A Mobile Developer Lab the Size of a Country!

Last week we attended with Bertrand Dufresne the 2012 edition of Mobilism in Amsterdam, an awesome event set up by many great people, among them Peter-Paul Koch, Stephen Hay and Krijn Hoetmer.

One of the most inspiring and useful ideas we brought from Mobilism was the creation of a mobile testing lab, covering a wide array of devices, allowing companies of all sizes to offer access to devices from different brands and models. This idea was presented by both Remy Sharp and Jeremy Keith, and it has taken the form of a physical testing lab set up in Brighton, UK, as described by Jeremy himself.

Of course, Switzerland is a country, and slightly bigger than Brighton, but as a country, it is not that big after all. Imagine an online database of devices, including their geographical location, helping developers to share devices with each other, to reserve time slots, and this not only in Geneva or Zürich, but all over the country.

Very often we developers would love to be able to test our latest app in some weird combination of mobile OS or browser or technology, and we wonder whether someone has such a device to lend for a little while, the time of debugging our code or testing our site. That’s the whole spirit of this project.

So far the idea, thus, is to start the discussion and start collecting information. Towards this goal, I’ve opened a project site to share conversations, files and other items of interest around this idea.

If you want to join this effort, please contact me and I’ll open a account for you to the project. We would love to have a large array of devices for testing, and if we all collaborate, we could have a country-wide database of devices! I think this is a goal that will provide lots of utility for all of us.