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Why Google Uses Crowd Testing

Google uses crowd testing to test 14 of its software products, mainly because of the opportunity that crowdsourced platforms give to test apps in real world conditions.

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Google uses crowd testing to test 14 of its software products. The main reason for this is the opportunity crowdsourced platforms give to test apps in real world conditions. Cost effectiveness and speed of execution are the other two key benefits of crowd testing. Here are the top reasons for Google’s reliance on crowd testing for its software products:

1. Opportunity to Improve Capabilities

Crowd testing helps Google align their testing efforts with their development plan. Using crowdsourced platforms, it is possible to get testing insights in varied test environments faster. This enables development teams to improve the capabilities of the app. With real insights from real users, Google thus makes its app features better with each build.

2. Reduces Risk of Software Failure

The way an app works in a lab is very different from the way it works in the real world. Crowd Testing gives you a pretty accurate picture of your app’s performance in the real world. Insights from crowd testing help Google focus its attention on critical issues that need to be fixed, thereby eliminating the risk of software applications, not working in real world conditions.

3. Reduces Costs

There is no fixed headcount costs or overhead expenses with crowd testing. Google thus saves big time on investing in full-time QA resources when they opt for crowd testing. In an interview, ex-director of Google James Whittaker explained that crowd testing enabled them to save around 10%-25% of their testing budget while delivering great results. Crowd testing lowers the cost of finding and fixing critical bugs before it reaches the customers. You can save about 5x to 10x on testing using crowdsourced platforms compared to in-house testing.

4. Reduces Time-To-Market

Crowd testing improves the internal efficiency of development teams by reducing the time to market. It works well with Agile teams and helps in the delivery of testing insights faster than traditional testing methods. Google thus enjoys the benefit of better product quality at lower costs with shorter release cycles.

5. Test Coverage

Crowd testing gives you complete coverage across geographies and configurations without any major investments. Further by testing on real devices and machines and browsers, the development team can get insights on real-world usage of the application which cannot be replicated in a lab-based testing environment. With real world insights on app performance, Google can thus benchmark the quality of their app to other apps in the world.

6. Expertise in Usability Testing

Crowd testing works beautifully in the case of user-centric apps as you can target your testing efforts to match your target demographics. Thus it works well for Google apps where collaboration is needed between the developers and users of the application.

7. Supports Internal QA

With crowd testing, Google ensures quality in the work done by their internal QA team. You can find all the critical bugs before your product reaches your customers. Ideally, it is recommended for companies with user-centric apps to allocate 20%-30% of their testing budget for crowd testing to get the optimum results.

8. Flexibility

Crowd testing can help you handle peak loads or on-demand QA requirements effectively especially in cases where a release has to be made in a short time. You can scale your QA efforts in half the time it takes for normal in-house QA teams to ramp up. Hence, Google enjoys the flexibility through crowdsourcing to scale its testing efforts to deliver new product features faster.

The below video by ex-Google director James Whittaker explains Google’s testing strategy:

The benefits of crowd testing have made it a favorite form of testing for even other companies like Apple & Microsoft. Further, companies can ensure secure access to their apps and data by relying on good crowdsourcing platforms. A good crowdsourcing platform verifies testers registered under them and also provide tools for secure/restricted access to apps.

You can learn more about how crowd testing works with the below webinar recording by 99tests, CEO Praveen Singh:


Download “The DevOps Journey - From Waterfall to Continuous Delivery” to learn learn about the importance of integrating automated testing into the DevOps workflow, brought to you in partnership with Sauce Labs.

Topics:
software testing ,google ,crowdsourcing ,devops

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