Letter from the Editor – December 2012

In the November 2011 issue: Mobile Application Testing, I began my column with the statement, “Everything is mobile.” One year later the statement is even more true. More devices, more platforms, more diversity, more apps.

It boggles the mind how fast the landscape changes. Blackberry has been kicked to the curb by cooler and slicker Apple and Android devices, and Microsoft is making a run with Windows Mobile 8 and the Surface tablet. As of this writing Windows Mobile 8 just launched and the tech press boasts “Nokia Lumia 720 ( running Windows Mobile 8 ) is ‘sold out!’” and Surface is “selling well.”
Mobile used to mean phones. Now it’s netbooks, smart phones, pads, scanners, mobile POS (point of sale) devices… it’s data, consumer products, corporate application, financial services and games — the list goes on.

It’s also interesting that while a lot of corporate IT staff are just now warming to supporting smart devices for internal users, the corporate market is the largest consumer of mobile computing. From mobile auto insurance data processing to the long existent mobile sales and inventory systems on every Coke, FedEx, FTD and DHL delivery truck around the world, mobile computing makes business run!

Inside software and product development, we know that along with the explosion in devices, in this new millennium, development teams must be leaner, more agile, more distributed and faster! But how? In the case of testing, the only answer is to automate more! Yet this answer has new twists today. We know dev tools on new platforms come first and that test tool development lags. The test tools for mobile are coming fast- yet the overwhelming majority of current tools are single platform tools. So how do we automate for so many platforms? What interface is best to automate? What issues will we miss by using emulators/simulators and not the real devices? Should we do security and performance testing for each release?

Our test strategies are going to have to change as well. A common situation I see is releasing a browser application with the focus on Internet Explorer first. Then add Chrome and Firefox, and maybe partial support for Safari. Now this seems simple. But what happens when you have to add mobile apps for Android, iOS and Windows Mobile? What will have to change in your test strategy?

Some companies have just managed to come to grips with significant cross browser test automation. Adding mobile platforms can put them right back into full manual regression testing mode. Mobile requires us to get better faster. I hope this issue helps you along the way.

In this issue, the LogiGear team shows the importance of understanding the mobile ecosystem; Abhijit Phatak shows us some best practices for mobile test automation; Julian Harty highlights what you need to know in order to have effective and reliable test automation for your mobile apps; HP’s Ed Hill discusses the importance of keeping up with mobile testing trends and Motorola’s Ittichai Chamavanijakul reviews the book Android Application Testing Guide by Diego Torres Milano.

In our next issue, The Changing Landscape of Software Testing, we’ll examine major shifts in testing that are pushing teams, technologies, methods and tools to change at a rapid pace. How can you keep up? Find out in February! And don’t forget, you can check out the editorial calendar on our website.

We wish you a great holiday season and happy new year going into 2013!

Michael Hackett
Michael is a co-founder of LogiGear Corporation, and has over two decades of experience in software engineering in banking, securities, healthcare and consumer electronics. Michael is a Certified Scrum Master and has co-authored two books on software testing. Testing Applications on the Web: Test Planning for Mobile and Internet-Based Systems (Wiley, 2nd ed. 2003), and Global Software Test Automation (Happy About Publishing, 2006). He is a founding member of the Board of Advisors at the University of California Berkeley Extension and has taught for the Certificate in Software Quality Engineering and Management at the University of California Santa Cruz Extension. As a member of IEEE, his training courses have brought Silicon Valley testing expertise to over 16 countries. Michael holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.

The Related Post

Software development projects are multifaceted. There is staffing and budget work. There are communication and team dynamics. There are project and process issues from what the customer wants, when they want it, revenue projections, and production dates. As part of my work in helping people deliver software, I get involved in all aspects mentioned above. ...
Methods and strategy have been my favorite topics since I started working in testing. It’s essentially engineering problem-solving. It’s both looking for efficiency and attempting to measure effectiveness. So, how do we develop a set of practices to solve our Software Testing engineering problems?
Every year, LogiGear Magazine devotes one full issue to Test Automation. We could do more than one, and perhaps even that would not be enough. The problems around automation have become increasingly complex. And now, automation is much more integrated into the software development process. For over a decade teams have been faced with “do ...
As fast as Mobile is growing, the platform is still immature and is evolving at a very rapid pace. While there are whole countries that have migrated large government services to mobile, countries ranging from Estonia to Turkey to Kenya have many longtime mobile users have yet to use mPay or other mobile payment systems. ...
This is our third issue concerning topics of Continuous Delivery (CD) and DevOps with the inclusion of Continuous Testing. DevOps has been around for a while and I hope the period of buzz is over and companies moving towards building a development pipeline have begun their process, including changing their test strategies.
I led the Editor’s Note in our very first mobile issue with “Everything is mobile”, but it is now way beyond what we thought. Mobile has come to mean only the smart phone, mobility is the word that describes everything a smart phone enables you to do. Mobility is more than a device! Mobility is ...
There is a growing software development dynamic of teams without Testers. When I first went into Software Quality, I learned one thing right away: My role was user advocate. My main job was to find bugs. This is the Lean principle called Amplified Learning. We learn about behavior by testing. Even then, validation was not ...
Change is constant. What’s different today is the rate of change. Moore’s law resulted from the observation that that the rate of change in computing power is exponential. The products, services and software landscape appears just as dynamic. At the same time, we pretty much take for granted the ubiquitous presence of software running our ...
Automation is a mantra in testing. Anyone associated with software development wants more test automation, but it’s often misunderstood. People who do test automation know how difficult it can be. But some people do not understand that automation is code, and that it needs to have architecture and design just like production code. They do ...
Testing Embedded systems and testing the Internet of Things could each have their own issue of LogiGear magazine. But these days they are referred to presupposing knowledge of the other, so we thought it would be a good idea to tackle the two together in this issue to give a broad understanding of the landscape ...
Test automation is a big topic. There are so many different areas to talk about: tool choice, jumpstart, cross platform, services, cloud… Each of these areas have changed so much in the recent past that they could each be worth their own magazine issue.
Every organization goes through times when the internal, or home team, cannot execute the testing project easily or quickly enough. The reasons are many, from the lack of an effective test strategy to low automation engineering skill, to staff positions going unfilled due to a great job market. With everyone working and very few people ...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Stay in the loop with the lastest
software testing news