April 16, 2020 Jonny Steiner

How QA Teams are Handling the Covid-19 Pandemic

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With the exponential spread of COVID-19, the world is in a difficult situation. Covid-19 has disrupted daily life as we know it. On the physical side, over two million people have been infected. Additionally more than a billion people are in some version of quarantine. On the economic side, the measures taken to slow the spread of the virus have closed businesses slowed markets and changed the way that we as people work and interact with our teams.

That is not to say that amidst all of this upheaval and uncertainty work is grinding to a halt. On the contrary, many companies are finding new ways to work and perform business. The goal is to keep both employees and customers safe.

The main way that the working world is changing, and one that affects Experitest both on the employee and customer side, is that the vast majority of employees are currently working from home. We are far from the only ones. I have a friend who works for a company that has always operated on an ancient model of employment. They traditionally have had zero tolerance for employees working from home. It only took a few weeks of the current crisis for them to set up over 300 employees with remote work stations from home.

That is what we are going to focus on in this post. The changing workplace. In order to place this article in a bit more familiar context, we are going to speak specifically about QA teams. Where do QA teams fit in the traditional business model? What are they evolving into being with the latest global health developments? What tools are helping them do their job better? Let’s continue.

QA teams explained

Quality assurance in terms of web and mobile app development is the way that companies prevent mistakes or bugs in their developed web and mobile apps. A strong QA team at your company will help you avoid issues when you deliver your apps and updates to your users.

Quality assurance is also a step in the app development process. It provides confidence that the organization’s quality requirements are being fulfilled.

These teams do more than ensure that a web or mobile app is ready to be released to the market. QA teams also perform manual and automated testing. They are also responsible for training customers/users, setting standards and selecting tools like Espresso, XCUITest, Appium, and Selenium.

QA, in some circumstances, sounds more like a stage in the development process. One might assume that QA testers simply wait around until an app build is complete and then swoop in to find all of the hidden bugs. This is not the case. In reality, QA is a crucial piece of any Continuous Integration process. CI requires app developers to integrate their code into a shared repository a few times per day. QA teams then check the repository in order to detect bugs early.

The Past and Present of QA

The concept of QA began in the Middle Ages. Royal families would purchase materials in order to build ships. To ensure high quality products they hired managers to assure the high quality of materials.

The aspect of Quality assurance that means the most to us today starts with the early days of Software testing. The definition is as simple as the measurement to which a piece of software meets the requirements, expectations, and needs of the users. This puts the user experience at the forefront of development. In the early days, the users were also the testers so the feedback cycle was quite fast.

Over that time testing has gone through some huge changes. The form that QA takes today runs in parallel to the SDLC as a process unto itself. Once a project’s requirements are communicated to the various development and QA teams development and testing take place simultaneously.

For a look at the future of QA testing, download our Info deck now.

QA Testing in the time of COVID-19

Now, in 2020 as we try to work through the global virus pandemic, teams are becoming more distributed than ever. This leaves enterprises with a new and growing remote working standard. With these teams separated by time and space companies still need to be able to continually test and release high-quality digital experiences.

With QA testing teams at home, it becomes a larger challenge to provide users with the flawless experience they are accustomed to. Accessing an on-premise lab is unrealistic. Many companies use on-demand distributed testing as a way to meet customer needs 24/7. With that capability in place, testers can get a real-world view of their web and mobile apps by interacting with them as a user would day-to-day.

Experitest is helping QA teams with this exact piece of the process. For customers of ours that have their own on-premise testing labs, we have changed the way that we issue licenses for SeeTest and other products. We call them node lock licenses and they are meant to help DevOps and QA Engineers test locally from home.

Companies with on-premise labs have been issuing node lock licenses to their QA teams. Then, they have been assigning devices to each team member. The team members then take the devices home with them connect them and carry out their testing locally from home. This gives each team member devices and access to SeeTest Studio or Appium Studio.

For Experitest SaaS and cloud users, the process is even more simple. All a QA team member would need is a site to site VPN and then they can test from home with full security as if they were sitting in their office.

Beyond that, we have also been ramping up our technical support for any of our users that require it.

Experitest QA testing on demand

We covered the manpower aspect of the situation so let’s take a closer look at the tools they use.

QA teams that are finding themselves working remotely can access the SeeTest mobile device & browser lab which makes real devices and browsers available to more DevOps teams regardless of where they are located. They will need a VPN for security purposes but most IT teams will be already set up for that.

Collaboration and sharing are also improved as introducing new devices and OSes is fast and efficient.

The strength of the SeeTest mobile device and browser lab is in the Hosted Private lab. Enterprises that use this SaaS option can set up their own device and browser labs that are hosted in our global data centers. Testers can choose from a pool of cloud-based devices and browsers that are tailored to their specific needs. Better still if there is a specific device model or operating system a company needs. We can provide it.

In addition to the private lab, we also offer a public lab that is both ISO 27001 and SOC2 compliant and offers instant access to thousands of mobile devices and browsers hosted in Experitest’s data centers.

And about those data centers. We have ten of them located around the world. With the security standards that we are proud to have in place, you have the ability to test quickly, securely and efficiently.

Watching the world change daily

There seems to be no end in sight to the new normal of daily life. We are all going through a situation that is not only uncertain but also dangerous. The main imperative is to obviously keep everyone safe. As the world turns companies and workers alike have needed to address. QA teams who traditionally have been in the house and are now shifting to a remote working environment face challenges. They need to be able to provide the same high level of quality, while still working with the same efficiency and tools as before. The SeeTest mobile device and browser lab will provide these teams with devices, tools, and security that remotely distributed testing teams need to perform their testing at the highest level.

In order to see an even deeper look into the future of QA teams download a free copy of our AI for QA info deck.

Jonny SteinerContent Manager

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