Using the Cloud to Build the Perfect Mobile Tester: An Interview with Rachel Obstler


Rachel: I use an iPhone. I've gone back and forth since I'm in the industry of also trying an Android device, but I have an iPad and an iPhone right now.

Cameron: Hypothetically, let's say you have to hire the perfect mobile tester. What attributes does he or she have?

Rachel: I think one of the most important things is either an affinity for or knowledge of different mobile devices. When you're testing on a mobile device, especially if you're doing something like writing automation on a mobile device, it's really important to understand how they act.

You're writing a test and then in the middle of a test, a message pops up. That happens on mobile devices all the time. It could be anything. It could be someone sending a text by accident to that phone. It could be a software update that's now available. Really understanding how phones work and kind of those idiosyncrasies of phones is really helpful when you want to create a really good testing system for automation as well as manual testing.

Cameron: What are some attributes that would be detrimental for a mobile tester—that may be good for a regular tester but maybe not so much for a mobile tester?

Rachel: A lot of it depends on how you're doing your mobile testing. I know someone who's in QA who said that after testing all day on a mobile device, literally a device that they held in their hands, that they couldn't see. They actually lost their vision. It happens when you go skiing, you can get snow blind. Kind of the same idea with mobile devices—if you're going to test on the actual device, the screen is really small and it's actually not that easy to see it. So it's a bit of a challenge.

it's challenging sometimes to test on something with a much smaller screen. But I think what that leads to, again, is trying to find a platform where you can see it on your computer instead of in your hands, and that makes it a lot easier to use.

Cameron: Is there anything else you'd like to say to the attendees of STAREAST and the attendees of your presentation before they come to the conference?

Rachel: Sure. I'd like them to come to my session, which is going to be Thursday, May 8, at 1:30 p.m., and it's called "Mobile Testing in the Cloud."

Cameron: All right, thank you so much. Once again, this is Rachel Obstler and she'll be speaking at STAREAST 2014, which is May 4 through May 9. Thank you so much, Rachel.

Rachel: Thank you, Cameron.



Rachel Obstler is the senior director for Keynote's DeviceAnywhere platform. Rachel has more than ten years of experience in the wireless industry, working for companies ranging in size from startups to multinational corporations. She most recently managed the wireless data quality products at Telephia Inc. and has experience managing the products of various wireless technology companies, including Metawave Communication (smart antenna technology) and Enuvis (location technology). Rachel spent three years working with Lucent Technologies, where she managed and launched a billion-dollar product line of CDMA Base Stations.

Podcast Music: "Han Solo" (Captain Stu) / CC BY-NC-SA 3.0

User Comments

1 comment
Mukesh Sharma's picture

Thanks for the nice read, Rachel and Cameron. It is always exciting to hear what's in store in the mobile world, with such a dynamic landscape. Rachel - we have been working with a lot of clients and have been helping them with their mobile testing and test automation needs. What is your take on when and how to differentiate between using a real device and using one on the cloud, for testing? And also, good luck with your presentation.

April 16, 2014 - 5:51am

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