by Jay Lyerly, CEO of Oak City Labs

According to new research, Americans check their phones every 12 minutes. And what are they doing on their phone? Well, 90% of their mobile time is spent on apps.

Pretty good news for someone like you wanting to build an app, right? But, if you want to make some headway in this multi-billion dollar industry, two things need to happen:

  1. Your app needs to work.
  2. People need to enjoy using your app. 

Sounds simple and obvious, but knowing is easier than executing. If you want to compete and succeed, you need to have a better understanding of how to build a functional app that can grow with you and will get you 5-star reviews all day long in the app store. 

And it all starts with unit testing. Keep reading to learn the reasons why it’s important to test your app early during development and what questions to ask a developer who’s building your application.

Why Mobile Application Testing is Important

Reason 1: It helps you manage risks

At Oak City Labs, we see applications come in all the time with absolutely no history of testing.

Most of the time, it’s due to working with an inexperienced developer, someone who’s early on in their career and doesn’t understand the value of testing. And sometimes, it’s the organization that doesn’t understand how necessary testing is, and slices it out of the scope to save some coin.

However, of all the steps you take during your app development process, and all the services you invest in to build your app, testing is one of the most important.

Testing helps you manage risks. That’s really what it’s all about.

As your product grows and develops new features, it becomes more complex. If you have solid unit testing, you can rest assured that as you add new features, you’re not going to break existing functionality.

Testing also lets you know that your app will continue to work as expected as your features and product evolve.

Reason 2: It fixes your bug problems

Much like glue traps and pest repellent spray, testing helps your app developer monitor your app for bugs and create tests to address them.

For example, with apps we’re building, if we encounter a bug, we write a test for it (the purpose of that test is to fail), and that lets us illustrate to ourselves and our clients what went wrong.

After we fix the bug, we conduct another test to demonstrate that the solution we chose was the correct one and will ensure the bug doesn’t reoccur in the future.

Reason 3: It helps you stay in compliance

With a health and wellness app, you’re likely in an environment where you need to stay in compliance with HIPAA and other regulations. And by codifying some of those compliance workflows and rules in your unit testing, you can make sure that as you grow, and your app becomes more complex, you stay in compliance. 

Questions to Ask Your Developer About Unit Testing

As you can see, it’s important to start testing early.

As soon as you start writing code that’s not tested, you begin to dig a hole of technical debt. The more code you write, the bigger that hole gets. Later on, you’re going to spend a lot of time (and money) filling that hole back in.

Many codebases that don’t have code fall into this trap. Their code has gotten too big, and the developer can’t fill it in. So, it’s important to stay ahead of the game with your testing.

When you’re talking to a developer who might work with you on building your application, here are some questions you can ask to learn more about how much value they place on unit testing and the process for doing so:
• Do you test?
• What kind of testing do you do?
• When do you test? 

Testing is an investment in the future of your health & wellness app.

Unit testing takes work, but it’s important to ensure you have a stable and reliable app that can grow with you.

A quality software development team will embrace testing as a tool to make sure that your product can make an impact, and customers will love using it — now and as you grow. 

Building a health & wellness app? Read our free guide, The Impact of the ‘World’s Largest Work-From-Home-Experiment,” to learn how you can be on the front lines of COVID-19 innovation. Download it here.

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