4 Reasons Why Crowdsourced Testing Is Popular in IT
By Nate Vickery
Crowdsourced testing is a new trend in the IT world. With the ever-growing demand for software products, there is also an increased need for proper software testing. Software development companies are rushing to meet this demand so they can stay on top of their game. However, there is simply no time or resources to expand their internal testing teams in order to match the short time spans required for software's release. That's why companies are starting to leverage crowdsourced testing, or simply crowd testing, so they can take a load off the backs of their internal SQA (Software Quality Assurance) teams and also manage to get everything completed within those short timelines.
What crowd testing really means is that a company lets individual freelance testers all over the globe test their products according to specific instructions. That way, companies can gather feedback on their product's functionality and usability quickly and efficiently. Nevertheless, crowd testing has more benefits than simply helping companies finish their tasks on time. Here are a few reasons why crowdsourced testing is so popular in IT.
Tests for basic functions
Crowd testing is a great way of conducting preliminary testing for a specific software product. Companies that develop software such as cloud-based, mobile or web apps can test their products for basic functionality, security and usability functions by allowing testers outside the company to examine their products, thus shortening the internal SQA testing cycle. That way, companies can become aware of any bugs and malfunctions that crowd testers found and forward the results to their internal SQA team for further testing. SQA testers can then compile a list of issues that demand attention and send it back to the developers so they can fix the issues before the software is ready to be released.
Helps collect valuable data
Another purpose of crowdsourced testing is collecting data on an app's performance. Normally, internal SQA teams work on specific devices and specific browsers to test apps, but crowd testers work on various devices and browsers as well as from different locations that have different climates. Because of that, companies can identify if their app has performance issues on a specific device or browser or if weather conditions can affect the app's performance in any way, which is especially valuable data for mobile apps.
Furthermore, members of the crowd testers can use the app as a finished product to examine whether it's doing everything it's supposed to do. That way, companies can also gather feedback on app's performance and usability from a simple user's perspective.
Tests for load balancing
Load balancing is always a primary issue with the newest apps. The number of users increases each day and if apps aren't designed to withstand a lot of traffic, they'll undoubtedly crash or start glitching. Stress testing the app's system until it reaches the threshold and crashes simply demands a lot of time and resources.
However, with crowdsourced testing at their disposal, companies have access to hundreds of thousands of testers around the world who can access the app at the same time and see whether it can handle such traffic or not. For companies, it's a more reliable and less time-consuming task to let real users load test the app than it is to spend time on volume testing and endurance testing the app's systems.
Additional benefits of crowd testing
Crowdsourced testing's efficiency isn't the only reason why it's so popular. As a matter of fact, crowd testing offers quite a bit of flexibility and convenience as well. For instance, crowd testing is quite cost-effective, because testers get paid based on the quality of service they provide. In addition, it's also quite cheap, because crowd testers are experienced, so there's no need to outsource the testing to professionals or to hire additional specialists and engineers.
Furthermore, with crowdsourced testing, companies have access to numerous resources, which means their apps can be tested under many different requirements and specifications. Moreover, it's fast and reliable because there are a lot of people working on the same project at the same time. Also, various people can come up with different ideas, which has proven to be efficient in executing different kinds of tests to find as many defects as possible.
Although crowdsourced testing is an efficient and cost-effective method for testing software products, its purpose isn't to replace internal SQA teams but - as additional means of testing - to ensure that software is bug-free before being released. On the other hand, crowd testing offers a lot of benefits to companies, which makes this method that much popular.