A Crowdtester in Every Garage

Crowdtesting is another market disruption that stems from Crowdsourcing and is making its way into the software development world. Crowdtesting is a new way to verify and validate application testing on a variety of dimensions including functional, usability, performance and mobile capabilities. The testing approach is most popular with organizations developing customer-facing applications that are mobile or web-based. One benefit of crowdtesting in the agile process is that it provides early feedback from a broad testing population pool not tied to the organization or the development team. A couple of firms amassing a large population of testers are uTest with 100,000 and Mob4hire with 60,000 registered testers. The crowdtesting companies provide tools, training and a community of interest for their virtual workers.

There are two primary delivery options, termed “communities,” and come as “vetted” and “unvetted.” The application owner would select a vetted community if functional, performance, security or localization testing were needed. An unvetted community would be selected for early exploratory or usability testing. Application owners are responsible for understanding and verifying the testing methodologies used so that bug identification controls are in place to prevent defect leakage or reinjection. Any crowdtesting initiative must pass company compliance and regulatory controls since by its very nature, can cause security risks. Payments for services are typically based upon the number of defects found; a defined pre-allocated budget based on contest or outcomes, or per device and platform for mobile apps.

By structuring the contract based on quantity found or time-bounding the process, you avoid protracted testing time that could delay implementation. Crowdtesting is becoming commercially interesting to global service providers with application service resources on their bench. If service providers have steady business that absorbs 75% utilization of their testing staff, they can deploy the remaining 25% to crowdtesting. This improves their operating profit as it keeps their overall resource utilization rates very high.