Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
5 Important Skills for Mobile Testers
The tasks of software testers in the field of mobile application development are very diverse and complex. Modern mobile applications are based on different systems that obtain their data from different interfaces. Mobile testers must therefore be able to test mobile applications in a short period of time to develop a high-quality product together with the development team on the market.
The tasks of software testers in the field of mobile application development are very diverse and complex. Modern mobile applications are based on different systems that obtain their data from different interfaces.
Mobile testers must therefore be able to test mobile applications in a short time to bring a high-quality product to market together with the development team.
Especially newcomers in this area often ask themselves which skills are particularly important to successfully test mobile applications. The following article presents 5 such skills that mobile testers should have.
As mobile applications become increasingly complex and consist of different systems, mobile testers need a very good technical understanding. They must be able to understand and analyze complex systems. The result of the technical analysis helps testers to derive new test ideas, ask questions about the system architecture and work with developers and product managers to improve their own product in a targeted manner.
In addition to analysis skills, it is imperative that mobile testers have a solid knowledge of software architectures, APIs, and database systems. They should be able to develop their own small programs that help test the product more effectively and, if necessary, faster. If mobile testers have this knowledge, they can understand the program code and conduct a code review with the developers. During the code review, potential problems can be identified in advance.
If newcomers still lack deep technical understanding – don’t worry. With the right attitude, the willingness to always learn and technical inquisitiveness, the understanding will soon expand.
Another skill that mobile testers should have is what is known as “critical thinking”: critical thinking.
With the help of critical thinking and technical understanding, mobile testers can grasp the big picture of the mobile application and specifically scrutinize individual functions or the functions in their entirety. With this skill, testers gain an even better understanding of the system and can focus specifically on certain areas of the application.
However, critical thinking should not only be used to scrutinize the mobile application and the underlying system; testers should also regularly take a critical look at their own testing strategies.
The following questions can help:
- What problem is the application supposed to solve?
- Is there a problem that needs to be solved at all?
- Which systems are used and why?
- Why was function X tested in this way?
- Is it mandatory to develop automated checks for this function?
This is only a small selection of critical questions that mobile testers can ask either themselves, the team, or the stakeholders. On the topic of critical thinking for software testers, I recommend this presentation by Michael Bolton.
Another important skill that mobile testers should have is creativity. During the product development phase, it is very important to constantly derive new creative test ideas based on feature requirements. Mobile applications can be tested in different ways and at different locations. Depending on the application area of the mobile applications, errors can be found, for example, when
- rapid movements are made on the cell phone during testing,
- the cell phone is put into flight mode,
- input on the screen is performed with more than one finger or hand.
It can also be helpful to talk to real users or beta testers of the application to understand their problems and to incorporate this knowledge into your own testing. The creativity process should already start with the test case creation as well as the test data generation. For example, test data with first name: NULL and last name: NULL can already lead to errors in the program code.
Especially in mobile testing, there are no limits to creativity in order to bring a high-quality application to the market.
The ability to communicate is an important quality and qualification that every mobile tester must have. Mobile testers need to communicate with many different colleagues at different levels of detail in their daily work life.
They must be able to communicate effectively with product managers, designers, developers, testers, and management colleagues.
Especially the communication with other software testers or developers requires a very good technical understanding to be able to describe facts or problems accordingly.
A fine art of communication is to report problems or errors accurately and factually. This is the only way to ensure that problems or errors are resolved promptly.
Furthermore, mobile testers must be able to describe a technical problem at a higher level of abstraction so that colleagues who are not as technically savvy can understand it.
In addition to verbal communication, it is important that mobile testers have good written communication skills to record problems or errors in writing. Only an accurate and detailed written description will help the development team understand problems accurately and fix them.
Another aspect of good communication is listening. Mobile testers must be able to be good listeners. In meetings, they should listen closely to what is being said and presented, and then ask specific questions, for example, in the direction of acceptance criteria. By listening carefully, potential problems can be corrected at an early stage of development.
Poor communication within a development team leads to misunderstandings and a product of poor quality.
Modern technology determines the everyday life of people today. Mobile applications have undergone constant change in recent years – from different end devices to new software functions that can be used by mobile applications. This constant change presents mobile testers with the challenge of continuous training. Mobile testers need to keep up with the latest market trends to test mobile applications in an even better and more targeted way.
With this constantly updated knowledge, mobile testers can implement new test ideas, test methods and approaches.
To stay on top of the latest technology, it’s a good idea to read blogs and books on the relevant topic, attend conferences, or participate in online webinars. Mobile testers should also follow the annual keynotes of the major hardware and software manufacturers.
High requirements? Great benefit
For more than a decade, smartphones have been an indispensable part of everyday life. Many users expect high quality from mobile applications. To meet the high expectations, mobile development teams and especially mobile testers have to constantly expand their skills and learn new ones. The five skills mentioned are only an excerpt of possible skills that mobile testers should have. However, those who have technical understanding, critical thinking, creativity, communication, and the drive for continuous development will be of great benefit to the development team.
About the author
Daniel Knott is working as the head of Product Quality Engineering in MaibornWolff since October 2021. Daniel is a Mobile Testing expert who loves digital, high-quality products. The last 12 years he has been performing in different software tester roles like Mobile Tester, Lead Software Tester and Senior Product Manager. He really enjoys writing about technical topics, specially about Software Testing. On his blog www.adventuresinqa.com he shares his insight with the testing community. In 2014, he wrote and published a book about Mobile entitled as “Hands-On Mobile App Testing”. Daniel is a married man with 2 children who enjoys sport activities like walking or cycling.