mobile app testing

Scale Mobile QA By Rethinking How Mobile Testing Happens

Picture of Ashley Dotterweich
Ashley Dotterweich, Tuesday October 31, 2017

Testing is frequently delayed until an application or feature is nearing completion. But siloing QA processes at the end of development just creates lag between the creation and discovery of issues, reducing efficiency. Rethinking where QA lives in your organization and how it fits into the development workflow are the first steps to scaling up mobile testing.

This post is an excerpt from our recent guide, Scaling Mobile QA Without Scaling Your Team. In this section, we share three key moves that fast-moving teams can make to successfully scale up their testing strategy to keep their bar for quality high.

Adopt a Workflow-Integrated Testing Process

The fastest mobile teams are those who have successfully pulled QA testing out of the final stages before deployment and integrated it into the entire development process. Scaling mobile testing without adding time or people requires integrating more effective testing directly into your existing workflow. Scalable mobile testing starts with continuous integration. Unit tests that are run frequently and consistently provide a baseline for code quality as early as possible, ensuring that minor bugs don’t snowball into bigger ones.

Beyond using a mobile-friendly CI, ensure that your entire testing workflow is as “pluggable” as possible. For example, being able to get test feedback and bug alerts directly in your team’s communication channels (like Slack) helps surface issues quickly and reduced the need to switch between different tools and platforms to check for issues.

Designate Mobile Testing Ownership

Many teams struggle to incorporate QA in development because testing lacks ownership. Mobile testing in particular can be a resource-intensive endeavor. Without a dedicated owner, it can fall short of the mark. As more teams adopt a developer-owned testing strategy and use more hands-off test execution methods like crowdsourced testing and automation, they find it necessary to have have a strategic member of the team who focuses on facilitating these processes.

Whether QA operations is a function of your DevOps team, a product manager or a dedicated QA engineer, integrating it into your development process strategically helps accelerate and optimize the testing cycle, especially at scale.

Make Quality a Team Sport

Formally testing every possible scenario is impossible, which is why empowering every member of your team to report bugs and participate in the quality process is critical. Dogfooding doesn’t replace a strategic quality assurance process, but it can help surface bugs faster when utilized in parallel with more structured testing techniques. Dogfooding increases test coverage by emulating a wider range of real-world use cases. This is especially useful for testing mobile applications, which must work equally well across a variety of networks, devices, OS configurations, and usage scenarios.

An important step in a strategically managed dogfooding practice is to give the team a way to communicate any issues they find; having a process in place to document any issues that are surfaced through internal use ensures that bugs don’t slip through the cracks.

Download the Free Guide to Scaling Mobile QA

Want to learn more about how your team can find the optimal balance between deployment speed and product quality? Download Scaling Mobile QA Without Scaling Your Team for insights into how small QA teams can have a big impact.

Filed under: mobile testing, qa best practices, pluggable, and continuous integration