New uTest Platform Features Focus on Efficiency and Performance

The holidays are upon us, but we here at uTest aren’t kicking back and relaxing. My colleagues and I have been hard at work building new features that focus on efficiency, and also optimizing existing features to improve performance. Here’s what was deployed today.

Tester – More Payment Statistics

The uTest Community is a great social network to connect to other testers, but at the same time a great place for professional testers to earn additional income. Given that we have many testers and Test Team Leads working for uTest full-time, we want to provide better insight into their earnings — vital for any freelancer. Therefore, we have added an Average Monthly Earnings statistic to the payments view:

You will be able to see how much money you earned per month in the current year as well as in the past, giving you better insight into your actual income generated at uTest.

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uTest Announces Winning Testers of the Quarter for Q4 2014

Marty3After a very successful initial launch earlier in the year, uTest is proud to announce the Testers of the Quarter for Q4 2014 in the community.

If you’ll remember correctly, this quarterly program exists solely to recognize and award the rock stars of our global community. Testers recently concluded voting for their peers and mentors, recognizing their dedication and quality work in various facets of uTest participation including test cycle performance, course writing and blogging.

In addition to the callouts below, you can also view their names now in our eternal uTest Hall of Fame, which also includes all past uTest award-winners from 2009 and beyond:

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When You Should Choose Manual vs. Automated Testing

ibook-software-developmentThe following is a guest post to the uTest Blog by Eli Lopian of Typemock.

QA analysts and IT firms are often confronted with the same question when testing a software project — whether to go with manual software testing options or to try out new automated techniques.

In certain situations, there are clear advantages to working with automated software testing solutions, and other times the automated software technology is too leading-edge and could wind up costing you way more than it’s worth. That’s why it’s essential to weigh the costs and benefits according to each project.

Manual Software Testing 

Manual Software Testing is the process of going in and running each individual program or series of tasks and comparing the results to the expectations, in order to find the defects in the program. Essentially, manual testing is using the program as the user would under all possible scenarios, and making sure all of the features act appropriately.

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Is Scripted Testing Just for the Newbie Tester?

Scripted testing naturally seems like it’s a match made in heaven just for the novice tester.Microsoft Web Test Managment Runner Hub Test Runner Anna Russo

After all, you have steps and directions clearly defined — wouldn’t the inviting structure to the scripted testing compensate for a lack of experience on the part of the tester? Not necessarily, if you ask our uTesters, whom recently approached the topic in a lively Analyze This testing debate in our uTest Forums.

Most of our community members found that while experienced testers may be spending their time creating test cases and junior testers executing them, there were several notable reasons as to why executing these important steps can’t just be left exclusively to the novice.

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uTest Non-Profit Partner Awarded $1.8 Million to Fund Software Testing Center

uTest is proud and excited to report that Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council has awarded $1.8 million to Per Scholas 003a8273-72a8-4ba7-9b5e-d2308638f7d2-mand its Urban Development Center (UDC) partner Doran Jones. The grant will help fund a software testing center currently being built in New York, bringing 150 software testing jobs to The Bronx.

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A Tester and Developer Guide to Android Lollipop

If you’re an Android user with a recent phone, chances are you’ve already played around with some of the cool features of Android 5.0, officially dubbed ‘Lollipop.’ If not, don’t worry, Galaxy S5 and other phone users, your time will be coming soon.android_lollipop-212x300

But as a tester or developer, there’s not much out there on what those changes mean for you, so we’ve compiled some new resources from uTest University and our friends at ARC not only about the fancy, shiny new things available with the new version of Android, but specifically what testers and devs need to know:

While you’re checking out what testers need to know about Lollipop at uTest University, be sure to also check out all of the Android testing courses available as well.

uTest’s Rising Stars for December 2014

uTest is proud to introduce our monthly “Rising Stars”! star

Our goal each month is to recognize uTesters that have joined our community in the past two months and have shown that they are on their way to becoming testing rock stars.

We looked at how uTesters performed in test cycles and how they engage with the community when we considered potential candidates. Here are a few of the items we factored in:

  • How often did you participate in cycles that you accept?
  • What is the quality of your submitted work? (See our uTest University course for more details)
  • How efficiently did you complete your projects?
  • What was your interaction level on the various uTest domains (Forums, University, Events, Tools)?

All newly registered uTesters who have a Proven or lower Functional testing rating on paid projects are eligible for this recognition.

Without further ado, here are December’s Rising Stars:

Please help us in congratulating our awesome new uTesters, and be sure to stop by and say hi over in the Forums.

The State of the uTesters 2014: Time Not a Luxury, But Testers Feel Valued

uTest recently conducted a survey within its own community for the first time, surveying uTesters on what motivates them, their testing aspirations, their views on certifications as a whole, and some of the biggest pain points in their organizations.little-u

The survey was not scientific and wasn’t designed to be (our corporate brand lovingly took that on earlier this year surveying the greater testing industry), but rather aimed to provide the outside world a glimpse into what makes our community tick and give uTesters insight into what drives their peers.

The survey was launched on the uTest Blog on November 7, and submissions ran for just over two weeks. There were 125 total respondents — 80 male, and 44 female — ranging from entry-level QA/testers to senior-level test analysts.

The major qualification here was that respondents not only had to be a uTester, but make their primary source of income as a software tester. Here’s the story the submissions told us.

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Accessibility Testing Tools: The Sometimes Unreliable Friends

When I started to do accessibility testing, I would rely too heavily on HTML validators to verify if a site is compliant. I would use the web developer toolbar, Accessibility-Testing-ToolsW3C validator, and would do some basic testing with a screen reader, not fully understanding the complexity of the needs of the end users.

As I gained more knowledge of the end users and the constraints of technology, I had to take a step back from reliance on the tools due to the many false negatives, and test the errors manually to ensure I reported actual bugs. For instance, the W3C validator would claim a variable had been duplicated, but one “duplicate” would be in a comment describing the variable — not a bug.

I have also found that what is marked as a semantic error is not an issue for assistive technology, but may be an issue if semantically correct (like an aria-label and a title for an href will have both read out). There are also some HTML validators, like the WAVE tool that will highlight errors that other validators will not highlight – so which one is correct?

Some other tools, like color ratio analyzers, will not highlight valid bugs, or mark a failure that is not actually incorrect. For instance, they will sometimes mark two colors as breaking the 1.4.3 checkpoint, but when you check the colors used by inspecting the elements, you find they do not actually break the checkpoint. One such example is the Juicy Studio tool — the Firefox add-on tends to have the result slightly out from the actual ratio compared to their website analyzer. Often, I will note the highlighted error, and then validate the actual colors used on the website to see if a failure is correct (which is also mentioned in a review for the tool).

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Join uTest for a Town Hall Meeting on December 16

Back in May, you may remember that our company rebranded to Applause and that we, the uTest team, relaunched as an open community that exists to promote and advance the software testing profession. uTest-town-hall

As Matt Johnston, Chief Marketing & Strategy Officer, noted in his blog post at the time, “In line with this new mission, we will build a million-member testing community. Together, we’ll create the most inclusive, informative and important brand in the lives of testers. This means much more than simply getting paid projects.”

We introduced a brand new back then and have since introduced many other enhancements over the past six months, such as:

  • A revamped Events calendar
  • “Follow Me” capability for community members
  • Leaderboard for members with the most followers
  • Profile improvements
  • A recommendations feature that allows fellow testers to commend each other for great work

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