locally or With the World
I really like this add-on concept.
I once worked on a project that had more than eight different scrum teams. Each team would create their implementation of a feature without realizing that the functionality they needed already existed.
This created code duplication and made the automation harder to maintain.
There are many ways to overcome this.
With TestProject, one of those ways is to create an add-on.
Let’s say you’ve created code that allows you to easily interact with a REST API. You could make that an add-on and share it with your team. Then each time a team member logged on, they could easily see that the functionality already exists and therefore needn’t create it themselves.
By simply adding your add-on to their test, they would be able to interact with an API without writing all the logic to do it.
Or, say you’ve created a cool way to execute Android debugging commands on your Android device. Wouldn’t it be cool to let your team know that this ability existed? All they would need to do is add that add-on to their test, and they would be off and running.
Bonus using add-ons is very initiative. Once installed, you can immediately start using them in your tests; no other setup needed
To reach testers beyond your team, you can also share an add-on with the entire TestProject community so that anyone, even folks not directly related to your account, can download and use that add-on as part of their automation.
A Virtual Community
As I mentioned earlier, community is more than onsite events. Companies like TestProject and my own TestGuild are also valuable resources for you to learn and help others on your testing journey.
Check out the free TestProject comunity and let me know what you think.
Also, check out my podcast episode with Mark Kardashov, CEO and Co-founder of TestProject to hear more about the feature of this test framework.