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CIO Review >> Magazine >> March - 2015 issue

99tests: Uncovering Critical bugs and Optimizing Software Development with Crowd Testing


Today’s software development is plagued with myriad of challenges that have come up due to shorter product and innovation cycles. Failures to optimize the software development process and at the same time reduce the cost of fixing customer bugs are few of the daunting challenges. The mobile developers today encounter a tight spot when it comes to indentifying critical bugs while running tests across a large range of mobile devices. Most of the developers have concerns on keeping perfect development architecture and agile practices with a very high unit testing coverage and capability. Caught in these conundrums, niche vendors are grappling to leverage experienced testing resource pool and services that can simplify product testing and curb the barriers of effective software development process. 99tests, headquartered in Bangalore, Karnataka has explored the current challenges encountered during software development and provides a crowd-sourcing platform to get software products tested in cloud while improving the quality of software applications with huge cost and time savings. Being a crowd-sourcing platform, the company has rolled out services to give software developers or the entrepreneurs the ability to compress long testing cycles to short burst. “The key advantage of cloud sourcing is that, a large number of defects and bugs can be uncovered in a very short time, thereby enabling a quicker go-to-market time frame”, says Praveen Singh, CEO, 99tests.
In general, the software testing essentially validates that the final software product meets the targeted quality standards and 99tests makes sure that it consistently delivers high quality results with its software development process services. As crowd testing gradually permeates into the testing community, 99tests takes full advantage to use crowd-testing platform to help testers to test software product under real network conditions and also measure how the application/product performs under different network conditions across different cities. “Mobile Developer can run test across a large range of mobile devices in a short time. Since these devices work in real world conditions, developers can uncover critical bugs, that would not have been caught in-house or through device farms”, adds Praveen.
During its initial days, 99tests faced lot of vicissitudes while building its testing platform. The platform used to have lot bugs being reported which made testing quite challenging. These challenges could have shattered 99tests but soon everything started falling into place when the company added a crowd validation layer, which consisted of skilled testers who verified, rated and ranked ever defects logged and concurrently delivered the list of defects to the customers. Recounting the ebbs and flows, Praveen articulates, “Today we have built a testing platform with over 10,000 testers across the world by overcoming the challenges in building a model that delivers the best results. We are successfully able to run test cycles in a very short time as we have a crowd validation, which none of the other bigwigs have”.
Crowd testing can be leveraged regardless of the underlying methodology and in fact it is quite viable when it comes to meeting the tight deadlines during peak periods of software development and testing, while controlling the costs of development and testing. Most of the times, development teams might not attain the perfect Mike Cohn’s development pyramid as defect counts can typically become high or low in manual testing efforts along with automation. Addressing this predicament, 99tests plugs into the development teams efforts early in the cycle with a weekly or bi-weekly cycles to uncover which section or feature of the application needs more attention in terms of code quality and increasing test coverage. “Manual testing at times fails to trace the defects in applications that have optimal test coverage and 99tests can find critical bugs that would have passed through the automation scripts due to limited devices and testing”, quotes Praveen.
With its crowd sourcing strategy and agile team of testers, the company gives software product owners the ability to monitor and consume the testing effort in a result-oriented manner. “We enable the running of a test cycle with 50 testers to run a full months work in just five days, so one can shorten the release cycle by 3 weeks by using 99tests”, says Praveen.
Crowd testing is gaining popularity as a viable testing option and sensing this advancement, 99tests plans to continue leveraging its domain knowledge and crowd testing services and eradicate cost effectively the defects in the overall testing lifecycle. With a strong client base ranging from Restoration Hardware (US), Diduce, MindTickle, Titan, CommonFloor and Nykaa the company is confident about its endeavors to build its enterprise offerings which has tester verification, secure access to enterprise application and a dedicated delivery manager to enable enterprise customer consistently run test cycles and get great results.