Agile Methodologies Lead to Testing Earlier and More Often
February 24, 2015

Jim Cerna
Sauce Labs

A shift to continuous integration (CI) and other agile methodologies is driving a massive change in the way that development and testing professionals approach testing, according to an independent, global developer survey titled Web and Mobile Testing Trends, conducted by Dimensional Research for Sauce Labs.

As applications are accessed on increasing numbers of different device and browser types, development teams must find ways to identify and fix an increasing range of environment-specific issues. As more and more development teams adopt agile methodologies, it's forcing organizations to re-think how they approach testing in a context of greatly increased demand for test suite reliability and speed. This study shows that as continuous integration and other agile methodologies are introduced into the environment, developers are testing earlier and more often – ultimately leading to better quality software.

Key findings from the report include:

Modern software development approaches change testing

■ 94 percent of respondents say adopting CI or other agile methodologies have changed the way they test

■ 69 percent do more automated testing

■ 61 percent test earlier in the development cycle

■ CI and agile development teams do more of all types of testing with the exception of manual testing

Mobile testing creates unique challenges

■ Mobile testing embraces both web applications used in mobile browsers (89 percent) as well as native or hybrid mobile apps (53 percent)

■ The survey revealed no standard approach for testing diverse mobile environments

■ 29 percent use only simulators or emulators

■ 37 percent use only real devices

■ 34 percent use a combination of simulators and real devices

Cross browser testing remains vital

■ 80 percent say cross browser testing is "very important"

■ 43 percent test only the most recent version of each browser

■ 76 percent do cross browser testing across mobile and desktop browsers

■ 79 percent say testing more types or versions of browsers would increase quality

Other trends impacting testing

■ 43 percent run unit or functional tests for web and mobile in the cloud

■ Only 45 percent have fully ended support for Windows XP

"The large number of web developers testing their applications in mobile browsers – 76 percent – was surprising to me. This is a big deal for testers and developers," said Diane Hagglund, Senior Researcher at Dimensional Research. "Today, users can access web applications on any mobile or desktop browser, and web application developers consequently need to be prepared to think about each and every user experience for every device."

Survey Methodology: In January 2015, a global database of technology professionals responsible for testing web and mobile applications was emailed an invitation to participate in a Web survey on the topic of testing trends. A total of 504 individuals completed the survey. Participants included a variety of roles, company sizes, industries and regions.

Jim Cerna is CEO of Sauce Labs.

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