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A Babel Fish for Testing

By John Bates

John Bates

John Bates - 2 May 2018

It used to be that software testers could test their applications on just one platform, and only have to worry about testing that the code worked.

Now, with the proliferation of myriad devices and platforms: mobile, web, internet of things (IoT), and technology fragmentation in general, testing the code doesn’t always mean that your app is working the way it should — or in the way that your users expect. And if you aren’t wowing your users, you’re not helping the business succeed.

Those of you familiar with “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” will remember the Babel Fish that you stick in your ear to provide a universal translator. We need that same kind of universal translator in QA to take the concept of testing user journeys in a particular application and translate it across the matrix of complexity on which modern applications are built. This complexity matrix includes: 

  • Multiple platforms: iPhone, Android, Windows, Linux, Mac, mainframe
  • Multiple devices: phones, tablets, laptops, game consoles
  • Multiple touchpoints: APIs, UIs, objects, robots, IoT devices, voice recognition devices (Alexa, Google Home, Siri)
  • Multiple measures: functionality, performance, and user experience

Testing all this manually isn’t just impractical — it’s not productive, it’s not ideal for providing an exceptional user experience, and it’s not good for business success. Modern testing platforms don’t just execute scripts; they interface between frameworks, languages, and touchpoints.

The Babel Fish in this case is a fusion engine — a test automation engine that can, within the same script or scriptless model, control and interface with APIs, UIs, objects, robots, IoT devices, voice interfaces, and more. It can take a test and run it across multiple platforms and multiple devices without the need to change the test — so the engine can control and adapt to different target test environments. And the engine analyzes the user journeys against not just whether they work as specified but whether they perform correctly, including under load. Not to mention whether they offer a wonderful user experience that delights end users.

Such a fusion engine approach is critical in today’s modern CI/CD development and testing cycles. Creating this Babel Fish for testing is the approach we have uniquely taken at Eggplant. Get your free trial or request a demo.