I’ll also be presenting the closing keynote, titled Quality Challenges in the Internet of Things Era, for the PSQT Conference. While IoT is not the storefront that mobile is, it’s still all connected to the mobile storefront as most IoT devices cannot survive without the mothership. But, of course, there are many other elements to consider as part of the mobile infrastructure. As I review my upcoming keynote, three main issues come to mind.
IoT QA Issues:
- Mobile gateway and hub. As I said above, even though some IoT devices can operate alone, where will they send
their data? What will they connect with? Most likely it will be a controller device, network hub/router (such as a nest), or your mobile phone. In almost all cases, even if the data is not on the mobile phone, there will be a mobile app to configure and access data. So, the mobile smartphone will continue to progress as a main hub in our daily lives.
- Interconnectedness will reach new levels and understanding critical hubs will be crucial to performance and reliability.
- Security and performance become more important AND more difficult. It only takes one breach of security and you are in the news and all over the Internet. As our protection mechanisms become more sophisticated, teams of hackers are racing in front of us. This will only become more of a problem as interfaces between IoT devices increase. Performance, now an afterthought, will be an issue as ports and airwaves get crowded.
What does this mean for QA?
- Proliferation of platforms: First we had Windows and various versions, then we added browsers, and now we have not only the proliferation of mobile devices, but the proliferation of IoT devices that are connected and communicating via wireless means – BT, NFC, and ANT+ along with many versions of communications protocols to boot.
- Proliferation of scenarios: You won’t be able to test everything and you won’t be able to test the real thing. For a driverless lawnmower, how can you test that? This means your test lab could increase in size and complexity, but must be prioritized and you must have a strategy to augment it with outside facilities. Outside, meaning “really outside,” in the field, and with other resources from partners.
- Integration and API: All of these pieces of the puzzle connect to each other. Understanding all of the issues and potential problems with these interfaces, developing test cases that integrate all the pieces will bring added value to your team.
- Prioritization scheme: With all the expansion of scenarios and platforms, you’ll need to prioritize heavily. You can’t test everything and you can’t test all combinations. Developing your prioritization schema based on changing requirements will be key.
- Exploratory testing: This really means going where no man has gone before! Test plans will include some basic smoke testing, but in the heat of the sprint, exploratory testing will take precedent. Be the King or Queen of exploratory testing.
For my high school yearbook, each of us came up with a saying or phrase to be inserted as part of our profile. Mine was “We have scorched the snake, not killed it.” It’s a phrase from MacBeth, Act 3, Scene 2. I remember at the time, thinking we were about to graduate and what a big accomplishment that was, but that I had much more to do. Hence, I had not killed it. And I think the same thing here, I’ve listed a few of the IOT QA issues, but certainly have only scorched the snake. Do you have other issues that you could share? Come and see my keynote in August for some great discussion!