A great time had by all at STPcon 2011 down in Nashville, Tennessee. For those not able to attend (and those who were not following STP’s live stream) I wanted to post a brief summary of the event. Hey, it’s the least I could do.
Though I tried, I was not able to attend every session, so this is far from a complete report. That said, here were a few major themes I noticed throughout the week:
Mobile Is Mainstream
The subject of mobile app testing is getting more and more recognition in the testing world. A sign of the times, to be sure. I started the week by attending a presentation by Rama Krishna Pagadala, the Software Design Engineer in Test for Microsoft, who spoke about the need for real-world testing of mobile applications. He covered many of the same topics addressed on this blog (and mobileapptesting.com), including the unique factors that make mobile a much greater testing challenge. Specifically, variables such as low battery, connection speed, continuously running apps, OS, screen size, user preferences and others.
Rama talked a bit about the performance testing he did for the Microsoft Office Communicator Mobile application for Windows Mobile 6.x phones, including one set of automated tests that measured six performance metrics for 20 different scenarios. Fascinating stuff.
Then there was Karen N. Johnson, consultant and author of Beautiful Testing, who’s second session dealt with Functional Mobile Testing. Here, Johnson used a great series of screen-shots to show how simple web tasks like sign-in, log-out and others are exceedingly complicated when it comes to mobile. She was also very careful to stress the importance of manual testing over automated options, saying something to the effect of, “if you don’t know what you want tested, how are you going to automate it?” Good question, right?