The Simple Ways To Contribute To Open-Source Test Automation

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Open-source contributions have perception barriers.

We easily get to the stereotype of only contributing through code with a group of experts in their domain.

But the reality is different.

A majority of open-source projects have a simple codebase and require much lighter contributions; test automation is not an exception.

Multiple open-source test automation projects grew with an extended collaboration, like Selenium, RobotFramework, or more recently Cypress.io.

This article shares the simple ways you can contribute to Cerberus Testing, the open-source test automation.

Follow Cerberus Testing for more open-source test automation.

Give feedback on the product

Delivering value to the users is a universal challenge of software, being open-source or not.

Getting feedback from the users on top of data analytics is a very simple way to contribute to the product, yet providing a lot of value.

Figure 1: Cerberus Testing product feedback can be done through tickets.

Cerberus Testing offers the GitHub tickets, community slack and direct contact to directly share with the community.

You can use any of this channel to enter in contact with us, to even contribute early in the process.

Test features in alpha or beta

Many hypotheses are made when developing a set of features: will it answer the stated requirements? Is it really what users wanted or asked for?

Organizing alpha and beta-testing phases enable to get early feedback on the product on real-world cases, adapting if necessary the product earlier.

Figure 2: A series of Cerberus Testing features are available in alpha or beta.

We regularly make features available in that model through the online demo or on private instances for specific customers that are part of that process.

You can also contribute from your experience, still without coding.

Write use-cases documentation

Software correctly implemented is not enough to provide value. Users must be able to solve their problem with ease; hence the value of documentation.

Documentation can be found in the form of in-application tutorials, community forums or documentation portals, tailored for different personas.

Figure 3: The documentation portals have simple pages accepting contributions.

Cerberus Testing uses in-application tutorials and a documentation portal versioned alongside the product, accepting external contributions on GitHub.

And with a few coding skills, you can also contribute.

With coding skills, fix simple bugs 

Open-source has the advantage to leverage the community’s collaboration to improve the product—but only if people are able to contribute.

A product with more features grows its codebase and complexity. While contributing to the core product can be a bit harder, fixing simple bugs is more accessible.

Figure 4: Regular commits are pushed on Cerberus Testing.

Cerberus Testing codebase is 100% available on GitHub, letting you directly fix a bug and pushing it to the master. Support and reviews are in place to help.

And coding skills can also be useful to create external components.

Develop small yet reusable components

Connection endpoints known as APIs enable to connect products together to perform specific functions on a set of agreed interfaces.

The advantage of integrations as dedicated components is their simplicity: you don’t have to know the entire product to contribute, only the use-case and API in scope.

Figure 5: Reusable components and integrations can be added to Cerberus Testing.

Cerberus Testing exposes public APIs with security mechanisms to let you easily integrate with a solution of your choice.

We even have internal interfaces layers to easily add behaviors on identified points in the system.

Help spreading the word

The power of open-source needs collaboration at its base. Without a community of active members, the project gradually became out of date.

One simple action you can make to contribute is to spread the word about open-source test automation products you know.

For Cerberus Testing, you can star us on Github, also asking a peer to do the same, or decide to join our weekly newsletter.

Open-source contribution is a question of motivation.

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