How Is Testing Community Performing Web Testing Remotely In COVID-19?
How Is Testing Community Performing Web Testing Remotely In COVID-19?
We reached out to various testing experts, in order to understand how they are coping with this problem while testing remotely.
Join the DZone community and get the full member experience.Join For Free
With the outbreak of COVID-19 Pandemic, most of us are forced to work from home. From working at our desks, we had to make a switch to couches. Although a lot of us have quickly made this transition, some of us are still struggling with it as leaving office is not just a change in place of work, but also a loss in access to our inhouse infrastructure at our workplace which helps to get the job done.
As a tester, you might be facing a similar issue, the question here is, how do you make sure that your testing effort does not get affected while testing remotely? While testing remotely one of the major challenges you might face includes having access to the device labs. This makes testing challenging as you won’t be able to access all the devices your users might be using. Without the testing infrastructure available at home to scale your testing effort, you might end up hitting a brick wall.
You’re not alone in this. This is a problem faced by almost all of us relying on the in-house infrastructure. Keeping this in mind, we reached out to various testing experts, in order to understand how they are coping with this problem while testing remotely.
They were kind enough to respond, and here in this article, I’ve compiled their answers to help you know how they’ve adapted their testing efforts in this crisis.
Now, let’s take a look at what they got to say!
Edge of the Web- Managing Director
Tool Used — LambdaTest
Working remotely has brought new challenges to cross-browser testing. Our normal process involves testing actual devices with certain software versions. We've always felt that testing in the actual browser gives better information than using emulators or online software.
But now the team is working from home, we've had to adjust that workflow, as the necessary devices simply aren't available for all staff. As a result, we've started using LambdaTest, and so far the results have been very positive.
This cloud based software provides live cross-browser testing, including responsive testing, and there's an automated screenshot feature that enables you to see issues clearly. The bug logging tool also integrates with Slack, which we already use for internal communications, making it simple to collaborate and update the entire team.
In fact, we've been so impressed with LambdaTest, that we may continue using it even once we're back in the office.
“We instruct our QA’s to use a browser matrix to establish the priority list for our users - in terms of traffic, conversion and combination of the two.
From these results, they’ll need to test browser compatibility, but this is made tougher as they don’t have access to their device labs.
In the meantime, while not as good we will be using cloud-based cross-browser testing. We can control the testing from our own system and it allows us to test on virtual instead of physical devices.
It makes communication between the QA’s easier as it has the functions to share screenshots, add comments, record videos with different teams/individuals on the project in real-time.”
“This is luckily one area that has not been impacted by COVID-19. While technology generally has it good, large projects and tasks that require frequent collaboration had to adapt and get on board with remote sharing and virtual meeting technology, but most simple tech tasks are working just like before.
The game-changer for browser testing is also decades old and has been readily accessible for at least 10-15 years. That is ‘Virtual Machines’. At Cybernium we keep a number of VM images that startup in less than a minute and give us access to plenty of browser versions and operating systems combinations. Each one takes between 30-100GB of space and so dozens can fit on a single hard drive. Machines are so powerful these days that you can also run two or more side-by-side which is useful when fixing some browser issues while ensuring these fixes do not cause a problem on another browser and operating systems.
The benefits go far beyond just different browsers because most website issues these days come from device types more than browsers themselves which have gotten more uniform in the last few years. With a virtual machine, users can test combinations of screen sizes with different pixel scales, resolution, font installations and input devices.
In summary, for testing web browsers, it is business as usual even with COVID-19. The same for small web-development and small software projects.”
“I'm the co-founder of an automated regression testing tool called Reflect. Our platform enables QA testers, to create automated website tests, without writing code. Our customers continue to use our platform through this pandemic, as there's no installation required to use our service.”
Marcel Digital — Marketing Manager
“There's a tool out there that we always recommend called BrowserStack. We like it because it automates testing across over 2,000 web browsers, as well as real iOS and Android devices for cross-browser testing. It's used by some of the biggest names including Microsoft, Expedia, Harvard University, and more, and it even allows for mobile app testing. It even allows for geolocation testing, regressional testing, and testing in local environments. All of this can be done from the comfort of your own work from home or remote location.”
Intel — Senior Hardware & Software Engineer
I mainly used BrowserStack and think it is a great solution for QA during the COVID-19 lockdown worldwide. Using a cloud-based cross-browser testing platform makes work a lot easier, even though the tools cannot completely replace a live test. Therefore I always installed as many browsers as possible on a test computer.
Furthermore, I always tried to check cross-browser performance during development at regular intervals. Cloud-based cross-browser testing platforms simplified the whole process for me and my team. Looking forward to reading your article once published and hoping once more to have been able to contribute to the piece.”
“Running tests on your websites and progressive web applications should not be terribly affected while you’re working from home. But there are some great tools I use and they are free!
I am a huge fan of WebPageTest. It is a free online tool and you can run your site through different browsers, devices, and from different locations. It provides a giant battery of information about how a site loads. It is designed to spot performance issues, but I use it to identify all sorts of on-page/site technical problems. Typically slower web pages have many technical issues, which the tool helps sniff out. If you really want it is easy to create an AWS EC2 instance for private tests as there is an image available to clone.
Another free tool, maintained by the Microsoft Edge team, can be run remotely or locally as needed. You can visit Webhint for more details about the tool and of course, run a test. This tool focuses on your page's technical health and quality. It is a great compliment to WebPageTest. It has helped me uncover many fringe issues that allowed me to make my sites and PWAs better.
Lighthouse is another must-have tool. Not as thorough as the others, but it highlights issues. It can be run from your browser's dev tools, part of WebPageTest or from the command line. This is the core test Google uses for Page Speed analysis in your SEO ranking.
Finally, there is a new tool the Microsoft Edge team just released (still Beta I understand), called Playwright. The advantage of this tool is it can drive automated tests in Edge, Chrome and Firefox. It sort of supersedes Puppeteer (a Chrome only tool). This just dropped last week and I still have not had time to evaluate, but it looks very promising.”
Bit Developers-Founder and CEO
QA testing of your websites and your web applications should be business as usual. All testing should be done remotely for the most commonly used platforms and devices as well as ones your particular users use.
For our organization, we use virtual machines for all the common combinations of the operating system, browser version and screen sizes. Using virtualization allows us to test clean copies without the clutter of various software and plugins that may be used by our developers.
Also, with this, you no longer need to rely on physical machines.
All in All
After going through the article, I hope that you have a clearer sense of how to deal with your testing efforts in this crisis. Amongst all the expert’s opinions, two solutions were consistent- Using a Cloud-based testing platform or setting up a virtual machine.
Although opting for Cloud testing platforms like LambdaTest might mean that you’d have to spend money, they have an edge over virtual machines. Setting up Virtual Machines can be tedious and time-consuming, also you miss out on debugging tools or integration to your favorite project management tools to share any bugs with your team instantly.
That was all from my end, do reach out to us how you’re managing your testing efforts amidst this crisis. Happy Testing!!
Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.