Crowdsource Testing – Know it All

Crowdsource Testing – Know it All
Crowdsourcing is the process of getting work or funding, usually online, from a crowd of people. The word is a combination of the words ‘crowd’ and ‘outsourcing‘. The idea is to take work and outsource it to a crowd of workers. Crowdsource testing is an emerging trend in software testing which exploits the benefits, effectiveness, and efficiency of crowdsourcing and the cloud platform. In simple terms, Crowdsourcing is a term that has been used to describe the process of requesting a crowd to perform a task rather than hiring consultants or contractors. The software is put to test under diverse realistic platforms which makes it more reliable, cost-effective, fast and bug-free.
Famous Example: Wikipedia. Instead of Wikipedia creating an encyclopedia on their own, hiring writers and editors, they gave the crowd the ability to create the information on their own. The result? The most comprehensive encyclopedia this world has ever seen.

Crowdsourcing & Quality:

The principle of crowdsourcing is that more heads are better than one. By canvassing a large crowd of people for ideas, skills or participation, the quality of content and idea generation will be superior. This software testing method is adopted when the software is more user-centric, i.e. software whose success is determined by its user feedback and which has a diverse user space. It is frequently implemented with gaming, mobile applications, when experts who may be difficult to find in one place are required for specific testing.

Right Time & Right Place:

There is no denying the power of crowdsourcetesting and the fact that it enables a diverse set of people, often from varied locations, to test something in realistic real world scenarios. But there are situations where in an endeavour to speed up testing, people opt for crowdsource testing when they shouldn’t. Crowdsource testing has great power, but the choice to use it should be a deliberate one that makes sure that it is the appropriate technique for the situation where it is being considered.
While the results of crowdsourced testing are generally positive, there are a few things you’ll want to avoid. With that in mind, here are four tips for testing your apps with the crowd:

Tip#1 – Know Your End Users:

Perhaps the greatest advantage of crowdsourced testing is that it enables companies to test their applications with people who closely resemble their typical end users. So, for instance, your audience is shoppers in the UK with an iPhone, why would you want Blackberry users from Brazil testing your product? The key takeaway here is to understand your target demographic before your project begins. This way, you can receive bugs that your real end users would likely encounter.

Tip#2 – Identify Your QA Gaps:

Another key benefit of crowdsourced testing is that it helps companies solve very specific problems, particularly in terms of testing coverage. Whether its location, language, operating system, or some other criteria, it’s extremely important to know the shortcomings of your internal QA team. Take a look at some of your most recently reported bugs and make a list of the similarities. Knowing where gaps exist is a major advantage when considering crowdsourced testing as an option.

Tip#3 – Call the Shots:

Crowdsourcing does not change a fundamental truth of software design, development, and testing. Effective, detailed communication and project management are the keys to any successful project. This is true in managing in-house resources or outsourced partners, and crowdsourcing is no exception. So assign an internal project owner to keep the information flowing and manage the process.

Tip#4 – Be specific (or not):

Many times, a company delving into crowdsourcing will have very specific tasks it needs to get completed. While crowdsourcing is a great way to achieve test case execution on a large scale, companies also find it beneficial to let the crowd explore an application at their own discretion. Homogenous internal teams are often less effective at discovering new issues. Again, a global community brings diverse opinions and experience, which can result in creative development solutions and more complete testing coverage.
Crowdsource testing companies provide the platform for the testing cycles. They decide to crowdsource the software product to a group of testers, who register for testing the application voluntarily. Testers are paid per bug, depending on type of bug and its market price. The crowdsource testing team is usually in addition to the organization’s testing team, and not usually a replacement.
Companies are quickly realizing that the only way to launch apps that consistently work in the hands of users and meet their expectations – apps that are functional, reliable, secure and intuitive from the very first download – is to move a portion of testing into the world via crowdsourcing.
image credit: adweek.com
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