A lot has changed in the global QE landscape over the last 2 decades. As with any change, there are a number of change agents that trigger the shift – some of these could be user, market, product, economic drivers or a combination of some or all that together influence the change. To that effect, mobile computing as a paradigm force has brought in changes not just at a product level, but mobile application testing has brought in significant changes to the QE landscape overall. What are some of the holistic, and some of the deeper changes mobile testing has propelled?
Firstly, Mobile app testing has brought in a significant change in the overall testing approach. Mobile computing and associated product engineering, has enabled quality to be truly a collective ownership amongst product teams. Mobile world has made product development truly agile pushing for faster releases, user responsiveness, cost competitiveness, focus on deliverables amongst others – in this push, the product team has started understanding the true value of quality and the adverse impact of lack of it. Freelance app developers have understood the outcomes, where an average mobile app’s life was often limited to just 30 days, and poor quality was one of the core attributing reasons for this short existence.
Quality has thus come to the forefront, where together with the push for Agile, teams have started seeing the value of involving quality teams from the get go, how everyone should own quality with testers being true enablers for collective quality, how beyond unit tests, developers can also leverage automation suites, how devops will embrace continuous testing amongst others. While some of these may sound coincidental from a timing standpoint, the need for mobile testing has largely influenced, a true shift left especially in the last decade.
Along with a shift left, the mobile app testing approach has encouraged a shift right too with heavy focus on end users. Non-functional testing, especially areas such performance, security, usability (overall focus on UI, user experiences, accessibility from an end user standpoint), have all been getting much deserved attention, thanks to increased need for mobile app testing. With mobile, what changed is not just user preferences and usage patterns – global digitization has become a very quick reality. Such a quick shift not compromising on quality cannot happen with verifying just the functional workflows. Users are now interested in partaking in owning quality too, to ensure they get superior experiences and to make that happen, non-functional testing was moved from a “nice to have” set of quality attributes to a “mandatory” set of quality attributes.
Granted all of this growth and change triggered by mobile computing has not happened in silos. Close partners in this association have been social computing, the rapid advancements in the world of internet, associated hardware sophistication, growth in technologies including wearables, ongoing evolutions around AI and associated technologies, the overall global climate to support start-ups and entrepreneurship – the list goes on. However, central to all of this is the mobile piece that makes this ecosystem a thriving one not just in the current times, but to serve as a solid base for many more years to come.