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Creating Your Lean and Agile Practice in the Mad World of Mobile Testing – Part 1

Yes, it’s a mad mad world!

Mobile is here, mobile is now. Mobile is not going anywhere. “We need a mobile application for this ASAP” — sounds familiar? I am sure it does.   And if you’re a tester, then I am sure this is not making your life easy. Going mobile is not just about developing a fancy app — as we all know it involves quality treatment. And doing this in the fragmented world of mobile is a ‘herculean’ task. But a very important task nevertheless. Mobile apps can got out of business easily if they don’t get those five star ratings in the app store. And with a zillion versions of Android, the ‘need it ASAP’ syndrome and the star ratings phenomenon, testing becomes tougher and tougher.

The path of least resistance

The world of QA has evolved from manual testing to technologies like automation and agile. But there is a lot of resistance to adopt these technologies in mobile. Mainly because, the traditional testing vendors have arrived very late to this fast moving market and transitioning from a desktop market to a mobile market has a steep learning curve. And of course, the field is relatively nascent (compare it to traditional enterprise QA), so there are no established best practices to deal with this.

Rules of engagement in mobile are different!

The traditional waterfall approach doesn’t apply — bugs cannot be left to the end to be discovered, because with mobile applications, that would involve overhauling the entire architecture. Simple is in with mobile apps but to test for simplicity is not all that simple. And mobile apps cater to a large set of audience. The professional and the novice. So there has to be a mechanism to test for both sets.

Creating your lean machine for mobile testing

I am hoping that all this makes a case for you to create a balanced mobile testing strategy and the need to adopt technologies like agile and automation and an overall shift in the strategy.   There is a need to move away from the traditional and embrace the nouveau. Partly in this blog and the next one, I will talk about how to you can build this practice.

To start with, customer loyalty is one of the biggest weapons. For a simple reason that, a group of customers can veto an application. So making sure to provide a beta version to a select focus group to test and try is ideal to keep the app store ratings high.

I am sure you’ve heard of the phrase, if you have to fail, you should fail early. This is exactly true of mobile applications and it will only happen if the lines of communication are completely opened up. There is no top down approach and everyone within the organization collaborates and communicates to impact the quality and take any corrective action.

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