Exploratory Software Testing Webinar with James Whittaker — December 10th


Attention uTest Community and prospective uTesters:   If you haven’t registered for tomorrow’s free webinar (December 10th from 1pm to 2pm ET) on Exploratory Software Testing, please click here to reserve a spot.  It’s a hot ticket, with more than 300 testers from around the world already registered to attend.

Many of you have expressed interest in additional resources to help sharpen your testing skills, so this is a great opportunity to attend a free webinar with James Whittaker. He will discuss topics from his new book on Exploratory Software Testing. Additionally, we will be handing out five free copies to attendees (signed by James) – winners will be announced at the end of the webinar.

Hope to see you there!

Another Community Milestone: 160 Countries!


Just noticed something new and cool when I hit our home page tonight — the uTest community is now operating in 160 countries around the globe.

What’s that mean?  How many countries are there?  Well, depending upon who you ask (the United Nations, the US State Department, the World Almanac, etc), there’s between 189 and 195 countries on planet earth.

So recruiting professional testers from 160 different countries and getting them to profile their testing experience, demographic information, hardware and software, is no small feat.  Anyway, we just wanted to point out that the world’s largest marketplace for software testing services just got a little bigger!

Thanks to our testers from every corner of the globe for making our community so vibrant and diverse.

Media Wrap-Up From Our Latest Trip To The Valley

uTest was on fire at Under the Radar Mobility this year. I think Under the Radar said it best!

For anyone looking to deploy an app across multiple mobile platforms and a gazillion different handsets, one massive problem awaits them: QA. uTest solves this problem with an army of testers across the world. Crowdsourced QA… Problem solved. (Click here to see Doron’s presentation.)

And that’s not all! Doron was able to connect with multiple partners, prospects and top media outlets, including Mashable’s Ben Parr (@benparr), editor in chief at IntoMobile.com Will Park (@willpark), ReadWriteWeb’s Dana Oshiro (@suzyperplexus), as well as participated in a couple great video interviews with bnetTV’s Michelle Sklar (@bnettv) and GoMo News’ Cian O’Sullivan (@gomonews) which are posted below!

Take a peek at the video interviews below to learn more:

Doron Reuveni-CEO of uTest speaks with bnetTV.com at the Under the Radar event.

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Testing The Limits With Matt Heusser (part 1)

matt-heusserIn this month’s installment of “Testing The Limits”, we sit down with Matt Heusser (@mheusser) — prolific blogger for STPCollaborative, thought leader and testing extraordinaire.  We’ll discuss the state of software testing, SpeedGeeking, the role of chaos in testing software, and the lack of fistfights at STPCon 2009

uTest:  We loved the SpeedGeeking session you led at STPCon, so we’re going to flip it on you – If you had just five minutes to teach, motivate or inspire the uTest audience about software testing, what would you say?
MH: Well, I’d start by asking the audience what they are doing today – what’s the greatest point or opportunity they feel – and asking what options they see to improve. Most of the time, I hear that testing is “too slow” or “the bottleneck” or something like that.

So I suggest taking two weeks and actually measuring how the team is spending its time. Oh, not for reporting – it is very important the team stop the time tracking after two weeks and not hand individual metrics into management for evaluation. Instead, we want to use the numbers for improvement. For example, many of the people I talk to can spend 80% of their time or more in meetings, working on documentation, working on compliance activities, doing email, and so on. That only leaves 20% of the time to test! Just pushing those numbers from 80/20 to 60/40 will double the amount of time the team spends actually doing testing.

Another thing to look at is the amount of time spent trying to reproduce defects, document defects, file bug reports, “verify” fixes, and so on. We think of these activities as testing, and they can take a substantial chunk of that 20% – but they are really accidental. That’s not a testing bottleneck – it is a development bottleneck. If test can work with development to improve the quality of the software prior to code complete, that will improve the speed of the whole system. Realizing this, and having a little bit of data to “prove” it, can help the entire system improve.

So if I had five minutes, I would say start with measuring how you track your time, and ask yourself if this is the best use of your time and what can change. Sometimes, the big boss will say “no, we absolutely need you to fill out all seven pages of documentation per test run”, and you can say “ok.”  Six months from now, when someone asks why the big project is late, you can point out that the business made an explicit decision to pay the full price of defined process. You presented options and those were not accepted.

That won’t save this project — but it might save the next.  It also turns out that actually testing tends to be much more fulfilling than documentation and compliance activities. Who could have guessed?

Lots of contrasting opinions at last month’s STP Conference. While there were no fist fights (that we heard about anyway), what did you see as the most contentious issue? And where do you fall on this issue?

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Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving CollageHere in the U.S., the end of November is marked by Thanksgiving.  This is a time of family, friends, feasts and football (not futbol).  So while much of the uTest crew is taking a well-deserved four-day weekend, I wanted to express our sincere gratitude to the entire uTest universe — customers, testers, investors, partners and media.

Without you and your passion for contributing to a bug-free world, uTest would not be where it is today.  Ultimately, a business such as ours (discovering and eliminating defects, pay-for-performance, collaborative, reputation-driven) would not exist if it weren’t for your collective desire to make things better than they were yesterday.

And for that, I am truly thankful.  What are you thankful for this season?

uTest On The Move At Top Mobile Event

Under The Radar logoLate last week, our fearless leader was out in the Valley presenting at the Under The Radar Mobility 2009 event.  We first presented at UTR in April as an emerging company.  This time, we were asked back to present as a Graduate Circle company, which is reserved for those past presenters who are making a big splash in the market — quite an honor indeed.

The theme of this event was all things mobile.  The event was heavily attended by mobile OEMs, wireless carriers and all types of mobile app makers, including innovators such as Boku, Mplayit, ShoZu and Yowza!! (those are their exclamation points, not mine).  More details (and fantastic photos) after the jump.

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Two Phrases That Don’t Belong Together: Software Bugs and Airplanes

Flight DeelaayyyyyyyyysThe mere thought of air travel during the holidays is annoying enough to send most people running to their nearest bus or train station.  The crowds, the lines, the delays, the zip-lock bags and 3 oz bottles of shampoo… but wait, there’s more!

Late last week, a five-hour computer glitch caused flight delays across the U.S. that were still rippling through the transportation system for most of the day.  The problem was made worse by the fact that the National Airspace Data Interchange Network failed at both its locations — Atlanta and Salt Lake City.  (Ed. note:  I’ll try hard to avoid using the word “crash” in this post.)

Bloomberg.com had this to say:

The Federal Aviation Administration blamed a four-hour software failure for causing airline delays and cancellations across the U.S.  The shutdown lasted from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. ET after “a software configuration” malfunction today in Salt Lake City.

And The New York Times chimed in with this little bit of sunny news:

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uTest Blog (Yep, This One) Named Finalist For Mashable Open Web Award

On Wednesday, Mashable announced the finalists in its uber-competitive Open Web Awards competition.  And after 450,000 votes for more than 80,000 different sites and blogs, I’m proud to report that your humble software testing blog (that would be us) has been named one of the five finalists for the “Top Corporate Blog”.

mashable open web awards

If you know how popular Mashable is in social media circles, you know that this is a big deal.  We take a great deal of pride in using the uTest blog to bring you the latest news from the software industry, best practices on mobile app testing, uTest company info, and original content (from us and guest posts from some of  our top testers).  So sincere thanks and congratulations to the entire uTest universe… we couldn’t do any of this without our amazing customers, testers, investors and friends in the media.

And if you want to help us go for the gold, you can vote for uTest in the final round every day between now and December 12th!

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.

Test ‘Til You Drop: Three More Days Of Q4 Bug Battling!

e-tailer bug battleWith only three days left in our week-long Q4 E-tailer Bug Battle, 350+ bugs have already been reported by nearly 100 testers from around the globe. While testers may not be experiencing the all-too-familiar “shop ’til you drop” phenomenon, there’s been no shortage of crowds, enthusiasm or effort during this testing marathon (we’re happy to report no fistfights or arrests thus far).

Remember, this Bug Battle competition ends Wednesday, November 11th at 11:59pm EST  — and there’s nearly $4,000 in prize money at stake. So if you have been sitting on the sidelines, it’s not too late to seize the opportunity now.  Remember, it just takes one interesting bug to win!

If you prefer usability testing, you can also test the navigation and workflows of these three e-tail leaders with the feedback survey portion of this Bug Battle competition.  We’ll be awarding prizes for the best feedback, as well as the highest-quality bugs.  As always, it’s the quality of your testing work — not the quantity — that catches our judges’ attention!

Good luck…and happy bug hunting.