Tech Talk: The Mobile Test Pyramid

Posted by Kimberly Falk in Mobile Development & Testing

It’s no secret that mobile apps are a requirement for any organization that wants to engage with their users. But customer experience is everything, and while there has been a lot of discussion around mobile development practices, it seems that testing is being left behind. Teams that are undertaking new mobile projects often feel lost when it comes to testing these applications, and are left with piles of phones on their desks being used for time-consuming manual tests.

However, with the shift to CI/CD and the need for fast feedback on the quality of apps and their code, manual testing only simply isn’t going to cut it. In order to release better quality apps at the speed your users demand, test automation is mission critical. However, there are a number of questions that mobile developers and testers come up against, such as:

What tests should we be automating, and which should stay manual? It’s never recommended that you automate every test of your application, but it’s important to understand why automation is useful, and apply it accordingly to optimize with already-existing CI/CD workflows.

How do we automate tests that are compatible with both iOS and Android? While developers tend to prefer the native test frameworks (i.e. XCUITest and Espresso), options like Appium are popular with QA teams, as one test can be compatible with both operating systems. It is important to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the mobile frameworks you are considering, along with how they will be implemented in the larger pipeline.

Where should we run our tests? Mobile purists may believe that all tests should be run on real devices, but in reality this option can be cost-prohibitive, and can even slow down releases. For teams that want to achieve true CI/CD, mobile emulators and simulators, along with resized web browsers are also useful for testing, as they allow for fast feedback to developers on code quality earlier in the pipeline. Understanding the different infrastructure options that are available and what benefits they provide at different points in the development lifecycle can help teams deliver high quality apps faster without breaking your budget.

In the most recent installment of Sauce Tech Talks, Senior Solution Architect Wim Selles explores some of these considerations and offers practical advice from the Mobile Testing Pyramid (originally created by Kwo Ding). From discussing best practices on how to build your mobile test automation for success, to outlining the different use cases for testing on real devices, emulators and simulators and even browsers, this session will leave you with ideas on how to build your own mobile testing strategy.

So what are you waiting for? Check out Wim’s session, and ditch those phones in your desk!

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