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Activity: Test the docs in your open-source project

Last updated: Jun 25, 2020

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Now that you’ve read about testing, it’s time to get some more hands-on practice. In this activity, you’ll do some doc testing with an open-source project (or another project you identified).

Test a topic

  1. With the open-source API project you’re working with, find the following:

    • Getting started tutorial (or similar tutorial)
    • API endpoint
  2. Now test the documentation by walking through the documentation details. More specifically:

    • For the Getting started tutorial, proceed through all the steps in the tutorial. Make a note of any assumptions that you found confusing, new terms or acronyms that were unfamiliar, or other questions you had. How long did it take to complete the getting started tutorial?
    • For the API endpoint, make a request and examine the response. Does the response match what’s in the documentation? Try different variations of parameters in the endpoint and see if the responses are what you expect. Identify any incorrect or missing or inaccurate information.
  3. If you found information that was incorrect, either log an issue or reach out to the QA lead with the feedback.

Find out test details

Identify who performs the testing on the project. Reach out and interact with the QA lead for the project to gather as much information as you can about how testing is done.

Find answers to the following questions:

  • Are there test cases used to run through various scenarios in the project?
  • Where are the test cases stored?
  • How are the tests executed? Automatically? Manually?
  • What kind of testing does the team do before a release?
  • If you encounter a bug while testing, how should you report it?

About Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson

I'm a technical writer / API doc specialist based in the Seattle area. In this blog, I write about topics related to technical writing and communication — such as software documentation, API documentation, visual communication, information architecture, writing techniques, plain language, tech comm careers, and more. Check out my API documentation if you're looking for more info about that. If you're a technical writer and want to keep on top of the latest trends in the field, be sure to subscribe to email updates below. You can also learn more about me or contact me. Finally, note that the opinions I express on my blog are my own points of view, not that of my employer.

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