Mobile QA testing has seen an overwhelming evolution over the last 10 years. One thing has remained consistent: getting good results as fast as possible. With this objective in mind, companies are turning to flexible, on-demand software testing solutions. Accessing a high volume of quality assurance resources only when necessary allows internal teams to manage day-to-day testing with fewer resources… ultimately reducing costs while maintaining full coverage. When applied correctly, this practical, cost-effective, and low-risk approach brings better testing performance. As such, here are the top 11 trends for on-demand software testing to deliver competitive results (in no particular order): Trend 1: Burstable capabilities via experienced crowds When an unexpected project or a change in delivery schedule leaves you short of software QA time or talent, on-demand software testing can get the job done. An army of crowd sourced testers means your software is analyzed by experts with unlimited knowledge and capabilities. Because testers don’t belong to a particular organization, crowdsourced testing remains unbiased. Additionally, most crowdsourced test teams are global. This allows companies to push their product to market sooner as the testing process can be completed in a shorter amount of time, overnight and on weekends. Make this trend work for you… Flexibility still requires specific knowledge and capabilities. Ensure you work with crowd testing partners who are: Dedicated to a project in order to retain product knowledge for more reliable results Transparent throughout the entire testing process: what’s been tested, on which devices, outcomes, and recommended actions Paid by the hour for more thoughtful testing and quality vs. quantify bug identification RELATED: 13 Best Crowd Testing (Crowdsource) Companies in 2020 Trend 2: Test automation continues Test automation is nothing new and has been helping teams save a significant amount of time, money, and resources. As businesses continue to follow the agile method and QAOps transforms the testing process, test automation will become more critical. Especially considering in 2019, 44 percent of organizations automated 50 percent of all tests. Make this trend work for you… When implementing an automated testing strategy, consider: Leveraging a combination of open-source and commercial tools Finding opportunities to replace manual testing with automated testing (such as Unit tests, API tests, and UI-driven tests) Be realistic about the limitations of automated testing and combine it with manual testing for a holistic approach. See how here. Trend 3: Compliment automation with manual testing Test automation will not eliminate manual testing. In fact, robust QA teams combine manual and automated testing to ensure software quality and achieve increased overall test coverage. Make this trend work for you… When combining automation and manual testing, be sure to: Integrating the design, build, and management of both testing types with your engineering workflows Supplement with real device utilization Understand which tests can’t be automated (exploratory, usability, etc) RELATED: Best use cases for automated and manual testing: A Q&A with John Ruberto Trend 4: Machine Learning delivers more accuracy While the above steps are a great beginning to your QA test strategy, businesses seek a way to increase the pace of development at minimal cost. This is where Machine Learning (ML) plays a large role. ML applies artificial intelligence to operations in order to automatically learn without human intervention or explicit programming in order to deliver more accurate results in less time. Make this trend work for you… In Machine Learning, systems and test automation improve through experience. Remember, however, these are predictions and approximations, not exact results. As such, some key best practices include: Determine an acceptable level of assurance within a certain range for each outcome Create test suites to validate the system’s model Establish a repeatable, sustainable process like the PDCA cycle (Plan-Do-Check-Act) Trend 5: Big Data for bigger ROI Native apps are all about solving unique user problems. This is where Big Data and data science play a key role. From detecting fake accounts to exceeding user expectations, these applications are completely dependent on how good your data is. Of course testing is an important part of every mobile app. But when testing Big Data, it’s more to do with verification of data rather than individual features. Make this trend work for you… QA testers work with extremely large data sets from hyper-distributed environments. Understanding the validation sets is key: Data validation: Also known as pre-Hadoop testing, ensures the right data is collected from the right sources Business logic validation: Or “map reduce” validation verifies the business logic on every node and against multiple nodes Output validation: QA testers check the data integrity, ensure data is loaded successfully into the target system, and compare HDFS file system data with target data ensuring there’s no data corruption Trend 6: Augment in-house with outsourcing To stay ahead of competitors, companies are outsourcing QA testing to ensure projects are completed efficiently and launched on time. Third-party testing partners serve as a strategic business partner, allowing companies to seamlessly scale their capabilities. As Statista reports, the global market for outsourced services almost doubled from $45.6 billion USD in 2000 to $85.6 billion in 2018. As companies seek quality assurance and efficiency, software testing outsourcing will continue to rise. Make this trend work for you… When working with a third-party, outsource to a company that: Offers project management and crowd sourced testers with a proven track record of delivering projects on-time, within budget, and with expected levels of quality A consistent team of skilled testers in key locations with native languages Integrate into any stage of the testing life cycle RELATED: See how Testlio tackles outsourcing Trend 7: Safe-T with IoT The internet of things (IoT) in ride-sharing has not only done huge favors for consumers but also business. Thanks to the nature of connected vehicles, you can get a lot of driver data regarding their behavior. By closely monitoring drivers in real-time, you can be aware of any violations such as speeding or canceling passenger requests. Make this trend work for you… Due to the various software and hardware combinations available, it’s not always possible to test on every variant. In order to craft an effective IoT testing strategy, keep the following in mind: Gather information from your end users to understand which devices and software versions they’re using to determine the most popular combinations Compatibility testing plays a significant role in protecting IoT software from vulnerabilities and system failures Smart software differs in its specifications from all other coding. As such, usability testing is a major contributor in general IoT testing strategies Trend 8: Continued rise of agile Organizations embraced agile software development years ago as a response to rapidly changing requirements. And thanks to the practice’s ability to help teams develop and deliver quality software faster, this “Quality at Speed” trend continues to increase. Last year, 74 percent of businesses that followed the agile method cited accelerating software delivery as their main goal. Besides monetary motivation, organizations claim that agile better aligns business and IT teams. Make this trend work for you… When transitioning to agile, be sure to: Facilitate a culture of collaboration by connecting core QA team members physically and virtually All team members must be empowered to be self-managing and collaborative Assign delegates to different tasks who serve as project champions Trend 9: Transform DevOps to QAOps Like above, DevOps — a set of software development practices that combines development (Dev) and information technology operations (Ops) — has been adopted by organizations as a way to shorten the systems development life cycle (SDLC). But this has led to a bigger and better generation of Ops when it comes to Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD). Building upon the core ideas in DevOps, QAOps further bridges collaboration between siloed teams and increases direct communication flows between testing engineers and developers during the QA process. Make this trend work for you… To align your QA with DevOps, make sure… QA is involved with business objectives from the start Software testing is integrated earlier into the CI/CD pipeline (aka Shift-Left Testing) QA testing runs quickly and in parallel with the delivery pipeline Trend 10: Exploratory testing Undetected bugs can cost business in terms of brand value and reputation. To ensure native mobile apps are tested thoroughly and adequately, companies use exploratory testing. Contrary to traditional testing concepts that monitor known risks, exploratory testing is a self-managed and self-structured process to analyze potential risks. These unscripted, deep-dives into the product discover the highest-impact bugs through QA tester ingenuity and intuitiveness. Exploratory testing is not a technique but a structured approach to exploring software through unanticipated, flexible test combinations. This requires a certain level of experience and maturity in order to maintain efficiency and useful feedback. Make this trend work for you… Though carried out without a test plan, exploratory tests are still structured and should: Be completed in short bursts to avoid fatigue and maintain objectivity Focus on the app’s functionality and flow through discovery and exploration Track all previously found bug and defaults for testers to refer to RELATED: 4 steps for managing exploratory testing Trend 11: Increase in security testing On-demand software testing requires a novel approach to security. As industries including financial services and healthcare continue to address consumer demand for mobile apps, so too will the focus on rigorous security testing. These highly regulated fields must prioritize data security and compliance within their development and testing cycles or face massive fines. Make this trend work for you… Security testing has moved from nice to necessary. As such, ensure that you: Test beyond public interfaces Test for unexpected behaviors and unanticipated effects Use dynamic analysis tools to help detect problems too difficult for static analysis tools to find From trends to test best practices The coming decade continues to build upon the immense changes in technology and digital transformation we’ve already witnessed. As a result, quality assurance teams must also evolve in order to stay competitive. By partnering with an experienced and trusted managed app testing provider, your company can accelerate the testing process to meet consumer demands without sacrificing quality.