A report from our Community reporter Gita Malinovska about her experience at the Mobile Deep Dive event at EuroSTAR 2015.
On 6th November 2015 I attended the first Mobile Deep Dive conference held at the MECC in Maastricht, Netherlands courtesy of the TestHuddle reporter competition which I won! (view my blog post ‘Looking forward to Mobile Deep Dive 2015’).
The event was an in-depth look at the world of mobile software testing and featured 3 keynotes and 6 track sessions from leading international mobile testing experts appealing to delegates attending from all over the world.
On arrival all of the delegates received a pack detailing a schedule of events, a timetable lanyard and a pack of stickers. Alison Wade (Programme Chair of Mobile Dev + Test Conference) opened up the event with a talk on how we have all become addicted and reliant on our mobile phones.
Lessons Learned in Mobile Testing
Alison was then followed by keynote speaker 1, Alan Page from Microsoft, whose talk was on ‘The Mobile Application Compatibility Challenge’. Alan shared with us lessons he had learned from his testing career and the issues the team faces when testing 1.6 million apps in the Google app store. I particularly found this interesting because Alan advised that he filtered through all of the apps that had more than 100 downloads and then asked for feedback from the customers whilst releasing changes. Usually testing after going live is a controversial idea, but if you learn from the issues raised in each release then it has great value.
Keynote speaker 2 was Julie Gardiner from Hitachi who spoke to us about ‘Biggest Bang for your Buck with Mobile and Wearable Testing!’ Julie explained to us the challenges of mobile testing, devices you should be testing on and explained to us how the industry is constantly changing. Julie talked us through several different testing projects and explained if testing would be beneficial – the projects included The Big Band Theory and Lego. OpenDeviceLab was mentioned as a good way of testing multiple and different devices, I too would also recommend OpenDeviceLab and it was interesting to hear Julie talk about it because it’s something I’m passionate about myself. We were then handed papers with testing strategies printed on them and pretend dollars to accompany a thought provoking talk on the cost of testing which made me think about testing being defined as expensive. Is it expensive compared to the revenue or value?
A networking break followed the 2 keynote sessions where we got to visit a few of the stands and network with the other delegates. It was then time to go to the next talk, we had a choice either attending Stephen Janaway’s (Net-a-porters) talk on ‘Mobile Users Are Different’ or Julian Harty’s talk on ‘Improving Mobile Apps Using Analytics’. I decided to attend Julian’s talk as it was an area of particular interest to me.
Julian’s talk explained why we should know the analytics for our apps, for example Starbucks removed the ‘customer drink’ feature from their app only for them to be poorly rated by the apps users as the ‘customer drinks’ feature was actually something they loved. This helped me realise it is important to look at the right statistics. You can get the most of your analytics from the app stores and usage logs from the devices, it is important to look at the right statistics and check the devices you are using. To find out more about analytics Julian recommend a book called ‘Analytics at Work’ by Thomas H. Davenport.
Tips and Tricks
I found Jeffrey Payne’s talk about ‘Tips and Tricks for Building Secure Mobile Apps’ (from Coveros) was actually filled with the described tips and tricks! He was telling us how to avoid putting sensitive data on mobile devices, don’t allow untrusted apps access to your phone, don’t use default passwords, don’t use low level encryption and much much more. Of course, OWASP 10 security list was mentioned as well. Simultaneously there was a talk by Marc van’t Veer from Polteq ‘Take your app Testing from Mobile to Wearable’ which I didn’t attend.
After lunch there were a further two talks. I chose ‘Mobile Automated Testing’ by Karen Johnson as I was interested in how to automate any testing. Karen’s talk showed us how to decide which parts of an application to automate as she said lots of her developers quite often don’t know where to start. She explained you should start by looking at past defects, think about saving labour hours, testing revenue streams or the whole user story. The talk I didn’t attend was ‘Deliver 5 star Mobile Performance’ by Antoine Aymers from HP.
The penultimate talk was from Ivan Shubin from eBay/Marktplaats ‘Testing Responsive Websites on Mobile Devices’ and was more technical than the other talks. We heard about how the Galen framework works, its syntax and how it uses Selenium. I didn’t get to attend the session on ‘Technical Mobile Testing – Risk, Issues and Experiences’ by Alan Richardson.
Our last keynote was from Jeffrey Payne from Coveros Inc from the USA ‘The Perfect Storm: Mobile Application Quality’. He kept the audience excited about the quality of mobile applications, further explaining that half of the world has nomophobia – the fear of losing your phone. He explained how quickly a user will abandon an application if it doesn’t open quickly enough (just 3 seconds!). It was an inspiring final keynote.
I would like to say a big thank you to the Mobile Deep Dive team for organising an in-depth and varied event, and finally to TestHuddle for the opportunity to attend.