Innovating Mobile Testing: 42Gears Game-Changer AstroFarm with Prakash Gupta

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Prakash Gapta Innovating in mobile testing, a man and woman stand confidently in front of a microphone while promoting the 42Gears Game-Changer AstroFarm for test guild.

About This Episode:

In this exciting episode, join Joe Colantonio and the founder of 42Gears, Prakash Gupta, as we share how to overcome many mobile testing challenges. Prakash shares his expertise on the innovative use of nightly builds in the CI/CD workflow at AstraFarm and discusses the critical need for running tests on specific devices before code promotion. Our discussion also explores the huge cost-effectiveness and device variations of utilizing private device farms, particularly in industries with unique hardware needs like retail, hospitality, and healthcare. You'll also discover the security benefits for regulated industries and gain valuable insights into the game-changing AstroFarm platform developed by 42Gears. Prakash provides an in-depth look at how the platform streamlines device access and collaboration, especially in remote work environments. Additionally, we learn about the platform's features, security certifications, and the latest industry trends, including AI's impact on testing mobile devices.

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Key Topics Covered

  • Introduction to TestGuild Automation Podcast
  • Goal of providing actionable end-to-end automation advice for testers with diverse devices
  • Introduction to Guest: Prakash Gupta, Founder of 42 Gears
  • Discussion of the AstroFarm product and its development to address remote working challenges during the lockdown
  • Challenges faced with public cloud platforms and open-source solutions, prompting the development of AstroFarm
  • Benefits and Features of AstroFarm
  • Booking device slots, communication, and collaboration for optimal device usage
  •  Role-based access and device categorization to prevent overlap and enable different team access
  • Coordination of device usage across global teams and time zones
  • Use of tags to communicate device status, preventing interference with ongoing tasks
  • Use Cases and Benefits of AstroFarm
  • DevOps teams in managing device access and usage in a global, remote work environment
  • Addressing the need for updated technology and frameworks for mobile testing
  • The importance of staying open-minded about new technologies and frameworks like IBM and Selenium versions
  • Security and Compliance
  • Security certifications including ISO 27001, HIPAA compliance, and SOC 2 compliance
  • Ensuring data security in regulated industries like healthcare and insurance with private device farm solutions
  • Industry Trends and Predictions
  • Increased adoption of VR, AR devices, and smartwatches in testing
  •  Emphasizing the importance of security, digitalization, and the impact of AI on development and testing
  •  Exploring the use of multimodal models in R&D projects and their potential in automated test scenarios
  • Customer Success Stories and Real-World Usage Scenarios
  • Development and inspiration behind AstroFarm from challenges faced by existing customers
  • Targeted use for companies with geographically dispersed teams and a constant need for devices and developers for automation test cases
  • Ease of contributing devices to AstroFarm and installation process for employees
  • User Interface and Functionality of AstroFarm
  • Recording device vitals such as CPU usage, battery usage, data usage, and application crashes during testing
  • Dashboard for easy visualization and comparison of test invocations and performance trends
  • Reporting functionality and insights into performance trends for test executions

About Prakash Gupta

Prakash Gupta A man in a blue t-shirt is standing in front of a white background, innovating with AstroFarm.

Prakash Gupta, Co-Founder, and COO/CTO of 42Gears Mobility Systems, oversees all aspects of technology and product development for the company. He has close to 2 decades of experience in building cutting-edge solutions that aim to transform digital workplaces. His recent passion project being AstroFarm, a mobile device farm solution, that helps Mobile QA and DevOps teams to be more productive and efficient. This fast-evolving platform tackles critical enterprise challenges, from supporting hybrid work modes to optimizing infrastructure costs.

Connect with Prakash Gupta

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[00:00:04] Get ready to discover the most actionable end-to-end automation advice from some of the smartest testers on the planet. Hey, I'm Joe Colantonio, host of the Test Guild Automation Podcast, and my goal is to help you succeed with creating automation awesomeness.

[00:00:25] Joe Colantonio Hey, as you know DevOps and QA teams need a wide range of devices to develop, debug, and test their code against to ensure their software works as intended. It's even now more important than ever, but accessing different devices becomes challenging for a multitude of reasons when your teams are spread all over the world. How do you overcome these challenges that I see a lot of teams struggling with? Well, listen all the way to the end to find out. Hey, I'm Joe, and today we'll be talking with Prakash all about Beyond Testing, How 42 Gears have changing the game with a product called AstroFarm. If you don't know, Prakash is the co-founder, CEO, and CTO of 42 Gears Mobility system, overseeing basically all aspects of technology and product development for his company. Really excited to have him on the show to talk about this. He has close to two decades of experience and building cutting-edge solutions that aim to transform the digital workspace, especially in the testing realm. His recent passion project being Astro Farm, which is a cool solution I just recently learned about and I thought, hey, The Guild is going to love to learn more about this. It's a mobile device farm solution that really helps mobile QA and DevOps teams to be more productive and efficient that I think everyone is going to get value from. And this fast-evolving platform really tackles critical enterprise challenges, from supporting hybrid work modes to optimizing infrastructure costs and a lot more. You don't want to miss this episode. Check it out.

[00:01:50] Hey, Prakash. Welcome to the Guild.

[00:01:55] Prakash Gupta Hey, Joe. Hi. Thanks for having me on the show.

[00:01:57] Joe Colantonio Really great to have you. Really excited about this. I always ask entrepreneurs. I'm always curious to know what made you want to get involved in this, the software testing DevOps space.

[00:02:08] Prakash Gupta That's an interesting story. 42 Gears. I mean, we are close to 14 years old organization. And we generally operate an enterprise mobility domain and or any company who is using our mobile phones and mobile phone-based solutions. Our products help them to sort of secure, manage, and then sort of make those deployments more successful. Interestingly, in March 2020, when we all went into lockdown, within a few days, we all realized that it was becoming increasingly difficult for us to make the devices available to our team members for their day-to-day work because everybody was working from their homes back when we were in office, it was easy for our team members to just walk in into our office lab and pick any device that they want to work on, or maybe borrowed from one of their colleagues, but it was no longer possible for us to do so. We figured that we need some kind of a solution to solve this problem. We tried some public cloud platforms like AWS device farm but we soon realized that it's not going to work out for us, A because it's too expensive. And then again, I mean, most of the time, the devices that we really want to use at a particular time, are probably not available to us at those time. We tried a few open-source solutions, and that also probably did not work out to the specific needs that we had at that point of time, and we figure that we will have to cut something off ourselves. And we started picking up pieces from here and there and started customizing them. And probably in a couple of months, we had a system running internally, which was sort of being started being used extensively by everybody within the organization. And that is how it all started.

[00:03:55] Joe Colantonio Awesome. When you say there were some people struggling with, especially when they're remote accessing devices, what are some of the other things you heard people struggling with, like how does communication come into play and how does this platform kind of try to solve that issue?

[00:04:10] Prakash Gupta I mean, there was generally, for example, that there is a device on which somebody is running an automation test case, and there's another developer who was working on a customer issue. And then sort of incidentally, he needs that exact device model on which that the QA engineer is working on. I mean, this platform helps to solve that problem in making sure that you sort of you can book your slot, you can communicate to the platform itself, you can leave sort of interesting comments for how long I'll be using those devices and then help teams collaborate better to make more optimal use of these devices.

[00:04:44] Joe Colantonio This may sound silly. I used to work for a large company in the medical device space, and we used to have an environment where we did a lot of deploys too. But we also had people that did demos in this environment. And so sometimes you'd have testers mocking around in that environment when someone was trying to do a demo in the environment, and then they'd be embarrassed because they broke something. Is this one of the use cases, you see, of why something like this would be critical?

[00:05:09] Prakash Gupta Oh, yeah. Absolutely. So one of the features of our platform is our role-based access and device categorization. So you can organize your devices into different folders and groups and make sure that different teams have access to only those folders and those sorts of devices within those folders that can ensure that the isolation and the different teams have different set of devices and those overlapped on top. And another very interesting use case as you mentioned. Right. So for example, within 42 Gears as well we have R&D team which probably has like close to 200 devices which they share amongst themselves. And then we have our sales team as well, which is probably working in different time zones, and they use their own set of devices for their demos and POCs and pilots. And a platform like AstroFarm actually allows teams to sort of make the best use of those resources. For example, when the U.S team, your sales team is sleeping and then those devices are sitting idle in our U.S office, the team in Bangalore can make use of those devices during that time, and then make sure that when we are sleeping, those devices are untouched and they can be sort of safely used for whatever purposes they are intended for.

[00:06:21] Joe Colantonio Yeah. It brings up another use case before I would leave, I'd kick off our test suite to run overnight but nowadays, overnight, like you said, we have teams all over the world. Overnight for me, it's not overnight for another team. It seems like a great way to communicate. Hey, this is being use maybe not access it during this time.

[00:06:39] Prakash Gupta Right exactly. Yeah.

[00:06:39] Joe Colantonio How does that work? Is it just like does it lock them out or is it just communicated to them somehow through some sort of messaging to let them know, leave this device or this area alone?

[00:06:49] Prakash Gupta In our console, they're tags that you can apply to those devices. And the moment somebody approaches and finds the device. Those tags are impossible to miss, and people can use tags like Do Not disturb automation in progress or things like that, so that people know that these devices are off the hook. Are not to be touched.

[00:07:08] Joe Colantonio A lot of things I saw on your website as well talks about DevOps as well like how does this help the DevOps team then from a DevOps perspective?

[00:07:18] Prakash Gupta So yeah, I think I mean, we, at 42 Gears ourselves we run nightly builds in CI/CD workflow whereby are the runners running on sometimes on cloud, sometimes on our local infrastructure within our office premises, they procure, they use the APIs of AstroFarm to procure devices. And then once those devices are procured, then a parallel testing location or multithreaded test location where Appium can be triggered so that that can make sure that whatever is the test suite of maybe 100, 200, 500 test cases that can be deployed overnight on whichever number of the number of devices do you have selected.

[00:08:01] Joe Colantonio Nice. I guess also in development when a developer is writing tests and they need to commit it before they commit it, maybe there's is there a tag or something. They are a CLI command. They could say, hey, I want to read on this device, make sure I passes before I actually promote the code to the main branch.

[00:08:14] Prakash Gupta Yes, absolutely, absolutely. It is completely possible. And if you have a set of devices specifically allocated for the unit test cases of the developer or a sanity desk before the code gets merged into the main branch, those runners can cut off. You can have a configuration file with a serial number of those devices. And then the moment those commits happen, those suites can get triggered, which will execute those test cases on those on the devices.

[00:08:41] Joe Colantonio Nice. I speak with a lot of testers and a lot of times they're like, oh, I'll just use like you said, AWS Device Farm. And you mention it, it does get very expensive at some point. And also open-source solutions. Can you dive into a little bit more why AWS device farm can be expensive and how your solution might be different, and maybe also compared to maybe an open source solution, how you may have different benefits that you don't get from an open source solution?

[00:09:05] Prakash Gupta Absolutely. So if you compare, for example, AWS device farm and picture, right. So a ballpark monthly cost for a single device comes around $250, which means that in 1 or 2 months you end up paying for the entire cost of the device itself. So it is far more economical for a company to buy the device in-house, maybe $400 and $500, and then use it forever. I mean, all you need to do is to make that device available readily to your entire organization. AstroFarm offers to do and in addition to that, I think another very important factor that comes in picture is our device variations. Especially in enterprise mobility. So iOS is I mean, all the devices are made by a single company. So we can probably talk about the variations there. But Android, I mean in enterprise mobility, there are all kinds of devices available devices with a barcode scanner for example devices with an RFID reader, devices which is like operating like a POS terminal, devices which has a credit card reader and then we have our variable devices, we have our VR devices. And then all these devices require, that there are tons of manufacturers who are manufacturing these Android devices, and they are even more companies who are writing applications for these devices, for their enterprises. And it is very, very difficult for a QA engineer or a developer of these organizations to find these kinds of devices in a public device farm like AWS. They will mostly get most of the consumer-grade devices, some things in the iPhones of the world. But these device variations are very, very difficult to get by. And the only way in which collaborative testing and access of these devices can be provided by an organization to their team members is using a private device Farm like Astro Farm.

[00:10:50] Joe Colantonio All right. So this is a good point. I've seen setups where like you said, they have more like an embedded type of technology on a device where they might have like a robot messing with it. And like you said, there are a lot of device problems out there. You'd never would have that available in the cloud. So it sounds like if someone had a unique setup like that unique hardware, they would just plug it into your solution, and then people would be able to have access from all across the world. So how it work?

[00:11:14] Prakash Gupta Oh yes. Yes. For example, the rugged handheld devices right from companies like Carnival or Zebra. At the end of the day, they are also Android devices, which would support the standard Android implementation and the Android instrumentation that is available for any kind of automation framework. But AWS device Farm will never offer a zebra device form. So a company is working on a Honeywell or Zebra device, maybe an airline application or warehouse application. Developers who are working on those kinds of applications and testers who are working on those kinds of applications need those devices. And the only way is that they own those devices and then share it across while using a private device farm.

[00:11:54] Joe Colantonio Interesting. How big of a use case do you see that? Do you see a lot of companies dealing with this, struggling with it? Obviously, I guess could you create a solution to help? But like you said, there are a lot of device farms out there, labs. But this is unique in the sense that it's, you can have hardware specific to your organization being run on the cloud. So is that a use case you hear a lot from?

[00:12:15] Prakash Gupta Well, I mean, as I mentioned, there are like hundreds of OEMs, making these a unique kind of device. And they are probably, I mean, thousands of companies who are making apps on these devices. We have a very big sort of ecosystem of companies and developers who sort of make applications on these devices. And it becomes a different industry right there. There's the retail industry, warehouses, retail floors, shops, there's hospitality industries, hotels, transportation, logistics, healthcare, all kinds of these industries are using these digital finance devices, for example. There are small TV Sticks that are practically running Android. Now, there are digital signage applications running on those TV Sticks And they also need development. They also need testing. And if I have to test my application on TV Sticks, I need access to those devices. And how do I get it right? I think a private device farm where I have those devices, but I can still share it with my global workforce is is what people probably prefer.

[00:13:12] Joe Colantonio And once again, I used to work for a medical device and they had these handhelds where basically, like you said, running an iOS in the background or an Android in the background, but it was a specific use case for that you wouldn't have on a normal iPhone or a normal Android device. So great use case. So also, what are some other benefits of a private cloud? I would think like health care insurance, a lot of these companies are regulated. And so I'm sure they may have like I don't want to put it on the public cloud, even though there may be some places of some sort of security in place. What are some benefits of having a private cloud besides having maybe unique devices like that?

[00:13:50] Prakash Gupta Absolutely, I think you said it very nicely. So all these regulated industries. So if I have an application which is related to health care or insurance, maybe those applications are not public applications. These are like our private distribution to my targeted clients. Or maybe they are public, but I am testing a version of that application that is not yet public, and I would be very uncomfortable in deploying that application to a device in the public cloud, not knowing that who use that device before me, what kind of residue I might be still on that device, which might be snooping on my activities or something, or who is going to use this device after me, right? What will happen if the connectivity to that device breaks in between and my data is still on that device? And who can it get exposed to? Those kinds of security considerations are also very, very important for certain industries. And that is another reason for private device farm to be much more suitable for these kind of companies

[00:14:48] Joe Colantonio Absolutely. No, I love open source. But, once again, I used to work for health care, teams would start using open source. And also you have these security things you didn't know about because they were using an open-source solution and you had to justify it to like the FDA. Why is this happening? Using a private type of solution like AstroFarm, do you have any special, like, certifications that where because I'm using this particular solution, you can go to your, your manager, say it's okay to use that because it's not open source. It's been certified to know whatever certification would be. So that makes sense.

[00:15:20] Prakash Gupta Oh yes. Absolutely. There are lots of security certifications that we as a company undergo. And so those compliances and those certifications are they span across all the product offerings that we have including AstroFarm. So some of those certifications like for example ISO 27001, HIPAA compliant Soc2 compliances, all these compliances are make sure that all the agents that we run on the devices, or back-end microservice that we have, the databases that we have the data at rest, data in motion, the kind of encryptions that we use, the business continuity of our services, everything is sort of taken care of. And when we do it in a way in which we make sure that the data from our customers is secured.

[00:16:08] Joe Colantonio Beautiful. It is the new year. And I always ask guest as well what they see as trends. And how are you seeing any trends that would lend themselves to really thrive using a solution like AstroFarm?

[00:16:19] Prakash Gupta Good question. So I think we see a trend of increased adoption of different kinds of devices other than phones and tablets, more and more number of VR or VR devices or AR devices. Apple has recently introduced their AR/VR headset, and the watches are gaining more traction in the enterprises, specifically in healthcare. I believe the influx of these devices, both in consumer and in enterprises should increase, and so will the apps running on them, which means that our tools, our development tools, our automation tools, our processes, all of them have to be more aligned and more adapt. They have to adapt more to sort of take care of these devices. That is one thing that I feel as I did something and AstroFarm as a product has the capability of not just adding Android and iOS phones and tablets, but also these devices as well. We can very well share smartwatch and AR/VR headset and roll them and make them available to anybody else in the organization to use. So that's one trend. Another interesting trend, as you mentioned, security. Security is something which is gaining more and more importance as goes by and I think this year will be no different. And healthcare industry specifically, I think in the West, there has been a consistent push on digitalization in the health industry. And then being so, so right, such a regulated industry security would be a top priority for them. And a solution like AstroFarm with all the security compliances and everything definitely sort of makes a good candidate for companies in the healthcare domain to try out. And of course, no discussion for trends is complete without talking about AI, ChatGPT, and the LLM model. I think I personally believe that every aspect of innovation of all the areas will get impacted by them, including a development and testing. And particularly, I think, the UI-based testing will definitely build with the multimodal or models that are available today. It is definitely going to have a big impact. Oftentimes, I mean, internally at 42 Gears also, we have numerous test scenarios where the testing also requires us to step out of the predictable UI of our own application and sometimes go into third-party operating system settings or third-party applications and interact with it and then come back to our UI. For example, if I have to write a test case for testing the offline functionality of my application, and the test step will require me to go to the operating system, and turn off the Wi-Fi, and then come back to my app and verify whether the offline functionality works or not. But then turning off Wi-Fi can have a very different UI between Android 13 and versus Android 14, or between a Lenovo versus a Samsung. And the moment these not under my control variations come into picture, writing the automation test cases become very complex and very difficult to maintain because there are breaking changes done by somebody else, which you have to sort of keep making sure that product you take into account. But with a multi-modal I mean, theoretically, it can be made possible that we can give it a prompt that go and turn off the Wi-Fi and be based upon the visual cue. If we feed it the current screen and sell it dynamically, generate the scripts to turn off the Wi-Fi, it has a better chance of doing it and even doing it on some small minor UI modifications as well. So those kinds of I mean, visual cue-based dynamics automation, script generation frameworks, I believe, will probably be very, very useful in automation industry or test automation industry that there are a few R&D tasks that we are also sort of pursuing in this line. And hopefully, yeah, I think we might be able to offer something to our end customers.

[00:20:11] Joe Colantonio I love that you brought up AI with the multimodal because I think it's going to be a game changer. Actually, it's on my top trends for 2024, but you seem like you've actually used it or you're actually smarter than I am in this case. So is that a real something you really see as something that is going to benefit testers then? It's more than a buzz because I think it's more than a buzz. So have you seen it yourself or played with it yourself?

[00:20:33] Prakash Gupta Absolutely, yes. And definitely. And as I mentioned, right, we have some R&D projects, instead going around at 42 gears, we are exploring these possibilities where we allow as a device farm solution, we have a continuous stream of these device screens. So we have the ability of feeding that screen to a multimodal model. And if we allow the users to specify a prompt, in theory, we can combine these two inputs together and ask our multimodal model to generate the script dynamically for us as well. So this is something that we are playing around with it. It's still early days but definitely very very promising.

[00:21:09] Joe Colantonio A little off script, I mean that's why another reason why I love working with vendors is you have an R&D team, and it always drives me nuts where someone like has an open source solution and they try to implement their own multimodel type deal, and the team is like creating a health care software has nothing to do with any of this. They should be focusing on the product, their expertise in that area. Working with the vendor like you, you have an R&D team that deals with this so they don't have to worry about it. I mean, you agree with me. I mean, I think that's I mean, I'm not just pushing it. I mean, I actually see that's why vendors in general have a lot of value. And that's just one main reason as well.

[00:21:44] Prakash Gupta Absolutely. As vendors, we have to make sure that we both stay on top of our game. And we sort of anticipate what's coming forward. How can we offer more value to our customers? And then. There's a lot of motivation for us to sort of apart from it being super cool to work on the other. A lot of motivation for us to work on and make sure that we've had here.

[00:22:07] Joe Colantonio Nice. I know you said you've been around for 14 years, but this is a newer, newer product for 42 Gears. Do you have any customer success stories or I'm always curious to know, like when a company releases a product and they think they know how it's going to be used for what it goes in the wild, you like to even know it's going to be used that way. Or why didn't I think of that use case? Any of those types of scenarios or stories you could share?

[00:22:29] Prakash Gupta Absolutely. So earlier when I told you the story about how we went into the lockdown, we faced the problem. That's what led to the creation of AstroFarm? We never had the idea of prioritizing it. What led to the idea for it, I think it was, we spoke to a few of our existing customers and partners, existing customers of our other products, and while talking to them, we figured that they are also having exactly the same kind of problem that we have solved using this tool. And that is what led us to sort of probably wrap it up in a product. And those were the first guys to whom we fixed it, and they are still using that product of us. We were able to upsell this AstroFarm product to a large number of our existing customers of mobile device management software tools because all these customers and domain and industry where they work on these specialized rugged devices. And these devices are very, very difficult to be available on AWS device farm or any other public farm solution. And then they faced of very similar sort of challenges to us. So yeah, I think we have numerous customers who are successfully using these products and also specifically I think not just application development companies, but also OEMs. Device manufacturers also have tons of test cases and development work to work on these devices. And they generally have teams very dispersed geographically. The manufacturing is probably in somewhere in the eastern part of Asia, and the development is happening in India or Europe or in some part of U.S. And sharing these devices and sometimes shipping the devices from one part of the world to the other part of the world is a very cost-intensive affair. And a solution, a device farm solution like AstroFarm allows them to share the device and make it available from any part of the world to any part of the world. So yeah, I think that there are quite a few compelling success stories that we have.

[00:24:23] Joe Colantonio That's a good point. You can have a mission-critical device that's being developed, and you just start testing it right away, and you can make it available, I guess, through all the different countries, different teams, automatically then as soon as it comes online, bam, it's available. That's pretty cool. I know you've touched on this. There are a lot of solutions out there, and we touched on some of the reasons why someone should definitely check out AstroFarm the different use cases, but what does your ideal customer look like? Well, I don't think I think different tools for different companies and different people, different teams makes sense. So AstroFarm would you think would be like an ideal if someone's listening to you like if you're in this situation, you definitely need to check this out because this is definitely gonna help you and your team deliver better quality, faster software to your customers.

[00:25:04] Prakash Gupta I think a company which has a geographically dispersed team and their constant need of devices, developers, and QA team members and someone who wants to run a large suite of automation test cases on a periodic basis. So rather than having to have a workstation somewhere in some corner of your office and with like tons of devices plugged into those machines running the entire test suite over there on that machine itself, having a single point of failure. AstroFarm allows you to sort of contribute that devices from any number of nodes. I mean, you can have hundreds of employees contributing 1 or 2 devices, and then all of them pooling together on our central cloud server of ours. And then you can run your automation test suite up on a cloud machine itself because using the AstroFarm API even a cloud test runner can procure the devices and start sort of running those scripts on top of it. So a geographically dispersed team working maybe in a hybrid model where people are coming to office a few days, people are working from home for a few days, and if they want to have access to the devices all the time, I think, AstroFarm would be a great choice for them.

[00:26:20] Joe Colantonio I was thinking, a lot of times if people use open-source solutions and they're trying to get all their devices hooked up, it becomes a mess and a nightmare. And that's one of the reasons why I never understand why they just don't use a solution. So how easy is it to someone to contribute and add a device to AstroFarm?

[00:26:35] Prakash Gupta That is one of the USPs of AstroFarm. Any person, any employee with a workstation or a laptop, you just have to install all of our agent AstroFarm agent on their laptop and login into their AstroFarm account. And now, once they have done so, any device that they plug in to their laptop, they have a choice of securing it on AstrFarm. And if they do so, that device becomes available on the cloud. Now, anybody in the organization who has access can very easily sort of use that device as if they are working on a real device. They can they can manually use it, or they can hook it up with their development tools, their Android Studio or Xcode or their Appium test suite, and then start running their automation scripts on it. So contributing a device is as easy as using a device on ....

[00:27:22] Prakash Gupta Any device like you said, you mentioned a bunch of different unique use cases for devices AR, VR, and IOT type devices. So if I understand correctly, regardless you just plug it in and is there anything else that a developer needs to worry about? It actually just picks it up to there when you need to work with you directly if it's a real custom type of hardware.

[00:27:40] Joe Colantonio No. Any devices, as long as it's an Android device or an iOS device or a flavor of one of these are installation package, our agent that gets installed on these machines. It has all the drivers required, drivers needed for it. And you just have to plug it in and you have to select whether you want to share it or not. Once you do so, that device becomes available.

[00:27:58] Joe Colantonio Awesome. We talked about security. We talked about a bunch of other things with mobile testing. That's important. Another thing is performance and performance testing battery life, those types of things. Is AstroFarm help with that at all? Or is that not part of the core features?

[00:28:12] Prakash Gupta Absolutely. So AstroFarm has the section in the UI where either you are working on the device manually or you're running an automation test case. In order to do both either of them, you have to procure the device from the AstroFarm using a use button on the UI or you can call in procurement API. The moment you do that, the AstroFarm engine starts recording lots of vitals of the devices, which includes the CPU usage for process, the battery usage, not just a system-wide battery usage, but you can also select the specific application that you are trying to stress right now. The data usage, the Wi-Fi mobile data usage of that application, any crashes that happen on that application. So it starts monitoring all of them and it keeps recording them during the entire session of your testing so that once your test is completed, you can know and you can compare the battery usage trend, the data usage trend, and the CPU usage trend between the various invocation of the same test cases.

[00:29:10] Joe Colantonio So a lot of times people can get lost in logs and reports. How easy is the reporting? Is there any functionality that does AI that says, you ran this last month X amount of times you ran it this month, X amount of times, and the CPU has spiked by X amount. So does it do anything like that to correlate it for you or get bubble up insights?

[00:29:27] Prakash Gupta Yes. Yeah. So we have a dashboard section which makes it extremely easy for you to see the various invocations side by side with the average values of all these trends that I have talked about. And then you see a power of one is to one comparison between 2 or 3 different locations. And you can sort them, filter them based upon on your needs. And you can see that whether you have done well compared to the loss of regression or worse. So yeah, it's pretty intuitive.

[00:29:53] Joe Colantonio Awesome. Okay, Prakash, before we go, is there one piece of actual advice you can give to someone to help them with the mobile testing efforts, and what's the best way to find contact you and learn more about AstroFarm?

[00:30:04] Prakash Gupta Piece of advice. I would say, I guess, as I mentioned, right, that technology is sort of changing very fast, the kind of devices that are coming in and the frameworks themselves. Newer versions of Appium and Selenium. I mean, it's important for us to sort of keep ourselves updated and be very open-minded, be mindful of the newer technologies that are coming in ChatGPT. I love that you have so much in our day-to-day activities and in writing small, small scripts. So maybe should definitely make the best use of these new technologies which can help us do more compared to what we can normally do. And yeah, I think, in order to contact us, I guess our website has a lot of information, especially about AstroFarm as well. If you go to our website, to the products page, you go to the AstroFarm page has a lot of information about AstroFarm. There is a contact form there. If you have an inquiry or any questions, you can sign up for the product. You can contact us from there. And we also have a very nice chat button on our website. We take pride in our support and on our customer support. Even if you are not a customer yet, and if you ping us or chat or somebody, one of our rockstars are going to sort of get in touch with you immediately and would be more than happy to answer any questions you might have.

[00:31:24] Thanks again for your automation awesomeness. The links of everything we value we covered in this episode. Head in over to And if the show has helped you in any way, why not rate it and review it in iTunes? Reviews really help in the rankings of the show and I read each and every one of them. So that's it for this episode of the Test Guild Automation Podcast. I'm Joe, my mission is to help you succeed with creating end-to-end, full-stack automation awesomeness. As always, test everything and keep the good. Cheers.

[00:31:59] Hey, thanks again for listening. If you're not already part of our awesome community of 27,000 of the smartest testers, DevOps, and automation professionals in the world, we'd love to have you join the FAM at and if you're in the DevOps automation software testing space or you're a test tool provider and want to offer real-world value that can improve the skills or solve a problem for the Guild community. I love to hear from you head on over to And let's make it happen.

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