How to Get Started on uTest Projects

The best part about working in the uTest Community is seeing the number of new testers who join our ranks everyday. We see testers new uTest-logoto the testing world, as well as veteran testers who have years of experience. No matter your experience level, we have resources to help guide you toward your first paid project with uTest.

The first step is to sign up with uTest and make sure you have an Expanded profile. Not sure? Check out this simple set of instructions. 

The first stop in our journey after registration is a course in uTest University called “Getting Started with uTest Paid Projects.” This course contains answers to many of the questions that new uTesters typically have, like how to update your Expanded profile and how to get invited to the Sandbox program.

Keep in mind that, in order for uTest to match you with incoming projects, you will need to keep your testing profile complete and up-to-date. For example, if a project requires testers in Canada with BlackBerry devices and your profile matches these requirements, we will then be able to notify you of an upcoming test cycle. Be sure to update your profile as you pick up new gadgets (mobile devices, laptops, etc.) and update your software. Many customers are especially interested in testers with the latest devices for testing purposes. Removing outdated items you no longer own is also very important.

The next stop takes a step back from uTest and examines the greater software testing realm. In short, without a solid foundation in testing fundamentals, it will no doubt be tough to develop as a tester at uTest. “Building Your Software Testing Skills” is a great primer for new testers and vets alike, and contains many testing resources, those recommended by a 15-year software testing veteran, that are intended to help you grow as a software tester.

Coming back into the uTest world, the next stop is the “5 Steps to Succeeding in Your First uTest Project” course. Once you’ve been invited to a uTest project, there are helpful steps outlined in the course that will assist you, such as how to accept your first invitation, review the scope and chat, submit your bug reports, submit your test case, and check in on your bug reports in the event a Project Manager or Test Team Lead has a question.

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uTest Announces Tester of the Quarter

uTesters may be pretty familiar with uTester of the Year already. Continuing the theme of recognizing and championing our best testers,little-u uTest is proud to launch a brand-new, community-wide recognition initiative — Tester of the Quarter!

This quarterly program exists solely to recognize and award the rock stars of our global community, and differs from uTester of the Year in that it puts the power of nominations directly in the hands of our testing community:

  • Testers will be able to easily recognize their peers’ dedication and great work in various facets of their participation at uTest: test cycle performance, course writing, blogging, etc.
  • And not just peers – testers will have the chance to recognize Test Team Leads and Project Managers, as well as mentors who have helped them along their testing journey on paid projects at uTest

Additionally, once the nominating is complete, all winners will have their names proudly displayed on a “Hall of Fame” recognition board. The Hall of Fame will serve as the recognition hub for not only Tester of the Quarter, but all uTest award programs, including past uTesters of the Year and uTest Lifetime Achievement Awards (coming soon!), and will be a mainstay on the uTest site.

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Quality is Customer Value: My Quest for the uTest MVT Award

One thing I respect about uTest is their continual pursuit of ways to increase customer value. It’s an essential business objective to ensure the health and growtrophy_goldenth of our company. ‘Value’ should be the middle name of any good tester. “Lucas Value Dargis.” Sounds pretty cool, huh?

I had just finished my 26th uTest test cycle in mid-2012. I had put an extra amount of focus and effort into this cycle because there was something special at stake. On some occasions, uTest offers an MVT award which is given to the Most Valuable Tester of the cycle. The selection process takes several things into account including the quality of the bugs found, clear documentation, participation, and of course, customer value.

The MVT award not only offers a nice monetary prize, but it’s also a way to establish yourself as a top tester within the uTest Community. I decided I was going to win that MVT award.

As usual, I started by defining my test strategy. I took the selection criteria and the project scope and instructions into account and came out with these five strategic objectives:

  • Focus on the customer-defined ‘focus’ area
  • Report only high-value bugs
  • Report more bugs then anyone else
  • Write detailed, easy-to-understand bug reports
  • Be active on the project’s chat

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Announcing the 2014 uTest Summer Bug Battle Champions

We’re proud and excited to crown the champions of the 2014 Summer Bug Battle, uTest’s first in almost four years.Marty3

If you’ll remember, in this recent edition of the uTest Bug Battle, testers were asked to submit the most impactful Desktop, Web and Mobile bugs from testing tools contained on our Tool Reviews site. After two weeks of heated competition, our Test Team Leads chose the top 10 most impactful finalists from the bunch, and the Community spoke by voting on their favorites from these.

Here’s who YOU, the Community, crowned as the 2014 Summer Bug Battle champions, winners of $1000 in prizes, along with their corresponding winning entries:

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Design Your Ideal Testing Tool, A New Contest for uTesters

On the heels of a successful Bug Battle contest, we are launching another contest exclusively for uTesters called the Ideal Tool Contest. If you’ve ever wished for testing tools with more features or better integration options, now is your chance to design the perfect testing tool that the world has never seen before!

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The Ideal Tool Contest is a competition for testers – either individuals or teams – to design their ideal browser-based, manual functional testing tool.

How do you participate? First, decide if you want to compete independently or together with a team to win the $1,000 grand prize. Yes, you read that correctly. One thousand dollars!

Next, gather your information and materials as noted in the Requirements section of the contest page. Then, submit your entry.

Lastly, spread the word about the contest on Twitter, Facebook, or your favorite social media site.

The contest is running now and ends at 12:00 p.m. EDT, Tuesday, August 26th. You can find the list of key dates on the contest page. Get your entries in as soon as possible to qualify for our random drawings for uTest t-shirts.

Good luck!

Bug Battle Nearing Finish Line, Additional Bonus for Testers

The Olympics. The World Cup. All grand battles of human strength and wit must come to an end at some point, and the 2014 Summer Bug Battle is no dHopper-Magnifying-Gifferent.

We’re nearing the finish line for our first bug competition in nearly four years, with the days waning to get in your most impactful Desktop, Web and Mobile bug submissions from testing tools contained on our Tool Reviews site!

Testers have just six days left, until Wednesday, August 6th, and only the best battlers will take home all the due glory, respect, and the cash prizes of over $1000 for bugs that are not only the most crucial and impactful, but that are part of well-written bug reports.

As an added bonus on top of the five uTest t-shirts we’ll be giving away along with cash prizes, we have sweetened the pot even more for those that get their entries in by the end of day, Sunday, August 3rd — you’ll be eligible for a bonus drawing of 1 of 5 uTest t-shirts! But only if you enter by Sunday.

Yes, you’ll be eligible for one of the sweet uTest t-shirts you see below that Community Management colleague Andrew graciously models off for us (banana not included).

The long, nobly fought battle is nearly over, so be sure to ENTER NOW!

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Connect With Your Favorite Testers With New Profile Features

Since the launch of the new uTest in early May, we haven’t paused to build new features and functionality that can add value to your software testing lives. We know that you’re busy and keeping on top of the latest news and information in the testing world can be a challenge. Therefore, we’re happy to launch two new features today: Follow Me and Activity Feed.

The Follow Me feature is located on all uTester profiles, allowing you to easily get updates from your favorite uTesters at the click of a button, viewing the Activity Feed of their latest contributions to blog posts, tool reviews, and more. follow button

Following your favorite uTester is easy — just look for the blue Follow Me button in the lower right corner of their banner image. With one click, you will now receive updates every time that uTester posts a new comment, pens a blog post or University course, or reviews a new tool. Don’t know the profile URL of the person you want to follow? Find it here.

The Activity Feed is your one stop to see the latest updates from the people you’re following. Your activity feed is sortable by blog comment, blog post, University course, University comment, and tool review, so you can control what types of updates you see.

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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 site.security-lock

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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