A device lab in the heart of innovation

We are proud to announce the arrival of Open Web Technology’s first Wall of Device. This new software testing station, located in our EPFL campus office, provides a quick and easy solution for the daily needs of developers to perform cross-device and cross-browser testing.

In the world of software development, it is common knowledge that the consequences of poor testing can be utterly dire for any digital entreprise. The most known exemple happened in 1962, when NASA lost a stunning 80 million US$ due to the explosion of the Mariner I, which was intended to fly by Venus, because of the simple omission of a hyphen in the code. Indeed, the identification of a bug in the development phase can cost up to 50'000 times less to deal with than if it were found in the production phase. We at Open Web Technology are firm believers that testing processes must be performed meticulously, iteratively and efficiently to minimize the risk.

Another present issue in the field is the amount of time that quality assurance takes to be done properly. Indeed, if automated testing is necessary to build quality code over time, manual and end-to-end testing will always be essential when developing new features. Yet, with currently over 25'000 different android devices and more than 75 iOS devices in existence, it is practically impossible for developers to guarantee perfect cross-device responsiveness. Adding to that the requirement to verify compatibility with at least the 10 most used browsers there is only so much software engineers can do with limited time and resources. 

At OpenWT, we brought in the Wall of Device in order to provide our developers with a suitable solution to these problems. After conducting a thorough market analysis, we decided to build a device lab on our premises to optimise our quality assurance processes. Using a robust cross-browser and cross-device synchronization tool, we linked all of our office's test devices: this allows us to test our developments simultaneously on as many devices and browsers as we need. In our analysis, we also determined the list of the 15 most used devices today that would fit our end-user base.

With that in place, we now manage to:

  • Identify and fix bugs with ease and at record speeds
  • Reduce the risk of missing browser or device related inconsistencies
  • Dedicate more budget to concrete development
  • Optimize the utility and accessibility of our test devices

Our team will keep on working towards the improvement of this station, with the main priority set to integrate native app testing.