Tag Archives | Google

You’re a Professional Mobile Tester (you just don’t know it yet)

When our Guest Blogger series began a few months back, you might recall that it was Bernard Lelchuck who got things started. For those who are new to uTest, Bernard has been one of our top testers from the get-go, and you can read more about his background and uTest experience by checking out his Tester Spotlight. In his latest post, he explains how he got into the lucrative field of mobile app testing – and how all testers can (and should) do the same. Enjoy!

If you haven’t noticed, the use of mobile applications has skyrocketed over the past few years. And while most mobile companies are lagging behind Apple’s success, the market itself has nevertheless become a multi-billion dollar endeavor. As one might expect, this success has prompted competitors of all sorts to rush and open their own mobile application stores. They naturally seek greater market share, and who could blame them?

According to a recent report published on the Wireless Expertise website, “the global mobile app market – including games – will be worth $4.66 billion in 2009, rising to $16.60 billion, in 2013.”

This of course would help explain the sudden entrance of Microsoft, Google, Research in Motion (RIM) and Palm, along with mobile vendors like Verizon and AT&T into the mobile market. As I like to say, they are trying to catch the fast-riding “Mobile App Train.”

And what a ride it’s been! Since the 1st gen iPhone was released in June of 2007, almost every leading mobile vendor has changed their products to look, feel and be as cool as the iPhone (with varying degrees of success).

Which brings me to mobile testing. But before I discuss the testing implications of this iPhone mimicking trend, I’d like to address how I got into mobile testing in the first place.  It’s my hope that this story will encourage other testers to consider furthering their careers by hopping on board the Mobile App Train.

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Go Parallel with Google’s Go

I remember when gopher on the Internet meant something else entirely.

Two days ago, Google announced the development of a new programming language called “Go“.  Outwardly, Go is similar to other programming languages in the C family, but don’t let that fool you.  Go is a brand new language written entirely from scratch and includes sophisticated built-in support for concurrent programming.

With the development of easy parallel programming tools, Google may now be competing with Apple in yet another technology market.  If you recall, Apple introduced Grand Central Dispatch with the release of their Snow Leopard operating system a few months ago.  While GCD is still very new, it generated a lot of excitement for how easy it made developing multi-threaded applications.

Go is also creating a lot of excitement, but it’s still very raw and requires a lot more development to be ready for production programming.  Still, developers should be excited to see two new technologies that will help them do more with concurrent programming.

However, despite Go and GCD’s ease of use, the hard part remains: developing a concurrent application first requires identifying parallel components that can be run independently.  In many ways, once a programmer overcomes that hurdle, regular old Pthreads don’t seem so hard.

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uTest CEO Presents at Google Test Automation Conference (GTAC)

As promised, Google has made the slides and video presentations from GTAC 2009 (Google Test Automation Conference) available on the GTAC website and on YouTube. This year’s GTAC was a huge success! The theme was “Testing for the Web,” and now anyone can watch these leading thinkers discuss test automation strategies, tools, and the challenges desktop and mobile environments present when creating web apps.

Doron was among a select group of speakers chosen to present at GTAC, including Microsoft, smartFOCUS Digital, Sauce Labs and of course Google, where he examined the complimentary role a community of professional testers plays in mobile testing.

Check out Doron’s presentation below! All other presentations can now be seen on YouTube.

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Mobile Innovation Flies “Under the Radar” Nov 19th

Under the RadarSpeaking of the mobile app market blowing up, I wanted to give you a heads up regarding a great mobile event: Under the Radar on 11/19 in Mountain View, CA.

From global carriers and handset manufacturers to media companies, branding partners, press and VCs — anyone who’s anyone leveraging new mobile tech and interested in catching a glimpse of the 2010 mobile marketplace should attend.

Featuring the most cutting-edge mobile startups from around the globe, Under the Radar will no doubt be another hit.

In the past 3 years, presenters at Under the Radar have gone on to raise over $1.36 Billion! Other knock-your-socks-off stats from the show:

  • 49% have gone on to raise funding or be acquired
  • 14% have been acquired by companies such as Google, eBay, Microsoft, Yahoo and Cisco
  • $14 Million average has been raised by presenting companies.

An Under the Radar grad ourselves, we highly recommend it!

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Mobile App Market Blowing Up (in a good way)

By now, it’s painfully obvious to all of us that the market for mobile apps is BOOMING and shows no signs of slowing down.  But I was still amazed by the stats/news that back up the hype. Within the past few months, GigaOmsomanyapps has reported the following mind-blowing proof points:

  • Apple users downloaded 2 billion apps
  • Android’s Market will come pre-loaded on Verizon phones
  • Microsoft launched its Windows Marketplace for Mobile
  • Apple will hit shelves in China, the world’s largest market
  • Research In Motion (RIM) expanded with its new App World
  • Palm introduced premium apps for its webOS
  • Verizon is opening its own app store later this year

And the list goes on and on…

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Google: Your RAM is Out to Get You!

Uh-oh! Better report that bug!

Your computer just crashed taking with it that document you’ve been working on for the past hour.  Naturally, you cry out in anguish over all those terrible software bugs that conspire to crash your computer and drive you nuts. But new evidence suggests that something else could be the cause: bad memory.

Google just announced the results of a new study based on the thousands of servers they manage in their data centers, and the results are surprising.  Memory error rates are thousands of times higher than anyone previously believed.  (CNET has a good summary of the research here.)

For software testers, this represents a significant new wrinkle in identifying bugs.  Wonky behavior and computer crashes could really be a hardware problem, and these sorts of hardware issues are way more common than we previously thought.

So what does that mean for your testing?  Here are a few thoughts that could help.

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A uTest Search Party (Bug Battle in the News!)

Once we announced the Search Engine Bug Battle results, the press rooms were buzzing. Here’s a quick snapshot of some of the top coverage the uTest community received this week. The headlines say it all – Google comes out on top, but Bing definitely impressed our testers.

For a complete list of bug battle coverage, check out the uTest Newsroom!

We couldn’t have done it without our talented, bug-hunting uTesters – thanks again for all your hard work and feedback!

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And The Winner Is… “Battle of the Search Engines” Results Are In

After countless hours of review, discussion and debate (and a few late nights of pizza and beer), the official results of the Q3 Bug Battle are in!  During a week in late August, a total of 606 bugs were reported across Google, Google Caffeine, Bing and Yahoo; and nearly $4,000 in prize money was doled out to those testers who’s bugs and feedback were judged to be the best.  For complete details, see the Q3 Bug Battle report.searchbugbattle_testPNG2_CROP

Inside uTest, we all agree that this was the best Bug Battle yet!  With more than 1,100 testers from 50+ countries around the world participating, we had more high-quality bugs and feedback than in any of our previous three Bug Battles.

First, let me say thanks to all the testers who participated.  Second,  it’s safe to say that this was the toughest Bug Battle we’ve had to judge yet (a good problem to have).  Third, I want to express our sincere congratulations to all the winners!

The top tester prize went to Joseph Ours of Columbus, Ohio, who reported a number of highly valuable bugs and provided some outstanding feedback. Other winners included noted testing blogger Pradeep Soundararajan of India (top bug), as well as Max Sterneck from Japan (top novice).  Other big winners included Bernard Lelchuck of Israel and Ranchhod Prajapati of India.  Check out the complete list of Q3 Bug Battle winners .

A Few of the High-Level Findings from the Bug Battle:

  • 71% of respondents stated search results accuracy as the most important when choosing their search engine.
  • In overall accuracy, Google led the way with a top two box score (those rated as “excellent” or “good”) of 90%. Caffeine followed with 83%. Yahoo & Bing trailed with 53 and 42%, respectively.
  • Bing had the most reported bugs; however, it scored very high for usability and pics/vids search (note: yesterday, Bing unveiled a new “visual search feature)
  • More than 30% noted that Bing surprised them favorably; and 10% said that after testing all three engines, they would make Bing their default engine.

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Names of Q3 Bug Battle Winners Leaked (by us, but still)

money bags for bugsAs you may have heard, we recently wrapped up our 3rd quarter Bug Battle competition.  This time, we pitted search engine heavyweights Google vs. Bing vs. Yahoo and turned our community of testers loose on them to do exploratory testing, report bugs, and then complete an extensive user survey.

The official results won’t be announced until next week, but I can say with certainty that this was our best Bug Battle yet.  We had greater quantity and quality of participation than in any of our other Bug Battles.  In all, we’re doling out nearly $4,000 in prize money to the testers whose bugs and feedback were judged to be the highest quality and most interesting.

The actual winners of our Bug Battle competitions are a closely guarded secret.  Well, unless you’re a member of the uTest forums (available only to uTesters), in which case we’ve pre-announced the winners late this afternoon.  For everyone else, the winners and results of this competition will be available mid-next week.

  • Which search engine had the most bugs?
  • Which has the most popular UI?
  • Who was judged to have the coolest new features?
  • Which offers the most accurate results?
  • What do users love & hate about Bing?
  • How did Google Caffeine stack up against Google (caffeine-free)?

Feel free to post your best guesses here in the comments.  The real results will be unveiled next week!

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uTesters Given Search Warrant (i.e. Bug Battle Begins!)

Our Bug Battle of the Search Engines is now open and running. Starting on Friday, August 7th, uTesters can test the quality, features and usability of the most popular search engines: Google, Bing, and Yahoo! We’ll be awarding more than $3,000 in prize money to the top testers, based on:bug battle

  • Top overall tester (based on the quality of bugs and feedback)
  • Top novice tester (same criteria)
  • Top individual bugs in each of the sites (most interesting, most severe, best documented)
  • Best survey responses (comparing the feature set, functionality and usability)

Visit our Bug Battle homepage for more details. Also, make sure you read our Tips to Win the Bug Battle in our uTest Forums.

So if you’re a uTester, get started today.  And if you’re not yet a uTester, join our community and take part in the fun.  Good luck!

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In Search Of The Q3 Bug Battle

In the past, we’ve brought you the Browser Brouhaha (Q408), a Social Networking Skirmish (Q109) and Twitter App Apocolypse (Q209).   Well it’s that time again, so we’re going to be kicking off our Q3 Bug Battle later this week.  For this quarter’s competition, we’ve chosen to turn our testing community loose on the most popular search engines:  Google, Bing and Yahoo!

Q3 Bug Battle

The Q3 Bug Battle will begin on Friday, August 7th and end on Friday, the 14th.  We’ll be awarding more than $3,000 in prize money to the top testers, based on:

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Gmail: I can’t believe it’s not beta!

Beta software tends to frighten Big Business. They’re skeptical of the phrase “almost done,” and for good reason. They demand a finished product. There are very few exceptions to this.

Take the recent news from Google as an example. A few days ago, the company finally removed the “beta” tag from Gmail and several other apps. Most people didn’t realize Gmail was still in beta (or what beta meant, for that matter) and most people didn’t care. So why bother with the change? This article from The New York Times explains why:

Practically speaking, the change will mean precious little to Gmail’s millions of users. But it could help Google’s efforts to get the paid version of its package of applications, which includes Gmail, Calendar, Docs and other products, adopted inside big companies. Corporate technology managers tend to shy away from beta products, and Google wants to remove any barriers to adoption that it can.

And there you have it: Although the meaning of beta has changed slightly, the perception of it hasn’t. Even though Gmail was essentially a completed product, with tons of great features and no major usability/functional issues, the beta perception was preventing them selling it to the larger companies.  It might not be fair, but it’s true.

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