The Ultimate Guide: Everything You Need To Know About Crowdsourced Testing
We talk a lot about crowdsourced testing and the role it plays in the dynamic landscape of software development, however, as with any other field, it’s important to have a strong grasp of the basics. Whether you are considering becoming a tester or barely know a thing about it, we’ve compiled this guide as a crash course on all things crowdsourced testing.
What is crowdsourced testing?
To strip it down to its core, crowdsourced testing (or crowd testing) is a term used to describe the practice of outsourcing software testing to a large group of people located across the globe, also known as ‘the crowd’. It’s an increasing trend in the software development industry, which formerly relied almost exclusively on consultants or smaller internal teams of professional testers.
The major differences between crowdsourced testing and more traditional methods include:
- The number of testers involved;
- The structure of each testing phase;
- The overall impact it has on the progression of product development.
How does it work?
When a business compiles test requirements for a particular phase of a project, these are sent to relevant testers based on criteria such as location, experience, available devices, language and anything else specified in the brief. These individuals become the ‘crowd’ for the project, testing the product as per the instructions provided and recording any bugs or defects they have identified. Payment can vary depending on the nature of the test cycle, but testers are most commonly paid by time spent testing, by the number of bugs or defects recorded, and often a mix of both.
How does it benefit businesses?
Software development companies of today face increasingly higher demand in terms of product quality, which is why testing is so important. Every product needs to be scoured for bugs and tested for functionality, usability and security to ensure it will deliver the best possible outcome upon release.
However, these companies also need to deliver projects within shorter timeframes to remain competitive, all while ensuring the process remains profitable. In suitable contexts, crowdsourced testing helps address these issues by supporting a model of delivery that’s cheaper, faster and more effective overall:
- Reduces costs by minimising the size of your internal team;
- Provides diversity of location, language, device and environment for more effective testing;
- Each cycle can be quickly allocated to thousands of testers in hours, not days;
- Specialist testers can be crowdsourced to meet specific requirements;
- Involves real users and real devices, not laboratory environments;
- For cycles where payment is per defect discovered, cost directly relates to output.
Who can use crowdsourced testing?
Due to how suitable crowd testing is for modern software development companies, it can be applied to programs, applications and websites in virtually any industry. On any given day, crowd testers from around the world are testing software products for retail, healthcare, entertainment, media, fitness, gaming, IT, government, travel, education, eCommerce and more.
What does it mean for testers?
Crowdsourced testing can be considered a win-winscenario, since it benefits all parties involved. For testers, it’s a great way to earn extra income by working flexible hours from home. The best part? Anyone can do it. Crowd testers range from professionals looking to supplement a full-time job right through to students and stay-at-home parents who have never tested before.
As a tester, you’re working on real-world projects designed for users like you. What’s more, you have the opportunity to build your skillset and become involved in larger projects, getting paid more as a result.