A Few TIPPs for Mobile Testing Environments
Tuesday, June 16, 2015
Many organizations we work with are struggling to see value from their efforts in mobile development, and I’ve noticed a trend that the main issue seems to be that their software development lifecycle does not run as smoothly as they would like.
When the SDLC is not running well, it sets the product up for bugs and missed deadlines. Often times the tools used during the cycle are blamed, or the development team itself is chastised for things out of their control.
In order to create a successful cycle for your mobile development, it’s important that you follow the TIPP principles – Tools, Infrastructure, Processes and People must all fit well together. Without these four aspects of the cycle aligned, bottlenecks will form during production and your app’s quality will suffer.
You wouldn’t build a house without a foundation, right? You need something to hold all of the talented craftsmanship up above the mud!
The same is true of your development cycle – the first step in designing it should be picking a testing automation service that works for your team’s needs. This means that if you primarily develop in Java, don’t expect them to switch to PHP because of a good review on a product that runs on PHP. Don’t force battles where there are none.
This strategy of looking for the easiest tool to onboard continues when evaluating what the application you’re developing requires – is your app native, web only or hybrid? Do you send notifications, or are you focused on a widget? Each app is different, so make sure that the testing automation system you use will cover the functionality of your app, not just their demo.
If your developers don’t have the infrastructure that they need, they won’t be able to do the job you want. It’s absolutely crucial that you ensure some basic things:
1. You have good Wi-Fi in the office. If you have more than 30 people regularly using a signal, make sure to have repeaters throughout the office (to prevent “dead zones”) and to invest is a quality provider.
2. There is support for remote offices and servers. If your developers cannot physically turn around and fix what’s broken, you need a team there that can.
While app development has plethora of processes, it is essential to set up a series of steps that can be followed through that will ensure a certain level of success by establishing routine.
For example, when setting up a process for managing the devices you keep on hand for testing, either through automation software or manually, you’ll want to establish a device reservation process:
- Check out that includes what was taken, the status of the device and any auditing necessary
- A place to indicate the availability of the device
- A repository of spare parts such as chargers and various cables
- A SIM card pool
The special sauce to any successful business is a great team of people. This is the most important aspect of your operation, as the right team can compensate – at least temporarily – for holes in any other part of the equation.
In order to offer full support to your talent, consider providing:
1. Communities, both online and offline, that can help them work through problems and practice their skills.
2. Documentation will make their lives easier and save them from having to Google solutions for the product they’re working on.
3. Regular training sessions will keep everyone up to date on the state of the project. You never want teams to be unsure of the project status – or worse, think they’re up to date when they aren’t. Keeping all technical teams on the same page will make for the most streamlined feature planning and project management experience.
After ensuring that these four aspects of your effort are optimized, you can expect your team to work more efficiently, have higher morale, and turn out the highest quality product possible. Your product is the sum of the tools, infrastructure, processes and people that created it.
This content is made possible by a guest author, or sponsor; it is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of App Developer Magazine's editorial staff.
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