IoT Devices Are Making Test Automation Even More Critical
The more devices connected to the Internet, the more challenges the average tester will face. With so many standard items expanding their technological reach through the Internet of Things, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to properly test devices manually.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that “testing is dead” or that every traditional tester should either pack his bags or make sure he has extensive development experience, but quality assurance needs to change with the times.
Test automation is already a QA fixture, with agile and other rapid methodologies forcing both applications and updates to be released faster than ever. However, according to Kyle Nordeen of DZone, the use of automation is the single most important component of successful IoT testing.
Why is automation such a vital pillar in this field? The size of the IoT is one of the key reasons. With more than twenty-six billion connected devices expected by 2020, automation is almost required in order to properly test so many of these new, complex pieces of tech.
Security is also a major factor when it comes to the IoT, considering your personal information is often associated with these Internet-connected objects. Manual tests will go far to make these online devices less prone to being hacked or broken into, but the multitude of different connectivity and security issues at play demand smart, effective automation in order for the user to feel safe.
Additionally, the smarter your home becomes, the more difficult it will be for testers to simulate your specific environment—from the devices being used to the actual layout of the house. However, through service virtualization, test teams can model different types of houses, sensors, and device states to better understand real-world conditions.
None of this is to say that using automation and virtualization is going to solve every problem and leave testers twiddling their thumbs. Automation is best used in conjunction with manual testing, and while it will be difficult to keep the new wave of IoT devices both functional and secure, we’re on our way to conquering this challenge.
IoT testing requires automation, but automate with a purpose in mind. That’s what software test consultant Dorothy Graham believes, and that’s what will help create the best test environments for the future.
“If people say we want to find lots of bugs and that's the reason for automating, you could well be jeopardizing the success of your automation because really, the purpose for automating is to make testing more efficient,” Graham tells StickyMinds. “Finding lots of bugs is a way to make testing more effective; you're finding bugs as your goal for testing, and confusing the two often leads to problems.”