uTest iPhone and iPad App – Test On the Go

When we relaunched our testing platform last year, we chose to build it in Flex. It allowed us to build a nice web UI, but it also meant that iPhone and iPad owners couldn’t connect to our platform directly. An Apple iOS user had to find a regular computer to report bugs when testing an iOS app.

Well we’ve heard their pleas, and we’re happy to announce something that should help: the uTest iOS app. With a native interface for both the iPhone and the iPad, it’s now possible for testers and customers to test on the couch and on the go.

If that’s enough to make you want to download the app right now, then don’t let me stand in your way. Just click (or tap) on that image to the left and go get it. It’s free, you know.

If you’re still wondering what makes our app special, let me tell you about some of the awesome new things that both testers and customers can do.

For Testers

Customers and testers can start testing with the uTest iPhone app.

iPad users have a native interface that makes full use of the iPad layout.

It goes without saying that the uTest iOS app lets you participate in test cycles and that our app makes it easy to submit bugs right from your iPhone or iPad. But what’s really cool is that if you’re testing another iOS app, you can submit screenshots and videos of your bugs directly from the uTest app. You can even use your camera to take pictures for upload – handy if you need a screenshot of a bug on another mobile device.

In addition to all that, you can do all the other things you would expect while testing, like view the bugs submitted by other testers, reply to tester messenger conversations, and even check out your uTest earnings.

Of course, all this assumes you’re already a uTester. Because if you’re not, you can actually signup for a tester account right there in the app. It will even help you setup your iPhone or iPad as your first testing device on the uTest platform.

For Customers
If you’re a uTest customer, you’re going to love the uTest app. Why approve and reject bugs from a boring old computer when you can do it from the beach? And if you don’t have a beach nearby, how about the comfort of your couch? In fact, you can now review your test cycles from anywhere you like (assuming there’s a phone or wireless signal, of course).

With the uTest app, you’ll also be able to review attachments and even ask testers questions with tester messenger. Everything you need to keep an eye on a test cycle is available at your fingertips.

Wrapup
Of course, our community rigorously tested our iOS app and they discovered over 60 bugs before launch. Their diligence made this app super solid, and that helped us to get approved by Apple for the App Store in record time without having to resubmit.

Now that we’ve launched our first iOS app, we’re hardly finished. We want your feedback and ideas about how we can make it even better. uTest community members can join our tester forums and check out our Platform Feedback section. Customers can contact their project manager directly or drop us a line.

Why Software Testers Need Interpersonal Skills

Our guest blogger this month is Atul Angra. A resident of India, Atul is one of our more accomplished testers (a Gold Tester in fact), with over six years of professional experience. He’s a photographer at heart, but a tester by trade, with domain expertise in healthcare and finance. He’s also a former Bug Battle winner, a guest judge, a Tester of the Year, a Forums junkie, a crash course author and he’s here today to discuss how interpersonal skills can make or break a tester’s career. Enjoy!

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Let’s take a scenario where a tester follows the rules and reports 100 bugs. Some of these bugs were traced to non-documented requirements that are implicit in nature, such as a drop-down list not populating alphabetically and things of that nature. These bugs are quite common and usually end up in conflict, as development teams reject them based on the argument that it’s not a defined requirement.

Here, both the developer and tester are not ready to close this issue – and they are both correct. The traditional way these issues are resolved is by involving someone from management to intervene and make a decision. The time spent in escalation and argument is much greater than what it would have taken to actually fix the issue.

At a high level, we could blame the team which collected requirement, but this may not be the case when it comes to implicit requirements. Many of these situations could be resolved if the tester demonstrates interpersonal skills.

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800 Billion Dollar Bug Breaks The Bank

In this month’s installment of This Week In Testing, the date was May 1996 and the setting was the First National Bank of Chicago (insert dramatic pause here). The gist? Software “glitches” caused the bank accounts of 823 customers of the major US bank to be credited with a total of $924,844,208.32 each.

According to The American Bankers Association, all of $763.9 billion — more than six times the total assets of First Chicago NBD Corp. — was the largest error in US banking history.

And the reason given? Inadequate testing of course! The bank updated its ATM transaction software with new message codes. The message codes were unfortunately not tested on all ATM protocols, which resulted in some ATMs interpreting the codes as huge increases to customer balances.

This isn’t the first time we bring up banking bugs. You might remember Software Bugs: You Win Sum, You Lose Sum, the post about a man in Orlando who while making a routine bank transfer was shocked to see his balance at $88,888,888,888.88.

What other bugs have you recently heard or read about with such huge financial implications? Any mobile banking bugs?

uTest Taps Crowd To Test Food, Chemicals, Paternity, Driving & More

In the past year, we’ve made tremendous strides in our march to change the world of software testing.  We started by doing functional testing for web apps.  Then came desktop apps.  And then mobile apps.  More recently, we’ve expanded to provide load testing services.

Since we clearly have nothing left to prove in the software testing game, we’ve set our sights on other testing markets that are in desperate need of our special brand of crowd-driven innovation.  And after months of market research (mostly just watching movies), focus groups (a collection of bobblehead dolls we bought on eBay), and with the help of the brilliant consultants at Prestige Worldwide (NSFW), we’re pleased to announce our revolutionary new testing services in the following categories:

Driving tests:  Can’t keep it between the lines?  Don’t know how to parallel park?  Not even sure what “10 & 2″ means?  No problem.  With a community of 24,000+ testers from 162 countries around the world, we have people who know how to drive on the left- or right-hand side of the road.  We can help with the written exam and the road test (Please note: this would be considered 2 separate test projects).

Food tests:  Afraid someone’s trying to poison you?  Think someone may have slipped something into your drink?  Or maybe you’re just concerned that your soup is too hot?  Taking unnecessary risks with your food is now a thing of the past.  Just ping uTest and we’ll have a tester on-site in minutes, ready to sample your food or beverage and deal with the consequences.

Paternity tests:  Not sure what your responsibilities are?  Scared to learn the results?  With this latest service, you don’t have to be.  We’ve got testers everywhere and we’re happy to help you pass the test of a lifetime.  A member of our community can either take the test for you or help you study for it yourself.

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iPad, WePad, We All Play on iPads

With hundreds of thousands of iPads being pre-ordered; and with HP releasing its Slate this year; AND with German company, Neofonie announcing the WePad (running on Android), the tablet market is definitely opening up some unique opportunities for the testing landscape.

According to Flurry Analytics, nearly half of the apps being tested on the iPad fall into the games category — a  whopping 44% of Apple test time.

On the other end of the iPad app testing spectrum (only 3% of app testing falls into the ‘books’ category) but highly anticipated, E-reader companies like Amazon and Barnes & Noble are eagerly preparing their iPad apps (see iPad Kindle reader sneak here), gearing up to go head-to-head with Apple’s bookstore.

With the race on to build the first iPad apps, what are the risks of not being able to yet own or hold one? The New York Times reports:

“neither company [Amazon or Barnes & Noble] was given an iPad for testing” and “there are real-world factors that may go undetected with a simulator, like the weight of the device and how people hold it.”

As we all know here around uTest, there’s a world of difference between on-device testing and testing in a simulated environment. And with mobile app testing still maturing as a discipline, what challenges (or opportunities) will iPad, WePad and Slate apps bring to the world of testing?

Join Us @ QUEST — Quality & Software Testing Conference (April 19-23)

QUEST, one of the top software testing conferences, will be held in Dallas this year (April 19-23).  And uTest is getting geared up and is thrilled to be a part of this conference.

In addition to inviting Doron to be a keynote presenter, QUEST features a week-long agenda packed with more than 100 opportunities for attendees to build new skills and prepare for the testing professions of the future.

From exploratory testing to test automation to security audits to crowdsourced testing,  QUEST will cover a wide range of testing topics that give attendees insight into the latest best practices and innovative approaches to testing today. To learn more, here’s a sneak peek at the QUEST Magazine.

Special Note: Members of the uTest community interested in registering for QUEST are eligible for

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International Date Line Bug Caused Fighter Aircraft Systems Crash

With our testing community currently hammering away in the “Bug Battle of the TV Networks” this week, it’s time to take a moment to reflect on our February bug-iversary.

On February 11, 2007, during its very first overseas deployment to Okinawa, Japan, six F-22 Raptors flying from Hawaii experienced multiple computer crashes, including navigation, communication and fuel system crashes, when crossing the International Date Line.

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All Circuits Are Currently Busy — A Look Back 20 Years After AT&T Network Crash

Bug-iversary Alert! Tomorrow is the 20-year anniversary of the “crash” of the AT&T Long Distance Network. On January 15, 1990 faulty software was installed on the AT&T Electronic Switching System (Number 4 ESS): a one-line bug incapacitated the entire system, disabling switches throughout half the network.

Known as one of the most serious telecom bugs in history, more than 75 million calls were not connected during 9 hours, an estimated $60 million loss.

Dennis Burke of California Polytechnic said it best: “The Jan. 1990 incident showed how bugs in self-healing software can bring down healthy systems, and the difficulty of detecting obscure load- and time-dependent defects in software.”

Speaking of “load defects,” AT&T — after signing up to be exclusive U.S. provider of iPhone service — has recently come under fire for the quality of its network coverage. Businessweek‘s top headlines read:

In light of this bug-iversary, I can’t help but wonder if more testing should have been done before AT&T took on the massive data demands of modern 3G smartphones? What do you think?

Which E-Tailer Do You Trust? (Battle of the E-Tailers in the News!)

Breaking news! This week, we officially announced the results of our Q4 Bug Battle – Battle of the E-Tailers – along with a few prominent media outlets, including USA Today, Fast Company, Mashable! and eWeek.

Curious about the results? Check out the articles below:

So, the battle begs the question: Which e-tailer do you trust the most?

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.