Microsoft Blast: The Biggest Headlines on Windows 10

As you already know, we’re super excited for the next release in the Windows 10 grouping: Windows 10 Mobile. While we have not had the opportunity to play with a Windows 10 device yet, we leave it to you, our testers, to tell us what you know about Windows 10 Mobile, and what you’re most excited to see. However, we don’t want to leave you without your latest Windows news, so check out the below links to find out more about the latest Windows 10 news.




  • Windows 10 Mobile is set to release sometime this fall, but no clear date has been set yet. Find out more here.

  • Different mobile makers have been gearing up and making changes in anticipation of the Windows 10 release. Find out more here.

  • Are you a tester in our New York community? If so, check out the big New York Windows release! It’s set for October 6th. Check it out here.

Have you had a chance to explore Windows 10 mobile? If so, what was your experience like? Comment below, or take your input to the forums! If you haven’t already, don’t forget to sign up for our Microsoft Sub-Community below!

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Tester of the Quarter Voting for Q3 Now Open!

As Q3 comes to a close later this month, it is once again time to hand out Tester of thebadgeTesterOfQuarter Quarter Awards. Having run these awards last quarter, I am looking forward to seeing hardworking members of the uTest community get the recognition they deserve once again.

Testers have the opportunity to award their peers’ performance in three categories, all of which are equally important in building and maintaining a thriving, growing, uTest community: Outstanding Forums Contributors, Outstanding Content Contributors, Outstanding Test Team Leads (TTLs).

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Move Over Hackers, Testers Have Joined the Party

For the past decade, White-hat and Black-hat hackers have congregated across the world to share and explore the future of their industry. The recent security news making headlines this summer only bolsters the community and encourages its expansion. An integral part of this community growth can be traced to the increased prevalence of Hackathons, events organized for the world’s top hackers to get together and share and explore their industry. In this respect, Hackers have distinguished themselves from Testers; individuals who are part of a larger industry. That is, until now.

Courtesy of YouTube

Testathon, the world’s first “Hackathon for Testers” launched last year across the globe. The events bring together the top testers in the world to test for some of the tech industry’s giants. With tons of competitions, prizes and giveaways, Testathon is providing a social and collaborative space for Testers to cultivate a true sense of global community.

The Global App Testing team is behind the Testathon Series, which has run in four cities at this point and they are looking to continue the series in late 2015. It is free to attend, although you must be invited after submitting an invitation. The events have been held worldwide, from San Francisco to the most recent event in Romania in May. Although these events have been going on for the past year, their increasing popularity among testers has given them a level of legitimacy that promises to expand the community and their relevance.

This particular testing Conference series is one of many, and companies like Spotify have hosted their own “Testathon” with software testers around the world. This is simply an indicator of the growing importance and number of Testers and their increasing relevance to critical and commercial success of new technologies. Testers are here to stay, and events like Testathon are reinforcing that point.

Want to learn more about Testing Conferences? Want to share your experience or hear others’? Let us know by logging in and joining the discussions in the forums!

Related Reads:

Testing Conferences in Europe

Interview with Testing Expert James Bach

Interview with Tester Jennifer Bonine

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My First Experience with Windows 10

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to click around on a computer that had recently been updated with the newest Microsoft software – Windows 10. While this wasn’t the most ‘up-to-date W10device’ (I was clicking around on my Grandmother’s PC’), I did get a quick glimpse of the latest operating system from Microsoft.

Before I get to my review, please keep in mind- I only spent a short amount of time on the computer. I didn’t get the chance to explore as much of Windows 10 as I would have liked to. However, the short time that I was able to spend on it gave me a good idea of what all the hype is about.

Windows 10 was a similar user experience to what I had while using a Windows tablet- specifically, the Surface Pro 2. The Surface that I had access to made use of Windows 8.1, and Windows 8.1 includes many of the same visuals as can be found in Windows 10. The ‘Start’ icon expands to a visual panel, and the icons are more sleek and eye-pleasing than icons from pre-8.1 interfaces. However, for anyone looking to upgrade and wondering about the transition process, be warned- files move around during the upgrade! I spent some times looking for files as basic as ‘Games’ (which would previously be included in the Windows package).

Overall, I could tell that Windows 10 will be great. With the exception of the initial learning involved with any upgrade, the new operating system is easy to use, and is visually pleasing. Yet, as mentioned before, I didn’t have the time to fully explore. I leave that to you! After exploring Windows 10, what did you think? What has your experience been? Do you like the new layout? What functionality impressed you the most?

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Q&A with WomenTesters Editor Jyothi Rangaiah

Jyothi Rangaiah is the editor womenof and the Women Testers e-magazine which celebrated it’s first anniversary this past July.

Per their website they describe themselves as,

“We at Women Testers have approached the experienced and the naive in the testing industry to contribute, come forward and cater to the needs of this field. An overwhelming response is received and we will bring to you via this medium a quarterly e-publication with articles would be a cliché, we bring to you a learning which could help assist all of you readers in your software testing career”

At uTest we are educjyothiated by the website and the e-magazine. They support our goal of encouraging women testers and Jyothi herself has helped inspire me with ideas on how uTest can become a better resource for women. You can also follow along by checking out the website and following WomenTesters  on twitter @WomenTesters.

As part of the movement at uTest we want to share the ideas and opinions of role models for the women in the community. Jyothi Rangaiah is a software tester / Director of Quality at Whyable Technologies as well as the editor of Women Testers. Read the Q&A with Jyothi to find out how she got where she is today and advice she has for beginners to testing.

How did you begin your career in testing?

J:Testing is synonym to learning and anyone who makes learning a way of living can be a tester and be better at it.

After 7 years of being in testing, I did learn from the testing guru’s that I am headed in the right direction. I referred to a blog post which I had written in my personal blog in the early days of testing career and it only proved this.

Many think that girl’s have no other option or their language skill is better and this bags them a testing role. Such an arrogant statement only helps a tester take up the challenge and be better at testing.

Making a career out of learning is a perk which I gave myself. I am a tester before it was a celebrated career and encourage myself to do and be better at it.

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iOS 9 is Here, But Is It Worth It?

Crisper temperatures…the start of the school year…the changing colors of the leaves…the return of football…apple picking…all of these conjure up images and feelings that come with the transition out of summer and into fall.  However, there’s one other annual event that you can almost certainly set your autumnal calendar to: Apple’s latest full iOS release.

The guios 9ys in Cupertino pushed out the latest (and greatest?) version of their mobile operating system to the public on Wednesday.  Although the beta version has been in limited distribution for several months now, this will be most people’s first opportunity to check out what Apple has in store for us iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch wielders, not just for now, but in the months and even years ahead.

Like all Dot 0 releases (7.0, 8.0, 9.0, etc), the September release of iOS always comes with a little extra anticipation and fanfare.  Rather than focusing on bug fixes or performance tweaks, Apple uses this release as an opportunity to push its really big, sometimes even groundbreaking features and enhancements to iOS.  We all remember the launch of Siri with iOS 4.0 or the integration of iCloud with iOS 5.0.  Those of us who do any extensive amount of traveling will surely recall using the Passbook version of our boarding passes with the launch of iOS 6.0.

But is iOS 9.0 all it’s cracked up to be and is it worth your time and effort to upgrade?  Here are the top five new features and benefits that I’m looking forward to with the launch of iOS 9.0:


  1. Improved Battery Life

Go ahead, call me boring, but this is what I’m looking forward to the most in iOS 9.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m a happy and loyal iPhone user, but the battery life just stinks, plain and simple.  Depending on what type of app I have running, I rarely can get through a full day without having to charge it at least some.  Chalk that up to my streaming music addiction, but this is an area in which I feel Apple is lagging behind its Android counterparts.

Thankfully, iOS 9 is said to include under the hood improvements that claim to increase overall battery life by an hour.  It also comes with a new “Low Power Mode” feature.  Apparently, turning this on could potentially “increase battery life by up to three hours.”  That type of added juice is more than welcome when you’re out and about without access to a power outlet or portable battery pack.

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uTest Platform Updates for September 16th, 2015

It’s been a couple weeks since our last platform update, so here’s a run down of everything we’ve missed.

Farewell uTest iOS App

We are officially sunsetting the uTest iOS app, meaning that while it will still be available to those who wish to use it, we will no longer be updating or optimizing it. Additionally, the app will no longer be available for download in the app store. Thanks to feedback from the community, we have a new goal to provide a better experience for those using the uTest platform through browsers on their mobile devices.

For those who still wish to use the app, please take this warning: as the app becomes progressively more out of date, there may be security concerns related to your log in information and your messages with uTest.

Platform Improvements

We’ve made huge jumps in two key areas that I’m sure everyone will appreciate: issues with login and test cycle chat. Many of you have encountered these recently, or for test cycle chat, have been dealing with them for some time now. The login issue was a quick fix, so that should no longer be the problem.

Meanwhile, test cycle chat has needed some attention for a long time. Our platform team has put in long hours to create a more enjoyable experience for everyone. This week is the first of many changes to the chat design to help improve the robustness and better match the increasing number of users we have concurrently logged into the platform on a daily basis.

+1 Ratings Boost Capped at Five

As you may recall from this platform update announcement, you can now receive a ratings boost when you submit a +1 with an attachment to a previously filed bug. We have limited the number of times you can receive a ratings boost for adding +1s with attachments in a cycle to five. We have done this for two reasons:

  1. Give more people the opportunity to +1 an issue and receive a ratings boost.
  2. Keep the focus on submitting bugs, as those provide more value to the customer.

You can still submit +1s on bugs after your first five, but you will not receive the ratings boost.

Continued Improvements for Test Cases

We are continuing to work on creating better processes that will move more and more test cases onto the platform. This has been a pain point for everyone for some time now. Not all of these changes will be reflected in the tester app, so your experience will remain the same, but moving forward you should see less test cases housed on google docs.

Slot Claiming

Previously if you matched a slot for more than one environment, you were not forced to specify the environment(s) you intended to test upon. Now you must explicitly choose which matching environments you will test. You can also update your claims after initial acceptance.

Additionally, you must specify one of your claimed environments when submitting a bug, confirming an existing bug (+1) or test case, removing any ambiguity.

We’d love to hear your feedback. Use the comments below to share your thoughts! You can also join the discussion in our Forums here.

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My Vision for the uTest Performance Testing Community

What will differentiate uTest’s performance testing services and make us the “Go To” community for customers’ load testing projects? The value we deliver in the analysis of the test results.

As we grow the team by on-boarding new performance engineers and by training existing testers who want to further their career in this exciting industry, we will place an emphasis on performance testing geared towards providing Actionable value to the customer.

What will differentiate uTest’s performance

To understand the difference between “Front End Testing” and “Performance Engineering” I’ll describe how typical “front end” load testing is executed. First, the customer provides a URL or downloadable application as well as user activity workflows. They supply the target workload expected in production (some will have lofty goals of a million users logging into their website all at once, but we aim to please..). Then automated scripts are created to simulate real users and the harness is configured to reach that expected workload. The start button is pressed (I’m over simplifying here…) and the test is executed. More often than not, the load test falls over before the expected workload is reached. The results are analyzed and a report is delivered. This process is repeated for the time duration or until the number of sold tests cycles have been completed. This type of validation testing definitely meets the sold criteria to customer but let’s taking it a step deeper…and give them more value and insight.  Continue Reading →

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EuroSTAR Contest Giveaway

EuroSTAR TimelineComing up in November, the much talked about EuroSTAR conference will be taking place in Maastricht, Netherlands. For this event, uTest decided to offer our audience a chance to win a FREE trip to the EuroSTAR conference. The grand prize is valued at over $3,500 including tickets, hotel, food, and flight stipend.

To enter, just join the uTest community and submit a short video (approx. 2 minutes) about why you would like to join us in Maastricht and attend the EuroSTAR Conference! We’ll select the finalists, and then we’ll open it up to a public vote to decide the winner. Voting begins October 2!

The winning tester will be announced the week of October 6th.
If you’re an avid fan and would like to enter simply follow the directions below.

EuroSTAR graphic 

We look forward to seeing your videos and GOOD LUCK from the uTest Team.

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Meet Becky Clinard our New Performance Lead

As you may have seen in our forums post we are looking for testers interested in Load & Performance so that we can build our Performance Team. For those interested there will be resources to help build or improve your experience. We will be doing this by providing  blog posts, valuable course tracks, skill tests and more.

That is why I am excited to introduce our new Performance Lead Becky Clinard! circle becky

I met with Becky last week and we have a lot of great ideas for increasing the number of performance projects for uTest. Even better she has a lot to share and teach on how to become a performance expert.

You will soon be seeing content by Becky so read more for an intro to Becky and to find out more about her past experiences and how she plans to get involved in the community!

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In The News: Are Android Phones Losing Their Appeal?

We recently came across  an article that I felt nicely summarized some of the concerns Android smartphone techcrunchusers might be having as of late. Over at TechCrunch, Ben Dickson put together a recap of some of the serious security flaws that have been exploited in Android devices over the past few months. He went on to point out that despite Android still controlling over 75% of worldwide market share, and often having much more inexpensive offerings, these recent issues have caused some rumblings of worry amongst Android owners.  Being an Android owner myself, I thought I would go through some of these threats, and rate how much each one scares me:

Stagefright: This is a flaw that came about in late July, and allows attackers to target a victim’s phone simply by gaining access to their number. This flaw could be exploited on roughly 95% of Android phones at that time of it’s discovery, and allows attackers to gain administrative access to the target’s phone.


Scariness Scale: 9/10 – This one is particularly terrifying because it literally takes no action on the part of the victim for their phone to become infected. I (and many other people, I would assume) like to think that I’m too smart to fall for most easily identifiable attempts to infect my devices; I don’t open sketchy emails or suspicious-looking text messages, and don’t give my personal information out freely. However, the fact that having my phone number simply makes me vulnerable, and that fact that so many phones are at risk makes this security flaw pretty worrisome. Continue Reading →

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Windows 10: Doesn’t 9 Follow 8?

If you’re windows_10_start_menu_ledean avid Microsoft user, then you’re already aware of the release of the Windows 10 OS! Microsoft has been working vigorously to build their latest operating system and began rolling it out in phases this past July. With each new release, Microsoft slowly began to make the new OS available to groups larger than just the original Windows 10 Insiders. Now, enterprise users can roll out company-wide Windows 10 updates.

What’s in the package, you ask? Perhaps the most discussed update is that Windows 10 will now be available across all Microsoft devices, so you can seamlessly transition from your desktop to your smartphone, gaming device, and more. The second biggest update is that Microsoft will also be replacing Internet Explorer with Microsoft Edge!

So, what have you heard about Windows 10? Comment here or take the discussion to the forums!


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