In the last decade, more and more companies have been turning to the “crowd” to develop their business. Although micro-lending has been around for many years, Kickstarter famously launched a new way to fund creativity, introducing us to the concept of online crowdfunding in 2009.
Now more than ever, businesses are recognising the value and strength of the crowd and are successfully finding ways to harness it, and among them are those businesses that are all about testing websites and software.
Explosion of apps, platforms and devices
Not even a decade ago, testing apps was a much more straightforward affair. Website testing would only require a small team because testing across a dozen or so different devices and platforms would be sufficient to catch most – if not all – problems. However, with the number of apps booming after the rise of the iPhone and Android devices, it has became clear that a small in-house testing department is not always going to be sufficient for the job.
Reaching out beyond the testing team
The likelihood of a tester missing bugs increases with the number of devices or browsers they’re given to test with. It stands to reason that focus can be lost when repeating a task multiple times. Reaching out to more people means that the scope per tester can be narrowed, increasing the likelihood of them catching more bugs. Like all crowdsourcing, members of the “crowd” can participate as and when it suits them. Most do it as a way to top up their experience and income, and some even make a full-time job out of it. This concept of crowdtesting has led to the creation of businesses like https://www.bugfinders.com/.
Real situations, real-world testing
Outsourcing software testing to a crowd may sound like a risky proposition, but it’s actually the closest to real-life testing you can get. With careful vetting of testers for what is, after all, a skilled role and an in-house team checking their findings, crowdsourced testing’s advantages shine through. For example, quick turnaround times are possible thanks to testers being available in every time zone. Moreover, the sheer diversity of browsers and devices that are being used for testing is something that businesses relying solely on in-house testing will find hard to compete with.
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