Crowdsourced Software Testing. An Option?
Is Crowdsourced Software Testing Your Best Option
One of the biggest internet trends is crowdsourcing. One well-known version of it, crowd-funding, has helped fund medical procedures, send people on trips to reunite with long lost family, and given the alter-abled mobility devices. Some companies also rely on crowdsourced software testing ; but this has a unique set of advantages and some significant disadvantages. Here’s a look at both.
How crowdsourced software testing works?
Testers either have access to the system via cloud hosting or they can download the program onto their computers or devices where they execute a set of test scenarios. In many cases, these test scenarios have been prepared by people who have a business knowledge of the system. The testers, however, might not.
Pros of crowdsourced software testing
Crowd testing works well for social media and game testing. These products typically do not have complex logics or rules and therefore do not require deep domain knowledge. Games are player-driven and are perfectly suited for a crowd of testers. It’s a method that is fast and very cost-effective thanks to the remote options that testers can take advantage of. Sometimes a week’s worth of testing can be done in just a matter of hours because so many people are working on the project.
Crowd testing also has an advantage in that it can take almost no time at all to get the team together and get started on the project.
Cons of crowedsourced software testing
Without deep product knowledge, crowd-sourced testers will not explore non obvious cases. Sometimes testers are just not aware of technical implementations or lack the facility to test them. For example, on one occasion testers were not aware of circuit breaker on a call to an external pricing API, which resulted in a serious issue in production. Their limited knowledge does not extend to knowing the technical complexities of the program and the entire development process, so they don’t know how to look at crucial segments like integration points, logs, concurrency and multi-threading, database migrations, and the like.
Also, when using only crowd-sourced testing, a company is not looking to build quality into their software product, but rather react to issues found in the product. Once those issues are found and fixed, the crowd test the product, and so on. That repetitive cycle can go on for seemingly ever, risking delays and distractions. To put it simply, it means the company is not involving QA from the very beginning of the development process, and that’s never a reliable business model.
Confidentiality is hard to maintain in crowd testing. Some software products simply must remain confidential and can never be subject to crowd-sourced testing, particularly government products and high value systems. As cyber security becomes an increasing area of focus and concern, the future of crowd-sourced testing is limited. Some well-known crowd testing platforms write test cases for testers to execute, to compensate for the fact that those executing the scenarios do not have the business domain. Realistically, this approach is nothing more than automation, which is actually more cost effective than crowd testing.
Crowdsourced testers are also not vetted for their ability to communicate clearly and effectively. That can make managing the process much more difficult. Plus, the number of people who are testing the product can lead to the “too many cooks spoiling the broth” problem.
For those testers who are paid by the bug, they might also be looking for the largest number of bugs, not necessarily the most important bugs. That might be fine for a game or a social media app, but playing with software is not the same as testing it properly.
Though crowdsourced testing can be fast and cheap, it’s often not the best solution for accurate and thorough QA testing.
If it seems daunting to you to try to vet out the top QA tester for your business, turn to us and let us do all of that work for you. We offer a better alternative for companies that deliver important products but have irregular QA resources. We’ll help you create a long term virtual team, capable of working on multiple projects as needed and when required.
You’ll get the same people working with you on your projects each and every time so your business processes are stable and streamlined, and you can rest easy knowing your software will be tested properly the first time.