The software testing landscape has changed in many ways in the last decade. We often call the agile style of development as one the main reasons for such a major change. While that has certainly been a major reason for such change, there are several others too, of which the mobile computing landscape is also a significant reason. With Agile, one of the changes was how quality moved upstream rather than being seen as a final activity before product release. While such upfront testing gave a major facelift for quality, mobile computing and mobile apps testing brought in another change where big upfront testing (BUFT) is not always necessary and valuable. Mobile apps testing operates in a very large landscape – the combinations to test are huge, not all devices may be available in house and even if they do, it often does not make business sense to invest in such a huge mobile lab. With such increasing complexities that mobile apps bring in, a user centric approach to testing has become the need of the day. Users are being roped into the test efforts, whether as subject experts, real end users or as pure spike testing to take on the load that big upfront testing brings in. This makes compatibility testing more real, achievable and wide in its coverage. Mobile apps have changed the testing landscape in varied ways – this includes, greater focus on non- functional testing, more awareness of end user centric scenarios, pulling the shift left test approach into a shift right approach thereby bringing an unbiased balance between understanding the system implementation to the required level and building end user empathy.
This trend will only further strengthen given that mobile computing is expected to touch newer disciplines and geographies in the coming years. Newer devices, technologies, engineering implementations are all first looking at their seamless functionality in the mobile world. While mobile apps testing has changed the testing landscape in varied ways, the one significant one to call out would be the push back on big upfront testing bringing in a greater focus on end users. At the end of the day, while the focus away from upfront testing may contradict with the core agile manifesto, the end goal both are attempting to reach are the same – the one where solutions that are faster, cheaper and of better quality reach the customer’s hands, with a competitive advantage.