Digital transformation is fundamentally changing the way companies operate and deliver value to customers. In many cases, it is forcing them to alter their business models and adapt to the evolving market reality. What’s even more interesting is that this transformation is being primarily driven by the customer. Therefore, it’s only natural that companies, big and small, approach digital transformation from the position of their customer. Essentially, what this means is that prudent companies are going to put the customer back at the center of their strategic efforts. Efforts which must start with great mobile testing tools.
As digital transformation works its way into every global enterprise, consumers’ demand for a faster, simpler, and enhanced digital experience becomes crucial. This is pushing business entities to increasingly focus on their digital assets to achieve delightful customer experiences. According to Forrester’s research, as much as 75% of global service decision makers are investigating or implementing digital transformation.
The growing focus on digital transformation is the reason why companies are investing more and more in developing and improving their digital assets. Software and applications are becoming the dominant form of digital interaction. And, as companies are constantly striving to deliver better value through digital transformation. Factors like speed, agility, and risk reduction become all the more important. With Agile, DevOps, and CI/CD practices, we have already been able to achieve better coordination among project teams. The reduction in release cycles meets the growing demands of customers. Now, it’s time to empower the test team with novel approaches such as “Shift-Left” testing.
What is Shift-Left?
Software development models have gone through many evolutionary stages. Beginning from the Waterfall Model, where testing was in the extreme right of the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC). Shift Left evolved through Agile, Incremental, and Spiral models to finally arrive at the Shift-Left testing. Through all these stages, the importance of software testing became more obvious. The idea finally took a paradigm shift from being a “one-off” activity to being a “continuous” process.
Shift-Left, in contrast to earlier methodologies, shifted the testing phase to the left of the SDLC. The underlying idea is to empower the test team to involve them in each phase of the development cycle, from R&D to Design to Development and Deployment. The result is not only efficient bug discovery at an early stage of the development cycle. It also increases collaboration with other stakeholders. This enhanced collaboration is particularly important in helping write effective test cases which are instrumental in improving overall product quality.
Best Practices and Mobile Testing Tools
The idea of Shift-Left testing is basically inspired by the practices followed within high-tech leaders such as Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Microsoft. In practice, they deem it as a “spectrum” instead of a “rule”. That is, every company follows a Shift-Left testing approach which is suited to its own particular situation. Google and Microsoft, for example, have dedicated teams of test engineers. Facebook and Amazon, on the other hand, rely on developers to fill the testers’ role. But then, Spotify prefers a combined model with matrix responsibilities. No matter the approach you consider, there are tools and best practices that can help you take advantage of the Shift-Left approach efficiently and effectively.
1) See the impact of CSS changes on different browsers in real time
The key purpose of automated testing is to write a test script once and have it rerun multiple times in the same situation. With Shift-Left testing, the process is the same but applies from the beginning of the development cycle. It’s only efficient and effective to perform an action once and see it executed on several browsers and operating systems at the same time. Experitest’s automation tool allows you to select different browsers and operating systems on 1000+ remote devices and apply a test. This will show you how it executes across all the browsers and operating systems simultaneously. You can always tweak the script for individual browsers and OSes by connecting the tool to your local server. That way you will be able to see the impact of your CSS code changes in real time.
2) Develop and debug on real devices directly from dev tools (XCode, Android Studio, etc)
The capability to access any real device and browser directly from a development environment is the best way to develop and debug your code. It’s cost-effective and, at the same time, aligned with the shift-left testing approach. SeeTest’s mobile testing tools allow you to debug your application directly from the dev tools that you are using, including XCode and Android Studio. You can seamlessly integrate it into your existing development tools. Remotely access any real device and browser you want — directly from within your development environment. You can debug your app and instantly view the effect of your code changes irrespective of the attributes of a device (such as make, model, or OS version).
3) Test local code and apps prior to committing on remote browsers and devices
Just because a code or application hasn’t been made public, it should not cause any delay in testing across your DevOps environment. With SeeTest’s test automation tools, you can take advantage of the local testing or traffic tunnel to test your code or app prior to making it available on remote browsers and devices. Once you connect to the SeeTest local tunnel, you can get access to the entire platform. This included live testing, screenshots, and test automation. In a nutshell, this capability helps secure data. It also allows you to find more defects in your codes before they hit production.
4) Execute XCTest and Espresso tests on numerous real browsers and device
As you tend to lean towards a Shift-Left testing approach, integrating XCUITest and Espresso into your existing test automation framework will become necessary. For one, these tools allow for better speed and high test performance. For another, they are fully integrated into “My ID” under both Xcode and Android Studio. Therefore, using XCUITest and Espresso makes perfect sense when you are already using these IDs to build applications and write unit tests. These testing tools/drivers come with advanced analytics on SeeTest platform to help you easily understand the quality status of your code. Lastly, using XCUItest and Espresso, you can execute tests on a large number of real devices, remotely and at scale.
5) Test directly from your IDE (IntelliJ, Eclipse)
Automating your application testing can never be complete without Appium and Selenium. Using SeeTest Continuous Testing Platform, you can develop and run Appium/Selenium mobile tests directly from your integrated development environments (IDE), including Eclipse and IntelliJ. At your disposal is an endless selection of real Android and iOS devices for testing your mobile and web applications. You can develop tests in any language and cover any use case, including out-of-app in iOS. Run these tests handily and view their results right away.
What is more, you can take advantage of the user-friendly visual interface that comes with a test recorder and a device reflection. All of these features are geared towards enabling testers to perform tests early, often, continuously, and automatically to help deliver flawless mobile and web applications.
In an Agile development environment, there should be no trade-off between quantity and quality. It is critical that we find ways to reduce release cycles and deliver applications faster and more frequently. Also of paramount importance is that we ensure quality all along. To do that, you’ll need an innovative digital QA strategy. It would be nearly impossible to test earlier and faster without an automation approach that relies on continuous integration and mobile testing tools. By the same token, quality will remain a myth without a testing approach that involves developers and testers right from the beginning of the development cycle. In other words, it’s important that you pick mobile testing tools with an open architecture that enables you to automate and run tests earlier, more frequently, and from within the IDE of your choice. Without the slightest doubt, the SeeTest Continuous Platform helps you do just that!