Q: What is/are your specialist tech area(s)?
Dave: Software Testing
Q: How did you become an author for Packt? Tell us about your journey. What was your motivation for writing this book?
Dave: As a long time blogger, I have always enjoyed learning new things and sharing those things with others. A few years ago I started creating some video courses to help share what I know with others who are a little earlier on in their learning journeys. When Packt Publishing reached out to me about doing a book on API testing with Postman, I was unsure at first, as I had heard that writing a book is quite a long and difficult endeavor. After thinking about it a little longer though, I became convince that this would be a good way to help others and so I decided to give it shot. It was a lot of work (even more than I thought), but now that I have it completed I am very proud of what I have been able to put together and hope that it will helpful to test software testing community.
Q: What kind of research did you do, and how long did you spend researching before beginning the book?
Dave: I had already published several video courses on API testing and have been working in the industry as a software tester for a number of years, so I have a lot of experience with this topic. However, I still found that I had to spend a lot of time research different details of the book. I needed to flesh out my understanding of a few areas of both API testing and Postman. I spend a lot of time diving deep into the guts of Postman and making sure I understood exactly how thing were working so that I could then take that knowledge and summarize it in a way that would be helpful to the readers of the book.
Q: Did you face any challenges during the writing process? How did you overcome them?
Dave: A couple of times during the writing of this book I felt like I was having trouble explaining why something needed to be done a particular way. Each time, I found that it hightlighted a gap in my understanding. After doing more research and questioning, I found that once I understood the topic more deeply I was able to explain it in a way that was clear and understandable.
Q: What’s your take on the technologies discussed in the book? Where do you see these technologies heading in the future?
Dave: I think Postman is a great tool. It can already do so much and as it has gained traction and grown in popularity it has continued to stay focussed on providing the features and support that it’s users want. I think Postman will only continue to grow and improve. I also think APIs are the future of the internet in many ways and I don’t see them going anywhere.
Q: Why should readers choose this book over others already on the market? How would you differentiate your book from its competition?
Dave: In this book, I don’t just show how to use the Postman tool, but also help you understand the principles of good API testing. I think this book is unique in its approach to an intensly practical take on helping you learn deep and lasting principles. My goal in writing this was that you would be able to immediately use what you read in your day to day work, but that you also learn principles that you will be able to use and lean on throughout the rest of your career as a software tester.
Q. What are the key takeaways you want readers to come away from the book with?
Dave: I want the readers to able to use Postman with confidence and I also want them to have the skills that they need to be able to have a career as a technical tester.
Q. What advice would you give to readers learning tech? Do you have any top tips?
Dave: Don’t give up. It can take a while to break through the learning curve when picking up something new, but if you stick with it the rewards are great. I would also encourage everyone learning new tech to take a very hands on approach to it. You never really know this stuff until you try it out for yourself, get stuck and have to figure out a way to get things to work. Books are great, but they are just a starting point in any learning journey.
Q. Do you have a blog that readers can follow?
Dave: Yes! https://offbeattesting.com
Q. Can you share any blogs, websites and forums to help readers gain a holistic view of the tech they are learning?
Dave: Postman has a ton of great stuff in the documentation and in their community forum.
Q. How would you describe your author journey with Packt? Would you recommend Packt to aspiring authors?
Dave: As a first time author, it was great working with Packt. The editors and reviewers were all very kind and helpful and there was clear guidance at every step along the way. I would recommend this publisher to aspiring tech authors.
Q. Do you belong to any tech community groups?
Dave: I belong to a local testing meetup group (KWSQA) and also find the Ministry of Testing group to offer a lot of really helpful content for software testers.
Q. What are your favorite tech journals? How do you keep yourself up to date on tech?
Dave: When it comes to software testing, I mostly follow blogs as I like to expose myself to many different opinions on things.
Q. How did you organize, plan, and prioritize your work and write the book?
Dave: I was able to work out an arrangement with my employer to have one day a week to work on the book for several months, so that helped a lot. I had to be pretty dilligent though as there were often new chapters to write, and previous chapters to check over review comments on at the same time. As someone who has a family and has blogged and created video courses for some time, I have a pretty solid task management system in place that generally works well for me. By setting aside team each day along with weekly writing goals I was able to get all the work done that I needed to.
Q. What is that one writing tip that you found most crucial and would like to share with aspiring authors?
Dave: Writing take discipline. Write when you don’t want to, not just when you do. Even if you know that what you are writing is not your best work, write anyways. Then come back the next day and rewrite that stuff you aren’t happy with. Don’t let the fact that you aren’t feeling inspired stop you from writing though. Stick with and write. A book is a lot of work to pull together and you have to be to push through discouragement if you want to be writer.
You can find Dave Westerveld’s book on Amazon by following this link: Please click here