How Olenick Trained Employees for Mobile Testing
With the mobile industry, booming organizations are finding a greater need to develop their apps and websites to be compatible and mobile-friendly.
This means that testers now have to verify these apps or sites on the various mobile devices available on the market. As there are many mobile devices (phones and tablets), as well as various mobile tools available for testers to become familiar with, this can pose a challenge and may be initially overwhelming when testers are first introduced to the mobile testing concept.
To enable our employees to gain general understanding and knowledge of mobile testing and the various tools that can be used for testing in the mobile world, Olenick set up test projects using different sites and apps to train employees. The end goal was to ensure that employees would gain understanding of the tools, and also the challenges of mobile testing.
Scope and Tools Selection:
As with any project, testers assessed the mobile application according to certain criteria to determine the scope and approach for testing. Once the scope was determined, various mobile tools were selected to conduct testing, including user agents, commercial tools (a cloud-based tool), and emulators, all of which are tools that can be used in place of actual mobile devices. Many of these tools have free versions available and all have iOS and Android devices available within them allowing a tester to test an app on a broad range of devices that the general public would use in real life scenarios. Testers also chose a good cross selection of some actual devices, including an iOS phone and tablet, an Android phone and tablet, and a Windows 8 tablet.
For training purposes, testers used both native apps and responsive web apps for the various test cycles.
- Native apps worked well for testing that took place on actual phones and tablets; there were slight variations in some of the steps and layout of certain functions across the various devices.
- This allowed the testers to see how organizations may have to alter the look and feel of an application to be customized to a specific device or operating system.
- Responsive web sites were best to test not only on the actual devices, but also with the other test tools available (emulators, simulators, user agents, and commercial tools) because this allowed testers to see the variations between the web design and mobile design of the site, as well as seeing how well the site adjusted to fit and function on the various devices.
Devices vs. Tools:
Given these different platforms, operating systems and device types, testers were able to gain a basic understanding of some of the more commonly used mobile tools, and were able to see some of the pros and cons of using each of them. Some testers preferred using an actual device for testing, as it was the best gauge for seeing how a user would access the site and how the site would behave on the device. Testing with a device provides not only the best accuracy as far as look and feel, but also with viewing the responsiveness of the site on actual devices.
Tools – Pros and Cons:
As far as the other mobile tools used for testing, although they generally provided a good measure of how the site would look and feel, they all had their own limitations. Some of the tools were not user friendly, other had performance concerns. For example, the emulator was at times slow and unresponsive making test execution difficult to get through and thus did not accurately measure responsiveness of certain actions within the site. However, these types of issues may depend on the type of emulator that is being used, and there may be workarounds and solutions for this. In addition, some of the commercial tools will charge for enhanced features of the app, with the free version allowing limited usage times and features such as a user having a 10 minute test window before the device gets released to someone else in the Cloud waiting for that device. Therefore, despite the fact that these other tools may be free and provide a good scale of the look and feel of the site or app, there are nuances with using those tools.
Normally, businesses requiring mobile testing wouldn’t select all of these tools to conduct testing and will limit it to one tool type or decide to test using actual devices. By training our employees on multiple tools Olenick has empowered them to be successful in different client environments. This enabled them to gain an overall understanding of how the tools and devices work and to see first-hand the nuances of each tool as well as the benefits and disadvantages. This prepared our testers to onboard on client projects quickly, familiarize themselves with client tools and devices and also provide inputs to clients based on the insights gained from training exercises.
An Olenick Story from Kina Patel, Senior Consultant at Olenick & Associates, Chicago