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Studies have shown that individuals are more likely to remember negative experiences over positive ones. In today's highly competitive and mobile-centric world, these less-than-par experiences can make or break individuals' loyalty to a brand. What's become clear is that the evolving mobile landscape, advancements in app technology and the expectations for what a great app interaction looks like have grown in complexity — and tomorrow's developers must be ready to hit the ground running with a robust testing strategy.
The most innovative and prepared developers understand the value in continuous testing strategies, testing early and often in the process. Rather than waiting for development to be completed before testing begins, it occurs continuously as features are added. By taking this continuous approach, developers can reduce costly manual efforts, accelerate releases and improve quality, laying a strong foundation for application success.
As continuous testing becomes more widely adopted in the mobile space, teams must consider three key elements to ensuring mobile success: people, processes and technology (in that order).
RESKILL AND UPSKILL THE WORKFORCE
Your employees are the most valuable assets at your organization — ensuring their success ensures yours. With continuous testing becoming a must-have, it's necessary these teams feel ownership and responsibility for their individual contributions.
Reskilling and upskilling the workforce allows developers to be educated on test-driven development approaches guiding mobile apps forward. Technically-aware testers can collaborate with programmers, creating a cohesive and collaborative environment for all. It's important to never lose sight of the importance of training, even if it feels like a burden in the short term. Create a team training plan by using online courses and universities to ensure continuous testing isn't disrupted.
TAKE A PROCESS-DRIVEN APPROACH
Mobile testing requires developers to take a process-driven approach. Teams who build a solid pipeline of efforts and well-defined internal processes for continuous testing will come out on top. It's critical to capture all elements of testing — develop, build, test, report, release, monitor and repeat — throughout the entire testing lifecycle.
Furthermore, within the software development lifecycle (SDLC), all product team members should contribute to quality, whether within the smoke testing runs, build acceptance testing, and nightly regression. Also, the testing process should align with the release schedule and include different testing types like API, security, performance and user experience, accessibility and functionality.
INTRODUCE A FOOL-PROOF TECHNOLOGY STACK
With the rise of 5G and foldables, among other mobile technologies, the pace of innovation across the industry is becoming increasingly complex. Mobile testing is a moving target, placing a larger emphasis on the technology stack teams use.
The right technology allows for more robust and trusted quality assurance. Teams who embrace modern technology trends and innovation can create better user experiences. Specifically, as it relates to mobile app continuous testing, it's important that the entire team, from app developers to test automation engineers, can easily use their local environment frameworks like Appium, Flutter, Espresso and XCUITest. Using the right mix of real smartphones and tablets and virtual platforms like emulators and simulators is also important — the freedom to mix different technologies that match the people's skillset and objectives are key for success.
Layering in automated testing efforts to the technology stack is a tried and true way to support successful mobile app testing and development. In the third annual 2022 State of Test Automation Report, which surveyed 400 leading digital enterprises, the report found that despite the correlation to faster releases, two-thirds of respondents (66%) automate fewer than 50% of tests. Addressing these challenges and increasing technology and automation with more test coverage earlier in the development cycle can help teams avoid time-consuming testing backlogs, accelerate feedback and deliver higher-quality apps.
THE SOFTWARE TESTING LIFE CYCLE
Amid the race to release new mobile app features quickly and seamlessly, adopting agile development methods are needed to adapt to changing demands for high-quality software. The software testing life cycle (STLC) plays a foundational role in testing applications efficiently and effectively. The industry is seeing a positive shift towards leveraging the STLC to increase effectiveness and overall consistency for each project given the clear expectations defined at the start, the time constraints outlined and the goals detailed for all to track against. These efforts are successfully improving the mobile app landscape by testing more in the development process so development never ceases.
As teams strive to master mobile testing, it will remain essential to maintain strong communication to stay on track with meeting requirements. Agile organizations do not work in silos between testing and development. The best, most successful mobile teams work as one, bringing the people, processes and technology together to collaborate frequently and perform better.