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Webinar Recap: The Internet of Things and Its Impact on Testing Webinar

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Thank you to everyone who registered and joined us for our webinar on The Internet of Things and Its Impact on Testing! We knew this would be a popular topic and one that many people would want to learn about, and the registration and attendance numbers showed just that. We are very proud and ecstatic that you found our content valuable for your teams and your organizations!

The Internet of Things is something that all software developers and testers need to be aware of. There is no denying the impact it already has on our daily lives, and as we saw in the webinar, it's projected growth is astronomical! It might just be a buzzword to many or something that people view as novelty destined to fade, but IoT is here to stay and it is revolutionizing the way that software is being developed and tested.

And by the turnout for the webinar, many of you realize it is something you need to be ready for! We had more than 1400 registrants for this webinar and we can't thank everyone enough for taking time out of their busy schedules to listen to the material we prepared for you. As we do with all of our webinars, we ran several polls and were happy to see that participation rates continue to increase. These answers provide very valuable answers that not only guide future webinars we can prepare for you, but they also offer our panelists the chance to offer additional insight with how these answers compare to their personal experiences.

The first poll we ran measured the impact IoT has on your day-to-day testing activities and the results were quite interesting! Approximately 40% of attendees know the term "Internet of Things," but still aren't quite sure what it is, while another 42% are aware of what IoT is, but don't believe it has an impact on their jobs as testers. With the rapid growth of IoT, we are sure that those testing processes and efforts are sure to be altered in some way. And the second poll we ran gauged your primary concerns with IoT in future and, as we expected security is the primary concern with 51% of attedees selecting that option. Automation came in second at 25%, and this is perfect because the second part of our IoT webinar series will cover automation and security. That webinar will be taking place in July, so be sure to register and save your spot!

We would like to thank Joe Colantonio from TestTalks and Bob Crews from Checkpoint Technologies. Their participation and expertise were integral in making this webinar as successful and insightful as it was!

Be sure to keep checking back as we have these thought leadership webinars every month! Next month we have part II of our IoT webinar series and it will cover your concerns regarding security and automation. If you enjoyed our first webinar on IoT and want to learn more, you need to register!

Also, don't forget to download our white paper on The Internet of Things and Software Testing!

Below you can find answers from Shailesh to the questions asked during the webinar:

  • Q: Exist some collaborative project available at this time to learn or contribute??
  • A: It's a very wide subject and it would be good to narrow your focus on areas that you want to focus. Some projects that you can probably consider are Parse (from Facebook), Kaa (http://kaaproject.org/)

 

  • Q: How is the Internet of Everything different from IoT? Please give examples.
  • A: IoE is the superset. In other words, IoT is one of of the components of IoE

 

  • Q: Does IoT involve white box testing for eg embedded prog lang etc?
  • A: White box would be ideal but at the very least, testers would be required to understand next level of details around OS, firmware, hardware configuration, connectivity protocols, so as to provide complete test coverage. Some industry experts start calling it gray box testing.

 

  • Q: Other than manual or checklist, which are tools available for testing?
  • A: This is a relatively new and unexplored territory. Not very many tools exists that can be reused. Most devices either have home grown concoctions or relying on manual testing.

 

  • Q: How overall it affect the Test Management? Especially regression & functional testing.
  • A: It will add many more flavors to those existing types of testing categories.

 

  • Q: Future of IoT devices in Logistics field?
  • A: We are definitely seeing major changes in this area already. Technology to track shipments in real time, ability to track transit path taken, goods condition (temperature, shock, pressure etc) during transit etc are already available. Along with this, there are first generation of analytics are also being developed. There is lot more scope to come up with innovative business models and more analytical intelligence.

 

  • Q: Does it require embedded electronics knowledge for testers?
  • A: It wont be a requirement however it will be immensely helpful to know, understand the landscape to be able to better comprehend increasing complexity of this new system.

 

Below you can find answers from Bob to the questions asked during the webinar:

  • Q: What experience you would need for IOT testing? Just manual with domain test would be fine or anything else?
  • A: Great question.  Having expertise in manual testing in specific domains is a great start.  Strong usability testing experience is an asset because it shows an understanding and appreciation of the importance of UX (User Experience).  Add to that any type of experience and expertise in test planning or testing involving a test subject.  So think of testing systems and applications which, even if you were the one that designed and planned the test, required the person who actually executed the test to have SME expertise which you do or did not have (such as piloting a plan, performing a surgical procedure, etc.). Obviously, a deep understanding of IoT, smart devices, what makes a device “smart”…all help.

 

  • Q: Could we use simulators for testing the wireless sensor network  implementation? How close they are with real implementation testing? Are there any automation tools available for testing the simulated deployment?
  • A: Yes, you can use simulators for testing wireless sensor networks.  I personally prefer to avoid using simulators and emulators whenever possible but I know that sometimes we have no other choice.  (For example if you want to test flying a jet upside down you have no choice but to use a simulator.  Just to clarify the difference between emulator and simulator:  an emulator is a complex application that emulates real mobile device software, hardware and OS, allowing to test and debug applications and behaves exactly like something else; a simulator is a less complex application that simulates internal behavior of device, but does not emulate hardware and does not work over the real OS and it behaves similar to something else.  Both are improving every day and are becoming closer to real implementation testing in many ways.  In regard to your third question – there are numerous automation solutions available that you can use to automate processes within a simulator or simulated environment but, depending upon the simulation conditions and scenarios you’d like to automate it just may not be possible.  Even if it is possible it may not be practical (cost effective).  Many automation solutions can be used against a simulator or emulator.  It really depends on the automation solution you are using, your level of automation expertise, and what it is you’re trying to automate.

 

  • Q: How much IOT will affect Retail Business? 
  • A: Significantly!  Based on investments in sensors and sensory technology, which is used to determine and gauge the forward thinking in regard to investing in IoT, the Retail Industry is 4th out of the top ten industries.  The IoT will play a role in the smart devices will be used to track shoppers in retail stores, monitor traffic, and adjust signage throughout the store accordingly.  In some retail outlets your mobile device could very well be being used now.  Have you ever been in a store walking through the apparel department when suddenly you receive a text or email with a coupon for clothing in that store?  You may have downloaded an application from that retailer and, placing a cookie on you mobile device, they turned you phone into an IoT smart device.

 

  • Q:Any other Example for IOT other than Medical?
  • A: You bet.  A few we showed and discussed during the webinar.  Marine biologists at the University of Hawaii are using IoT devices to gather information on sharks.  Verizon, ATT, and several other providers are using devices within cell towers to track and provide data on its subscribers, the transportation industry is using it to monitor traffic and traffic patterns in order to better predict traffic and control, or improve, traffic flow by controlling traffic lights (when they’re red, yellow, or green and for how long).  The agriculture industry is using smart devices to gather real-time data on their crops (soil composition, moisture level, plant density, etc.) to better irrigate and fertilize those crops on-demand!  Luxury home builders are including IoT home sensors as add-on.  These sensors have the ability to act as security systems, climate control systems, and much more.

 

  • Q:How do we test the performance for IOT?
  • A: Testing the performance in regard how long it takes for data to be transmitted from the monitor or transmitting device to the machine or device collecting the data is relatively simple and can be accomplished with a number of performance testing solutions as long as it can integrate with the sending device and monitor the receiving device.  The bigger challenge is performance testing when measuring the performance during high volume - in regard to the number of users at any given time that could be transmitting data.  Monitoring of the data sent/received over the network, integration with the transmitting device, and the ability to “mimic” virtual users are all necessary.  There are numerous robust performance testing solutions available today with these capabilities but it really depends upon the device(s) you are testing.  If these capabilities are not present then you may be forced to utilize emulation or simulation.

 

  • Q: Also is there any simulator where we can check applications and do some testing?
  • A: I would need to know the system/application you are testing.  There are simulators available in numerous industries (aeronautical, marine, medical, etc.).  There is an excellent likelihood that a simulator is available that can assist with your testing.

 

  • QA few devices that we are discussing are designed for IoT; How many of the existing devises like TV, Car, Refrigerator, Door Knob are expected to be joining IoT?
  • A: I know that TVs, cars, and refrigerators already either have smart device capabilities or have such capabilities planned for the very near future.  For TVS they are working on technology that can monitor who is watching and based on that information the TV will then suggest or even restrict the TV programming.  If children are watching then no adult programs.  If a family is watching then family shows will be recommended.  For automobiles there is already the technology available, but not yet offered in our vehicles, to determine who is driving and based on this the climate, sound system, and driving features will all be automatically adjusted.  For refrigerators, Catalina Marketing, is working on technology to inventory items as they are entered into and removed from the refrigerator.  It will then offer a shopping list based on the inventory and, in addition, it will utilize the data in regard to what is needed to print up-to-date coupons directly from the refrigerator!  I don’t know of anything for door knobs…yet.  But I would not be surprised to know something is in development.

 

  • Q: How’s "the wild" environment would be set up and controlled?
  • A: Excellent question and one I should have clarified during the webinar.  If you’re performing true “in the wild” testing (or “field testing”) the only way to control it is by utilizing proper planning and process control.  Typically, “in the wild” testing is needed because of the numerous and extreme variables that must be considered as valid scenarios and conditions in order to truly validate the functionality and performance of your IoT application/system.  The best way to do this, whenever possible, is with “in the wild” testing.  Having a diverse test team is critical.  By diverse I mean situated such that your testers have access to these variables and extreme conditions.  For example, imagine we have an application for which we must validate in the following weather conditions:
    1. iii.Temperature less than 32 degrees with humidity less than 50%
    2. ii.Temperature greater than 90 degrees with humidity greater than 80%
    3. i.Temperature of greater than 105 degrees with humidity less than 50%
  • It’s best to have testers that can test “in the wild” located in Arizona, Florida, and Alaska (respectively).  We set up and control our testing not only by utilizing sound testing practices and designing robust, detailed tests but also by when and where we test.