When Will Software Testing Be Truly Mobile?

3 -Blogger of SepWill testers be among the first IT professionals to shift their toolset and workflows from desktops and laptops to tablets and smartphones?

As I’m sure you already know, a monumental shift from desktop to mobile is upon us. Not only have consumer applications started leaving the desktop behind, but B2B applications are also starting their migration – like a flock of elderly pelicans, they spread their wings to follow the younger seafowl. And although it still might be hard to envision a tablet version of your favorite word processor or spreadsheet, rest assured that someone will spearhead that shift, using a mobile-inspired touch-driven UI with all the bells and whistles the mobile experience makes possible, to rescue word processing or spread-sheeting from the grey and aging cobwebs spreading over your desktop.

With my developer hat on, I can’t wait for this shift to happen for everyday development. When I’m into some coding project – be it big or small – my mind is constantly occupied with solving hands-on coding problems. How should I structure my code? What feature should I add next? How am I going to squash that bug? What sorting algorithm should I use? Being able to solve those problems immediately and easily on a tablet and “on the go” would be a dream come true – the spontaneous and creative nature of development nurtured to full bloom. Of course, the actual processes for compiling, running integration tests and executing builds might well be on a server in the cloud somewhere, which is even better as it would allow me to pick up on my line of thought from wherever I am, whenever I want to.

The same should apply for testing; as many passionate testers will tell you, testing for them is just as creative a practice as coding is for me. They carry their tester curiosity with them at all times, always thinking about how to challenge their target applications and break them. To me, they seem to be a prime target for a mobile mini-revolution; not only should they be testing mobile apps, the whole quality lifecycle should be available at their fingertips on their mobile devices: test design and management, exploratory testing, test recording and execution, regression testing, etc. It even makes extra sense for testers considering the fact that more and more applications have a mobile component. They have to be tested “in the wild” with fragile networks, bad positioning signals and draining batteries. Empowering testers with the ability to perform their testing (be it automated or exploratory) in the same environment as the end user – on trains, in tunnels, in cities, in the country, etc. – is extremely valuable because this is usually where things go wrong in the end, and not in your test lab at the office.

So will it happen? Will testers be among the first IT professionals to shift their toolset and workflows from desktops and laptops to tablets and mobile devices? Unfortunately, probably not. Testing and Quality Assurance as a whole seems to be a conservative domain, both from a tooling and process perspective, and testers as a group have often been slow to adopt many of the ongoing trends in development (agile, automation, DevOps, etc.) – their adoption has been more reactive than proactive. To a certain extent this “coming late” is perhaps attributable to the tester mindset -questioning and probing before embracing. Unfortunately, I also think testing as a profession and practice has generally been kept short in larger organizations and not seen as a target for investment and innovation.

Another hurdle for this shift is the anti-tool movement within testing. Many testers refrain from using tools in general, as they don’t want to be “trapped” in a tool-imposed line of thought. Many testers feel (with good reason!) that tools hamper their creativity and out-of-the-box mindset which is so essential to successful testing. They have a point; you should be in control of the process and tools, not the other way around. But since testers are also the ones driving tool creation, and given how uncharted this territory is, testers could see mobile as an opportunity to build tools the way they want or need them – unobtrusive, modern, dare I say “agile”?

Perhaps this is the opportunity to propel testing and testers to the forefront of software technology – no more backwaters of VBA macros and archaic scripting languages. Bring on the touch interface to capture and facilitate the graceful art of testing all around us – everywhere – at all times!

(This article was originally published on http://www.networkworld.com/article/2225214/opensource-subnet/when-will-software-testing-be-truly-mobile-.html


Ole Lensmar

Ole Lensmar is chief technology officer at SmartBear Software, allowing him to live his passion for software development in a creative and thriving work environment. Ole is the co-founder of Eviware Software which was acquired by SmartBear in 2011.

Ole Lensmar
Ole Lensmar is Chief Architect and co-founder of SmartBear Software in Sweden, formerly the maker of SoapUI, Eviware Software, acquired by SmartBear in 2011. He also co-founded base8, an XML oriented consulting company in 1996, acquired by the publicly traded Mogul in 1998. Ole worked as CTO, product owner and lead evangelist for Mogul’s software portfolio, including an XML based CMS and a high performance search engine. With Niclas Reimertz, Ole created SoapUI, now the most used open source testing tool in the world with five million downloads and one million active users. Ole’s astute eye for technology trends and the test community led to his promotion to chief architect at SmartBear. Living his passion for software development, he writes a weekly column for Network World about software quality and blogs in general about coding, quality and all other fun things in life.

The Related Post

Testing appears to be the least popular topic in Android development circles based on the relatively few books on Android app testing. Most tend to focus on development because, unfortunately (but true), application testing isn’t be something most developers think much about, or if they do, they don’t do it systematically (I’m guilty of this ...
Here’s some good news: Jonathan Kohl has a new book out titled Tap Into Mobile Application Testing. This is a Leanpub release and is still in Beta, but the beauty of buying through Leanpub – you get all the author updates as they make them! However I will be keeping an eye out for the print-on-demand ...
LogiGear Magazine, September 2015: Mobile Testing
By focusing on test design, analyzing test requirements and optimizing the approach to testing, it’s possible to maximize mobile test automation cost effectively. In a previous article we outlined the importance of understanding the mobile ecosystem and test design for planning and executing mobile testing. The focus of this article is about efficient mobile test ...
Manual testing teams may not be able to test all the processes with each build Test automation of applications has been around for many years. There are many of us in the automated testing field that started very early in the test automation phase, but the introduction of mobile devices has brought on a new angle ...
What you need to know to get started Introduction to mobile application testing Gone are the days when the telephone was an appliance that sat in a corner and had to ring to get our attention, or a computer was a machine only few people used — these devices are now an extension of our ...
This article will cover 10 common mobile app testing mistakes to avoid when you are a software tester working in a mobile app testing and development environment. The 10 points may help you to start your mobile testing activities if you are new to mobile testing or they may help you to recap your existing mobile testing ...
  LogiGear_Magazine_September 2016_Testing SMAC Down  
CEO and founder of mVerify Corporation, Robert V. Binder tackles questions from field testers regarding such issues as strategic considerations when dealing with single stack apps versus globalized enterprise mobile apps, and methods and tools that developers and testers should be aware of. He also offers his own advice from lessons learned from experience. 1. ...
  Mobile analytics experts Julian Harty and Antoine Aymer have teamed up to deliver a 161-page handbook designed to help you “enhance the quality, velocity, and efficiency of your mobile apps by integrating mobile analytics and mobile testing”.
The outbreak of smartphones and tablets forces us to be digitally available with speed. Keeping pace with communication tool developments, Lindiwe Vinson defines the methods used at Organic, Inc. where she leads her team discovering bugs using various key programs for both PC and Mac platforms.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Stay in the loop with the lastest
software testing news