Throughout the year, Intuit employees come together to develop products and services to further improve the customer experience. To recognize our employees’ superior work, Intuit honors them in many ways, including with the Scott Cook Innovation Awards. Today, we’re looking at the inspiring work accomplished by the Karate team.
In December 2016, an Intuit engineer named Peter Thomas was troubleshooting a test that would randomly fail. Peter was convinced that a new approach was needed, and decided to use his unstructured time (UT) to develop a solution.
Peter used an open-source testing framework worked called Cucumber to quickly build a prototype that could interpret short, human-friendly commands expressing the “intent” of calling a web-service. The success of this prototype – named Karate – led Peter to create a super-readable Domain Specific Language (DSL) for making any kind of web-service call.
Director PCG and Peter’s manager, Arun Ragothaman, recommended that Peter open-source Karate as a way to validate its utility. If it failed to gain adoption, it would only mean the loss of Peter’s UT effort. If there was adoption outside of Intuit, it would prove conclusively that Karate had merit. Open-sourcing would also accelerate the process of community feedback.
Peter released Karate onto Github and within weeks the feature gained notoriety. Prominent test-automation evangelist, Joe Colantonio, posted about the feature on his blog as well as a ten minute YouTube tutorial to talk about the benefits of Karate. The founder of Assertible, Christopher Reichert, featured Karate as one of the 10 API Testing Tools To Try in 2017.
After its successful release on Github, Intuit teams began using Karate. Engineers consistently report that Karate is 30% faster than traditional methods and report finding more bugs because of their ability to write more complete web service test suites. In addition, Karate has over 305 “stars” which are similar to Facebook “likes,” 1000 downloads, is being actively contributed to by engineers in other companies, and Karate started appearing in job-listings (as a desired skill) just within 6 months after release, which is unprecedented.
We are happy to congratulate Peter Thomas, the creator of Karate and Arun Ragothaman as a critical contributor for the Scott Cook Innovation Award. It’s ideas like yours that keep Intuit powering prosperity.