Independent testing came into broader acceptance and industry acknowledgement when the development fraternity realised the need to have testers independent of the ones who developed the product, actually test it. Independent testing has been a major driver in enhancing the quality of products over close to 2 decades now and has brought in a lot of focus to the testing fraternity – be it testing careers, test specializations, a much needed facelift for tester profiles and more importantly a dedicated focus on end user requirements and quality. In the recent times as we all know mobile app development has been sky rocketing. From a sheer few hundred apps from where the app stores kick started all of this effort, we are over 1.7 million apps today globally.
The major app store players, be it Apple, Google or Microsoft have their stringent processes in place to approve and take in an app into their list. Despite all of these checks and balances, one concerning trend is that most of these apps are developed by freelance developers. Often times, they are looking to quickly develop and roll out their application. They think through a lot in terms of features, what users want, what competition is out there in the market etc. but in the interest of time and resources on hand, including money, they compromise on the testing the application fully. Even if they decide to test it, it is often a quick test pass that they take on themselves to ensure the core scenarios are taken care of. While this is definitely a good start, the trend to watch for is whether such practices will gobble the existence of independent testing and the value it has been offerings over the last several years. For example, we as part of our larger group of organizations, under our dev arm of QAIT DevLabs have also been developing a number of mobile apps such as Math Play n Assess, QA Edu, YourKey Lockscreen, myWill etc. We have ensured that our test group from ATE has independently tested and certified these apps for market readiness.
Independent testing today can be easily done through several sources. You have a crowd, often times you have access to your user base themselves, you can hire a tester, a technology savvy person who can test your app and provide feedback etc. The crux is to ensure the value of independent testing is realized and reaped, amongst these newer development strategies that come in. Adapting to the newer development strategies yet not losing the strength of the core foundational processes is the key.