Announcing the 2014 Summer Bug Battle, uTest’s First Since 2010

Marty3uTest is happy and excited to announce that a proud tradition and competition that started in our community in 2008 is back after a four-year hiatus…the Bug Battle!

Bug Battles are arguably even more popular than they were since the last time we held this esteemed competition. Companies from Microsoft to Facebook are offering up bounties to testers that find the most crucial of bugs bogging down their apps, and putting their companies’ credibility on the line.

The Bug Battle launches right now, Wednesday, July 23. Testers will have two weeks, until Wednesday, August 6th, to submit the most impactful Desktop, Web and Mobile bugs from testing tools contained on our Tool Reviews site. Only the best battlers will take home all the due glory, respect, and the cash prizes! And speaking of those cash prizes, we’ll be awarding well over $1000, along with uTest swag for bugs that are not only the most crucial and impactful, but that are part of well-written bug reports.

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Learn Security Testing Basics at uTest University

Data breaches, hacking, and other security leaks have been in the news for months now. Earlier this year, the Heartbleed bug affected the data security at big names like Google, Yahoo, Instagram, Pinterest, and Netflix. Organizations of all sizes from coast to coast are constantly dealing with security threats and breaches. New York suffered 900 data breaches last year, according to a report from the State Attorney General. In California, an insurance company inadvertently exposed the social security numbers of 18,000 doctors on a public web

It seems that the trend of big data breaches making the news is not stopping. This PC World article points out the 5 biggest data breaches of 2014 so far and the list includes recognizable names like eBay, Michaels Stores, and the Montana Department of Public Health. All of this media attention puts the security industry – and security testing – in the spotlight.

You can get up to speed on security testing using our course track, which includes:

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Are There Enough ‘Intellectual’ Software Testers?

imagesJames Bach is no stranger to tackling heated topics, and in general, being one of the most influential disruptors in the in the testing industry.

So it comes as no surprise that in a recent blog, James provided some fodder for a great discussion in the uTest Forums, arguing that there aren’t enough intellectual testers in the field — that is, testers that are willing to challenge themselves or the status quo:

“The state of the practice in testing is for testers NOT to read about their craft, NOT to study social science or know anything about the proper use of statistics or the meaning of the word ‘heuristic,’ and NOT to challenge the now 40 year stale ideas about making testing into factory work that lead directly to mass outsourcing of testing to lowest bidder instead of the most able tester.”

While there was a fair amount of pushback to this, a surprising amount of uTesters tended to agree, including one tester that even went so far as to call it a “pet peeve” of his. However, while agreeing with Bach’s assessment, these same testers argued that it isn’t necessarily their fault — it’s a product of their environment:

“To conclude, I believe that the issue lies with how projects are managed. If no time is left for more robust testing, then it almost doesn’t matter how intellectual or technically savvy a tester is if all he/she is going to have time to do is create and execute tests against specifications. In other words, intellectual testers don’t have much opportunity for more intellectual testing. A strong tester would not be able to showcase those skills in this environment.

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5 Ways to Learn About Software Testing at uTest

computer mouse and book, concept of online educationThe software testing world can be a complex maze, especially if you are new to the industry. There are various testing types, testing methodologies, and testing schools of thought, as well as guidance about bug reporting, project etiquette, and working on a testing team. The amount of information can be overwhelming, but we’ve outlined a few ways you can easily get your bearings and start off on the right foot in software testing here at uTest.

Read About Testing News

The Software Testing Blog is your source for news and information about the testing world. You can find posts about events, careers, trends, and specific testing types like mobile and security. The blog also features Q&A sessions with industry experts like Stephen Janaway, Craig Tomlin, and Dave Ferguson, along with upcoming interviews with leaders like James Bach.

Connect With Other Testers

The Software Testing Forums is your place to meet fellow testers from around the world and discuss the hottest topics in testing today. The forums includes over 80,000 posts in more than 5,000 topics. Take a poll, share your favorite testing quotes, or just introduce yourself to the community.

Attend An Event

The Software Testing Events calendar is a comprehensive listing of testing events happening around the globe. You can find both in-person and online events, as well as new courses available to testers. Some show organizers also offer discounts for members of the uTest Community. See event listings for more details.

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Video Courses at uTest University for Testers on the Go

Are you more of a visual learner? Perhaps you just don’t have the time to sift through vast chapters of knowledge as a busy tester? Video-based courses at uTest University may just be videowhat you’re looking for. The uTest University library is full of video courses for when you’re on the go, featuring topics including:

  • Accessibility
  • Test Automation (including Selenium basics)
  • Capturing logs on iOS/Android devices
  • Introductions to iOS and Android testing
  • Essentials for well-written bug reports
  • Penetration testing
  • Common testing mistakes to avoid

Take a look at all of the Video courses at uTest University today.

uTu is free for all members of the uTest Community. We are constantly adding to our course catalog to keep you educated on the latest topics and trends. If you are an expert in UX, load & performance, security, or mobile testing, you can share your expertise with the community by authoring a uTu course. Contact the team at for more information.

Meet the uTesters: Linda Peterson

Linda Peterson hails from the state of Connecticut in the United States, and is a Gold-rated tester and TTL with uTest. A long-time testlinda-per on Paid Projects with the community, she’s been with uTest for over 3 ½ years.

uTest: Android or iOS?

Linda: Android, because it has a bigger screen and keyboard, which is easier to type on when you have large fingers, or for those of us who did not grow up typing on small keyboards.

uTest: What drew you into testing initially? What’s kept you at it?

Linda: People have always told me that I was good at finding little things wrong with a website (i.e. spelling and grammar) as well as seeing the big picture. Someone had heard about uTest and thought it would be a good fit for me, and I have not looked back since. I love trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together, trying to figure out ‘why it is working as it is…what are the consistent steps to make it do this,’ as well as helping other testers improve their bugs, making it easier for the customer to fix the problem. Having retired from my own programming business, the paid projects side of uTest is a nice fit to fill in time and to try and keep the mind as sharp as possible, as well as learn some new stuff.

uTest: What is the one tool you use as a tester that you couldn’t live without?

Linda: Jing, because I can:

  1. Create a screenshot or video
  2. Mark up the screenshots: Text, different colors, arrows and boxes which are great for pointing out to TTLs and customers where problems are
  3. Save images to our computer or send a screencast URL to someone one or include in bug reports (if the video is too large)
  4. Review the history to find a bug that you used the screencast on

uTest: What’s your favorite part of being in the uTest community?

Linda: The diversity of where the testers are from in the world.

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Meet the uTesters: Marek Langhans

Marek Langhans is a Silver-rated tester on Paid Projects at uTest, hailing from the Czech Republic. He has also served as a uTest Forums Moderator. MMarek Langhansarek has has tested information systems, web, mobile and desktop applications of domestic financial institutions for a couple of years now, and wants to continue testing, and learning new ways to challenge himself as a tester.

uTest: What drew you into testing initially? What’s kept you at it?

Marek: Huge luck was what drew me into testing. Or maybe it was destiny calling. Either way, I am very glad I answered it. I do not want this to sound like some interview, but most of my personality traits are a good fit for this kind of job. I feel like a fish in the water when I do testing, and I am content when I can make the product closer to being perfect and prevent people from being frustrated when using it.

uTest: Which areas do you want to improve on as a tester? Which areas of testing do you want to explore?

Marek: There are too many areas I would like to touch on, but the first that comes to mind is security testing, and not just because it’s worn down all the time, but because it’s the alpha and omega of applications, and without knowing and applying at least the basics, the art of testing seems incomplete to me. What’s the good in having a well-functioning application with perfect account creation and login features when anyone can log in into your account?

uTest: What is the one tool you use as a tester that you couldn’t live without?

Marek: I am very modest regarding tools I use to help me test. But I would say that any graphic editor would do — for instance, Windows Paint. You know what they say…a picture is worth a thousand words, and in our field, this is particularly true. The next thing (and it isn’t much of a tool) I can’t do without are English dictionary add-ons. For us non-natives, it is a must have.

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#TestingChatter: Why Do You Test?

This week’s #TestingChatter Twitter Challenge is pretty straightforward, although it could qa_tester_screeningelicit some really passionate and unique responses from our testers.

We want to know what drives you. To put it simply…Why do you test?

Perhaps it’s because you’re a perfectionist who’s obsessed with quality and detail. Maybe you’ve always been tech-savvy and testing was just something you “fell” into. Whatever the reason, something brought you into the wonderful world of testing, and we want to know what it was.

Join in on the discussion in real-time and share with your colleagues: Tweet your answers to the question on Twitter using the hashtag #TestingChatter and we’ll be publishing YOUR tweets on the uTest Blog!

Top Tweets of ‘Your Must-Have Testing Tools’ Include…A Hammer?

Our latest #TestingChatter challenge on Twitter asked for your tweets in response to the question: What are your must-have testing tools? Our uTesters delivered, and shared some of the tools that they use the most to get the job done. Here’s some of the top responses from the past week:

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#TestingChatter: Your Must-Have Testing Tools

Tools_clipartIn this week’s #TestingChatter challenge, we want to know what the uTest Community’s must-have testing tools are.

We’re talking tools that if for some reason you were on a deserted island that conveniently had Wi-fi or cell coverage…and your phone battery only had limited time to download a couple of tools, these would be the ones you’d gravitate to. Extremely hypothetical, I know, but you see where I’m going with this. We want to know which tools are in your must-have testing kit. The ones you simply couldn’t live without to get…stuff…done.

Tweet your must-have testing tools on Twitter using the hashtag #TestingChatter and we’ll be publishing YOUR tweets and favorite testing tools on the uTest Blog! If you notice that your favorite tools also aren’t in our Tool Reviews, be sure to add yours today to let your peers know all about them.