Crowdsourced Testing

During the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC), the software testers use innumerable types of software testing techniques at different stages, to check different qualities, features, functionality and other aspects of the product. This testing process also helps software engineers in validating the scalability, reliability, security, and compatibility of the product. Moreover, in today’s world where connectivity and technology are immensely crucial for the success of an industry and an organisation, it becomes vital for software engineers to perform exhaustive testing on all the developed software and ensure that they develop a product that caters to all the requirements of the client and has exceptional performance. Furthermore, to accomplish all the requirements of testing, as well as to test a product in different environments, software testers use crowdsourced testing, which allows companies to conduct test when it is most convenient for them, no matter time or day of the work. Additionally, with the assistance of this testing programmers can make a test request before they leave work and return to find a clear and concise list of bugs to fix in the morning. By implementing crowdsourced testing, software engineers can save an enormous amount of time and money. Therefore, to provide more details on this new and trendy form of software testing, here is an elaborated discussion on the same.

What is Crowdsourced Testing?

An increasing trend in the software development industry, Crowdsourced testing is an emergent method of Quality Assurance (QA) testing, which leverages a dispersed, temporary workforce to test software application quickly and effectively. While conventional methods of software testing are conducted within the organisation, or via an outsourcing contractor or Quality Assurance consultant, crowdsourced software tests are executed by multiple individual testers in different locations. Moreover, it allows the user to quickly outsource software testing to a global pool of professional testers, saving both time and money. With more professional testers participating, providing valuable feedback and reporting on defects within days, crowdsourced testing offers higher testing quality, in less time, and at a reduced cost. Crowdsourced testing includes large as well as small testing groups, which are dedicated in resolving all the complications in the product by performing rigorous testing. A crowdsourced test is not at all time consuming and can be completed in a matter of days. Additionally, the shorter test cycle results in faster development times, so the product goes to the market faster. This method of testing is usually considered when the software is more user-centric, i.e., software whose success is determined by its user feedback and which has a diverse user space.

Defining Crowdsourcing:

Crowdsourcing is a sourcing model in which organisation or individuals obtain goods and services. It is the process of getting work or funding, usually online, from a crowd of people. The word ‘Crowdsourcing’ is a consolidation of the words ‘crowd’ and ‘outsourcing’ and its main idea is to take work and outsource it to a crowd of workers. The idea of crowdsourced testing is based on the principle that, ‘more heads are better than one’, that is, by canvassing a large crowd of people for ideas, skills or participation, the quality of content and idea generation will be superior. Moreover, crowdsourcing has five major forms, each of which involves a crowdsourcer or a manager, a corwdmarket and a crowd of people. By choosing the right form of crowdsourcing, one can manage large jobs with thousands of workers or do small jobs that require just a single person. These forms are:

  1. Crowdcontests: Enables one to identify the best worker for the job.
  2. Macro tasks: This allows an organisation to get a specific skill for a job or project. It also hires workers from the crowd for single task, which are communicated over the internet.
  3. Micro tasks: Divides the jobs into small units and puts these units on the internet. Also, with this, one can use human intelligence on larger as well as complicated jobs.
  4. Crowdfunding: Engages with social networks to raise money and pits a request for funds on an internet platform. This also includes creation of videos and messages for the purpose of promoting requests.
  5. Self-Organised Crowds: It submits a challenge on the internet and recruits crowd to work on it. The crowd then organises itself into a team and competes against each other to provide the best answer for the given challenge.

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Advantage of Crowdsourced Testing:

Crowdsourced testing is a practise of sending out prototype software and products to broad groups of people for testing rather than having testing performed internally. It is quickly emerging as the most efficient way to streamline interactive software production and improve the quality of web, and software products developed by developers. The advantages offered by crowdsourced testing are numerous, it provides exceptional flexibility, instantaneity and real world multiplatform testing. Also, the biggest advantage of this type of testing is that it reaches a wider range of testers and provides a potentially higher ROI for the testing process. Other benefits of crowdsourced testing are mentioned below:

  • Companies with limited testing bandwidth may benefit from using crowdsourced testing to increase test scope and coverage.
  • With the assistance of crowdsourced testing, organisations can increase testing bandwidth without hiring a large full-time team, leveraging a crowdsourcing platform for repetitive quality assurance (QA) tasks and can help teams use their testing resources more efficiently.
  • Testers performing this type of testing are unbiased towards the internal concerns of the organisation.
  • Organisations can organise testing in numerous environments, which might be difficult for the core testing team as they might not have all the resources to test the software in different environments and situations.

Disadvantage of Crowdsourced Testing:

Before initiating the process of testing, software engineers should ensure that the type of software testing is being executed on the product does not have any drawbacks and if there are any, the tester should take all the necessary precautions to protect the quality and effectiveness of the software. Additionally, they should keep a track of all the disadvantages, so that it does not affect the performance as well as the reliability of the product. Hence, here is a list of some of the disadvantages of crowdsourced testing, which can help testers in making an informed decision. These disadvantages are:

  • Confidentiality is compromised by having testing performed by a large group who may or may not have much loyalty to the brand or project.
  • Test coverage can be difficult to guarantee and can therefore require more managerial oversight to ensure thorough bug identification.
  • Because payment usually depends on the number of bugs found, the testers devote a lot of time and effort in finding one or two large, debilitating bugs and less important bugs.
  • There is a risk of innovation and new features being leaked to competitors.


Crowdsourced testing is a means of software testing, in which ‘talent’ of an individual is recognized as ‘service’. It is one such form of testing where a tester is paid for his/her testing capabilities. Also known as Crowd Testing or Crowd Sourcing, Crowdsourced testing is a unique way of involving crowd, i.e. the real users or testers into software testing under real world conditions. Nowadays, easy access to internet through the web or mobile devices and awareness of social media has played an important role in helping individuals to use their technological knowledge, thoughts, permutation of scenarios and experience as a part of crowdsourced testing to achieve their goal, which is the quality improvement. Moreover, in recent years, crowdsourced testing has gained much significance, as it is not just only the way to get the feedback, real insight about the product’s quality or to find bugs and defects, but it also enables testers to get paid for their hard work and efforts. The flexibility provided to the testers in terms of pay, time, work location, diverse range of application and much more have convinced many testers to select crowd sourced testing as their second job. Hence, from the above discussion we can conclude that the importance and popularity of crowdsourced testing is massive and that it is one of the best way to test a software in real world condition.

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