Mobile app testing as an entity and a profession is relatively new in the field of Information Technology. Some people perceive this kind of testing as just an extension of traditional software testing, while others see it as an entirely new concept. While, the concept, and for that matter ‘mobile devices’ are new; from purely a testing perspective, there is one statement that rings true, and that is “good software testing principles can be applied to any software, regardless of the platform.”
The experience required to adequately test an app can be significantly reduced if the tester has experience testing other forms of software. Once the tester understands the new processes involved in mobile applications, then they should be able to quickly be in a position to test a mobile app with confidence. For someone new to the field of software testing who wishes to start their career in mobile app testing, then this is not advisable, as key software testing principles can be easily overlooked by the way that the software is presented in a mobile format.
Mobile apps normally fall into two categories, either they are professionally developed for a specific purpose with a clear business goal in mind, or they are developed for fun, often the latter is developed by a single person. Testing of any application is critical and I won’t go into the reasons here, but it is clear that with the vast amount of mobile apps out there and in development, if the quality is poor it will not be a success… fact!
All apps need to be tested, and while a developer may think that they can effectively test their own work, nothing can replace the effectiveness of a professional tester’s expertise. Software companies who have developed their app may choose to test the app themselves (in-house) or choose to pay a professional outsourced mobile app testing company. Often the decision to outsource the testing is made easier due to compatibility issues. While an iPhone app can be tested on a handful of Apple devices, it is virtually impossible to do the same with Android devices, which is why they predominantly choose to outsource to a testing company that holds a wide selection of Apple and Android devices.
A mobile app tester is considered to be a niche role at this moment in time. As mobile apps are the fastest growing form of software development, the niche will disappear and be replaced by a dedicated industry. While some perceive a split between traditional software testing and mobile app testing, there is no evidence to support this and the two entities will undoubtedly remain tied together, and rightfully so.
The importance of software testing has risen in recent years, and this is now reflected in the world of mobile development and testing. These testers effectively hold the key to an app’s success, and ultimately the success of the business or person who developed it.