uTest Opens its (Brand-New) Doors!

panorama muralThose of us at team uTest have been in our swanky new penthouse headquarters for a little over a month now. This past Wednesday, we opened up our new home to our Boston-area tech friends and neighbors at our first-ever uTest HQ open house. As first reported via an interview with our CEO in the Boston Business Journal earlier this year, we’ve doubled our space and signed a multi-year lease as we prepare for the future of the apps economy. Our new offices – still in the Boston area’s thriving Metro-West tech scene – are designed in an open concept, complete with great views, a media center (complete with sliding in-wall doors), a brand-new stainless steel kitchen with retro bar stools and benches, and a post-industrial, modern feel.

Friends, neighbors and partners filled our new digs on Wednesday to take tours, eat delicious snacks, take-in our cool new mural depicting our organizational milestones (as you can see in the picture accompanying this post) and discuss our recent successes. We even received a formal acknowledgement from our State Senator congratulating us on our move.

We’ll be debuting an online tour of the new HQ soon, so be on the lookout for that. Until then, checkout some more pics from our open house and, for those attending STPcon in a few weeks, know that we’ll be delivering a keynote and exhibiting so make sure you say hello!

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Demand for Tech Workers Sparking Talent War

Tech Talent in DemandBetween the recession in the United States, austerity measures in Europe and the economic turmoil in South America, there aren’t many economies that have been doing too hot in recent years. And when economies as a whole struggle, jobs and industries struggle. But while industries like manufacturing, construction and retail took a major a hit during the downturn, there’s at least one industry that has continued to grow – technology.

The pace of tech innovations, mobile dominance and cloud computing adoption has lead to what the Boston Business Journal is calling a “high tech talent war.” With big idea schools like MIT and Harvard in the backyard, Boston has become a hub of tech innovation, start-ups and established businesses. Now, the race is on for the area’s companies to stay on top by attracting the top talent. From the Boston Business Journal:

“Right now, if a tech worker posts his resume on a job board like CareerBuilder.com, he can expect more than 50 responses,” says Chris Mader, vice president of growth strategy and development at Randstad Technologies. “The demand for IT skills continues to rise. Companies are seeking increased revenue through IT. They’re seeking increased savings through IT. There are a lot of reasons to be optimistic about 2013.”

According to a June poll by CIO.com, tech business leaders report that IT budgets are steadily growing, up by 4.9% overall this year. From CIO.com:

Several tech categories are seeing a bump in spending since the April 2012 study, specifically mobile/wireless (up 6% from April), outsourced services (including cloud — up 6%) and hardware (up 7%). Additionally, 48% of CIOs are using an increasing portion of their budget for new projects, and growing topline revenue is driving 36% of new project spending. Enterprise organizations (1000+ employees) are more focused on increasing external relationships and experiences (42% vs. 28% of SMB), whereas SMB (< 1000 employees) are more focused on internal support and services (37% vs. 32% of enterprises).

The rise in both external relationship spending and internal support bodes well for tech workers – with increased demand for services overall comes increased demand for talent overall. Tech professionals themselves are feeling the increase in demand and the subsequent power and security that gives them. From Boston Business Journal:

Continue Reading

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Angel Investing Increasing, Favors Software

Good news for anyone who has a great new software idea – Angel investing is on the rise and software related companies are pulling in the biggest numbers.

According to Silicon Valley Bank’s Q1 2013 Halo Report, tech deals account for more than half of all Angel funding – which is up overall by 23%. From VentureBeat:

The good news for the tech sector is that about 60 percent of all deals and 55 percent of all investment dollars were in web, mobile, telecom, and software investments. Healthcare took the lion’s share of the remainder, with 19 percent of deals and 23 percent of dollars, while consumer products, industrial, and energy startups were all in single digits in both deal and dollar percentages. Each of the Internet, health, mobile, and software sectors saw deal volume increase.

Here’s a more tech-centric breakdown (I’m throwing consumer products and services in this list because tech is increasingly seeping into the consumer goods market):

  • Internet: 36.8% of deals; 31.8% of dollars
  • Mobile & Telecom: 16.6% of deals; 12.8% of dollars
  • Non-Mobile and Internet Software: 6.2% of deals; 8.5% of dollars
  • Consumer Products & Services: 4.1% of deals; 3% of dollars

If you want to get your idea funded, choose the right location. Silicon Valley isn’t the only player anymore – not by a long shot – though it may still be the best option if you have a tech idea.

Angel Investing by Region

Interestingly, the Southwest region edged out California for the first time in terms of total dollars invested, with 18.1 percent of all angel capital invested. California had 17.4 percent, while New England, Great Lakes, and Great Plains were the only other regions in double digits.

“Seventy-three percent of angel group deals are now done outside California and New England, although 30% of dollars are invested in these regions,” the Angel Resource Institute said.

Read more at VentureBeat >>>

Good luck new tech companies! And don’t forget, just because your employees are working around the clock and you’re strapped for cash doesn’t mean you should – or have to – forgo software testing. Good QA on a budget is possible!

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BBJ Names uTest #1 on the 2013 Pacesetters List

2013_PaceSettters_WEBuTest is setting the pace in Massachusetts…and we’re not talking about uTest CEO Doron Reuveni’s ability to run the entire length of the state without breaking a sweat.

Yesterday morning at the Boston Business Journal’s Pacesetters breakfast event, the BBJ named uTest the #1 pacesetting company in the region. In case you were wondering, the Pacesetters list is comprised of seventy Massachusetts companies that recorded the highest three-year growth rate in terms of revenue. Not too shabby.

“We’re thrilled to be named as the #1 Pacesetter in the region by the Boston Business Journal,” said Doron. “It further validates our vision and execution, and is a distinct honor to be recognized alongside so many great companies. Congratulations to all of the Pacesetters.”

It is truly exciting to be a part of the top companies driving the economy in Massachusetts, and as uTest CMO Matt Johnston said earlier this month, “uTest is proud to call the Boston area our home base.”

What makes us even more thrilled is that yesterday’s Pacesetters Breakfast Event was able to raise $76,000 for the One Fund Boston. As BBJ Publisher Chris McIntosh said, “these companies displayed the kind of commitment that symbolizes Boston Strong.”

Congratulations to all the Pacesetters, and thank you to the folks at the Boston Business Journal for putting together such a great award and event!

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In-The-Wild Q&A with uTest

The uTest crew in 2010... 1/6th of what it would be in 2013.

The uTest crew in 2010 – 1/6th of what it is now.

One of the items I’ve been looking forward to launching in my new role as Sr. Content Manager is inspired by Jalopnik’s “QOTD” (Question of the Day). On a daily basis Jalopnik editors will post a question in the morning such as, “What’s An Annoying Part of a Great Car?”  Readers share their ideas and that afternoon Jalopnik will do a roundup of the ten best answers. We’re going to do it slightly differently here at uTest, though.

Using the comments section below, we’ll pick a top question and put it in front of a few people here at uTest that can best answer the question. The output might be written, video or a combination of both. The question might be internal (e.g. community, product or business centric) or external (e.g. software trends, industry news, relevant events, etc.). Though our version won’t be daily, we hope to make this as regular feature. How often we do this In-the-Wild Q&A all depends on your questions, so put your thinking caps on and let the questions fly.

Let’s get those questions coming in – what questions do you have for the uTest crew?

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