Crowd testing is an emergent method of QA testing which leverages a dispersed, temporary workforce to test software applications quickly and effectively. While conventional methods of software testing are conducted within the organization, or via an outsourcing contractor or QA consultant, crowdsourced software tests are executed by multiple individual testers in different locations.
Crowdsourced testing provides a flexible, scalable alternative to traditional QA. By providing teams with a large, on-demand testing workforce, crowdsourcing represents a new way to do QA that works well with the fast pace of Agile and CI/CD development cycles.
The potential for increasing testing bandwidth and offloading mobile device management make crowdsourced testing a prime solution for mobile testing. Crowdsourcing allows for applications to be tested across a wide range of devices and operating systems, ensuring comprehensive test coverage and a better user experience.
Leveraging crowdsourced testing allows teams to break away from their dependence on manual testing without sacrificing test quality or coverage. By integrating crowdsourced testing into their testing workflows, QA teams can develop more efficient testing strategies.
A crowdsourced testing platform like Rainforest QA gives teams the benefit of increasing their tester workforce without scaling out their in-house team or managing an outsourced QA service. As a result, teams can offload repetitive functional and regression testing to crowdsourced testers and spend more time focused on UX testing, exploratory testing, and managing testing automation tools.
Here are a few of the signs that your team is in the sweet spot for introducing crowdsourced testing into your development workflow.
1. You’ve maxed out your existing resources
Whether they deploy every day or every few weeks, many teams want to move faster. But agile development often hits a bottleneck when it comes to testing. Unpredictable, spiky testing needs can be hard to plan for, and small lean teams don’t often have untapped resources in-house to absorb extra workload. In these cases, testing often requires pulling members of your team off other activities to frantically execute a large amount of testing before a release. That could mean pulling developers away from building new features, or taking the sales team away from selling.
Staying lean shouldn’t mean sacrificing quality. Crowdsourced testing offers a way to smooth out these QA spikes for your in-house team by giving you access to a flexible testing resource that can grow and contract with your needs. If your developers often spend more time hunting for bugs and running regression tests than they are coding, then crowdsourced might be a good solution to help you recover development time.
2. You’re leveling up quality
There are moments when quality starts mattering more. If your customer base is moving up market, or if you’ve recently received a round of funding, your baseline for quality (and your customers expectations) is likely to be higher than it was before. These milestonese are great moments to revisit your testing processes and get more strategic about increasing test coverage.
Many Rainforest customers first turned to crowdtesting when they were doing major new feature developments or overhauling an existing product. Because Rainforest integrates with development tools including bug tracking platforms and continuous integration servers, it provides a resource-efficient way that adds more testing to your existing workflow.
3. You want to start scaling your team
You’re focused on growth, and you need a testing solution that can scale with you. Adding headcount to your team isn’t the best solution. While studies show that QA budgets are rising, many teams are staying smaller and leaner. Crowdsourced testing provides a way for teams to put their budget towards more stratetic QA hires by leveraging the crowd for repetitive testing tasks.
Welling LaGrone, Director of Software Engineering at America’s Test Kitchen, uses Rainforest QA to leverage the power of the crowd to scale up testing. As a result, America’s Test Kitchen is able to use their budget to invest in more strategic hires. “Offloading repetitive testing tasks allows us to invest in higher caliber QA team members and focus our QA capacity on the strategic QA challenges, rather than the mechanics of testing,” says Welling.