Book Review: Hands-on Mobile App Testing

Authored by Daniel Knott

A few weeks ago, I got my hands on this little gem. It is available on Addison-Wesley for a recommended price of US$ 30. It has 256 pages over nine chapters, plus some introduction and acknowledgement segments.

The book is “A guide for mobile testers and anyone involved in the mobile app business”. While non-testing professionals can benefit from a lot of useful information and getting a better understanding of mobile needs, it clearly caters to testers (sic).

Hands on mobile App Testing by Daniel Knott
Hands on mobile App Testing © Addison-Wesley Professional

In its initial chapters, the book lays the foundation as to why the “mobile” factor is different to “non-mobile”, aka our regular software on desktop or even laptop (arguably a kind of mobile) computers. In a nutshell, this covers user expectations, data networks, fragmentation, and the (often) short release cycles. It builds up by showing the landscape which constitutes mobile work, including the challenges, and gives practical tips on how to approach the different aspects, e.g. how to create mobile device groups to get a handle on the huge fragmentation of devices on the market.

Throughout the chapters there are a lot of useful links, be it statistical sites, which can help identify relevant devices in your local market region, testing heuristics to provide support in finding more test ideas, or links to tools for different purposes.

Another chapter is dedicated to the so-called “soft skills” of testers. I think that they are not exclusive to mobile testers and every tester can benefit from them. With the advent of the fast paced development cycles in agile and also in mobile app development (not necessarily the same), there is need for more technically-oriented skills, like reading code structures or supporting the team with test automation.

Overall, I enjoyed reading through the book and it contains the broad palette of information one would expect.

Due to the eBook format, it plays to its strengths with a short update cycle for outdated information and a direct access through the URLs to various topics and information.

If the audience is new to the field, they get a comprehensive, up-to-date book. Daniel also makes a quick side tour to provide an over view of different test methods and techniques, ranging from the classic preventive vs. constructive testing with its analytical and dynamic approach (e.g. white box/black box) to references to Exploratory Testing, BBST and more. If this book is combined with one of the training courses in the field (iSQI CMAP for example), this would be a very good way for a person to launch themselves into a mobile testing career.

On the other hand, if the reader is an active mobile testing professional, he/she might not take a lot from it. But, as Daniel wrote in his intro: “This book is a practical guide on mobile testing. You can read it from front to back to get an overview of mobile testing, or you jump straight to the chapters you’re most interested in …”.

For me personally it repeated a lot of known information, which made it hard for me to keep reading. But it was worth it, because in each chapter I found some useful information to take away, which surprised me in a positive way. Thanks for taking the time to create this book and providing a good guide.

Maik Nogens

Hands-on Mobile App Testing

Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 1 edition (May 28, 2015)

ISBN-13: 978-0134191713

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