A Day in the Life of a Rainforest Tester

Picture of Kristen Hohenstein
Kristen Hohenstein, Tuesday May 30, 2017

Rainforest QA’s software is powered by thousands of testers worldwide. We get a lot of questions about who our testers are and how they interact with Rainforest’s platform in order to deliver fast results to our customers. Let’s take a few minutes to explore these questions!

Who Are the Rainforest Testers?

Rainforest testers come to us through two crowdsourcing services, CrowdFlower and Amazon Mechanical Turk. If an aspiring tester successfully completes Rainforest training, they are able to join our tester community and begin working on real customer tests, or “jobs.”

We’re lucky to have a tester community full of hardworking people from various backgrounds and walks of life. They are students, aspiring doctors, teachers, stay-at-home moms and dads, writers, QA specialists, pet parents, hobbyist astronomers, tech lovers and so much more!

We get to interact with testers and learn about both their Rainforest experiences and their personal interests through our tester community forum and help desk. The forum is also place where they interact with each other, whether they’re helping each other through common testing issues, or shooting the breeze about whose dog is the cutest (trust me, it’s a tough call). We also host special events like “Ask Me Anything” webinars and monthly focus groups where we listen to concerns and answer questions they may have about their Rainforest experience.

But how do our testers actually interact with Rainforest’s platform in order to deliver fast results to our customers? I’m glad you asked!

Receiving Jobs

In order to access jobs from Rainforest customers, a tester signs into their tester profile. Their profile includes with stats on what jobs they’ve completed, compensation they’ve received, links to various support channels and more. It’s also where they access the Rainforest Chrome Extension, the tool we use to distribute customer jobs to our global community of testers.

When a customer releases a job into Rainforest, the Chrome Extension distributes those jobs to online testers. When a tester receives one of these jobs, they have a few minutes to acknowledge and accept the job before it is given to another available tester. Giving the job to another person if the original tester doesn’t accept within the time limit ensures that our customers don’t have a to wait around a long time for their results.

Executing Tests and Delivering Results

Once a tester accepts a job, they are provided a fresh virtual machine and prompted to review our testing rules before proceeding. After they review the rules and enter the testing URL into the virtual machine (always the first step!), the real testing begins!

Current customers know that each job is broken up into multiple steps, each with their own specific test instruction and goal. Testers deliver results to our customers by following the test instructions provided in each step and answering “Yes” or “No” depending on the results. For example, a step instructions might say “Enter your username and password, then press the sign in button. Were you successfully signed in?” If the tester successfully signs in by following these instructions, they would answer “Yes” and be brought to the next step. If the tester followed these instructions, but could not successfully sign in, they would report “No” and leave a comment providing the customer with more details about the problem they encountered.

Whether or not they have to report “No”, the tester will be paid for the steps they completed within 24 hours of the job being successfully submitted. This means if a tester completes a 10 step job without encountering an issue, they will be paid for all 10 steps; but if a tester reports “No” on a step 2 of a 10 step job, they will be paid for the first 2 steps.

If a tester submits inaccurate results or doesn’t follow test instructions, their work can be rejected by rainforest staff or machine learning. If a tester receives a certain amount of rejections within a 30 day period, they are no longer allowed to work for Rainforest. In order to combat this issue, all testers are required to complete periodic, random training in order to stay up to date on our testing rules.

Why Testers Work With Rainforest

Testers have a lot of love for Rainforest and our customers. Testing for Rainforest is a convenient and interesting way for them to earn additional income while they support their families, work another job, or attend school. A big plus to many of our testers is that they get to earn this additional income, while being an important part of the innovation going on in tech. They sincerely enjoy taking part in perfecting the products and ideas our customers are offering to the world.

We hope that you’ve enjoyed getting this peek into the life of a Rainforest QA tester!