Crowdtesters Will Tear Your Software Down. Are You Prepared?

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A panorama of the current IT landscape presents a holistic view of all the game-changing processes that organizations are following. Digital transformation has become the top strategic priority for them to stay ahead in the race to customers’ heart. They are moving on from the legacy software development methodologies to adopt Agile and DevOps to facilitate faster deployment cycles. While the need for cost-reduction, worker productivity, and regulatory compliance will take a possible dip in the next couple of years, the need to achieve customer satisfaction will become a necessity.

As speed and quality in software delivery become imperative, the existing processes call for change to better suit the evolving demands. The line between software developers and testers is blurring, dispersing the responsibility of quality assurance to everyone involved in the entire SDLC. With excessive competition, having a subpar or no software testing strategy translates into guaranteed failure. In the words of James Bach, “Testing is an infinite process of comparing the invisible to the ambiguous in order to avoid the unthinkable happening to the anonymous.” This means, testing, in fact good testing, is inevitable to assure quality and value delivery to the end users.

The ever-increasing competition and consumer expectations put the organizations in a rather tight spot. On one hand, they are expected to deliver quality at speed, while on the other, the faster cycles leave no room to perform efficient QA. The manual resources are inundated with the number of tasks that are required to be performed and completed at a superhuman pace. Scalability also becomes a challenge. Test automation is certainly helpful in optimizing the mundane, repetitive tasks, but what about the actions that cannot be fulfilled without manual supervision?

Crowdtesting can rescue the modern organizations from this dilemma. Crowdsourced testing approach allow them to achieve scalability while cashing on human intelligence. The benefits of crowdtesting are immense, but so are the risks. Taking the crowdtesting route is similar to sending an unshielded, rookie soldier out on the battlefield. Let us see whether it will survive or will be torn down to pieces.

They will have no mercy

Testers, in general, are supposed to be cruel when it comes to finding bugs. When the testers are in-house, they might have a sentiment attached to their ‘baby’ product and may have a biased perception toward the flaws. When the crowdtesters are roped in for performing quality assurance and bug detection, they will be merciless and harsh. If the need arises, they will hold the ‘baby’ by the ear to see whether its functioning in the way it is supposed to or not. Not only they bring in a fresh perspective that the in-house team lacks, they are also able to dissect a software or application under real-life conditions.

They will outnumber and overpower you

Without test automation, it is practically not possible to scale. Crowdsourcing effectively solve the issue. With cloud and open-source tools, it has become feasible to transcend the geographical barriers and maintain a coordinated communication channel with the testers at the same time.

Crowdtesters can help achieve test scalability within a short frame of time, empowering organizations to match their software release timelines. Additionally, sourcing the testers from all over the globe helps in obtaining a peek-a-boo of how the software will perform under actual conditions.

You can choose your slayers

Getting crowd testers on board allows an organization to test and understand an application’s reception among their intended target users. Before releasing the software to the actual users, organization can choose expert testers from the target group. This selected group can serve as a sample size to examine the performance, usability, security, and functionality of the application or software. As the testing is done by skilled testers under actual environment, using valid test data, the results obtained are as close to reality as possible. With these results, organizations can chart a map of their application’s strengths and weaknesses to decide the further action plan.

Beware of those data thieves

The biggest concern of crowdsourced testing is the risk of compromising security and confidential data. While several organizations are also crowdsourcing penetration testing, they are at the same time putting their application in the position where malicious hackers can exploit the vulnerability and extract sensitive information.

Do not give away your war secrets

While crowdsourced testing offers the benefits of wider test coverage, speed, scalability, and flexibility, it is not a suitable fit for all test requirements. Organizations must first determine the fit between the requirements and strategy. They should not employ crowdsourcing if:

  • The feature to be tested is innovative: With competitors setting a hawk’s vision on their counterparts and engaging with each other in a cut-throat race to market leadership, no organization can afford to disclose an unreleased innovation among strangers. The risk involved is too high and may cause a slaughtering blow on the organization’s reputation.
  • There is sensitive and confidential data involved: Cybersecurity and data breach incidents are at a record high. As data has become the most valuable asset, organizations must fortify their databases against all possible threats.

Conclusion

Crowdtesters bring along a wide pool of knowledge that can add significant value to an organization’s test results. With a bias-free perspective, crowdtesters are able to identify critical bugs that would have cost an organization their revenues, reputation, and credibility. Quality assurance has become the most crucial aspect that determines whether an application will thrive or sink.

Cigniti partners with industry leaders providing Crowdsourcing solutions & services to help its clients leverage the benefits of real testers on real devices under real test scenarios for real environment.

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