September 2019 | Mood Up team - software house
Bug testing illustration 1

Why is Mobile Application Testing Important?

 

With over 2 million apps on Google’s Play Store, and 1.84 million on Apple’s App store (statista, 2019) the battle for a piece of the $92.1 billion consumer spend (Businessofapps, 2018) will not be abetting anytime soon. This open for all app ecosystem has given the power to the users, letting them decide where their loyalties lie (a notoriously fickle thing) and spend money. 

The real question then is how do create the right conditions for a user to stay with you? The answer lies in how user experience focused the app is, the functionalities it offers and the flawlessness in which it operates. Think of questions such as does your mobile app work across different operating system versions? How does your app render on different devices, with different screen sizes and resolutions? Does the app match the usability expectations an end-user might have?

If it sounds like a tall order (and it is), you’re in the wrong business and will be part of the stats in the image below. Apps that are functional as they are aesthetic is now the norm and is why we at Mood Up put an unrelenting focus on testing each app we deploy for our clients. 

Mobile app uninstall rates
Data source – emarketer.com 

What are the real effects of mobile app testing?

The mobile app users of today are spoilt for choice and highly intolerant of any performance issues. Fail to ensure this and the user you just acquired after a sizable amount of marketing spend will uninstall and give you a negative rating in the same stride. It is to prevent such performance issues from materialising after the deployment of the product that QA engineers perform many tests while the product is in development. 

At its most basic form, the job of QA is to prevent the malfunction of the app that was completed as per the requirements. Such testing, however, is not a linear journey as the portion of the app that received the green light last week might not function today on account of an update from this week. The job of a QA team, therefore, is to stress the app and attempt to break it at every point in development so that it will not do so once it’s released to the users

The QA team utilizes many forms of testing to figure out the working of an app before forcing it to its limits. It’s their job to not only find issues in the code but also certain things that do not add value to the end-user. Some of the key factors to consider in mobile application testing includes

1. Selection of mobile devices – every app should have a certain target demographic and is why we sit down with our clients and ask some hard questions. The identification of these personas, preferences and usage patterns then allow us to understand the most suitable devices for testing via websites such as deviceatlas.

2. Network – testing the application under varying network conditions, to make them functional across challenging network scenarios. This is important when developing apps for nations that have varying degrees of internet connectivity.

3. Manual or automated – app testing can be done manually or via automation. Manual tests are performed by a Quality Assurance (QA) specialist to discover bugs in software under development. Such testing involves the checking of all essential features and generating test reports without the assistance of any automation software testing tools.

Automated tests in comparison are when testers write code/test scripts to automate test execution. These rely on a pre-scripted test which runs automatically and compares actual results with the expected results. Such an approach to testing as you can imagine can create cost savings and help deploy an app faster. 

4. Performance – Automated testing can be implemented to check the performance of an application and verify its behaviour by simulating mobile networks, usage behaviour, and testing user load by using as many concurrent users as required.

What are the tests we run to before deploying an app?

1. Usability testing – concerned with the design intuitiveness of the product and tested with users who have no prior exposure to it. Such testing is paramount to the success of an end product as a fully functioning app that creates confusion amongst its users will not last for long.

2. Security Testing – refers to the tests done to ensure the security of the app against given requirements. Doing so is pivotal in light of the spate of recent data breaches and regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).

BA Data Breach Fine 1
Not the reason you want to be in The Economist

3. Functional/compatibility testing – performed to ensure the app functions as it is expected to. The QA team, therefore, pores over each of the requirements expected of the app and creates a script for how it should perform. The actual performance of the app is then compared against the script and any unusual results are highlighted with the developers who will then work on a fix. Such functional tests are usually automated as doing this manually across many physical devices is a very complex and exhaustive process.

4. Localisation testing – tests the apps ability to integrate with the local culture, making sure the local language, time zones and calendars are all available and functional. Doing so is vital to the popularity of your app as the modification of content to suit the users’ needs will increase its usage compared to an app that does otherwise.

Don’t believe us? Take a look at the diversity of languages in countries with the most app downloads.

Country level app download growth
Sourced from AppAnnies State of Mobile 2019 report

5. Performance Testing – carried out to put the app through a battery of tests that will test the performance in varied conditions such as poor network connections (2G,3G,4G), low battery power and reduced memory.

6. Interrupt Testing – performed to observe how the app functions when it is interrupted during usage. The interruptions we test for include incoming/outgoing phone calls, messages, putting the phone on charge or removing it and drops in the network. A good app should be able to withstand all of these by putting itself into an idle state and allowing the user to continue from where they left off.

What’s the secret to making sure an app is bug free?

A good workflow between developers and app testers we feel is the most pivotal component of any app testing. This covers components such as the manner through which the testers highlight bugs in the code (screenshots or a video) to communication mediums (Trello, Slack, Github or a face to face meeting), ensuring the end software is one that meets all client requirements and functions consistently. 

Remember to quiz your software house on its quality assurance for digital products. A good software house should have set procedures and work processes in place to ensure its customers receive nothing but the best. 

macbook with Slack sticker 1

8 Slack etiquette tips you should know about

 

There was once a time when e-mails were considered the go-to tool for internal and external communication. Then came Slack, who carved itself a place as the preferred tool for internal communication, leaving emails for communicating with those outside the organisation. 

Slack for its part is a very useful tool for opening up communication and creating transparency throughout an organisation. It’s core features that facilitate instant communication, however, can be over/misused, leaving fellow coworkers very much frustrated. It is for this reason that we created a poll on Slack (the irony!) to evaluate the pet peeves of the Mood Up team. Heres what we found out. 

1. Posting irrelevant content on channels

Slack is a fantastic tool for segregating workplace communication, provided this communication happens on the channels they are reserved for. Such channels are created specifically to address certain areas of activities and should strictly be used for said purpose, as not doing so can create confusion amongst your coworkers. It will also be near impossible to find attachments or past conversations if they are posted on the wrong channels. 

Take a look at the below channels. One is where we book times for playing Bomberman and the other is for letting the management know of what we need from the supermarket.

Now imagine if I asked for more milk in the games channel!

Screenshot 2019 09 17 at 10.30.28

2. Slack bombing

Slack as I keep on repeating is heaven-sent for workplace communication. But there is such a thing as messaging etiquette and bombarding your coworker with numerous messages when you could have simply written it in one go is quite frankly irritating. Remember that their notifications will be pinging constantly when such messages are sent and might disrupt them from a very important task.

Save the Slack bombarding messaging tactic for when something is actually urgent.

Screenshot 2019 09 17 at 10.41.26

3. Messages outside work hours

Messages and emails outside work hours have been a thorny issue for many and this hasn’t changed with Slack. Keep the work communication on Slack during work hours and respect your coworkers time. 

Have a message that you have to send tonight, as you might forget tomorrow? Write the message but do not send it. These messages will be displayed with a pencil in the following morning (as I’ve shown below) allowing you to send them off with a press of a button.

Screenshot 2019 09 17 at 10.51.40

4. Not using threads

Slack has a very nifty feature which allows for the creation of a thread on any message sent on the channels and private messages. This is very helpful to keep all conversations related to a specific topic as with forums.

Not using these threads would make keeping track of conversations difficult and make coworkers meander needlessly. 

Take a look at Piotr’s request for some assistance that was answered immediately by the rest of the team, in one thread. 

Screenshot 2019 09 19 at 14.58.42

5. Using public channels for private chats

Public channels are for public use and not meant for discussing matters that could have been done so in a private chat. Remember, no one likes seeing communication that does not involve them as its a distraction.

6. Using company-wide mentions liberally

Sharing pictures of cute doggos is great for relieving stress. Just make sure that you use mentions such as @Channel and @Here sparingly since those alert all your co-workers and not everyone would like to be interrupted during their work to see a picture of a cute pupper you discovered on the internet.  

adorable animal breed 1108099

7. Leaving messages in the air 

Mentions should be used sparingly, but also when you need them. Not doing so when needed is akin to throwing questions or comments in the air and will give you no answers. See below example 

Screenshot 2019 09 17 at 11.39.54

Sending a message such as this where I need Bart’s help is not useful as he would not receive my request for help. Mentioning Bart on my question, however, will ensure that he is notified. 

Screenshot 2019 09 17 at 11.40.12

8. Not acknowledging messages 

Slack loved by many due to its ability to allow instant communication between coworkers. The coworkers, therefore, need do their part and acknowledge any messages received as failing to do so can have the other party waiting for a reply (as with an email, ugh). 

Remember that acknowledging a message doesn’t always have to be via a very wordy sentence. I use ✅ to acknowledge the receipt of a message, 👀 to show that I will think about it and 🚫 to say no. 

To conclude

Slack is a wonderful tool for workplace communication, provided you don’t use it akin to a social media channel. Follow these tips, establish certain communication standards with the team and you will notice an incredible jump in your productivity and overall liability at work.

Do you have any Slack etiquette tips to add? Let us know in the comments below! 

Header image source- Giorgio Minguzzi

illustration with 5 stars 1

Why you should look at reviews before picking a software house

 

Creating and launching a successful mobile app is no easy feat and one of the main reasons for app failure is mobile app complexity.  To create a beautifully designed app, many developers will create a product that becomes too complex to use. At Mood Up Team, we go by the motto that “less is more” and work with our clients to make sure their apps are easy to use, do not crash, and look enticing to customers. 

But how will you, as a seeker of a software house for your app know all this? By reading our reviews of course!

To develop successful mobile apps for our clients, we rely on customer feedback and reviews. We appreciate companies like Clutch, a ratings and review website for B2B service providers who ranked us as a top mobile app development company in Poland in 2019! Mood Up Team is also proud to be in the top 100 of Internet of Things developers around the world on Clutch’s sister site, The Manifest. 

One of our satisfied clients recently left a review on Clutch’s platform. This client asked us to create an iOS/Android self-help app that allows users to access coaching sessions, log thoughts, and prepare for future goals. 

Clutch review Moodupteam

We created a Slack channel with the client to maintain constant communication and keep everyone accountable so that we may deliver the product on-time. This client gave us 5 stars in the “willing to refer category” and wrote in the review that they would definitely work with Mood Up Team in the future to create another app. 

Not only was our client happy with this self-help app, but the app itself was also met with positive user feedback! We worked with this client after the app launched to get updates on user experience to ensure our app was not difficult to use. 

Another satisfied client was an insurance company for whom we developed a native iOS and Android app that could interact with security equipment, provide direct contact with technical support, and enable customers to monitor insurance status. 

Clutch review Moodupteam project

In their review above, the CEO of the insurance company wrote that “the app has enabled the software to work across multiple systems.” and gave credit for our experience, diligence and communication skills. 

Such reviews help improve our business processes and allow our clients to hear third party feedback about our work. This is important as app development if done wrong can end up being a costly affair and should be an important consideration when picking a software house.  We continue to work with our clients based on their reviews as with our apps as a successful project is one where all stakeholders are happy with the outcome.  

Considering 32% of small businesses have an app, businesses recognize the value that apps offer.  Contact us today about how we can provide app development solutions to grow your business.

Colleagues at work highfive 1

7 reasons Poland is the best place to outsource developers

 

If you are reading this article, it’s safe to assume that you are doing so with purpose and seek to have a software product developed. The expectations you have of the software development partner, therefore, would be a history of successful products, a commitment to quality, great communication standards and flexible costs. These are all areas in which Polish software houses excel and the reason Poland is fast becoming the tech powerhouse in Europe. 

Don’t take our word for it, take a look at the data yourself. 

1. High quality IT education and abundance of skilled developers

Poland as per the World Bank is among the top three fastest-growing economies in the European Union, with inflation under control and strong wage growth.

The year 2017/2018 saw close to 70,000 students studying IT in Polish universities as per GUS (Central Statistical Office in Poland). These students upon graduation will join an already sizable population of developers, which in 2017 numbered to 254,000

We invite you to take a look at the breakdown of the number of developers in Central & Eastern Europe. Where do you see an abundance of developers?

developer population of central and estern europe

But are these developers good? Do all of these find jobs? Yes and yes, as per the World Bank who cites Poland’s unemployment rate below 4%

2. Polish developers work with the latest tech stacks 

Poland has always been a hub of innovation, but this was largely throttled during the period of occupation by the soviets. The fall of the iron curtain, however, saw Poland surge ahead to catch up on the latest technologies and is why Polish developers are not held back by system thinking and old mental models created from work on legacy technologies. 

This is the reason why Poland ranks in the top 3 amongst nations with the best developers in research conducted by HackerRank

countries with the best developers

3. Polish software is a testament to how quality code can also be moderately priced

Costs are important and we don’t blame you for being wary of pricey software developers as the top priority of any project manager is to minimise the spend and maximise the returns. The real question, however, is quality code and good rates mutually exclusive? 

Median salary for developers by experience

The answer as per the latest data from stackoverflow is yes if you look to get your software developed in nations that are traditionally associated with high-quality developers. This is reinforced by the many horrors stories floating around about how companies that opted for cheap outsourcing in India and China were left stranded with overblown budgets and no discernible results to show. 

Now take a look at the median salary per month of the developers in Poland

median and salary distribution monthly poland software engineer

12,395 PLN (local currency) which is the highest median salary per month for Polish software developers is around 3132 USD as per XE.com. The cost of hiring a highly skilled software developer per year, therefore, would be around 37584 USD. 

4. English is the de facto programmer language and Polish developers are darn good at it 

Communication with your developers is pivotal and the preferred language for most clients is English. The Poles rank 13th in the 2018 EF English Proficiency Index, with 62.45, study English as a compulsory second language and do not seem to be slowing down on their English entertainment consumption anytime soon. 

EF English Proficiency Index

The number of developers who are proficient in English is close to 100% as it is the de facto language for communicating, filing tickets, contacting tech support, code comments and documentation. Companies such as ours also invest in English lessons for our employees as we are firm believers in continuous professional development. 

This mindset and capacity to learn are perhaps why many big players such as Microsoft, IBM, Oracle and Google have their R&D and software departments in Poland. 

5. Poland is in the centre of Europe 

One of the key reasons Poland is fast becoming the preferred location for software outsourcing is its central location in Europe. Poznan, a popular IT hub in which we are based, is a 3-hour drive from Berlin and 2 hours by flight from London. All other European cities are equally close and pose no travel difficulties owning to the many airlines that fly back and forth. 

Just take a look at the flight routes of LOT, the national airline of Poland. 

LOT Europe Routes

But what if you live in North America? Well, the flight is considerably longer, but we are only a mere 6 hours ahead of Washington and 9 hours in front of California. 

This time difference is very useful as it allows us to give a report of the work in progress, which the client can read throughout the day and provide feedback, just in time for when we return to work the next day. Win-win!

6. Very little cultural differences

Poland’s culture is very similar to those you would find in the rest of Europe, so you won’t encounter any drastic changes in the manner we do business, conduct negotiations and deliver the services you require of us. Communication is smooth and without hitches due to our high proficiency in English, ensuring no surprises are waiting at the end of the development due to misunderstandings. 

This existing culture is strengthened and added to by a rapid influx of foreign students who now opt to study in Poland. These students as you can imagine study in English across many disciplines and enter into the Polish labour force (IT mainly).

foreign students in poland numbers and facts

7. Poland complies with EU regulations on intellectual protection 

Poland is part of The World Trade Organisation, the Patent Cooperation Treaty, the European Union and takes a very strict approach to protect intellectual property (IP). Europe’s standards on IP comply with those of the United States, giving you peace of mind in the knowledge that your product and all its data are safe from any undue harm.

Conclusion

Outsourcing or nearshoring your software development to a company outside the boundaries of your nation can be a tough decision. But rest assured if you do decide to invest in your product with a Polish company after doing some diligent research and asking the right questions. Polish developers are young, eager to learn, adapt easily, speak English, highly skilled and is a testament to how quality code can be delivered at reasonable prices.