When mobile app testing came into the existing set of responsibilities of a software tester, the landscape became quite chaotic. While opportunities and exciting tasks increased manifold, one must admit the overall test process was overwhelming for the entire testing fraternity. There were questions around how to test, whether manual or automated, what devices to acquire, when to use emulators, what optimization to take up, what testing tools to use etc. Over time, testers have matured and settled on a strategy – a super-arching approach taking into account several small but important solutions. One such intriguing solution is what we were discussing recently in a client call, which I thought is an important point to ponder and implement.
Bringing in the right end user focus is always a challenge in software testing. This is even more of a challenge in mobile app testing as the user base is often very global. Herein the focus is not just limited to getting global user feedback, but also attempting the tests on devices across geographies to take into account aspects such as bandwidth, locale nuances etc. of a give region. In the project under consideration, we were planning to use emulators from providers such as browserstack, saucelabs etc. The question we had to address was how we bring in the geographical focus amongst these emulators that we use virtually. Ideally the best solution would be something like a crowd sourced testing, with testers from across geographies using physical devices. This has significant benefits around leveraging real users, from real geographies, using real devices. This is a great solution but may not be a fully scalable and comprehensive solution. For example, the internal core test team may have built an automated test suite that needs to be run on devices across geographies, which was exactly the situation we were in. The solution we plan to use here is to bring in multiple small pieces together to meet our overall needs. This includes, using emulators from providers such as saucelabs, building our internal automated test suite, executing it on them and further, setting up AWS instances for cross geographies, so as to run the suite on these emulators from across these geographies. This custom made solution, along with some real device testing on the devices we have internally, was an acceptable solution for all stakeholders, to take this project to completion.
Mobile app testing, is often not very straightforward. A tester herein has to be an effective problem solver and creative thinker to stitch together small solutions to build an acceptable comprehensive solution and the above is an example for anyone who is trying to get cross device, cross geography test coverage in absentia.