Top 10 Mistakes Crowd Testers Must Avoid

Ever wondered how some crowd testers climb up the leader-board faster than others? Are you keen to know why bugs get marked out of scope, duplicate or invalid? Here are the top 10 mistakes crowd testers must avoid:

The top 10 mistakes crowd testers must avoid to succeed in software testing.

The top 10 mistakes crowd testers must avoid to succeed in software testing.

 1.    Not reading the requirement thoroughly and/or not being clear about the requirement

This is the biggest mistake and the most costly mistake that testers make. After spending 30-60 minutes in testing and logging bugs, the bug would get marked as invalid or out of scope just because the tester did not read the requirement clearly and/or did not understand the requirement clearly. Spend at least 5 minutes to understand the client expectations and information which would be useful for testing. Invest your time in understanding the test requirement to make your testing process more effective.

 2.    Over focus of crowd testers on logging the most number of bugs instead of the quality of the bugs

It is great to log as many bugs as possible, but how many of them are getting marked valid is a very important question that you must ask yourself. A tester is considered good only when, the bug acceptance rate is more than 65%.  Make the quality of the bugs you log, your top priority to succeed as a crowd tester.

 3.    Bug report which is unclear and has insufficient information to validate

All bugs with improper and insufficient information to reproduce the bug, including lack of visual proof like screenshots or videos get rejected. A report should be so clear that it should provide the step by step process to reproduce the issue and the exact environment information in which the bug was identified. It must include screenshot / video for more clarity so that when the developer checks the bug report they can easily reproduce the issue and fix it.

 4.    Not knowing what other testers are doing, and following a blindfolded approach

This is an approach where crowd testers do not do any planning and start testing blindly. To grow up the leaderboard testers should know and understand what other testers are focusing on and what has not been tested. They should be aware of the scenarios and the features that were missed out. They should then focus their attention on those areas that would help them stand out from the rest of the crowd.

 5.    Trying to just click around and find bugs in the application instead of in-depth testing

Testing is not about clicking to check if all the links are working but clearly understanding what each link is supposed to do. You should understand the data flow and the user experience that fulfills their needs in the application to succeed as a crowd tester.

 6.    Not thinking like an actual user and not thinking of scenarios which would have high impact

Each application has its purpose, and there could be 100 users who would use the same application for 100 different purposes, in 100 different ways. Testers should be able to relate and think of test cases / scenarios by putting themselves in the shoes of an end user who would use the website or App.

 7.    Logging bugs which do not matter and have less impact on the client and to their users

No application can be 100% bug-free.  There could be many limitations in technology, design, operation etc. Understanding the difference between a bug and good practice is a knack crowd testers must master. For example verification of the actual existence of an email is a good practice however it is not mandatory for all the application to verify the same. Testers need to consider the severity of the application and criticality of the information stored in the database while logging the bugs.

 8.    Not understanding the domain, target audience, and information which can be useful for testing

This is again very similar to the blindfolded approach. Testers need to understand the application, its purpose, target audience and competitors. They must also read the user reviews and the comments to check if the application is doing what it claims to do.

 9.    Not having the required tools ready before testing

Before starting, check if you have the appropriate tools and technology to log bugs quicker and clearer. When you are well prepared, the possibility of the bugs getting marked valid is high. Don’t forget to check the tools for recording your screen, taking screenshots, getting logs and add-on’s for capturing additional information to add to your bug report.

 10. Not learning from previous mistakes

A crowd tester’s job does not get over once the project is complete. If crowd testers wants to improve their performance and ranking, it is a good practice to go through the bugs which they were not able to identify, scenarios which they did not think of and the approach and tools which other testers have used. You can use this information to perform better in your next projects. When we do not take the steps to improve our skills as a crowd tester, we miss out on learning and also opportunity to earn more through crowd-testing platforms.

With the right approach and right attitude, crowd testing can enrich your career and take your software testing skills to a whole new level.

Got any more suggestions on mistakes that crowd testers can avoid? Feel free to add them in the comments below. Click on the given link to learn more about, the 99tests Testing Community where you can work on paid projects and enhance your testing skills: https://99tests.com/

This blog post is written by Bharath S, Director of Operations at 99tests. With over 10 years of experience in the software testing industry, he has led many critical high value projects and has organized many international level testing conferences and events.

Testers Champions League By 99tests

The Testers Champions League by 99tests, a crowd testing platform provides a unique opportunity for testers to put their testing skills to the ultimate test. The Testers Champions League 2016 is a series of online software testing contests, open to all software testers.  Software testers can compete with testers from across the globe and stand a chance to win attractive prizes.  You can register and participate in any of the 12 contests, conducted every month. Each contest is open from the 16th till the 22nd of that month. The dates for submission and other contest details is announced on the 99tests website every month, and also updated on their social media pages. To participate, software testers need to just register and submit their entries during the allotted week for submission. The registration is free and the submission terms are pretty simple.

Testers Champions League By 99tests

Testers Champions League By 99tests

Testers Champions League – March 2016

The first edition of the contest, held in March 2016, had over 150 software testers from across the globe. The details of the contest held in March can be found at events.99tests.com/championships. The contest proved to be an excellent avenue for the software testers to keep their testing skills in top shape. Contestants had to download an app for testing from an open source project, Sourceforge. The testers then had to create a feature map for all the features of the software product. Participants had to pick any three features of the product and prepare an exhaustive list of test ideas for those three features. The criteria for ranking the winners was based on the quality of the test ideas and the test summary. By participating in the contest, Software testers were able to experiment and improve on their test ideas.

Don’t worry, if you missed out on the March 2016, Testers Champions contest. You can still register for the next month’s contest to participate and compete with world class software testers. One-time registration is sufficient for the entire year. Registered candidates will get regular contest updates and details. Don’t forget to include your name, organization and email id at the top of your submissions while submitting your entry for the contest. The Testers Champions League is truly an opportunity for all software testers to explore, learn and improve their software testing skills.

Interested to explore the fun way of software testing? Click on the given link to learn more about a global community of professional testers: https://99tests.com/

Top 5 Software Testing Skills For Testers

Software testing is crucial to the success of any software product. Effective testing requires the expertise of skilled testers. Today, with the advent of Apps, the demand for skilled testers has grown rapidly. Testing is a highly intellectual work . It involves aspects of discovery, communication, persuasion, control, measurement, accounting & project management.

Top 5 Software Testing Skills For Testers

Top 5 Software Testing Skills For Testers

Apart from technical skills, a tester needs to develop and master many soft skills. Here are some of the top skills that every tester should develop:

1. Logical & analytical skills

Analytical thinking is the foundation of software testing. You find bugs when you apply logic to the testing process. Mere knowledge of testing tools is not enough. Logical and analytical thinking enables you to think out of the box. You should be able to create various test scenarios. When you apply the scenarios in the workflow of the application, you will be able to give useful insights from the perspective of the end user.

2. Communication skills in software testing

The insights provided by the software tester form the basis for decision making. The feedback of testers have the power to seal the fate of Apps and projects. Crucial decisions like the readiness of an App for release are based on tester insights . Your feedback as a tester must be simple and easy to understand. Unless the insights are provided correctly, it will be nothing more than misinformation. This can mislead the whole project. You should be able to communicate issues to development teams effectively. Hence, having good communication & interpersonal skills  helps greatly in sharing test insights with different teams.

3. Inquisitiveness & creativity

Contrary to myths, software testing is not a mundane process. A creative bend of mind that’s curious about the way things work is a big advantage. This will help you to ask the right questions. Exploring the right questions will help assess the quality of a software product effectively. Think of software testing as an exploratory process, where one has to seek and find answers on their own. It is only by exploring different angles, that one can develop a clear insight on the performance of a product. The more questions you ask, the more you will develop your knowledge about the product. By trying various test scenarios and improving on testing methodologies, you can provide intelligent insights to development team.  Your success as a tester plays an important role in the success of the software product.

4. Learning and adaptability

One basic quality that will help you in software testing is the ability to adapt and learn quickly. Note-making may seem like a general learning skill, but it is a time-saving and useful skill. By noting down aspects learnt in a project, it is easy to execute similar tasks with the same methods. Note-making also aids in learning new testing concepts.

5. Project management skills

Testing can be demanding, at times. Being highly organized will help you prioritize and manage workload effectively. Understanding the business process and the big picture is a big plus point. Project management skills like problem-solving, and negotiation will aid greatly in delivering better results. You need to stay productive even when the going is tough. A willingness to learn and a quest for process improvement can help keep your testing practices in top shape.

Additionally, it is good to have the respective IT domain knowledge and programming skills. With programming skills, you can gain opportunities in code level testing. Knowledge of code structure will help you in developing more valuable insights for the development team.

To succeed in software testing, one must, therefore invest in soft skills along with technical skills. The right skill set will help you scale new heights in your software testing career.

Interested in joining a global community of professional software testers? Click on this link to learn more about the 99tests testing community : https://99tests.com/

7 Factors to Consider While Developing Mobile Apps

Whether you love it or hate, you can’t ignore the growing presence of mobile Apps. By 2017, the total number of App users is expected to cross 4.4 billion. With everyone from kids to grown-ups, getting hooked to Apps, it is no surprise that today, a majority of enterprises have begun investing in creating business Apps not just for their consumers but also for their employees. When the competition is so high, the benchmark in terms of user expectation for the App quality is super high as well. One glitch, and you lose the user’s interest. To ensure zero glitches, it is wise to invest in App testing at every stage of development. Unlike testing traditional desktop Apps, mobile App testing is pretty complex and challenging. Below are the 7 key factors to consider while developing Mobile Apps:

7 Factors to Consider While Developing Mobile Apps

7 Factors to Consider While Developing Mobile Apps

1. The winning User-interface

The first impression, an App leaves is the visible user interface it presents to its users. The general objective is to tailor the UI to the target audience needs. It is always good to keep the UI, simple and easy to use. One of the best ways to understand user response is to go for user-interface crowd testing. This will not only help you understand the initial response and feedback from real users in real world conditions but also give you the flexibility to test your App with users from different locations as well.

2. Functionality and usability factors

A Mobile App is highly user centric, and the quality of your App’s user experience will determine its success. Ensure that your App does the expected with functionality and usability testing. As both functionality and usability testing is driven by user interface, human or manual testing works best in getting the real insights.

 3. Compatibility Challenge

The same App may have different outcomes on devices of different screen sizes, on different platforms and browsers. You have to recreate test scenarios with real users, in real time, on real devices, using real platforms to understand what works best and fix the things that do not work. The objective is to ensure that the App works well on different devices, operating on different platforms like Android and IOS the same way as expected out of it. In the case of devices, developers need to factor in the impact on battery life, the RAM used, and the CPU processing power of different devices. Using traditional testing mechanisms to cover these aspects is not only expensive but also difficult. Testing on real devices can never be replicated by emulators. The simplest and most cost effective solution to combat the issue of compatibility is to invest in crowd-sourced App testing. Getting real insights on the way your App works will enable you to make smarter decisions to improve your App performance across devices, browsers and platforms.

4. Internet bandwidth and other external Factors

 You need to understand the impact of internet bandwidth on your App’s quality. Based on how good or bad the internet connection is, application behavior will be different for different users. You could lose your sales by 1% for every 100 milliseconds of load time. Most users won’t wait for longer than 3 seconds for a page to load. Additionally, a mobile App in real world conditions is prone to interruptions like lack of coverage and incoming calls. It is difficult to reproduce the fluctuating conditions due to network and location in a lab. The simplest way to forecast and fix these issues is through crowd-sourced performance and interrupt testing that will enable you to understand the impact of interruptions like incoming calls and network fluctuations.

5. Scalability issues

As apps become more popular, the number of users and data will increase exponentially. The last thing you want is for a total break down on a big day when your App is getting all the attention. In the initial developmental stages itself, developers need to incorporate a design that will support a scalable system to handle the load of many users.

6. Provision for updates for mobile Apps

Change is constant. Users will expect new features and upgrades. If you don’t want your App to be left behind, it is worthwhile to invest in upgrading your App and also in additional testing for each upgrade. You also need to ensure that the updates you release work well in different OS versions. While ensuring the releases happen in time, you also have to make sure that they are easy to upgrade or install. Your testing strategy should cover installation, updates and un-installation of the App to uncover any errors in the process.

7. Security challenges

A security testing can help uncover vulnerabilities of data leakage during the transmission and working of the App. Your App must meet the authorization policies and other security standards set, to ensure that the user data is protected.  You also need to include certificate testing in your strategy to meet the mandatory certificates set for compliance for devices and apps.

Based on these considerations and your App quality goals, you can create and implement a winning testing strategy to combat all the challenges. Considering the phenomenal amount of effort put in developing Apps, it is only worthwhile to invest in good Mobile Application testing to ensure that your App works great. With the right testing strategy, you can make your App not just good but incredibly delightful.

To learn more about meeting App quality goals through crowd testing , click this link: https://99tests.com/ 

Is Crowd Testing Really Safe? Here are 7 points an Enterprise must note before going for a Crowd Testing Platform

Crowd Testers

Crowd is the ‘in’ word in today’s highly interconnected equally crowded & world. From crowd funding of startups to crowd sourcing ideas, we have come a long from managing isolated silos of knowledge to harvesting knowledge from across the world, thanks to innovation in technology and emerging openness among corporations to experiment with people outside of their comfort zones

Of late, crowd testing has been an important area where the collective wisdom of the crowd has proven more effective & efficient than in-house testing of software apps. With more software components being exposed directly to clients, quality of software becomes paramount in determining customer loyalty & retention. Software testing today is the critical cog in the wheel of software development which can make or break businesses. Crowdtesting as a methodology that leverages the power of a vibrant independent testing community across demographics ranging from a few dozens to few thousand testers with one passion – Find & fix bugs

More than software components being more client facing, it’s the adoption of trends like cloud computing & BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) that has ensured that software is now consumed across mediums, channels, devices & I.T system configurations. In such a scenario, software has to be compatible across a matrix of configurations. In-house testing would fail in such a case where critical elements may be overseen due to lack of resources & time

With crowdtesting, the app is subjected to real world scenarios in advance which make refactoring a stress free experience. In a well organized crowdtesting environment, usually all bugs are spotted & logged well before app release resulting in a bug free app & a happy customer

Despite these winning points for crowdtesting, there are a few points that an enterprise software firm should consider before hiring a crowdtesting partner with a ready to deploy army of crowd testers

1.     Data sensitivity, authorization & confidentiality

How much of my data is sensitive & can cause severe breach of privacy?

How do I know if the tester isn’t a shady hacker?

How many levels of access does the crowdtesting platform have?

Do I have options to recall & reset the code to pre- test scenarios?

All these questions should be raised with the crowdtesting platform to understand the safety measures they undertake for glitch free delivery

2.     Is their testing process robust?

For enterprise products, the biggest challenge would be to draw a common ground between exploratory testing & inside out approach of crowdtesting. A good crowdtesting platform would rope in people who have extensive experience handling apps with multiple levels of complexity. Crowdtesting methodology is typically modeled on existing systems like Agile, and hence adopting it to a larger enterprise wont be tedious. Compare your internal testing methodology with the approach the crowdtesting platform provides and take a call

3.     Learn from the masters

‘Big bounty’ programs have always been a hit among ace testers. It’s a program where external bug reporters work as your internal security experts and get paid for every critical bug they find.

Researchers at University of California have categorically suggested that it’s worthwhile to hire external crowdtesters to do the job of bug hunting.

The study also suggests that major players like FireFox, HP, Google chrome & Facebook have been actively running crowdtesting programs & rewarding best performers  & that every software company must have a round the year reward program for crowdtesters

“Our vulnerability reward programs have been very successful in helping us fix more bugs and better protect our users, while also strengthening our relationships with security researchers,” – Google security research team

4.     How do I choose my testers from the crowd?

The backbone of any crowd platform is the strong community ecosystem. Watch out if the platform has an active forum where testers share knowledge & rate each others’ work. An active community is also an indication of transparency. Also ensure that the platform itself isn’t dictating community rules & allows the community to have a free hand in sharing content they like

Also, watch out if the platform has a mechanism to rank testers. In a highly competitive world, peer ranking is seen as a real & accurate indicator of one’s capabilities. You can ask the platform to choose crowdtesters based on your requirements too. The more transparent the platform is, the more assured you can be that your work would be done in a hassle free manner

5.     Leveraging based on risk & priority

We recommend crowdtesting for apps that have high Defect exposure factor (DEF). DEF is defined as

DEF = (No of releases per year * Average number of daily critical stakeholder visits.

These stakeholders could be your customers, your customer’s customers whose experience can make or break the app’s sale-ability

6.     Is their pricing flexible?

TaaS – Testing as a service.  Crowdtesting platforms typically operate in the cloud. Their flexibility helps them to be flexible with pricing as well. Go for a platform that has a hybrid pricing model of charging minimal price for accessing the platform, generating reports etc & a performance linked pricing that links payouts to no of bugs delivered

7.     Watch out for new trends

There are niche vendors who are carving a market for themselves in the crowdtesting market. Some venture into specialized testing methods like performance testing. We would see a scenario where crowdtesting would be synonymous with community testing.

Since crowdsourcing is getting crowded, crowdtesting platforms need to stand apart from competition. Watch out for crowdtesting platforms that have any of the following initiatives

  1. Crowdtesting contests or testing hackathons
  2. A vibrant idea sharing community
  3. Platforms that share strong & relevant content that makes you smart
  4. Emergence of social media – Give priority to firms that have active social media groups that act as a great storehouse of knowledge & content

 

Happy testing!