How remote software testing empowers modern QA teams

The trend towards software development teams working outside of a physical office location has been accelerated by COVID-19. To manage the shift, organizations are adopting new ways of maintaining the cadence of software release cycles. One way is through remote software testing. 

Remote testing relies upon globally distributed real-device testing teams to enable rapid software testing in any location, at any time, on any device/OS combo. When properly managed and employed, a remote testing approach allows companies to leverage flexible, on-demand QA testing that ensures high-quality products and faster release cadences. Here is how.

On-Demand Testing

Faster Testing Cycles

Not only is it important to test builds thoroughly, but it is equally important to achieve turnaround in a short period of time – combining speed with product quality is the only way to meet growing consumer demands. Thus, a larger team of distributed on-demand testers, who are experienced and well trained in testing practices, can quickly work through a set of test cases – that may take a less experienced or smaller team of testers a longer time to complete. 

Geographically Distributed Testers

Functional, Exploratory, Usability, Localization and Payment Testing

Device Diversity

Remote testing best practices

6 tips to optimize remote testing value

1. Networked testing practices
  • Provide incentives for collaborative testing, as opposed to bug report bounties. This encourages the team to work together to find quality bugs, instead of focusing on simply increasing bug count.
2. Ensure build testability
  • Make sure that developers have taken an initial pass over the build to verify its testability. Builds with broken functions or crashes are returned by testing teams, and therefore, the entire release schedule is adversely impacted.
3. Manage build delivery and versions
  • Schedule and deliver builds on time, so that testing teams can complete test cycles on time. Versions of test builds should be marked with numbers so that bugs can be traced to the correct version.
4. Have clear project-specific requirements
  • Make sure all specifications are concise and without ambiguity. Looping testing and QA processes into agile sprints can only occur when requirements are not open to more than one interpretation.
5. Keep QA and development on the same page
  • When quality assurance teams are included at the start of the iteration, they can get started interpreting requirements, initiating test plans, writing test cases, … alongside the development effort. Invite your testing team to virtual stand-ups if/when helpful to make sure they are aligned with requirements and expectations.
6. Work with experienced, consistent testers
  • As your remote testers get more familiar with the application, they become the ideal candidates to test the build through near-release stages.

In summary

Remote testing is a distributed QA approach that pairs well with complex applications – apps with a wide geographical distribution or apps that are planned for mass usage. It’s not a cure-all, nor does it diminish the need for good engineering practices in build delivery. However, leveraging networked testing methods such as burstable testing can lead to shorter test cycles, increased test coverage, and high-quality app releases – at very compelling economics. 

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