Photo by Knut-Erik Helle
Mobile software testing and QA has been been a quagmire for the last several years as tool vendors proliferate and devices continue to expand. As I prepare for my keynote at the Software Quality and Test Management Conference in September, titled Software Testing and QA in a Mobile Dominated World, I’m obsessed with how mobile has taken over our lives. Naturally when we think of mobile, we look at the smartphones in our hands and think, “Wow, I’ve got a supercomputer in the palm of my hand.” But its impact goes far beyond. In fact, “mobile isn’t mobile anymore” — it’s much more.
Mobile is everybody, everything, everywhere, and every time. Let me explain what I mean. Now, with Android phones costing less than $50, smartphones become accessible for the masses. After all, not everyone needs a $600 iPhone. And with mobile in everyone’s hands, mobile provides large scale to many new businesses. Look at Uber and Airbnb. They have transformed their industries and have only just begun.
But it goes much farther beyond Uber and Airbnb. Mobile devices have transformed the manufacturing of electronic components as their sensors and other major building blocks (i.e. WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC) have become commonplace and mass produced. These building blocks have inserted themselves into, none other than the Internet of Things, with sensors galore sending information to repositories in the “cloud” forming “big data” to be analyzed, sliced, diced and sold, and used everywhere not just to sell us more stuff, but to hopefully improve our lives.
With the price point so low, there has been one other development, concurrent yet unrelated to mobile, that has propelled mobile forward — the solar panel. You wouldn’t think that the mass production of cheap solar panels would affect mobile. But it has brought electricity to far away places. So while someone in a desolate location may not have running water or electricity, he or she can still charge their mobile phone!
Everybody, everything, and everywhere are covered. What about every time? Well, where do you use your mobile phone? The fact is, we don’t just use our mobile phones on the road while we are “mobile.” In reality, we use them all the time. At home, with the TV on, while using a computer, how many of you simultaneously use your mobile phone?
So when you think about mobile software testing and QA, first think about the scale of mobile. It truly is everywhere, in every country, rich and poor. And not just feature phones, but smartphones. Based on all these developments and the proliferation of mobile, it has had and will have a major impact on software development, QA and testing. Come see me in San Diego at SQTM to find out more!