[Video] Interview with the Community Leader - Shan...
[Video] Interview with the Community Leader - Shankar Ramasamy
I’m happy to introduce to you one of our newest TestComplete Top contributors – Shankar Ramasamy. You can know him in the Community as @shankar_r. Shankar joined the SmartBear Community only several years ago, and he earned his first Community Leader status within a year after the registration!
Today, we will talk with Shankar about his life in the SmartBear Community. Also, he will share the questions along with answers you may hear on a TestComplete job interview.
Leave your comments or questions here if you want to ask Shankar about something more specific.
I’m good. Thank you. Today, we will discuss the most popular TestComplete topics, as well as questions you may hear at a job interview when applying for a software tester position. But, first, Shankar, please tell us where you are from, and what your current position is.
Yeah, sure. So, I am Shankar Ramasamy, I'm a tester from India. I grew up in Erode I’m currently working in Coimbatore. So, I started my career as a manual tester. After that, I was able to get into the automation. At that time, I was very-very new to automation tests in TestComplete. So, they were using the TestComplete 9 version, I think. Because I am very, kind of, only had very little experience in TestComplete. At the start of my career, I was able to get knowledge on TestComplete with my colleagues who worked with TestComplete around one plus years. But they taught me, so I am kind of a good candidate to do the automation, so I was able to get into that. I started automation with the Flex-based application which TestComplete only supports. There is some support in QTP, but that doesn’t allow us to do much while TestComplete allows doing a lot of it with the Flex based applications. I worked with a guy who had development experience. That gave me a good chance to learn scripting. So, I started scripting in VBScript. So, I was able to get into TestComplete. I see TestComplete has lots of features which I have learned. Eventually, I moved to the other company. There was no automation, so I started automation with TestComplete. They have a SWING application that also no tools support, only TestComplete supports.
So, I started there and created a framework initially. Now, it is running around one thousand three hundred plus test cases every week. So it’s kind of a journey for me in TestComplete as well as in manual testing.
Great background you have, great background so far. So, it looks like you enjoy what you are doing.
Yes, that’s why, I was able to get more knowledge of TestComplete in quick time.
As you have a great background, and, actually, for new users, for new testers one of the most popular questions is – which skills do you pay attention to when you hire anyone as a TestComplete specialist? Let’s imagine that you need to interview a person for a software tester position. What questions would you ask? Can you give us several examples? And, the most Important one is what would you answer yourself?
Yeah, got it. So, I interviewed kind of 1-2 persons. I started with the very basics to understand the principles of the project and the project suites. These are the basics which every TestComplete user should know. So, to answer the question – project suites have multiple projects inside, but a suite is a component that unites the projects into a new suite and can run them. So, this is kind of an answer I would expect.
If the guy passes this first question, then I’ll ask the next question - what is the difference between project and project suite variables. This is one of powerful options in TestComplete. No other tool has this kind of option with different data types. So, I would ask what types are in project variables. And, the difference between persistent and temporary variables. Which one we can replace with scripts, and which one we manually configure. So, for this question, I would definitely expect this kind of answer – the project variable, we will be using it anywhere in a project – name mapping, keyword testing, scripting, in these three places we majorly use them. And, the difference between the project and project suite variable is the project variable can be accessed only through projects, and the project suite variable can be also requested in all the projects in the project suite.
And then, more in depth, I’d ask - have you done extended find and conditional mapping? Because they are working in a kind of major application which has a lot of components in it. They cannot recommend to exclude the extended find and conditional mapping.
Great advice for new users. Now, our new TestComplete users know what to learn in case they need to change the position, maybe, to find a new job in a new company. So, thanks a lot, it will be interesting for them. So, let’s talk a bit about the SmartBear Community. The first question is how did you learn about the SmartBear Community in the first place? And, how did you get so involved in the community life? You became a Leader within a year after you registered in the community. What is the secret?
The secret is just the interest. I had trouble in a testing application. I wanted to know what I should configure in order to work with the application. I didn’t get the answer, so I just googled it and I found the SmartBear Community, so I just went there and created some topics. There was a person who replied to me. Then I just searched whatever I was doing, I was just searching how to do that, and I was able to get answers for a few questions. Then I got so much involved - I tried to answer some of the questions. Initially, I was not able to answer questions. Then, I’ve been trying on my local TestComplete how it should work and, really, I got interested - people are always asking different questions. It really got me going in order to answer these questions. I learned a lot. When I started in the SmartBear Community, I was having kind of 20% knowledge of TestComplete, now, I can definitely say more than 75-80% of knowledge of TestComplete. Because I used to ask for example how we can compare project properties? I was not sure if TestComplete has the object property method or not. Now, I know. So those kinds of questions made me an expert in Test Complete.
Your curiosity in learning new stuff and helping people looks like it’s one of two keys, two key moments that helped you grow in the community and get the Leader status. That’s great. As you like answering questions, I have one question actually for you as to a TestComplete expert. And, this is the question I often see people ask in the SmartBear Community, especially in the TestComplete community. The question is – how to get data from Excel by using TestComplete? You might have seen such questions, so some people use a special TestComplete approach, they create some special scripts, other people try to get data by using the UI of the Excel file, so, which way is the best to work with Excel data from your experience?
Yeah, I often see these questions in the community. I often answer these questions. I think it depends on their need I tried Excel Driver, the functionality in TestComplete, which is used to get test data from an Excel sheet. But, frankly, I’m using the OLE DB driver which uses records in order to get data from Excel. This gives me a lot of options. So, if I use the Excel driver and if I have thousands of rows in that sheet, I just need to get the data on the final row length. So, in order to get the data, if I am using the Excel driver, I need to look through all the 99 records, only then, I’ll be able to get the final data record. Whereas if I use the OLE DB connection, I can just select stuff from the script variables to this one. So, I get the data, which releases me a lot of time. When I downloaded the framework, initially, I used the Excel driver. At that time, I had only 32-50 test cases. Now, I have thousands of test cases. If you want to run two or three test cases I’d only use the OLE DB connection in order to get the data. So, it depends. For example, it they want to get some data, like 10 columns and five rows they can use the DDT Excel driver.
Okay, thank you, that was a very helpful reply. I am sure that all your replies will help a lot of our community members. Okay, thanks for your time. If you have anything to add, anything to say to our community members, you are welcome.
I always ask even my colleagues to join the SmartBear Community. You’ll get a lot of knowledge from the community because there are a lot of people with a lot of experience who can give answers. Even they spend a lot of time to figure out one single way in order to get that done. I’ll give you an example based on my experience. I was searching for a place where I can get an environment variable. I was trying so much time, and I was happy that I finally asked the community. And, they said – there’s a function if you want to get the environment variable - that’s the place. I didn’t know whether that option is in TestComplete or not, then I used that option in order to get that working. Sometimes, it is so hard to find something - just ask in the community, they will reply within a week. You will get the answer in a very quick time. Asking is nothing bothering. When you ask - you may get answered.