Mobile devices, especially smartphones, are growing their footprints at an unprecedented scale. Alongside, the mobile app proliferation is gaining tremendous adoption. Mike discusses testing challenges against the backdrop.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start by introducing our audience to yourself as well as the company.
Mike Ryan: I’m the CTO at Mobile Labs. Mobile Labs is an aspirational name because we wanted to think about all aspects of mobile application development and testing. We started in 2011. I’ve been here for about three and a half years now. Prior to this, I worked for a software emulation company in California for about nine years. Prior to that, I was the CTO of a company called KnowledgeWare that was into application development technologies in the late 80s to the mid 90s. I also had a stint with Amdahl. When I was studying at Ohio State University in 1969, I came across a typewriter that could type by itself. I found that very interesting. That was what got me into computers. I worked on the Altair type systems. That’s a little bit about me.
Mobile Labs is a product company that was formed in 2011. It came out of an engagement in Atlanta where we were helping a national retailer develop some automation for testing on mobile application. At that time, I think it was a Windows phone. I suggested to them the opportunity to do automation for mobile testing. In a sense, we were ahead. We saw there was a need. As we took that out and starting talking to potential customers, we found that the lack of shared device access and device management was blocking many customers. That caused us to pivot slightly.
We developed a product called deviceConnect, which is a mobile device cloud. As we worked through that, we continued to find more areas of the application development lifecycle where device cloud can serve that same role, whether it’s in development, customer support, dev ops, and testing. We have an add-in for Mobile Labs Trust. We just introduced a new product called Device Bridge, which is enabling new kinds of tools like application development tools and other open source testing platforms to use devices in our device cloud.
Sramana Mitra: That’s quite clear. What are the key issues today in device testing? Of course, there’s a lot of different kinds of devices. There are a lot of different platforms. How do you see the world from your point of view?
Mike Ryan: What we encountered right away, and I think it’s still the case, is there is a break between modern engineering practices versus mobility. The technology, without a device cloud, cannot easily support those practices. Customers have been handed a 360° challenge with mobility.