4 Principles for scalable mobile test automation

4 Principles for scalable mobile test automation

Curiosity Software
3 min readApr 5


Welcome to Part 4/5 in our “Scalable Mobile Test Automation” series!

So far, we’ve seen how the astronomical rise in mobile use calls for an evolution in testing strategy, and how the “combinatorial explosion” created by mobile risks straining teams who have historically achieved 15–20% automation rates [1].

Having now also identified key mistakes to avoid from the history of web and desktop test automation, let’s now consider principles to follow when crafting your mobile test automation strategy.

Part 2 analysed the growing demand for automation, quantifying the vast “combinatorial explosion” created by mobile use. It explored how combining devices, operating systems, browsers and more can quickly create trillions of new permutations that might require testing.

To meet this demand, mobile test automation must learn from the decades-long history of test automation. It must avoid the mistakes of “manual” test automation, which has succeeded in automating just a fraction of tests to date.

Want to read all five parts of the series now? Download Curiosity’s latest eBook, How to Scale Mobile Test Automation.

4 Principles for Mobile Test Creation

The good news is, there are many fantastic tools and open source projects available today for executing mobile tests at scale. They include cloud-based device labs, along with best-of-breed test automation frameworks and mobile test libraries.

Scaling mobile test creation does not mean replacing these best-of-breed tools, nor the quality code you’ve written to test your systems. Scalable test creation instead works as an accelerator alongside these tools, reusing, combining and parameterising test automation to target testing “just in time”.

The following principles are designed to implement test automation creation that can scale to test mobile’s vast permutations rapidly and rigorously:

  1. Reusability: Apply the Don’t Repeat Yourself (DRY) principle to test automation. Componentise and write code once, making it parameterizable to cover different scenarios, devices, browsers and platforms.
  2. Automate: Meeting mobile’s combinatorial explosion calls for automated test creation, dynamically combining actions to cover an array of scenarios.
  3. Optimise: In-sprint mobile testing cannot be exhaustive. It must instead target an optimal blend of logic and devices. This calls for a systematic and automated approach to test prioritisation, leveraging algorithmic techniques to cover the right blend of tests and devices.
  4. Communicate: Document clearly what’s being tested, working collaboratively with system designers and developers to avoid silos, get fast feedback, test early and reduce rework.

Automate and target mobile testing

Rigorous mobile test automation can’t be exhaustive, and it can’t be manual. It must be automated and targeted, maximising reusability and collaboration to avoid duplicate effort and rework. The final article in this series will consider how these principles can be put into practice, automatically generating tests that dynamically target an optimal blend of logic and devices.

Read all five parts of this series in Curiosity’s latest eBook,How to Scale Mobile Test Automation.

About the author: Thomas Pryce is the Communications Manager at Curiosity. He has been with Curiosity since 2018, where he enjoys researching and advising on test data, test automation, and SDLC transformations.


[1] Capgemini, Sogeti (2022), The World Quality Report 2021–22, P. 23. Retrieved from https://www.capgemini.com/insights/research-library/world-quality-report-wqr-2021-22/ on December 12 th2022.

Originally published at https://www.curiositysoftware.ie.



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