The uTest Community no doubt had its biggest year yet in 2013 – it was a year full of milestones and anniversaries, expanded educational opportunities, rewards abound for the best of our best testers, and laughter and tears. OK, so maybe there weren’t many tears shed, but you get the point: it was a momentous and exciting year! Take a trip with us as we recap 2013 in our passionate community of testing professionals.
100,000 Testers and Five Years as a Community
The end of 2012 saw our community grow to 70,000, and just a year later it increased to the astounding total of 100,000, five years after our community started with the humble beginnings of only 8,300 testers. This is a testament to the passion and dedication of our testers – they are the lifeblood of our company. Some of our testers that helped make this 100,000 possible reflect on their experiences in 2013:
2013 was a busy year for me here at uTest. I ramped myself up to becoming a Gold-rated tester working full-time, within the first few months. I was invited to participate as a Forums Moderator and had applied for Test Team Lead. I went through the TTL vetting process and then decided to take it a step further and applied for Community Project Manager. As of November, I have been enjoying my role as CPM. With hard work and determination, there is no limit to what you can achieve at uTest!
– CJ Troiani, Community Project Manager and Gold-rated Tester
2013 was an awesome year for me on uTest, not only in terms of earnings and learning but also in terms of the progress they made in many aspects that surround the uTester life: Platform improvements, new community tiers, training and Sandbox classes, just to name a few. With that said, there is no way I can’t think that in 2014 it is going to be even better!
-Romulo BM de Oliveira, Gold-rated Tester and TTL, uTester since 2011
Several colleagues had recommended uTest as a good way to improve your skills as a tester and earn some extra money. On my Honeymoon I was contacted by Peter Shih about Accessibility Testing. Not only was I given the kudos of being the uTest expert, but I also have helped create some uTest University tutorials. I have worked on several projects with a great range of people and personalities, and I have made new friends with the same love of testing. I do think it was a good move on my part, as the whole experience has increased my confidence in my abilities and I am helping others learn important new skills.
-Helen Burge, Accessibility Testing Expert and uTest University Instructor
What you do at uTest is visible and clear to so many. This can be scary, but the flipside is that when you do well, others see it, and it makes a difference in how successful you are at uTest and how others see you. This helps provide accountability AND reward. And the reward is not always merely financial. Along with this is the sense of community that uTest has in its DNA. For whatever reason, uTest has seen that community is important and has made it that way. I have thoroughly enjoyed the fact that we are working hard together. We are learning together. And it’s fun. Honestly I think it’s something I’ve been missing in my work life for a while now.
– Dave D’Amico, Gold-rated Tester who joined us in 2013
Community Plus and Premier
The community saw the introduction of Community Plus and Premier – introduced to further distinguish the best of the best testers, increase the value and quality delivered to our customers, and incent testers for doing so. And incented our community was: In addition to more frequent enterprise cycle invitations, testers received higher uplifts on enterprise cycles to the tune of +10% for Premier and +5% for Plus, on top of Gold, Silver, and Bronze increases.
uTest University: One-Stop Hub for Testers
And last, but certainly not least, arguably the biggest story to come out of the community in 2013 was the launch of uTest University. The University was launched with purely the tester in mind as a full-service hub for everything test and QA professionals need to learn, earn, network and grow. The University has already launched a wealth of brand-new courses, a dynamic Q&A for crowdsourced answers to testing questions, a full events calendar and a lot more to elevate testers’ skillsets.
The Year Ahead: 2014 in Preview
Now back to the present. If you thought last year was a whirlwind, you ain’t seen nothing yet.
First, on the educational side, testers can expect a heavy investment in uTest University with targeted content and courses beneficial to testing careers. (Check back later this week for a roundup of the latest and greatest uTest University features!)
Secondly, testers can expect a heavy investment in the uTest platform itself with new features and performance enhancements, including added support for our Test Team Leads. These features will include totally new, integrated Security and Load testing offerings within the platform to complement heavy investment in these testing types in 2014. That also equals more paid projects for our testers.
Finally, on the engagement side, testers can look forward to a brand-new website scheduled for release in the first half of the year. It will focus on a streamlined experience across learning, networking, and paid projects. Additionally, we will be attending numerous testing conferences around the world including STPCon, StarEast and StarWest, and look forward to hosting uMeetups in order to meet more uTesters!
It’s no secret that 2013 was an important year for the uTest Community, and it’s all because of the hungry, passionate, driven and amazing individuals that make up our community of now 100,000+. 2014 is primed to be an even more important year for our uTesters with an added emphasis on ‘opportunity.’ We look ahead to a big year and happily celebrate the big and little achievements in 2013 within our great community, many of which cannot even be contained in this blog.