Interview with Benjamin Bischoff

Benjamin Bischoff is the author of Writing API Tests with Karate; we got the chance to sit down and find out more about his experience of writing with Packt.

Q: What are your specialist tech areas?

Benjamin: Test automation and software craftsmanship.

Q: How did you become an author for Packt? Tell us about your journey. What was your motivation for writing this book?

Benjamin: Packt initially approached me with another book idea. However, since I lacked expertise in this topic, I then suggested that I could write a book about the Karate framework. After all, there was no literature on it until now, even though it was steadily gaining popularity in the industry. I felt suitable for this project, because in my company we are already successfully using this test framework productively and I am now mainly involved with backend and API testing. In the end, it became a reality, thanks to Packt Publishing, and it was worth it!

Q: What kind of research did you do, and how long did you spend researching before beginning the book?

Benjamin: I was able to write about two-thirds of the book without excessive research because I used this framework on a daily basis. However, for some parts I had to spend a lot of time reading documentation, watching tutorials, writing and refining code, and gathering information from various online and offline resources. This allowed me to learn a lot about karate that I didn’t know before. The challenge then was to process this knowledge in a reader-friendly way.

Q: Did you face any challenges during the writing process? How did you overcome them?

Benjamin: In between, it was not easy to move on. Writing a book ended up being more work than I thought it would be. It’s not enough to finish the chapters and materials, but there are also many revisions and reworkings of older chapters to do while you’re already on to the next chapter in your mind. It has motivated me to eventually have a finished book in my hands that will help others improve their API testing.

Q: What’s your take on the technologies discussed in the book? Where do you see these technologies heading in the future?

Benjamin: The more I started researching API testing methods, the more I saw how good Karate’s approach was. Of all the frameworks I tried and evaluated, Karate was not only the most beginner-friendly, but also the most powerful tool for the job. You can see that in how well known it has become.

Q: Why should readers choose this book over others already on the market? How would you differentiate your book from its competition?

Benjamin: There are already many books about API testing and also some about specific tools. However, there is no literature on Karate so far. Especially none that shows the whole process from setting up a project to integration into CI/CD pipelines and even outlines UI and performance testing.

Q: What are the key takeaways you want readers to come away with from the book?

Benjamin: On the one hand, I want my readers to learn how Karate makes API testing easier and more efficient, and that the whole thing is not rocket science. On the other hand, I also want to highlight advanced concepts and techniques so that people who are already using Karate can exploit its full potential. Basically, you will also learn why API testing is important – unfortunately, this field is not yet as popular as other types of testing.

Q. What advice would you give to readers learning tech? Do you have any top tips?

Benjamin: My advice is to start small. Choose test cases that are easy to follow and need to be executed often. These are ideal to start with karate and create value immediately.

Q. Do you have a blog that readers can follow?

Benjamin: At https://www.softwaretester.blog you can learn a lot more about me and the topics I deal with.

Q: Can you share any blogs, websites, and forums to help readers gain a holistic view of the tech they are learning? What are the key takeaways you want readers to come away with from the book?

Benjamin: The official Karate documentation on GitHub is very good if you want to go deeper into the topics. Peter Thomas, the author of Karate, is also very active on StackOverflow. All questions about Karate are quickly answered here.

Q. How would you describe your author’s journey with Packt? Would you recommend Packt to aspiring authors?

Benjamin: This was my first book, so I didn’t know what to expect at first. The people at Packt did their best to support and motivate me. They were always available to me and provided great feedback. Without that constant support, I might not have been able to finish this book. In that respect, I would recommend Packt to any aspiring author!

Q. Do you belong to any tech community groups?

Benjamin: I’m a member of Ministry of Testing and various Slack communities on Karate, Selenium, Cucumber, and Testing in general.

Q. What are your favorite tech journals? How do you keep yourself up to date on tech?

Benjamin: I follow a lot of what is written on LinkedIn and on various tech news sites. I also learn a lot from the pages of Ministry of Testing and, of course, the various conferences where I am active as a speaker or visitor.

Q. How did you organize, plan, and prioritize your work and write the book?

Benjamin: I tried to write something every day if possible. To be honest, that didn’t always work. Some evenings I couldn’t bring myself to do it, but others were extremely productive. The deadlines for each chapter and the exact time breakdown in advance were definitely very helpful in finding a good rhythm.

Q. What is that one writing tip that you found most crucial and would like to share with aspiring authors?

Benjamin: The tip that really helped me the most was: just start writing, even if you think you’re writing nonsense. It’s much easier to revise something that’s already there than to put something on paper that’s perfect from the start.

Q. Would you like to share your social handles? If so, please share.

Benjamin: LinkedIn, Github, Mastodon, YouTube

You can find Benjamin’s book on Amazon by following this link:¬†Please click here


Writing API Tests with Karate
is available on Amazon.com