Tag Archives | uTest Stuff

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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Social Networks Pose Security Threats (& An Intro to Tina Fey’s YouFace)

It’s no surprise to our community that social networks have the potential to pose big security threats this year. During the “Battle of the Social Networks,” uTesters found a combined 718 bugs in Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn; and an additional 300+ bugs were discovered in the top five Twitter desktop apps during the Q2 bug battle.

To add more fuel to the fire, today the company Sophos, which surveyed 500+ organizations, came out with a new report stating that in the past year:

  • 57% of users report they have been spammed via social networking sites
  • 36% of users claim they’ve been sent malware via social networking sites
  • 72% of survey respondents think social networks are a danger for their companies (see Mashable article)

What’s the solution? Tina Fey, in her show “30 Rock,” recently spoofed social networks with her creation of “YouFace” (combo of Facebook & MySpace). Terms such as “finger-tagged,” “weirdsie,” and “pho-lo” (for photo and hello) had many ROFL. See video clip after the bump!

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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?

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Announcing The 2009 “uTester of the Year” Awards

Today, we announced the results of our 2009 uTester of the Year Awards. Our community is full of professional testers, which made the judging incredibly tough (I can’t believe how much the bar has been raised for testers over the course of 2009). This awards program, however, was designed to recognize those few testers whose testing skills, attention to detail and consistently excellent performance stood out.

The winners were selected by our community management team and project managers, and were based upon testers’ performance across several hundred test cycles for web, desktop and mobile applications.

Brian Rock from Austin, Texas was named the overall uTester of the Year.  Brian joined uTest early in 2009 and brings 10+ years of software engineering experience to our community. Over the course of the year, Brian earned MVT (Most Valuable Tester) awards on multiple test cycles and also wrote a popular uTest guest blog post, “Software Testers: The Eyes of the Battlefield.”  He consistently reports excellent bugs, communicates with customers extremely well, and is very engaged in uTest projects.  Brian had this to say about his experience with uTest:

“Working with uTest challenges me to learn new applications and to solve new testing problems on different products every week,” said Brian Rock. “This keeps things fresh and exciting, and opens my eyes to see systems holistically and keep my defect localization skills sharp. This is what I enjoy most about working with uTest, and I am honored to be among this elite group of testers.”

The complete list of winners of is available after the jump:
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Vote For uTest – Discover The Keys to Crowdsourcing @ E2.0 Conference #e2conf

E2.0_vote_test3 copyYou may have noticed that many top reporters and bloggers included “crowdsourcing” as a top trend of 2009. In fact, The New York Times named it 2009’s verb of the year!

But what will separate crowdsourcing’s winners and losers in 2010?  We believe that crowdsourcing success lies in a company’s ability to engage its community in unique and meaningful ways. These are the crowdsourcing companies that are changing the way work is done today — transforming professional services like software testing forever. But how does a company go beyond building a “mob” or a “crowd” and develop a community?

VOTE HERE to learn more about how crowdsourcing is changing the way work is done.

We’d love the opportunity to share our hard-earned keys to building a successful crowdsourcing business at this year’s Enterprise 2.0 Conference in Boston. But first, we need your help! (Very quick registration required.)

You can see a snapshot of uTest’s proposed presentation on the voting site. Voting opens today and closes on January 20th. As always, thanks for your continued support. All of our success stems from our amazing community!

Quick Update: If you’re posting online, #e2conf is the official tag! To track votes, click here.

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Testing The Limits — 2009’s Top Posts

Testing The LimitsAfter we re-launched our brand in May, we decided that the uTest blog needed to be more than just uTest employees talking about uTest events, uTest awards and the uTest community (see how repetitive that gets?).

Writing witty, thought-provoking content is really hard.  And we’re pretty lazy, but fortunately we know some extremely smart & funny people.  So we invented the Testing The Limits series, in which we interview leaders from the worlds of testing, software, entrepreneurship and crowdsourcing.

We’re immensely grateful to these talented, busy people, and we have much more planned for the Testing The Limits series in 2010.  But before we flip the calendar, these posts from this year are worth another look:

June: James Whittaker – Author, Professor and Testing Evangelist at Google

July: Rosie Sherry — Founder of the UK-based Software Testing Club

August: Andrew Muns — President of Software Test & Performance

September: Jack Margo — SVP of Internet Operations of Developer Shed

October: Jon Winsor — Author, Crowdsourcing Expert, and Founder of Victors & Spoils

November: Matt Heusser — Software Testing Author, Professor and Testing Manager

December: James Bach — Software Testing Author, Teacher and Speaker

We have some great guests and ideas lined up for 2010, including software execs, QA thought leaders, and famous journalists & authors.  As always, the goal of Testing The Limits will be to inform, to entertain, and above all else, to help our readers get to know these thought leaders who are worth following and listening to.

Have a suggestion for a future Testing The Limits guest?  Drop us a note or tell us in the comments section.

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Google’s New Tool Helps Companies Deliver Better Web Experiences

Here’s a holiday gift for those of you who know what the phrase, “above the fold” means —

Mashable’s Ben Parr recently wrote a piece about several Google Tools, including one new one that will be supremely useful to web designers and developers.

We already know that Google is obsessed with their own speed and efficiency, but the search giant is also trying to make everybody else faster on the web as well. Google Site Performance, for example, provides tips from Google on how to speed up your website, while Speed Tracer increases the efficiency of web apps by tracking performance.

The company is once again tackling the realm of website efficiency with a new tool that doesn’t track site speed or app performance, but the size of the browser window. The app, Google Browser Size, aims to help website owners solve one of the most fundamental problems in web design: How should I lay out and design my website for higher engagement and conversions?

Want to see Google Browser Size in action?  Check below to see how we did when re-designing the uTest home page.

Google Browser Size

This is a very helpful tool (as well as quick, simple and free).  Try it out on your own site today, and I’d highly recommend it for anyone who’s launching or re-launching a site.

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Version 2.9 – Better Team Building, Cloning Test Cycles, New Test Cases

Time flies here at uTest, and not long after we rolled out version 2.8 of our testing platform, our engineering team comes along and delivers version 2.9.  And with this being the holidays, they’ve included some great new features sure to brighten the eyes of software companies and testers everywhere.  So grab some milk and cookies and let’s unwrap these great new version 2.9 features:

Better Test Team Building
As customers come back to test again and again, they have been asking us for greater control in building their recurring test teams.  Starting with version 2.9, customers can more easily find the right testers for their projects, including inviting back the testers they liked best from past test cycles.

Handpick your testers

That means a customer can get the team they want faster and more easily than ever before.  And that means it’s faster and easier to run new test cycles. 

Cloning a Test Cycle
We’re also introducing the ability to clone a test cycle.  Cloning a test cycle lets customers take all the settings from a previous project – including their testing requirements across locations, environments and testers – and reuse them on a new test cycle with just a few clicks.  That means our customers can focus on only the things they want to do differently – such as adjusting the testing scope or special instructions.

To get started, open the test cycle you want to clone and look for the “Clone Release” button.  Click it, and then change the name, end date, and any other details you wish to adjust in your new test cycle.

Clone a test cycle

Incorporating Test Cases
More and more often, customers are asking us for help, not just in finding new bugs, but also to help make sure the old ones stay gone.  Many customers are now asking our testers to provide testing coverage (across functionality, across locations, across OS and browsers) to validate their applications.  The best way to achieve this testing coverage is by using test cases that ensure that all the important details are covered.  Until now, we’ve asked for testers to submit their completed test cases as “technical bugs”, but from this point forward, testers can submit a completed test case as its own kind bug type.

When submitting a completed test case, report it as a bug and choose “Test Case” as the bug type:

Test Cases

Have a great idea for our future releases?  uTesters can join our testing forums and check out our Platform Feedback section.

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Testing the Limits with James Bach (part 1)

In the December episode of our Testing the Limits series, we rapid fire some questions back and forth with James Bach (@jamesmarcusbach).  James is one of the most thought-provoking, outspoken, earnest thought leaders in the testing space.  Check out his blog if you don’t believe us.

Today we’ll be discussing James’ disdain for tester certifications, faking test projects, werewolf hunting in parallel universes and what he would do if he were king (or an angel) for a year. Don’t worry, it’ll all make sense soon. Update: Here’s Part 2 of the interview.

uTest: You’ve been an outspoken critic of traditional certs and classroom education. If you were king for a year, how would you fix testing certifications?  And how would you change a college’s curriculum?

JB: Kings are not powerful enough. I want to be an angel for a year.

You see, certification is promoted by frightened people who feel they need elaborate content-free ceremonies in order to feel competent. But in their hearts they know they are faking it. The fear of being exposed as imposters keeps them from doing much about it. So, in that year I would travel at relativistic speed around the industry. I would visit, by night, the hearts of testers everywhere, giving them inspiration to become excellent at their craft. The ones already certified would wake up and take a long cleansing shower, then write blog posts– by the thousands!– repudiating ISEB, ISTQB, CSQE, and all such blight. They would declare themselves reborn as students of the craft. (The ones not certified will just feel strangely cheerful, at least for testers.)

A spirit of exploration, experimentation, and debate would spread around the industry. It will seem to come from everywhere at once.

Weekend Testers would become Weekday Testers. TMap textbooks would be beaten into plowshares… and then recycled. Test plan templates and TPS reports would blow forgotten through streets lined with cheering crowds playing tester games designed to hone practical reasoning skill. By the thousands! FOR THE WIN!!

As far as university goes, I’ve already been doing my part. I helped found and run the Workshops on Training Software Testers, which brings university professors together to examine how to teach testing better.

I served on an advisory board for the Rochester Institute of Technology when they were trying to set up their degree program in software engineering, too.

But if I were king (not the modern Swedish kind but the old-school Caesar kind) I would make school a lot harder (much easier to expel a bad student) and instead of paying tuition, students would be paid.

Also, there would be no classes, as such, just constant projects and training. In other words, it would be almost exactly like Silicon Valley in the eighties, except with better corporate libraries.

uTest: If a parallel universe where you weren’t involved in testing or software at all – what would you be?

JB: If the parallel universe is before the industrial revolution, then any TWO of the following:

  • A freelance sentry.
  • A small-time warlord.
  • An itinerant geometer.
  • Werewolf.
  • Werewolf hunter.
  • A member of the 1735 French Geodetic expedition, but not the one who got killed by the mob at the bullfight (he had it coming).
  • Zorro.
  • A gentleman naturalist.
  • A buccaneer.
  • Gandalf.

uTest: A full day at an ISTQB seminar, or a full day in a college-level computing class – you’re forced to choose one. What’s it gonna be?

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uTest Wins Top Innovator Award @ New England Venture Summit

I’m proud to share with you that uTest took home the Top Innovator Award at the New England Venture Summit by youngStartup Ventures last week. The award recognizes cutting-edge companies driving the future of innovation in tech, life sciences and clean-tech sectors, and we’re excited to be among them.

NEVS Top Innovator

As one of the winners, Doron was invited to present at the exclusive Summit, where a select group of 450 entrepreneurs and investors gathered to be the first to meet the next wave of forward-looking companies.

After giving his presentation about uTest’s on-demand testing model and his entrepreneurial journey, Doron also walked away with the top honor for Best Presenter at the event!

Between the Bug Battle results, the Whittaker webinar and this prestigious honor, it was a busy week around the halls of  uTest.

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