Mobile App Development Industry Rife With Challenges

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QA management often encounters a number of additional challenges when working on mobile software testing and development. Effectively addressing these obstacles is crucial to getting the most value out of mobile development and improving revenue streams.

The widespread use of mobile devices has led to new opportunities for software developers to create applications aimed at a broad range of users. More people are now relying on their smartphone or tablet as their main source of daily computing, driving companies to shift their focus to developing for these platforms. However, team leaders and QA management face a number of additional challenges when working on mobile software. Effectively addressing these obstacles is crucial to getting the most value out of mobile development and improving revenue streams.

One issue plaguing the mobile software industry is the discrepancy between the IT skills needed to execute these projects and the talent available to many organizations. According to mobile solutions expert Johan Pieters, there are simply not enough qualified programmers, coders and testers to go around, leaving many companies in the cold when it comes time to amass talent and form a capable production team.

“The skills shortage has become more pronounced and will continue to worsen this year,” Pieters said. “This drives up salaries and the cost of software development, and makes resourcing for major projects more difficult, resulting in delivery delays.”

Solo development riches have been greatly exaggerated
Exacerbating this issue is the number of skilled programmers currently striking out on their own and developing software outside of an enterprise environment. If a substantial chunk of the applicant pool shuns working within a traditional organization, companies may find it difficult to bring in the talent needed to drive their future projects. However, Gartner research found that the promise of raking in millions from a single successful mobile app remains a mirage for the vast majority of developers. According to a recent study, fewer than 0.01 percent of consumer mobile apps released through 2018 will generate enough revenue to be characterized as a success by their creators.

Computerworld cited Gartner analyst Bob Hafner, who recently suggested that individuals developing mobile software applications on their own should take their talents to a traditional enterprise environment. That way, programmers can draw a steady paycheck while having free time to pursue their pet projects.

If company leaders are unable to sway available developers and software testers to join their firms, they may need to find alternative solutions to make better use of their available personnel. One way to do more with less is to implement automated test scripts. When properly written, these tools can test the performance and stability of in-development software without needing QA members to manually carry out these processes. This will ease the burden placed on individual testers and reduce the need to hire more personnel to pick up the slack.

The usefulness of automated test scripts can be accentuated through a quality test management system. Within some organizations QA management grumbles over the time and costs needed to buy or create these tools, arguing that they are not worth the investment. However, many of these teams are leveraging automated test scripts in a one-and-done capacity, ditching them once the current project has been completed. To get the most value out of these resources, testers should save the best ones for later use. With a centralized test management solution, automated scripts can be uploaded and shared with other members of the organization through a testing dashboard.

By taking the right approach to quality assurance management, company officials can overcome many of the unique challenges facing the mobile software development industry.

About the Author


As the VP of Client Service for Zephyr, Sanjay brings over 15 years of leadership experience in IT and Technical Support Services. Throughout his career, Sanjay has successfully established and grown premier IT and Support Services teams across multiple geographies for both large and small companies. Most recently, he was Associate Vice President at Patni Computers (NYSE: PTI) responsible for the Telecoms IT Managed Services Practice where he established IT Operations teams supporting Virgin Mobile, ESPN Mobile, Disney Mobile and Carphone Warehouse. Prior to this Sanjay was responsible for Global Technical Support at Bay Networks, a leading routing and switching vendor, which was acquired by Nortel. Sanjay has also held management positions in Support Service organizations at start-up Silicon Valley Networks, a vendor of Test Management software, and SynOptics.
Find out more about @sanjayzalavadia

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