As you've seen from my blogs, I am passionate about testing, and its future. But, barriers can make a testing environment hard to navigate.
I've brought to light issues of multiple vendors and their proprietary scripts, lack of a single repository for test results and inadequate staffing. Next on my radar is accessibility.
I discussed the concept of a single repository that can house all test results for all equipment and all engineers. But, what good is that repository if it is not easily accessible? Often, the people who need this database are offsite, around the world, in a different time zone or maybe just caught up in meetings.
Another issue I've highlighted is the equipment. It typically lies idle or in static operation for about 16 hours a day, plus weekends and holidays. Seems like a giant waste of resources.
But, the Internet has changed that. With just a web-enabled interface, you have access to the world! Now you can get to anything, anywhere with just everyday tools. 7x24 access means better resource utilization, which test labs desperately need.
Test labs need a tool that lets developers and testers access, manage and automate multiple test scripts for VoIP, IMS, IPTV, PSTN, and wireless devices, at any time, from anywhere. It is not uncommon for test organizations to develop test automation tools in some form or another using TCL, Perl scripts, bash scripts, etc., however developing and maintaining a fully featured test automation framework and environment is often beyond the core competency, budget, and/or resource capacity of many test organizations.
How about one that runs on any windows or UNIX platform and connects to any device (Telnet, SSH, serial port, or command shell)? Or, one that offers multi-user Web GUI access using any browser, like Firefox, IE6, IE7, Safari, Opera, Chrome or Netscape, from any Internet browser-capable device, including a PC, MAC, UNIX or Linux servers, iPhone, PDA, or G1 mobile device. This approach should require no software to be installed and maintained on the user's device, thus eliminating the pain of keeping all the user computers up to date.
Once you can access, monitor, and control your test lab from anywhere, and manage all the devices under test (DUT) and devices involved in test (DIT), you can design and build test cases, and execute simple test procedures or create more complex test scenarios limited only by the testers' imagination.
And, these tests can run 7x24, which maximizes the equipments' ROI and certainly speeds up the test processes to speed time to market, which is really what management is measured on!
So, I'm anxious to hear any ideas you may have on this topic!