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[Video] Interview with the Community Leader - Matthew Siadak

Community Manager

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Hello SmartBear Community,

 

Please meet one of our API Heroes – Matthew Siadak ( @msiadak )! Many of you got incredible assistance from him in the ReadyAPI Community – it’s time to get to know him better. In this short interview, Matthew will share his background and give you exclusive tips on how to be successful in the API industry

 

Watch the interview and leave your comments.

 

Interview short links:

01:25 - Matthew’s background

02:50 - Best skills for API Testers

04:25 - Future of API services

06:40 - First time in SmartBear Community

07:56 - Steps to become Community Hero

08:48 - Questions Matthew likes answering

11:25 - Project Matthew enjoys working on

12:46 - ReadyAPI features you must know to be successful in API industry

14:20 - Some words for SmartBear Community members

 

 

Transcript

[Tanya]

Hello SmartBear Community! I'm happy to welcome you in our monthly interviews with community leaders. Today, we will learn a bit more about one of our API heroes - Matthew Siadak. He will share his background and the path he followed to earn the SmartBear Hero status. If you are new to ready API, you will like Matthew talking about the features you must know to be successful in the API industry. So watch the interview and leave your comments.

 

Hello SmartBear Community! Today, our guest is Matthew Siadak. Matthew joined the SmartBear Community around three years ago, and his expertise is ReadyAPI, and, today, we will talk about the specifics of API tests, and I hope Matthew will share with us his secrets of how to be successful in the ReadyAPI community. Hello, Matthew! How are you today?

 

I'm doing good, how are you, Tanya?

 

[Tanya]

I'm good thank you. Let's start. Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from, and where do you work?

 

[Matthew]

Okay. I'm Matthew Siadak as you said, I currently work at a company called LPS just outside of st. Louis, Missouri. I work as the lead software engineer in test. I have a degree in software engineering, and I started off as a tester working with a lot of my predecessors' tests, and I found a lot of places for improvement, and I kind of taken that on myself to automate as much of our testing as possible. Still got a lot of work to do on that, but I've been basically designing our tests and our strategies for testing from the ground up.

 

[Tanya]

Okay, and how long have you been in the industry of software testing?

 

[Matthew]

Three years, just about as long as I've been a part of the Community. So, it's kind of an anniversary.

As you said, you have a degree in the software engineering, so this is what you kind of always dreamed of doing.

Yeah, definitely.

 

[Tanya]

It looks like you're working on what... you enjoy what you're doing.

 

[Matthew]

Yes, every day, I enjoy it every day.

 

[Tanya]

Okay, fine. As you work with the API tests, tell us what do you think which skills should a good API tester have?

 

[Matthew]

What it really comes down to and, this applies across the board to a lot of jobs, it's knowing how to approach a problem, but also how to understand the results that you're seeing. In ReadyAPI, the joke around here 'Is it green? Is it green? Is it green?', if it's green, it's good, but what about when it's red? What does that mean? What is a failed test? Is it a problem? Is it a system-wide outage? Is it something else? Is it something completely unrelated to what you're testing? That's thrown the wrench in the works. I deal with a lot of interconnected services, so a lot of what I do is tracking down not just why the tests failed, but what can be done to fix it, and who do I need to contact and just basically figuring out where we need to go and doing that sort of work.

 

[Tanya]

Kind of red is not always a bad thing?

 

[Matthew]

No, well, for us, we try to design our tests that everything comes back green, and red isn't ideal, but it's not a bad thing, it's just a matter of knowing why and troubleshooting it.

 

[Tanya]

Ok, fine. The question is you know that at the moment there are a lot of kind of words about API, about API testing, right? Because, API is everywhere, it's in mobile applications, in desktop applications, in web applications, so what do you think will be the future of these API services?

 

[Matthew]

Definitely, it's new to me, and I can see that it's definitely taking off, and, really, I don't know that much, but I think there's a lot of progress to be made yet.

 

[Tanya]

And, the future will be even better?

 

[Matthew]

Yeah, definitely. Always better, always moving up, always learning more and doing more with what we have.

 

[Tanya]

In one of the interviews with Alexey Karas, we've been talking about the Internet of Things, and I was talking about the moment when you know I will push the button, and I will feed my cat from any place. What do you think about such things? Should it be kind of implemented, are you a fan of this?

 

[Matthew]

Yeah, there's a lot of definitely room for stuff like that - automating part of our lives with API so that we can push of a button, do things we couldn't do before. Right now, I have it set up that at home, I have a baby monitor for my daughter, and I set it up, that's a simple solution, but if I need to I can hit a button and get a snippet of what's going on in her room, when she's crying or something like that. So, I mean, it's becoming a daily part of life just figuring out how we can interconnect things that normally don't go together, and there's just a lot of a lot of neat things that can be done with it.

 

[Tanya]

It makes our life a bit kind of easier.

 

[Matthew]

Yeah, definitely easier.

 

[Tanya]

Okay, fine. Let's talk a bit about the SmartBear Community. As you said, you joined the SmartBear Community once you started working with ReadyAPI, right? How did you know about the SmartBear Community in the first place? Where did you find it?

 

[Matthew]

Like I said, when I started here, my predecessor did not leave me a lot of stuff to go off of, so I had to kind of hit the ground running, and I found the Community by trying to learn about SoapUI, ReadyAPI, XML, XPath all that sort of stuff, I mean, I started at a deficit of knowledge, so I had to get spun up really quick. And, I found the Community, and it kind of became a new home for me. Lots of knowledgeable people that are definitely willing to help me grow myself in my job.

 

[Tanya]

Yeah, that's always very nice to hear about, that's always great to hear such feedback about the SmartBear Community. We have a lot of content as you said, yes, and it's possible to find practically everything in the SmartBear Community. But you joined the SmartBear Hero group only last year.

 

[Matthew]

Right.

 

[Tanya]

During the previous year what did you do? What do you mean exactly?

I'm sorry. I mean what did you do to become a SmartBear Community Hero?

 

[Matthew]

Oh, I spent a lot of time on these forums helping other people. One of the things is I love sharing knowledge, and I know that I will never know everything, so I like being on forums to see what other people are doing. I've learned a lot, as much as I've helped other people learn, and I love that training cycle just sharing knowledge, and working through that I ended up spending a lot of time there and helping a lot of people and helping myself, and, I think, that is why I became a Hero.

 

[Tanya]

Yeah, that's great, yeah, sharing the content, sharing the knowledge is one of the ways, actually, yeah, our SmartBear Community members usually use to earn this elite status. We are very happy that you're with us. Do you have any, you know, questions which you like to answer in the SmartBear Community? You know, like, you open the ReadyAPI Community, right, and you see this question, and you know that - 'Yes! This is the first question question which I will answer!'

 

[Matthew]

I like to look for questions around groovy script. Being a developer at heart, I like to work a lot in groovy script in ReadyAPI and that's kind of how I've automated some of our testing, and I like seeing stuff like that to see what other people do, but also to help people troubleshoot their scripts. I really enjoy doing that part of it.

 

[Tanya]

Do you usually create your own scripts on your local machine, and how do you usually troubleshoot this?

 

[Matthew]

Yeah, I'll usually figure out what the root of their problem is and see if I can...if it is something I can actually mock up on my computer, and I'll work through it to see if I can find them a solution, and then I'll work them through their problem to help them realize what they're doing wrong, or what they need to do differently.

 

[Tanya]

Based on what I see, groovy script allows doing a lot of things, and this is a very powerful thing.

 

[Matthew]

Very-very powerful, I've actually used it to automate not necessarily some of our testing, but some of our test creation. We deal a lot with a lot of large objects and data being passed between services, so I've developed a way that with a groovy script we do what's called positive, negative and null testing. Positive testing happy day scenario, negative testing meaning we're testing business rules, we're expecting the test to fail, and null testing is something I kind of developed it's when we're testing when data isn't there. Is it allowed not to be there? what happens? Can it be an empty string? When I first started, I created a lot of those steps by hand, and when you get into really large xml objects there could be hundreds of paths, so i actually wrote a groovy script that can take a positive day scenario test and parse it with the groovy script, and create all of the hundreds of tests and use the API of ReadyAPI itself to create those tests on the fly. So, I cut out a lot of manual work on my part.

 

[Tanya]

As you started talking about the stuff that you're doing at work, is there any scenario, maybe, projects, which you worked with, which you used to work with, and which you enjoy working with.

 

[Matthew]

A lot of projects I have worked with it's been a lot of hands-on stuff, like one of the things I did here at work is we needed a way to get notifications when a system went down because we didn't have insight into when it went down until somebody complained, so I've built a small little bot that could query the server automatically and hide that into our internal instant messaging system, and I used that. It would send us messages 'hey the server is down', and we could fix it before anybody noticed.

 

[Tanya]

Oh yes, it's like, okay, it's like sending the internal message, but you can do, like, you know, sending an SMS, a text message to a cell phone, right?

 

[Matthew]

Yeah, exactly, yep.

 

[Tanya]Yeah, our system administrator likes getting such text messages in the middle of the night.

 

[Matthew]

Yeah.

 

[Tanya]

Okay, and you have great background, and I'd like to ask you to give advice for our new users, for new ReadyAPI users. What do you think is the most important to learn in ReadyAPI to grow in the career. So, is there any, you know, kind of ReadyAPI features which you must know in order to be successful in the industry?

 

[Matthew]

The biggest thing with ReadyAPI is before you even start using it, you have to have a testing strategy in place, and that's one of the things that was a roadblock for me as I didn't have that. I had to build that, but once I had that is you have to be familiar with everything in ReadyAPI, there's so many different features that I didn't know existed for the longest time, that were introduced to me by the Community. I mean, the best part of ReadyAPI and using it is the Community. There's such a fountain of knowledge, but there's so many different things you can do between setting up data loops and data sources to not have to have a lot of data on hand that you can just set up a groovy script data source and parse through tons of data for a variety of tests. There's a lot of different features. I'm still learning it to this day, but, yeah, the Community is hands-down the best part of ReadyAPI because everybody is so knowledgeable.

 

[Tanya]

Okay, thank you. Thanks for the great advice. That was really great to talk with you during this short interview. Is there anything you want to tell to our SmartBear Community members, to ask more questions so that you can answer.

 

[Matthew]

One of the biggest things I would say is don't be afraid to dive in and answer other people's questions and don't just come to ask your own. It really is helping each other out. Come ask a question, but stay and see if you can help somebody else, you never know what you may know that somebody else doesn't. And, don't take it for granted.

 

[Tanya]

Okay. Thank you, thanks a lot for the interview, thanks for your time.

 

[Matthew]

Thank you so much.

 

[Tanya]

We're so happy that you are with us.Thanks. Bye.

 

[Matthew]

Thank you.