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Testing mobile apps: focus on the product!

Mobile app testing has really given test departments something to think about because testing mobile apps is much better suited to product experts than technical experts. There is a real difference between testing technical parameters and testing user scenarios.
But as companies consider making the shift from a manual testing environment to complex automation tools for testing mobile apps, the resulting skills gap often requires that companies hire new automation engineers to replace manual testers.

Testers are often the people with the most product experience, so it seems crazy to think that a company would choose to lose that expertise just because they have adopted a new way of testing, but unfortunately some automated tools are actually that complex. 

With eggPlant, we have developed a solution that is simple enough for both manual testers and automation testers to use with ease, making the switch to automated testing quick and painless, and ensuring that a company’s product experts are not lost. At the same time, eggPlant is powerful enough to be able to test virtually any use-case.

The visual-based nature of eggPlant means that it actually leads the tester to test real user scenarios, and we have seen this shift occur in environments where eggPlant has been implemented in a previously “technical” test environment – they soon start thinking about things from a user standpoint.

It’s a bit like the failure of outsourced testing, when it made no sense to have people testing your desktop software who had no idea what the final purpose of the product was. With mobile apps, the focus on how the app actually works from a user perspective is even more pronounced, so the need to be able to test like a user is absolutely vital. To be honest, developers can test code… testers should be testing products.

The concepts of behaviour-driven and test-driven development are also becoming more widely adopted by testers, especially mobile testers. BDD and TDD are great techniques for ensuring that testing and development are focussed on what will really impact users. They are the practical tools that have made requirements-based testing and risk-based testing a reality.

eggPlant is a natural fit for BDD and TDD because its test scripts literally describe a user interacting with the product; so the translation from a user story to a test script is simple. Traditional test scripts are all about properties and the underlying implementation; so the link between a user story and a test script is much less clear, and definitely not something that could be defined before development in the way an eggPlant test script can be.

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