Misconceptions About No-Code Mobile App Testing
We're at the forefront of a no-code revolution, and plenty of misconceptions exist. Here are six that I've personally encountered.
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It's no secret that a No-Code Revolution is afoot, bringing with it a wide variety of new approaches and solutions that were once impossible. Some of the more visible examples of this ongoing shift are websites like Squarespace and Wix, allowing users to produce websites without any knowledge of code. Still, a wide variety of other solutions are also finding their way into the domains of specialists, including formerly tedious and complex areas like the medical industry and testing the apps we use throughout our daily lives.
However, as with any fundamental shift in the technological landscape, the No-Code Revolution is sometimes met with misconceptions. Some of the criticisms I've encountered are valid—no-code is, after all, an evolving and developing technology—but others are based on the reception of older forms of the technology, and others are simple misunderstandings.
In this article, I'd like to discuss six different misconceptions I've personally encountered at the forefront of the No-Code Revolution. While these misconceptions may be specific to my background—no-code mobile app testing—specialists in other industries may find that these sound familiar with what they're experiencing.
So, in no particular order, let's take a look:
1. No-Code Is More Expensive
I have witnessed the curious claim that no-code is somehow more expensive than manual code more than a few times. While I'm uncertain from where this notion ultimately derives, I suspect that it's due to the initial sticker cost of introducing no-code solutions over the traditional status quo. No-code's upfront cost can seem daunting when an operation has relied on other processes.
However, as staffing becomes increasingly challenging and companies turn their attention to receiving a return on their investments, it becomes more obvious that business-as-usual is simply not going to cut it. In turn, I've seen much less of this discussion over the last few years, and very little of it during the uncertain landscape of difficult hiring and layoffs we've seen over the past year in particular.
2. No-Code Can't Handle Complex Scenarios
This one is more of a mixed bag. At this time, it's true that not all testing cases are appropriate for no-code mobile app testing. For example, games running on Unity don't make for great no-code mobile app testing cases.
Yet most mobile app testing needs fit quite easily into the latest crop of no-code mobile app testing solutions. Beyond testing non-game mobile apps and specialized approaches like virtual or augmented reality, no-code can increasingly do it all. And it's just a matter of time before no-code app testing conquers the specialized scenarios required of those rapidly changing—and often experimental—app categories.
3. No-Code Isn't Customizable for My Use Case
This one is, in many ways, quite similar to misconception number two. I suspect this stems from an earlier version of no-code. In truth, no-code mobile app testing has grown leaps and bounds over the last year.
At Sofy, the company I founded and lead, we've witnessed tremendous change and vastly expanded capabilities for our no-code mobile app testing platform over the last year alone. I have no doubt that every other no-code mobile app testing platform in the space has witnessed the same.
4. No-Code Cannot Be Governed
One of the major goals of contemporary no-code solutions is integration with existing systems. Nobody wants to introduce something that breaks or doesn't play nice with their favorite CI/CD setup. On the other hand, nobody wants to introduce a new approach into their ecosystem that cannot be governed. Fortunately, nowadays, no-code solutions generally support the systems development lifecycle (SDLC).
5. No-Code Cannot Scale
This makes for one of the biggest misunderstandings on this list. In reality, no-code mobile app testing is in a place today where it can handle any scale, from the smallest testing job up to the biggest—and with ease. This may have been a limitation in the past, but it is certainly not today.
The ability to scale with testing needs is one of no-code's greatest strengths over traditional manual-coded approaches and a primary area in which companies see huge ROI when introducing no-code mobile app testing. In a period in which ROI is suddenly a big focus for so many companies, this is a huge strength.
6. No-Code Requires Lots of Maintenance
A sixth big misconception I've encountered is that a no-code mobile app requires a lot of nannying and maintenance, like requiring QA teams to recreate a scenario instead of changing code (that is, file replacement). Perhaps a remnant of earlier phases of no-code testing, this simply isn't the case today.
One of the major benefits of no-code mobile app testing is how little it requires of the tester over traditional manual-code automated testing. Of course, everyone needs to shift left as early in production as possible and to test as much as possible. Still, nobody wants to spend their time fiddling with automation, and this is certainly another area where no-code testing truly excels.
Understanding and Observing Evolution
No-code may seem novel, but it's really not: No-code approaches—whether in the context of testing or otherwise—resulting from a natural and even predictable process known as abstraction. Through this process, the complex becomes simple, allowing users to spend less time setting the stage for things to happen and more time making things happen.
For example, today, we take the operating system's benefits for granted. Whether we're using Microsoft's Windows, Apple's macOS and/or iOS, or Google's Android, many of us interact with tools via operating systems throughout our day and don't think a second thought about it. No one needs to know the code to use a computer or a mobile device. It feels entirely natural. We have abstraction to thank for this.
Like the early days of those well-known interfaces, no-code testing solutions are experiencing rapid innovation, change, and updates. They will continue to do so until another layer of abstraction occurs in the future. In the meantime, I advise avoiding painting no-code—a rapidly developing and expanding technology—with any preconceived notions.
If the history of abstraction is any indication, I expect we'll only see more and more no-code solutions, with them, fewer misconceptions.
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