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How can I possibly test all mobile devices? Try crowdsourcing

Mobility testing and the challenges that come along with it has become a frequent topic of discussion amongst software testers. An SSQ reader asked our mobility test expert, Karen Johnson, “How can I possibly test on all the different phones available?” Johnson answers, “It is pretty well impossible to test all the devices, so it’s even more important to have a strategy to maximize the time you have.” While Johnson gives some valid test strategies, there is another alternative to consider: crowdsourcing.

At the recent SQuAD conference, Lee Copeland mentioned in his keynote that crowdsourcing was a new trend in the industry. Copeland suggested crowdsourcing as a source of education for testers. By doing some freelance testing for crowdsource groups that specialize in tests like uTest or Mob4Hire, testers are able to keep their skills strong.

Crowdsourcing not only is good for testers, though; it also provides an alternative for organizations to get some quick testing done, and this can definitely be helpful with mobility testing.

Today, crowdsource test vendor uTest announced uTest Express, a service for startups and small businesses to test their mobile applications. uTest Express allows clients to identify geography, number of testers, device models and carriers on which they want their mobile applications tested. Drawing upon their 35,000+ community of testers, uTest will be able to execute “in the wild” tests using actual devices in needed locations, rather than depending on emulators, simulators or remote access testing. The client will then be provided with reports of bugs with screenshots and video, as well as feedback on performance and usability.

Mob4Hire is another crowdsource test vendor specializing in mobility testing. Those who want mobile applications tested are matched to testers (or “mobsters”) who have the appropriate mobile devices and want to test.

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