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CIO Review >> Magazine >> April - 2016 issue

99tests: BLAZING A TRAIL IN CROWDSOURCED TESTING

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The global software testing services market is expected to grow at a CAGR of more than 10 percent till 2020. With the growth of new technologies in the recent era, we are expecting accelerated growth in software testing in India. This growth can be attributed to the increasing popularity of crowdsourced testing as it is the only testing process that offers real-time feedback on product development. Another significant trend that is fueling the growth of software testing services market is industry-specific testing service. The market is witnessing an orientation towards aligning testing services with vertical specializations.

Whether it is a new web application or an app, testing is a crucial step that ensures the functionality and quality of the application. That is why enterprises are on the lookout for testing solutions that are both cost-effective and fool-proof. Their main target is to test the functionality and usability of their applications to improve its performance. By involving the tester community, crowd testing platforms enable enterprises to tap into the talent of skilled testers from around the world. Crowd testing also has provision for localization and deep testing. According to the priority set, clients get to create the testing plan, and track its progress. Going by the reports, crowd sourcing is estimated to form 20 percent of all enterprise application development sourcing by 2018.

99tests, headquartered in Bangalore, offers a crowd testing platform that enables enterprises to access quality testing solutions at reasonable prices. While clients on the platform enjoy the benefit of fast and economical testing solutions, the testers get the chance to hone their skills and earn through paid projects from anywhere in the world. “Our platform helps clients create testing plans according to their specialized testing needs. We primarily focus on end-user functionality and usability of applications. Based on their skill level, testers are allotted to different testing projects. Currently, we have a pool of over 15,000 testers from across the world,” says Praveen Singh, Founder & CEO, 99tests.

Testing in the cloud

99tests is continuously endeavouring to come up with innovative solutions for testing that will enable companies to meet their software quality requirements faster and with more ease. Through testing in the cloud, the company is equipping software product owners with the ability to scale their testing effort and get on-demand access to a quality team.The testers are paid based on the number of valid bugs they find while the clients are charged on a per project basis. The bugs found by the testers are validated by 99tests’ validators and the clients are given access to the reports. This incentive-based method helps in finding all the critical bugs that could become potential problems in the future. 99tests’ insightful reports help clients in knowing exactly which feature of their application is broken or needs fixing. “Fixing the issues helps in ensuring the quality of the application. Whether you are launching a new software or an E-commerce website, you can find the most cost effective plan for software testing on our platform and fix bugs before it turns into real problems,” adds Praveen.

The key strategy of 99tests is to provide its clients, the access to the right crowd-sourced testers online and help them manage it effectively. The company supports its clients to define their projects and also manage the execution of the project. In addition, it has a system in place to ensure that the testers chosen for the project fit within the client’s way of testing to minimize costs and hassles at the client side. This ensures that they get the results they are looking for within the time frame they want.

Economical and transparent testing

What makes 99tests unique is that it provides its clients an easy access to skilled testers at economical prices, which is hard to get in the marketplace. In contrast to crowd testing, traditional software testing costs are exorbitant. An added advantage here is that one pays only for outcomes that are produced. That is, one pays only for the bugs found or for the test cases executed. This ensures that the system is transparent, and the clients know exactly what they are paying for. Clients also get the option to test in various geographies, on different devices, platforms and other variables as per their needs. 99tests let them prioritize the features that they want to test and give them full control over the process.

The process followed by the company is fairly simple. After registering with 99tests, its testers get the chance to participate in skill enhancing contests and bug-a-thons, in addition to the opportunity to work on paid testing projects from around the world. The company uses its algorithms to automatically select and assign the right testers based on their skill set and the project requirements. They get paid according to the number of valid bugs they find. Each project thus gets a team of testers who work according to the testing plan created by the client. Thorough testing of each feature of the application ensures fool-proof results that help in rectifying crucial issues. “From experience, we have learnt that this method is faster and more efficient. Our testers find an average of 100-200 bugs in three days which is much higher than internal QA teams in many software companies,” shares Praveen.

Comprehensive domain experience

Praveen believes that domain experience, the right networks, and strong partnerships are crucial to sustaining a crowd-sourced platform. The biggest challenge, many in the field face is the lack of expertise in the domain. Acquiring new sign ups and retaining existing testers also requires a lot of effort. One has to keep the members interested enough to participate. One of the key advantages, 99tests has is the domain experience it brings in. It gives the company a competitive edge to tackle many of the issues including coming up with the right algorithms which is the basis for the platform.

Ever since its inception in 2010, 99tests has assembled over 15000 testers across the globe, skilled in various aspects of testing. There are over four lakh testing engineers in India who can benefit from its platform. The company’s strength lies in its network of testers and it is expecting the numbers to grow in the coming days. 99tests’ quality control and assurance platform has helped over 300 businesses meet their expected standards for software applications. The company believes that the USP of its product is the transparency it offers to its clients. They get the power to create the test plan, track the progress of their projects and turn off the service at their discretion. “Crowd testing works beautifully for consumer faced testing for applications that are used by many individuals. With the booming app industry and the positive feedbacks, we are receiving from our existing clients, we are very optimistic about the growth potential for our crowd testing platform in the coming days,” concludes Praveen.