How to maintain complete device coverage when under pressure to release

So many devices, so little time. When you’re on a tight release schedule, it can be challenging to cover the devices that matter to your user base.

But excellent device coverage is essential. The experience that your users actually receive should match what your product and engineering team intends. 

Working from home makes device coverage more challenging than ever

Device coverage is no less important during trying times, but actually maintaining that device coverage is an enormous challenge. 

Regardless of which of the following ways you choose to implement, one thing is for certain: to cover the devices that matter to your users, you need more resources. 

Ways to maintain device coverage 

Whether you’re dealing with time constraints, or time and location restrictions, there are things you can do to maintain device coverage during release cycles. 

Check out these four unique options. 

4 ways to maintain device coverage: 1. Work with a networked testing company 2. Bring in individual freelance testers as needed 3. Split devices among employees 4. Use a device farm

1. Work with a networked testing company

While there is plenty of freelance talent available, the challenge is finding the right people and putting their efforts to good use. 

2. Bring in individual freelance testers as needed 

You’re better off forging an individual relationship because then you can set a fair hourly compensation. Because crowdsourced sites typically pay per bug, they attract very inexperienced testers and the result is often not worth the cost savings. 

3. Split devices among employees

If you have a large library of devices in the office, you can split them among your team. Employees working remotely can take a percentage of the hardware for at-home testing if your organization is still encouraging remote work. 

While this sounds like a fun strategy, it’s typically time-prohibitive. Your QA team is likely lean and focused on test strategy, management, and automation. You likely don’t employ enough manual testers to cover devices. 

Time isn’t the only issue with this strategy. Your in-house team knows how the mobile app or site should operate, and won’t be coming at it with fresh eyes. It’s also challenging to handle localization tests as well as device coverage when testing with this method.

4. Use a device farm

What you see is the size and responsiveness of the device screen, but you’re not really experiencing the OS and other physical elements such as battery life, device storage, and connectivity. 

There’s nothing that can compare to dozens of hundreds of device/OS combinations using real hardware in the hands of skilled testers. Not only do you get the device’s responsiveness, but also how a real user interacts with that device, with a myriad of other real-world factors at play.

That’s why most engineering and quality teams choose to partner with experienced testers who can provide real device coverage. 

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