As a developer or technical architect, there is no better feeling than taking pride in giving a quality product or service result to your customers. Now, with computer trends going rapidly towards cloud services and mobile devices, regular company IT development teams are finding their testing capabilities more and more limiting. They are faced with faster releases with more complex products. How do they keep up?
To bring this kind of quality assurance requires strong testing throughout the entire development process from end-to-end delivery. With mobile devices beginning to outnumber desktop and laptop systems combined, and software application variation types now averaging in the millions. Testing quality with best practices and a local QA toolset and resources is getting harder and harder to work with for the average development department.
There is a growing trend to leverage crowdsourcing to augment aspects of your QA processes. Crowdsourced software testing toolsets and services is becoming a popular alternative with current Quality Assurance teams. Transforming internal teams into strategy units that generate test plans, approach, automation, and manage the crowd source tool.
Instead of hiring 5 or 10 outsourced testers, in-house, you can leverage 50, 100 or even thousands more crowd sourced testers online without the typical budgetary overhead such as extended compensation packages, or for onsite temporary testers the overhead of providing them facility office services, software, PCs, etc.
Crowdsource testing toolsets helps provide testing-as-a-service functionality for many types of software applications using web-based, mobile, or front-end applications. It also can provide test-team results simulating the capacity of a dozen QA development test teams for the fraction of the price it would cost years ago to manage and support that kind of Quality Assurance infrastructure. Thanks to automated script-testing, synthetic user transaction functionality, mass crowd testing participation and a wider user and system base of compatibility testing, Crowdsource Testing Toolset services can help provide easy IT budgetary needs for justifying Return-on-Investment or Total-Cost-of-Ownership business support.
With growing audit control regulations and shrinking IT budgets, Crowdsourced Testing solutions can be the best alternative when working with team resource challenges. Focusing and targeting the problem with Crowdsource testing helps streamline the code review and mitigation process, considerable. Many of these services are also providing streamline paying systems using Bitcoin, Credit Card, Kudos and other popular online payment systems which automates or sometimes eliminates the need for invoice management and other extensive overhead procedures in the payment process. Here are some popular solutions that help provide strong value in the industry, today:
** Note from the author I have no affiliation or connection to any of the products below.
The Rainforest QA group provides “On-Demand” QA team functionality by using their comprehensive workflow setup tools to simulate individual or hundreds of synthetic user transaction flows which report back performance and response results in detailed screen-captured dashboards or in multiple result producing reporting formats. Rainforest interfaces with GitHub Repository services for collaboration access. They offer a 14-day trial period with Startup, Business and Enterprise pricing based on the number of “steps” you want to purchase and increased testing functionality depth you want in your workflow.
- Unique online dashboard web-based applications to configure test setups
- Identify breakage before and after deployment through online interface reporting
- Browser-type online problem reporting
- Extensive Filtering options to help focus on important testing areas
- Automated Screenshot reporting
Crowdcurity uses a “Bug Bounty Program” approach which is both innovative and effective for current security quality testing validation. They provide the choices of either using mass Crowd-approach testing or specific dedicated researchers, as an option. Crowdcurity will provide their systems and technical staff to stage and setup penetration testing contests to analyze websites and their services for security holes. Customers sets up the rules and scope of the contest while payment scale is based on the severity or exploit risk level of the bug. Vulnerability Reports are generated after each activity which developers can leverage to implement security bug fixes as needed.
- Crowdcurity Central ® provides a central GUI interface for browsers and iDevices
- Reporting Management Tools for Performance and Vulnerability reporting
- Setup options for both Bug Bounty and Audit-On-Demand testing types where you can choose by paying per bug, not per hour, and the size of your testing and/or research crowd for the test activity
Gartner classified TestBirds under “Cool Vendors in Enterprise Mobility, for 2014”! TestBirds is a Munich, Germany based company providing global services which specializes in mobile device Crowdsourced testing. Their focus is on application testing for iOS, Windows, Blackberry, and Android operating systems. Both Screencasts and Screenshot services is also provided from tester devices. “BYOC”, (Bring-Your-Own-Crowd of testers such as employees or company developers), is another option they help provide in their template services. TestBirds also provides stronger Project Management tools such as survey questionnaire setups, demographic framework configuring, and approval workflow reporting which can help streamline any enterprise-level initiative needing quantitative and qualitative measuring of reporting metrics.
- Birdflight ® : Used for distributing iOS and Android apps to the test teams
- SDK: Crash reporting for Android devices, (iOS solution under development)
- Self-Service: Web-based online tools for accessing crowd setups and configuring test parameters, and define reporting types for the initiative
Passbrains uses the approach of online request proposals. They offer much more options in Desktop, mobile and online web service system and application crowdsource testing. Functional Testing, Usability Testing, Load Performance Testing, Localization Testing, and Security Testing on all these platforms which provides extensive versatility to quality assurance teams, needing this.
- Web-based online control dashboard used for:
- Ticket Request and Acceptance Management
- Project Participation – Status Reporting
- Feature Management Request
Crowdsourcing is not for everyone, and it is not an all or none proposition. But it is a good way to build in pseudo automation into your processes, take on the increasing workload. And most importantly transform your QA/QE team a first rate citizen able to focus on broader aspects of QA, and become part of DevOps strategy.