Letter from the Editor – September 2013

As fast as Mobile is growing, the platform is still immature and is evolving at a very rapid pace.

While there are whole countries that have migrated large government services to mobile, countries ranging from Estonia to Turkey to Kenya have many longtime mobile users have yet to use mPay or other mobile payment systems. Users are still maturing in their trust, reliance and comfort managing their lives on mobile devices. 

Mobile development companies continue to advance in supported platforms, cross platform development, greater sensor use and test automation. Yet many companies still lag in security, usability and performance testing. Mobile test strategies need to mature.

The maturing of test strategies is not only a response to development and device changes – users are more demanding and critical. Criticism in social media is rapid and damning. Bad reviews spread like wildfire and go viral before a company may have a chance to remediate a problem. Usability and performance are common criticisms and these quality aspects are commonly under tested.

The platform is evolving. New sensors from gesture barcode scanners to fingerprint scanners and more NFC (near field communication) are becoming commonplace. New integration with backend systems and data are making mobile systems more complex than the much better understood client/server systems. Most client systems to not have such great variation in screen size and resolution, do not have connection problems of dropping in and out of range, have easier update and patching control, do not use sensors for location, light, environment, IR, Bluetooth, NFC or swipe for data entry! The mobile platforms are complex and getting even more so.

How can test teams respond to these maturity problems? Problems between emulators and real devices, access to devices, test automation- especially cross-platform automation, usability, user testing, security and performance testing issues or roadblocks need to be resolved for very rapid deployment.

In this issue: Virtual City provides a list of steps to identify weaknesses in your new app; LogiGear’s John Kane reveals how to maximize mobile test automation efficient; Tania Lang argues that the traditional testing standards must be applied to mobile; Tatyana Mahlaeva reminds us that QA is necessary in all stages of mobile development, and the HowAboutWe team warns that even in large organizations, mobile development is behind in up-to-date testing practices.

This is our 3rd issue devoted only to mobile testing:

Mobile Testing – November, 2011

Mobile Test Automation – December, 2012

Our next issue is on another fast growing technology topic and its impact on testing: Cloud and SAAS (Software-as-a-service) Testing. I can’t wait.

Michael Hackett
Michael is a co-founder of LogiGear Corporation, and has over two decades of experience in software engineering in banking, securities, healthcare and consumer electronics. Michael is a Certified Scrum Master and has co-authored two books on software testing. Testing Applications on the Web: Test Planning for Mobile and Internet-Based Systems (Wiley, 2nd ed. 2003), and Global Software Test Automation (Happy About Publishing, 2006). He is a founding member of the Board of Advisors at the University of California Berkeley Extension and has taught for the Certificate in Software Quality Engineering and Management at the University of California Santa Cruz Extension. As a member of IEEE, his training courses have brought Silicon Valley testing expertise to over 16 countries. Michael holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.

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