Crowdsourcing; an idea floated as recently as a few years ago is an obviously preferred way of doing work today. Quite simply put, it gets different skills, abilities and strengths together without the hassles of recruiting or training. With a ready-made, superior pool of resources made available, enterprises improve their productivity & efficiencies of doing tasks tremendously.
The latest in everything, crowdsourcing in its new avatar comes to software testing too; drawing out the most from a large number of testers with different abilities. Depending heavily on the Cloud infrastructure, crowdsourcing testing brings together the best from all over the globe to offer the near perfect systems for mobile apps, BI based solutions, websites, e-Commerce & more with the contemporary concepts like Agile testing methodologies blended in.
Crowdsource testing facilitates testing under diverse realistic scenarios, otherwise not easily simulated by the traditional offshore or outsourcing models. This approach proves to be a very quick and cost-effective method of getting software tested with a remarkably less number of errors & bugs missed. Most importantly this model makes it possible to conduct remote usability testing with specific target groups very easily.
Crowdsourced Testing Model
A logical workflow established between the client and the crowdsource testing service provider, the model offers a logical and conducive manner of operating.
The Testing Model
Advantages of Crowdsourced Testing
This unconventional method of testing offers a lot of unexpected advantages, besides the very obvious ones.
Proves to be a Cost Effective Exercise
Crowdsourcing moves away from a fixed salary model. A ‘ready to work’ pool of highly qualified resources is available in the Crowd. Training or induction into the enterprise is not required, cutting down on a major chunk of cost. The cost of retaining and retraining is also very clearly avoided.
Availing the Correct Resources According to the Requirement is Easy
Every software has its own unique needs as regards testing requirements. It is practically impossible that an enterprise hires all sorts of testers for its testing requirements. When specialists for certain kind of testing are needed, they are pooled in quickly and easily from the Crowd with diverse knowledge for the duration of the test.
Reduced Time to Market By Quick & Reliable Tests
A Crowdsourced approach makes available the correct number of appropriate testers at all times. With multiple testers with similar skill sets working on the same job, the execution is quick and steady.
Assured Quality of Tested Software
Quality requirements and parameters are monitored efficiently with the Crowd approach and the deliveries are normally up to the mark because of the stringent rules of rejection of work submitted.
Localization Made Easy with Teams Throughout the Globe
A diverse pool of testers offers the knowledge of various languages, infrastructure differences and specific geography related user preferences. Localization becomes practical when testing is undertaken as a Crowdsourced testing exercise.
With the ease and flexibility comes the challenges to be overcome by the implementers of crowdsourced testing. But, prudently executed, the advantages of this method of testing outweighs the tricky situations.
It is a huge challenge to ensure confidentiality of work as critical information related to projects gets shared over common platforms. With appropriate precautions, this can be controlled, but requires proper attention.
Ensuring the Quality of the Tests
The testing procedures and the acumen and maturity of the tests and bugs reported should be closely monitored to avoid a scenario where trivial bugs are reported in larger numbers and the very critical bugs get missed out.
Designing appropriate Test coverage plan becomes very critical before delegating work to the Crowd.
Synchronizing the Exercise As a Whole
Crowded testers are a virtual team operating from different time zones. Regular communication for discussions and feedback is a huge test of managerial skills. Getting a coordinated exercise in place requires a lot of planning and monitoring.
Pros & Cons of Crowdsourced Testing Vs Outsourced Testing
Outsourcing is a very established method of getting work done. Crowdsourcing, on the other hand is a newer approach and faces a lot of questions about trustworthiness. Before jumping to conclusions it is important to examine the pros & cons of both.
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In a Nutshell
A practical and flexible way of sourcing testers is a very important requirement to assure better software. Predictions indicate that enterprises are likely to be inclined to availing the services of the Crowd more and more, especially as the infrastructure and connectivity across the globe becomes more reliable.
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