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Top Tweets from Let’s Test Oz 2014

Thu, 09/18/2014 - 21:41

The popular Let’s Test Oz conference just wrapped up in Sydney, Australia. It ran from September 15-17 and featured three full days of tutorials, keynotes, and sessions from noted industry experts like James Bach.

We didn’t get down to Oz to attend the event, but we were able to follow along with the event on Twitter. Here are some top tweets from the show. And, if you want to see more, check out tweets that are tagged with #LetsTestOz on Twitter.

#letstestoz auditorium!

— David Greenlees (@MartialTester) September 15, 2014

In the context driven community those who don't know how to test are respected.. as long as they are learning – @jamesmarcusbach #LetsTestOz

— Alessandra Moreira (@testchick) September 15, 2014

Team 1 developing responses to team 2 leadership issue in @FionaCCharles #LetsTestOz leadership workshop

— Craig McKirdy (@craigmckirdy) September 15, 2014

You must be open to learn things in different ways #ContextDriven @jamesmarcusbach #LetsTestOz

— Simon P. Schrijver (@SimonSaysNoMore) September 15, 2014

Be aware of your biases in #testing and in #coaching, learn to de-bias yourself – @jamesmarcusbach. Do some 'instinct grooming' #LetsTestOz

— Adam Howard (@adammhoward) September 15, 2014

Day2 of #LetsTestOz kicked off by @KeithKlain

— James Aspinall (@ThePeopleTester) September 15, 2014

Presenting the naboo n1 starfighter design and developed ship #letstestoz #lego #communicatingspecs

— Sigurdur Birgisson (@siggeb) September 16, 2014

Great things happen when testers become champions of business goals. -@vds4 #letstestoz

— Aaron Hodder (@AWGHodder) September 16, 2014

Awesome honesty from Margaret Dineen sharing her experience in a project that didn't end well. So rare to hear these. #LetsTestOz

— Katrina Clokie (@katrina_tester) September 17, 2014

Hey testers! If you're not mentally exhausted after attending a conference, you might be at the wrong one… #LetsTestOz @LetsTest_Conf

— Keith Klain (@KeithKlain) September 17, 2014

To see what other events are upcoming in the software testing world, make sure to check out our revamped Events Calendar.

Categories: Companies

uTest Announces First Testers of the Quarter, Introduces Hall of Fame

Thu, 09/18/2014 - 18:32

A virtual drumoll, please. uTest is proud to announce its first-ever Testers of the QuarterMarty3.

If you’ll remember correctly, this quarterly program exists solely to recognize and award the rock stars of our global community. Testers recently concluded voting for their peers and mentors, recognizing their dedication and quality work in various facets of uTest participation: test cycle performance, course writing, blogging, and tool reviews.

And the recognition doesn’t stop there — as part of this announcement, Tester of the Quarter is now part of a recognition hub for not only this program, but all uTest award programs, including uTester of the Year. We are proud to introduce the uTest Hall of Fame, honoring the top testers in our community…past and present!

Now, without further ado, here are Q3 2014’s Testers of the Quarter:

Outstanding Forums Contributors
Lucas Dargis, United States
Yamini Ramesh, India
Caio Borghoff, Brazil

Outstanding uTest University Instructors
George McConnon, United Kingdom
Alex Siminiuc, Canada
Evan Hjelmstad, United States (tie)
Andy Merrill, United States (tie)

Outstanding Bloggers
Lucas Dargis, United States
Marek Langhans, Czech Republic

Outstanding Tool Reviewers
George McConnon, United Kingdom
Ronny Sugianto, Indonesia
Caio Borghoff, Brazil

Outstanding Project Managers
David Honeyball (CPM)
Elinor Barak
Travis Price

Outstanding TTLs, Testers’ Choice
Linda Peterson, United States
George McConnon, United Kingdom
Nadezda Jerjomina, Latvia

Outstanding Testers, TTLs’ Choice
Sheryl Reed, United States
Iwona Pekala, Poland
Alexx Kovacs, Canada (tie)
Cheryl McCarthy, United States (tie)

Outstanding Up-&-Comers, TTLs’ choice
Marina Maksimovich, Russian Fed.
Michael Solomon, United States (tie)
Timur Nasyrov, United States (tie)
Cleon Palmer, Jamaica (tie)
Scott Smith, United States (tie)

A huge congratulations to all of those that had the humbling distinction of being recognized by their peers for the first-ever Tester of the Quarter. There were also countless other folks that got individual praise along the way. While their names may not be here, their hard work did not go unnoticed!

Be sure to leave your congratulations in the Comments below, or visit the Forums to see the full announcement…along with some of the tester praise that led to these distinctions!

Categories: Companies

Vote for the Ideal Tool Contest Finalists

Wed, 09/17/2014 - 18:33

We asked the uTest community to design their ideal testing tool, and the community has spoken! Today, we are happy to announce the Top Ten Finalists for the Ideal Tool contest. Each entry is in the running for the $1,000 Grand Prize, determined by YOUR votes. The voting period starts today and will run until Tuesday, September 30th.

You can find more information about each entry below, as well as the poll to cast your vote at the end of this post. Happy voting and good luck to the finalists! prize

Meet the Finalists The 30-second Recorder

A testing tool helping the tester to reproduce recent defect found by recording his activities in the last 30 seconds, and producing his activities in an activity log as well. This tool will save all of the user’s activities (clicks on screen, typing, etc.) in a log file and will record the screen itself and the user’s activities for the last 30 seconds (always keeps 30 secs of recording), helping the tester to provide clear steps to reproduce the defect for the developer.
Read the complete entry (PDF) or vote now!

The Bug Recommender and Custom Template Tool

Single desktop app with support by mobile and web add-ons – all completely synchronized with one another. The Bug Recommender System automatically scans for each basic function of the product (e.g. find broken links, broken image, unplayable video, basic issue for form validation, etc.). For each issue found, the system directly captures a screenshot with annotation where is the location of issue and converts it to a custom template report that ready to submit alongside with all the attachments.
Read the complete entry (PDF) or vote now!

The Complete Mobile Bug Report

A complete mobile bug report (GUI, functional, or technical) for both environments (iOS and Android) that contains screenshots (preferably with markups), videos, logs, and crash reports. In order to get all these info currently you need several separate apps for each environment and, of course before that, the installation of the testing app is needed. This ideal testing tool would combine all these features into one.

Read the complete entry (PDF) or vote now!

The Multi-Template Manager

Testers often work with templates. Keeping templates up-to-date takes time and it’s easy to make a mistake (copy old information). This tool helps to manage multiple templates, provide correct information, and allows saving them and accessing them easily in any text form on any website. The basic idea is to create a set of notes and have the option to paste it from a context menu on any website.
Read the complete entry (PDF) or vote now!

The Repro Matrix

An issue reproduction tracking tool intended to be used in conjunction with the issue tracking solution you already have in place. It’s goal is to simplify the way you define, collect, and consume information related to pervasiveness of issues. You can group a collection of related issues, define the environments those issues need to be checked against, and it provides a quick way to enter and use the reproduction information you just gathered.
Read the complete entry (PDF) or vote now

The Swiss Knife QA Tool

A one-stop solution for any cross-mobile OS like Android, iOS, and Windows Phone devices. Swiss Knife QA tool is a mobile application analyzer tool which helps you to connect Android, iOS, and Windows Phone device’s using USB cable to a Windows or Mac machine and helps you to capture log files, take screenshots, and record a screencast of the screen.
Read the complete entry (PDF) or vote now!

The Time-Rewinder

A mobile app that records and saves the last few minutes of the action on the phone or from the camera, and also deletes the need in video editor by creating videos of uploadable size and an option to mute and trim the video right in the app. This app helps the tester to get valuable information on rare, non-reproducible errors, and create and edit videos of the bugs without using desktop video editors.
Read the complete entry (PDF) or vote now!

The uLogger

A single, portable, and easy-to-use tool for capturing mobile logs and creating screen shots on both Windows and Mac machines.
Read the complete entry (PDF) or vote now!

The Universal Tester Helper

A tool that would help with tasks that a tester performs on a daily basis, such as device management, handling movies and screenshots, and working with templates. There are a lot of tools on the market, so each tester needs tens of applications. Universal Tester Helper will gather them into one integrated solution.
Read the complete entry (PDF) or vote now!

The Website Analyzer

A tool that analyzes a website, based on a configurable criteria, and provides a visual report like a heat map of the application. The goal of the tool is provide additional information for manual testing execution by highlighting areas of the page where the tester can focus first.
Read the complete entry (PDF) or vote now!

#yop-poll-container-2_yp541b359d2a696 { width:200px; background:#fff; padding:10px; color:#555; overflow:hidden; font-size:12px; } #yop-poll-name-2_yp541b359d2a696 { font-size:14px; font-weight:bold; } #yop-poll-question-2_yp541b359d2a696 { font-size:14px; margin:5px 0px; } #yop-poll-answers-2_yp541b359d2a696 { } #yop-poll-answers-2_yp541b359d2a696 ul { list-style: none outside none; margin: 0; padding: 0; } #yop-poll-answers-2_yp541b359d2a696 ul li { font-style:normal; margin:0px 0px 10px 0px; padding:0px; font-size:12px; } #yop-poll-answers-2_yp541b359d2a696 ul li input { margin:0px; float:none; } #yop-poll-answers-2_yp541b359d2a696 ul li label { margin:0px; font-style:normal; font-weight:normal; font-size:12px; float:none; } .yop-poll-results-2_yp541b359d2a696 { font-size: 12px; font-style: italic; font-weight: normal; margin-left: 15px; } #yop-poll-custom-2_yp541b359d2a696 { } #yop-poll-custom-2_yp541b359d2a696 ul { list-style: none outside none; margin: 0; padding: 0; } #yop-poll-custom-2_yp541b359d2a696 ul li { padding:0px; margin:0px; font-size:14px; } #yop-poll-container-2_yp541b359d2a696 input[type='text'] { margin:0px 0px 5px 0px; padding:2%; width:96%; text-indent:2%; font-size:12px; } #yop-poll-captcha-input-div-2_yp541b359d2a696 { margin-top:5px; } #yop-poll-captcha-helpers-div-2_yp541b359d2a696 { width:30px; float:left; margin-left:5px; height:0px; } #yop-poll-captcha-helpers-div-2_yp541b359d2a696 img { margin-bottom:2px; } #yop-poll-captcha-image-div-2_yp541b359d2a696 { margin-bottom:5px; } #yop_poll_captcha_image_2_yp541b359d2a696 { float:left; } .yop_poll_clear { clear:both; } #yop-poll-vote-2_yp541b359d2a696 { } .yop-poll-results-bar-2_yp541b359d2a696 { background:#f5f5f5; height:10px; } .yop-poll-results-bar-2_yp541b359d2a696 div { background:#555; height:10px; } #yop-poll-vote-2_yp541b359d2a696 div#yop-poll-vote-2_yp541b359d2a696 button { float:left; } #yop-poll-vote-2_yp541b359d2a696 div#yop-poll-results-2_yp541b359d2a696 { float: right; margin-bottom: 20px; margin-top: -20px; width: auto; } #yop-poll-vote-2_yp541b359d2a696 div#yop-poll-results-2_yp541b359d2a696 a { color:#555; text-decoration:underline; font-size:12px;} #yop-poll-vote-2_yp541b359d2a696 div#yop-poll-back-2_yp541b359d2a696 a { color:#555; text-decoration:underline; font-size:12px;} #yop-poll-vote-2_yp541b359d2a696 div { float:left; width:100%; } #yop-poll-container-error-2_yp541b359d2a696 { font-size:12px; font-style:italic; color:red; text-transform:lowercase; } #yop-poll-container-success-2_yp541b359d2a696 { font-size:12px; font-style:italic; color:green; }Ideal Tool Contest Vote for your favorite. One vote per person.

  • The 30-second Recorder
  • The Bug Recommender and Custom Template Tool
  • The Complete Mobile Bug Report
  • The Multi-Template Manager
  • The Repro Matrix
  • The Swiss Knife QA Tool
  • The Time-Rewinder
  • The uLogger
  • The Universal Tester Helper
  • The Website Analyzer
Reload Enter the code Vote View Results


Categories: Companies

Incorporating User Feedback in Development Leads to Better Software Releases

Tue, 09/16/2014 - 16:00

Note: The following is a guest submission to the uTest Blog from Sanjay Zalavadia.voice_of_user2

By considering the performance of in-development software from the perspective of the end user, QA teams can better address disruptive issues.

Software testing can often be an arduous and stressful process. Even in traditional waterfall production methods, quality assurance teams are typically faced with a months-long period colloquially known as the “death march” as developments near release. During these moments, QA management and teams hunker down and toil away, attempting to address as many remaining coding flaws as possible before the software goes into production. The proliferation of agile development principles has only escalated this trend as QA members are constantly working to identify areas of improvement during the entire course of development.

It’s understandable if QA objectives become a little shortsighted under these conditions and testers place all of their focus on finding bugs and coding errors. However, testing managers need to remain cognizant of the ultimate goal of any successful development process: optimizing the end user experience.

QA performance cannot be measured by the number of bug reports generated, but by the satisfaction of software users following a product’s release. To that end, it is advantageous to consider the viewpoint of the consumer and incorporate user feedback into the development process.

Usability critical to software performance

In a truly agile software development project, user feedback is a critical component of the production cycle, helping to guide tester and developer efforts to improve the performance of the application.

By considering how individuals engage with a piece of software and what problems may commonly occur or will be most disruptive to the user experience, developers and QA teams can better focus on addressing those issues. That fact is that despite the best efforts of software testers, coding flaws are essentially an inevitability. No software is 100 percent perfectly written, but the most successful programs are often those that perform at an optimal level with a bare minimum of usability issues.

In a Software Testing Help post, quality assurance expert Santhosh Kumar Ponnusamy outlined several of the traits characterizing a successful tester. In particular, he highlighted the openness to consider the end user viewpoint and the staunch commitment to improving consumer satisfaction.

“Every product is developed for customers,” Ponnusamy wrote. “Customers may or may not be technical persons. If you don’t consider the scenarios from their perspective, you will miss many important bugs. So put yourself in their shoes. Know your end users first. Their age, education, even the location, can matter most while using the product. Make sure to prepare your test scenarios and test data accordingly. After all, a project is said to be successful only if the end user is able to use the application successfully.”

IT Business Edge’s John Storts explained that successfully incorporating user feedback can often be the difference between an effective agile development project and a more troubled production process. He noted how during an attempt to implement agile principles, one of his past employers quickly fell back into the routine of a waterfall approach. Despite a lot of lip service being paid to agile development early in the design process, once the ball got rolling, company members from management down to testers returned to traditional models of operation.

“Our software builds, or ‘iterations,’ managed to roll in bug fixes and feature requests from the developers, other project team members and in-house software testers, but I rarely heard of end user requests making it into pre-release versions,” Storts stated. “Communication of this kind during early development stages is one major distinguishing factor between waterfall and agile methods.”

For the most benefits from user feedback, it’s often wise for QA teams to first develop a concept of persona to guide the testing process. It can take a concerted effort from QA leadership to properly integrate user feedback with testing efforts, but the shift will ultimately pay off with better performing software releases.

Sanjay Zalavadia is the VP of Client Services for Zephyr, who offers a real-time, full-featured test management system. Learn more about Zephyr right here.

Categories: Companies

Android Screen Mirroring Tool Showdown: Which App is Your Go-to?

Mon, 09/15/2014 - 20:56

Video captured by testers is an integral piece of the puzzle for developers; faster understanding of the problem youmobizen‘re encountering means faster identification the root issue to enact the necessary changes.

If you’ve ever tried to find a screen-mirroring tool for Android, you’ve likely waded through dozens of applications that at first seem like solid solutions, before ending in headaches and time wasted on confusing setup steps. Some even require your device to be rooted, which is no use if you’re participating in testing that prohibits using modified devices!

If only there were a simple way to project what you see on your Android device’s screen to a computer monitor! Alas, there are indeed a few tools you can start using today, but which is the best?

  • Some testers have praised Droid@Screen for its intuitive, user-friendly interface while others down-rate its ability to stream video at a usable rate and its lack of an in-app video recorder.
  • How about Mobizen? Touted as easy to install with good frame rates, yet the input method changes for different applications, resulting in some user confusion.
  • MyMobiler is the go-to for some uTesters, who enjoy its wireless connection and keyboard control during recording but have experienced periodic disconnection problems.
  • Heard of AndroidScreenCast? Some features of the app require your device to be rooted, so do the pros outweigh the cons?

Hop on over to our Tool Reviews section and check em’ out, then tell us what you think! Have any better suggestions for Android screen mirroring apps? Submit them to our Tool Reviews repository and share your hard-earned knowledge.

So who wins the Android screen mirroring tool showdown? Leave a comment below and let’s discuss!

Categories: Companies

Load Testing Not Performed in Most Organizations: Should it be an Optional Affair?

Fri, 09/12/2014 - 17:57

We’ve all seen the disastrous results of not properly load testing and sites not being able to shoulder the traffic — the site crashing in the United States is one load-testingexample where people’s livelihoods were actually put at risk (e.g. this wasn’t someone being inconvenienced today while pre-ordering the iPhone 6).

So you’d think that more organizations would be taking load testing seriously as part of the software development process, given the bottom-line risks to the business. However, according to a Software Testing Magazine report citing a survey from the Methods & Tools software development magazine, only 24% of organizations load test all of their projects, and even as high as 34% don’t perform any load or performance testing.

I’d be interested to dig deeper into this report, because it isn’t clear if this is a widespread issue in software development, or just in certain sectors. For example, organizations that make up this survey respondent pool may want to re-think their load testing strategies if they’re in industries with a low tolerance for crashes or slow site performance — i.e. retail. Nonetheless, this is still a surprising number.

Is load testing just an optional step for software development organizations? Or have they still not learned with the number of high-profile site crashes as of late? We’d be interested to hear from you in the comments below.

Categories: Companies

There’s an App U for That: uTest in New England Journal of Higher Education

Thu, 09/11/2014 - 20:37

If you haven’t noticed, apps are kind of a big deal right now.little-u How big? To the tune of about 466,000 jobs from 2007 to 2012 being created by the apps economy, according to a TechNet survey.

It is also anticipated that employer demand will create 3.7 million new IT jobs by 2016. So it’s only natural, going hand-in-hand with this explosive job growth, that there is a need for workers with skill sets that will allow them to run the tech necessary to power this new app economy.

According to Applause/uTest Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer Matt Johnston, who sat down for an interview with the New England Journal of Higher Education, it’s also an “alternative” path that testers are taking to learn these in-demand skill sets:

“With a recent surge in employment thanks to the proliferation of IT jobs, many adults who are seeking to turn their careers around and want to participate in the apps economy are turning to alternative education paths—because going back to college will take too long for them to obtain a degree.”

uTest has been proud to have been a part of this alternative path with the launch of uTest University almost a year ago, designed to be a single source for testers of all experience levels to access free training courses. You can check out the full article right here with Matt’s interview, which gets into how testers and other IT workers are taking education into their own hands in this new economy, and how programs like uTest University and other massive open online courses (MOOCs) are leading the charge.

And you can also start your education right away — no expensive textbooks needed — over at uTest University, totally free to members of the uTest Community.

Categories: Companies

Latest Testing in the Pub Podcast: Views on Testing Communities

Wed, 09/10/2014 - 21:50

Testing in the PubThe latest Testing in the Pub podcast takes advantage of summer — really, the waning days of summer at this point — by having a pint in the beer garden and discussing testing with community leader and organizer of London Tester Gatherings Tony Bruce.

uTester and podcast host Steve Janaway sits down with Tony to discuss, amongst other things, an especially pertinent topic for anyone reading this blog right now as a uTester — the need for testing communities in software development and testing. We agree, Tony!

Be sure to check out the full podcast right here.

Categories: Companies

6 Things You Need to Know About the iPhone 6

Wed, 09/10/2014 - 16:07

This story was originally published on the Applause App Quality Blog by Dan Rowinski.

Bigger and bolder, Apple has finally embraced the large screen. Apple latest iPhones were announced on Tuesday and it comes in two variants: the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus. Each is bigger and more powerful than any iPhone Apple has ever made.

In its announcement, Apple referred to the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus at the greatest phones ever made. It is a bit of hyperbole that Apple has been prone towards in its iPhone announcements through history, a legacy of the late Steve Jobs. But nearly everything about the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus is bigger and badder, a worthy successor to Apple’s smartphone franchise and likely to be the most sought-after gift this coming holiday shopping season.

What do you need to know about the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus? Let’s break it down.

Screen Size And Resolution

Apple has finally broken out of its mold and listened to what people want. Consumers want bigger screens on smartphones. Thus, mobile app developers want bigger screens on because that is what consumers want.

Well, Apple has delivered.

The iPhone 6 has a 4.7-inch screen with a 4.7-inch, 1334-by-750 screen that translates to pixels-per-inch (ppi). Good news for developers, this is the exact same pixel count as the iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPhone 5C, iPhone 5S and iPad Mini with Retina Display.


The iPhone 6 Plus has a 5.5-inch screen with a 1920-by-1080 resolution with 401-ppi. The new pixels-per-inch count will be what developers are going to focus on because it is this metric that will directly effect what their existing apps will look like on larger screens. To this end, Apple has created an desktop-class scaler in the Xcode integrated developer environment to deal with all the new screen sizes and (limited) pixel variation among iOS devices. Apple also employs the Adaptive Layout feature introduced in iOS 7 (and advanced in iOS 8) to help developers make apps that fit any of its device sizes.

More good news for developers, Apple has stayed consistent with the aspect ratio of the iPhone with the new models, continuing its use of 16:9 it introduced in the iPhone 5. Previous versions of the iPhone had 4:3 or 3:2 aspect ratios.

Near Field Communications & Apple Pay

After years of speculation (and disappointment from mobile payment advocates), Apple has finally embraced Near Field Communications (NFC), a short-range communications standard that has long been a part of Android and Windows Phone devices.

Ostensibly, NFC will be used to push Apple into the mobile payments space as it made deals with Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover to handle financial transactions at physical store locations with the iPhone.


With NFC, Apple has introduced Apple Pay, a new way to make transactions with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus and the Apple Watch. Apple Pay is a secure way to make transactions using NFC and it is integrated with your biometric fingerprint signature through Touch ID and Apple’s PassBook cards app. To entice adoption of Apple Pay, Apple has partnered with some of the largest retailers in the United States to allow them to accept the mobile payments, including McDonalds, Macy’s, Whole Foods, Walgreens and more.

Health Sensors & Software

In the iPhone 5S, Apple announced the M7 “motion coprocessor” to keep track of motion data like running and walking in the iPhone. For the iPhone 6 series, Apple has taken it a … step … further.


Apple announced the M8 motion that not only measures steps but has the ability to measure distance and elevations. The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus also have a built in barometer to measure relative air pressure to see determine the elevation you have traveled.

Camera With iSight Sensor

In iOS 8, Apple has introduced PhotoKit, a new set of application programming interfaces to handle photo and video assets with the iPhone and iPad. In conjunction with PhotoKit, Apple has improved the camera on the iPhone 6 for quicker, better performance.


The cameras in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus do not blow the camera from the iPhone 5S out of the water, coming in at an Apple standard 8-megapixels with a 1.5-micron sensor and f/2.2 aperture. Apple says that it made improvements in the cameras sensors with the new iSight sensor that has the ability to focus pixels for clear, more precise shots.

Video on the iPhone improves with up to 60-frames-per-second for 1080p video and 240fps for slow motion, which was originally introduced in the iPhone 5S.

The A8 Chip Is Apple’s Best

Apple customizes its own version of ARM architecture chips for its iOS products. The A8 chip for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus is 64-bit with new graphics technology to take advantage of some of the more ambitious aspects of iOS 8. The A8 chip has over two billion transistors and has a new signal processor to handle photo and video data.

Faster LTE And Voice

Apple was once thought to be behind the times in adopting LTE (also known as “4G”) for its iPhones. It is now ahead of the times in adopting some of its newest features.

Apple will be one of the first smartphone manufacturers to roll out VoLTE: Voice over LTE that allows for Internet Protocol (IP)-based phone calls, such as those you would make over Google Hangouts or Skype. It is the cellular variation of VoIP (Voice over IP) that has been available on the Internet for years. LTE has not been able to support voice until now because it is an IP and not digitally switched cellular network. VoLTE will work initially with T-Mobile an then through other carriers as it becomes available in the United States and Europe.

Apple is also embracing the notion of carrier aggregation, which is the first step to LTE-Advanced (or what is called “true 4G”). It improves peak data performance and increased bitrate throughput for data connections.

What makes you most excited about the iPhone 6? Let us know in the comments.

Categories: Companies

Get $300 Off Your STPCon Registration with uTest Discount Code

Tue, 09/09/2014 - 20:00

The Fall edition of Software Test Professionals Conference & Expo (STPCon) is coming up in November and we are so excited to offer uTesters a special discount to the show. STPCON-APPLAUSE-AD

STPCon is the leading conference on software testing and covers test leadership, management and strategy. Attendees can hear industry experts like Mark Tomlinson, Alessandra Moreira, and Mile Lyles share their knowledge and experience. Featured sessions include “In the Cloud and On the Ground: Real-World Performance Testing Stories” and “Tips for Painless API Testing.” 

As a special offer to our testing community, you can use our special discount code to receive $300 off your registration for the show, including early bird pricing! Book before early bird pricing ends September 19, and the price for the main conference drops to $995, the conference plus workshop to $1295 and the conference plus two-day certification class to $2095 with our code.

In addition to STPCon, we have other special uTester discounts to upcoming shows:

  • Receive a 5% discount for new registrations to the 2nd annual User Conference on Advanced Automated Testing (UCAAT) in Munich, Germany from September 16-18, 2014. The European conference, jointly organized by the “Methods for Testing and Specification” (TC MTS) ETSI Technical Committee, QualityMinds, and German Testing Day, will focus exclusively on use cases and best practices for software and embedded testing automation.
  • Receive a 20% discount for new registrations to the International Conference on Software Quality and Test Management (SQTM), which focuses on providing practical methods that consistently produce good results. The show runs from September 29-October 3 in San Diego, California.
  • Receive $200 off your registration to STARWEST, which runs from October 12-17 in Anaheim, California. STARWEST is the premier event for software testers and quality assurance professionals offering 100+ learning and networking opportunities.

Email us at to receive the uTester-exclusive discount codes to these upcoming shows!

Categories: Companies

Happy Testers Day: How Will You Celebrate?

Tue, 09/09/2014 - 17:04

A sharp-eyed tester in our community has reminded me that it’s Testers Day. No, we didn’t make that up.ladybug-clipart-celebrate

Developers get a lot of the limelight, but it’s about time that testers get their day in the sun, and what better day than September 9 to celebrate that fact!

Wait, so what significance does September 9 have to testers, you say? Well, let’s say we just wouldn’t be using the term “bug” or “debugging” without this date or the influential woman associated with this date.

According to the Computer History Museum, on September 9, 1947, American computer scientist and United States Navy Rear admiral Grace Murray Hopper recorded the first computer bug in history while working on the Harvard Mark II computer. The problem was traced to a moth stuck between a relay in the machine, which Hopper logged in Mark II’s log book with the explanation: “First actual case of bug being found.”

So there you have it, folks. A momentous event deserves celebration and commemoration. How will you celebrate Testers Day? With a cake? By finding a bug in Grace Hopper’s honor? Be sure to let us know in the Comments below. In the meantime, be sure to give your colleague a high-five and wish them a Happy Testers Day.

Categories: Companies

Video Roundup: The Best of the Selenium Conference

Mon, 09/08/2014 - 20:52

The 2014 edition of the Selenium Conference in Bangalore, India, just wrapped up this weekend, bringing automation fans from around the world together for three days of workshops and networking.

While there’s sure to be some video rounded up soon for Selenium developers and automation enthusiasts who couldn’t make it this weekend (which we’ll share with our automation community), we’ve rounded up some of the great presentations from the 2013 edition of the show.

According to the Selenium Conference, the show is a volunteer-run, non-profit event presented by members of the Selenium Community. The goal of the conference is to bring together Selenium developers & enthusiasts from around the world to share ideas, socialize, and work together on advancing the present and future success of the project.

Beyond just automation, be sure to also check out uTest’s entire Events Calendar, your one stop for all events — virtual and live — covering the testing spectrum.

Simon Stewart, Selenium State of the Union

Rick Darcy, Carscom, Revolutionizing Continuous Integration with Selenium

Titus Fortner, How Cucumber Can Improve Your Testing

John Chandler, Bringing Selenium to the Rest of the Company

Categories: Companies

Meet the uTesters: Steve Greenhill

Mon, 09/08/2014 - 16:00

524118_499758870038725_1059980591_nSteve Greenhill is a Gold-rated tester and Test Team Lead (TTL) on Paid Projects at uTest, hailing from England. Steve has over ten years of experience in software testing, including as a team lead, and has worked on both manual- and automation-driven projects. He has worked in a wide range of sectors from banking to education and TV broadcasting.

Be sure to also follow Steve’s profile on uTest as well so you can stay up to date with his activity in the community!

uTest: Android or iOS?

Steve: Most definitely, Android. I have always liked the flexibility along with the ease of capturing logs and other debugging information from a test perspective. I certainly think iOS set the bar initially, but it has been interesting seeing the progression Android has made. Admittedly, imitation at the start was the best form of flattery to Apple. Now, I do think Android is pushing technology a little better. It is not to say I don’t have a few Apple devices, though.

uTest: What drew you into testing initially? What’s kept you at it?

Steve: I studied Computer Science at the degree level, and at first, I thought I wanted to be a programmer. I have always enjoyed a social life, and while on University placement as a developer, I spent more time with the “cool guys” in QA. Which kind of made me think that I wanted their lifestyle a little more. That seems funny now, but I am glad I followed the testing approach. I love being challenged to find issues, to pursue a never-ending task of ensuring metrics are more effectively presented, and I love the daily “bridge-building” between developers and testers.

uTest: What’s your favorite part of being in the uTest community?

Steve: The favorite part is just that – being in a community. Throughout my years of “uTesting,” I have built a good relationship with Project Managers (PMs), TTLs and testers. This relationship is not only work-related, but has good social aspects, too. In terms of work, I literally have access to a wealth of knowledge. For example, I was struggling with a Japanese-focused issue, and I contacted one of my “uTest friends” based in that region for a translation of a field which just didn’t make sense in Google Translate.

On a social level, I work with some of the most amusing TTLs, so every day is quite funny! One thing I do say to people who are new to uTest is: Keep working hard — not everything happens right away. However, with the right focus and eagerness to succeed, you will soon be embraced by the Community.

uTest: What keeps you busy outside testing?

Steve: Time outside of testing? I have a 14-month-old son, running around and wanting to press the keys on my keyboard. Need I say more? He is a great way to switch off from testing and makes life really special, as does my fellow TTL/fiancé Claire (best add that, or else I will be in trouble).

As a sideline, I also love photography, so I tend to spend any free time I get doing weddings and portrait sessions. I am also very passionate about cooking, so if anyone has any amazing recipes, do let me know. I love Indian and Italian cuisine.

uTest: What’s your go-to gadget?

Steve: Away from testing, I have just added a Nikon D610 to my collection of camera equipment. I am impressed with how digital cameras are becoming better and better at handling noise at high ISOs. Still awake?

In terms of testing, definitely my Samsung Galaxy S5 — so beautiful, a joy to test with because of its size, easy to use, nice aesthetics, as well because of the the normal uses of a “phone,” like Facebook! Does anyone actually still use it as a phone to make calls?

Categories: Companies

Top Tweets from SeConf 2014

Fri, 09/05/2014 - 20:41

The 4th Annual Selenium Conference kicked off yesterday in Bangalore, India. The goal of this conference is to bring together Selenium developers and enthusiasts from around the world. We didn’t have room in our travel budget this year to send our team, so instead we’re bringing you the top 5 tweets from the first day:

As of this morning, we have a total of 443 participants registered from 17 countries from 201 Companies with 232 Unique Roles @seleniumconf

— Selenium Conference (@seleniumconf) September 5, 2014

"If you're writing automated tests, you're doing development" @jimevansmusic It's true! #seconf

— Simon Stewart (@shs96c) September 5, 2014

#seconf automated tests are, and ought to be, software. @jimevansmusic

— Артём (@art_koshelev) September 5, 2014

Atypical use of #selenium for code injection penetration testing – session at #seconf

— Ashish (@ash1shm) September 5, 2014

At #Seconf Q&A straight from the brains behind #Selenium @shs96c @jimevansmusic

— Sudhir Patil (@sudhir_sgp) September 5, 2014

To see what other events are upcoming in the software testing world, make sure to check out our revamped Events Calendar. And if you’re curious about learning Selenium in general, be sure to check out our Selenium Basics course track at uTest University.

Categories: Companies

ISO 29119 Draws the Ire of Testers in uTest Community

Thu, 09/04/2014 - 18:48

Earlier in the week, you may remember that 30-year IT vet James Christie posted his thoughts on why the ISO-Logonew testing standard released by ISO (International Organization for Standardization) is bad for the testing profession.

The post kind of blew up on Twitter, with testers from within uTest and the greater testing community immersed in a flurry of tweets and retweets to their followers. Michael Bolton even called it a “must-read.”

So why are so many people up in arms about this standard and tagging their Twitter posts with the harsh #Stop2919 hashtag? Well, you can be the judge and read the initial post from James to decide, but some of our testers took to the uTest Forums after the blog post went live to explain what ticked them off about it:

“Too bad we can’t impeach ISO 9000 [another standard from ISO]. I will not work for a company that requires ISO. I’m a process guy that loves to have a defined process that works for everything I’m doing. I don’t like process for the sake of process and that is what ISO feels like when implemented.”

“I left my last company because the industry they worked in was so heavily regulated — all we did was process, process, process. We never did any real work.”

“To say that you MUST test a certain way, no matter whether it is a tiny phone app or a massive mainframe control suite, is, well, really nothing short of insane.”

Testers in the outside world, we want to know: Is ISO 29119 a danger to the testing profession as a whole? What would be your reaction to someone that wants you to sign the petition to #STOP29119? Are standards (and certifications from organizations such as ISTQB) bad for testing in general, anyways?

If you’ve got strong feelings against (or for) 29119, we want to hear from you in the comments below.

Categories: Companies

uTest Platform Update of the Week: September 4th Edition

Thu, 09/04/2014 - 17:32

Accept-or-DeclineOur testers on paid projects here at uTest are busy people – many of them have day jobs as testers. Thus, they pull off an evening Clark Kent transition into Superman to get even more work done in their spare time.

Aware of this, our Platform Team continually pushes to make the uTest experience more intuitive and time-saving for our busy testers. As part of this push, we’ll be updating you each week on the latest and greatest additions to the uTest Platform.

Here are the notable features launching today as part of the uTest Platform release for Sept. 4:

  • Intuitive bug list sorting: TTLs will be able to see bugs in order of report date, and testers will be able to see the most recently submitted bugs first
  • NDA improvements on test cycles: Testers won’t have to fill out NDAs to decline test cycles, and NDAs will have pre-filled fields for easier completion
  • Easier identification of tester roles on test cycles: When in a uTest cycle’s chat, a user’s name will be paired with a textual annotation and color scheme that matches their role (e.g. TTL/PM/CM/TM)
  • Updates to how you report and view new issues: When you begin a new bug report form, the subject line input will autofocus so you can start typing right away, and, after submitting a new bug, the bug you just submitted is highlighted in the bug list the same way that the last bug you had open is (different background color)
  • Quick navigation to test cycles via Chat sidebar: You will now be able to right-click on a chat room (test cycle) name in the chat sidebar on right-hand side of the tester interface to navigate directly to that test cycle

While we’ve highlighted these updates effective today in the Tester Platform, be sure to check out the complete announcement in the Forums on what these changes mean for you, and to ask any questions you may have about platform features – current or on the horizon!

Categories: Companies

Tour de uTest: Community Member Tours Famous Cycling Stages

Wed, 09/03/2014 - 17:56

IMG_1291While it’s sometimes a challenge for me to even get up the stairs of our uTest/Applause headquarters each morning, some of our global community of testers are climbing mountains or cycling around Europe.

Put uTester Silvano Parodi into that latter category as an avid cyclist who managed to tour two stages of the Tour de France this Summer. Silvano hails from Genova, Italy and is a Silver-rated tester on paid projects here at uTest, and a 10-year development vet in his day job.

Beyond uTest, cycling is one other area that Silvano has always taken to in his spare time, riding since the age of 13, when his dream was to win the Tour de France. Silvano may have not realized that part of his dream, but this summer, he certainly was a little bit closer to the stage that he idolized as a kid.

Silvano and his wife put their bikes, a tent, and their uTest shirts on the car, and made the long trek of about 400 km (about 248 miles) to check out two alpine stages of the Tour de France.

They arrived a day early before the first stage they wanted to see,  and at the summit of the final climb, placed their tent that was brought along for the trip. According to Silvano, crowds gather from all over Europe, and even from as far as the United States and Australia, with their campers, caravans, and tents placed along the climb, each with a flag of the attendees’ home country. Silvano, as you’ll notice in the pictures here, served as a sort of flag/banner himself sporting the spiffy uTest attire. Lookin’ good, sir!

Silvanounnamed and his wife got on their bikes and toured stages 13 and 14 of the Tour de France, finding a good spot to see the final stage of the big race.

So why all of this travel and effort for a relatively short trip to France? Beyond the fact that cycling is one of Silvano’s passions, he mentioned that cycling draws a parallel to his life as a tester and developer:

“Cycling tells me that hard work always leads to good results, and I try to apply this rule in my daily job. Also, road cycling, despite what most people think, is a team sport. For the victory of one rider, other teammates do a lot of work, bringing to him a bottle, staying ahead of him to protect from headwind, etc. Each rider has his or her own role and tasks to achieve the goal. But when the captain wins, the joy for all teammates is big. I think that this attitude is also good in a work environment — do your own job without jealousies against colleagues to reach the company objectives.”

A noble parallel to testing and development, at that. Keep riding, Silvano, and thanks for sharing the story (and pictures) with us!

Categories: Companies

ISO 29119: Why it is Dangerous to the Software Testing Community

Tue, 09/02/2014 - 16:41

stop-29119Two weeks ago, I gave a talk at CAST 2014 (the conference of the Association for Software Testing) in New York, titled “Standards: Promoting quality or restricting competition?”

It was mainly about the new ISO 29119 software testing standard (according to ISO, “an internationally agreed set of standards for software testing that can be used within any software development life cycle or organization”), though I also wove in arguments about ISTQB certification.

My argument was based on an economic analysis of how ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) has gone about developing and promoting the standard. ISO’s behavior is consistent with the economic concept of rent seeking. This is where factions use power and influence to acquire wealth by taking it from others — rigging the market — rather than by creating new wealth.

I argued that ISO has not achieved consensus, or has even attempted to gain consensus, from the whole testing profession. Those who disagree with the need for ISO 29119 and its underlying approach have been ignored. The opponents have been defined as irrelevant.

If ISO 29119 were expanding the market, and if it merely provided another alternative — a fresh option for testers, their employers and the buyers of testing services — then there could be little objection to it. However, it is being pushed as the responsible, professional way to test — it is an ISO standard, and therefore, by implication, the only responsible and professional way.

What is Wrong With ISO 29119?

Well, it embodies a dated, flawed and discredited approach to testing. It requires a commitment to heavy, advanced documentation. In practice, this documentation effort is largely wasted and serves as a distraction from useful preparation for testing.

Such an approach blithely ignores developments in both testing and management thinking over the last couple of decades. ISO 29119 attempts to update a mid-20th century worldview by smothering it in a veneer of 21st century terminology. It pays lip service to iteration, context and Agile, but the beast beneath is unchanged.

The danger is that buyers and lawyers will insist on compliance as a contractual requirement. Companies that would otherwise have ignored the standard will feel compelled to comply in order to win business. If the contract requires compliance, then the whole development process could be shaped by a damaging testing standard. ISO 29119 could affect anyone involved in software development, and not just testers.

Testing will be forced down to a common, low standard, a service that can be easily bought and sold as a commodity. It will be low quality, low status work. Good testers will continue to do excellent testing. But it will be non-compliant, and the testers who insist on doing the best work that they can will be excluded from many companies and many opportunities. Poor testers who are content to follow a dysfunctional standard and unhelpful processes will have better career opportunities. That is a deeply worrying vision of the future for testing.

I was astonished at the response to my talk. I was hoping that it would provoke some interest and discussion. It certainly did that, but it was immediately clear that there was a mood for action. Two petitions were launched. One was targeted at ISO to call for the withdrawal of ISO 29119 on the grounds that it lacked consensus. This was launched by the International Society for Software Testing.

The other petition was a more general manifesto that Karen Johnson organized for professional testers to sign. It allows testers to register their opposition to ISTQB certification and attempts to standardize testing.

A group of us also started to set up a special interest group within the Association for Software Testing so that we could review the standard, monitor progress, raise awareness and campaign.

Since CAST 2014, there has been a blizzard of activity on social media that has caught the attention of many serious commentators on testing. Nobody pretends that a flurry of Tweets will change the world and persuade ISO to change course. However, this publicity will alert people to the dangers of ISO 29119 and, I hope, persuade them to join the campaign.

This is not a problem that testers can simply ignore in the hope that it will go away. It is important that everyone who will be affected knows about the problem and speaks out. We must ensure that the rest of the world understands that ISO is not speaking for the whole testing profession, and that ISO 29119 does not enjoy the support of the profession.

James Christie has 30 years’ experience in IT, covering testing, development, IT auditing, information security management and project management. He is now a self-employed testing consultant, based in Scotland. You can learn more about James and his work over at his blog is  and follow him on Twitter @james_christie.

Categories: Companies

How Apple Aims To Improve App Store Discovery With iOS 8

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 18:51

This story was originally published on the Applause App Quality Blog by Dan Rowinski.


Sometimes you can’t find the app you are looking for.

A single app in Apple’s App Store is just the perfect one that you are seeking. With 1.2 million apps, it has to be in there somewhere, right? It may be a new calendar app to that syncs your iCal, Google Calendar and Outlook meetings. Or it is a messaging app that focuses on standard and proper English, eschewing the craze of emoji and emoticons endemic today’s popular communication methods. You know somebody at some point must have built this app, but it is impossible to find.

App Store discovery has been a massive problem for developers, users and Apple for the last several years. App Store search is inadequate for most people’s needs and the top lists that Apple relies upon have created a top-heavy capitalistic market that breeds poor quality apps.

Apple is not ignorant to this problem. In 2012 it spent a reported $50 million to improve the App Store and acquired app search engine Chomp to enhance discoverability. The improvements proved minimal and Apple eventually shuttered Chomp and rolled its intellectual property into iOS 6. Judging by the current discourse among the iOS developer community, Apple still has a lot of work to do to help app makers sell their wares.

Apple has some more improvements for the App Store coming with iOS 8 that it hopes will arrest the issue.

 App Store Improvements In iOS 8


In the keynote for its World Wide Developer Conference in June, Apple CEO Tim Cook called the coming improvements to the App Store the biggest the product has seen since it was launched in 2008.

  • App bundles so users can download a group of apps from the same publisher.
  • App preview videos that will augment the standard screenshots in the App Store.
  • A new “explore” tab in that will help users browse categories and subcategories of apps.
  • Trending search to identify popular app search terms.
  • An expanded “Editor’s Choice” section with a new logo that may or may not satisfy the call for human curators of the App Store.
  • TestFlight integration for developers to find beta users.
  • Vertical,endless scrolling in search.

Let’s take a look at some of the highlights.

Bundles Perfect For Unbundled Apps


Several of these items are essential to improving app store discovery. The forthcoming app bundles will solve an issue that big app publishers have in rolling out groups of apps intended to be bought and downloaded as a package. For instance, Microsoft rolled out its Office suite of apps earlier this year, only for users have to download each individually from the App Store. Companies like Facebook or Google could package their apps together (download Facebook and Messenger at the same time, for instance) or smaller publishers can group apps together to gain more traction and marketing opportunities from the get go, as opposed to struggling for each and every download.

App bundles is right App Store feature at the right time, especially considering the 2014 trend of “app unbundling” where app creators build multiple apps with different functions as opposed to cramming them all into one central app.

Finally, Video Previews For Apps

One of the greatest advantages that Google has had over Apple in their respective app repositories is that Google could roll out YouTube videos straight into Google Play. Anybody that has ever written a “top apps of the month” article will tell you that Android’s YouTube preview videos are so much more effective in telling the user what an app is actually about then just descriptions and screen shots. The fact that YouTube videos are embeddable helps to increase the media and viral quotient of spreading app awareness across the Web.

Video is coming to the App Store as well, but not in the form of YouTube. This will be a welcome cosmetic change for developers and app marketers. Apple has not said if App Store video previews will be embeddable.

Editor’s Choice = Human Curation?

In recent weeks, developers have called for the end of the algorithmic top lists in the App Store in favor of human curators. To be fair, Apple has long had an “editor’s choice” section in the App Store, but it has been buried at the bottom of the feed and really was not all that helpful.

Apple did not really get into specifics of the new Editor’s Choice section coming in iOS 8, but it did say that it will get a revamp and a new logo. Developers will also get a small editor’s choice icon next to their apps in App Store search results if their apps have been met with Apple editors’ seal of approval.

Categories: Companies

How to Get Started on uTest Projects

Thu, 08/28/2014 - 17:51

The best part about working in the uTest Community is seeing the number of new testers who join our ranks everyday. We see testers new uTest-logoto the testing world, as well as veteran testers who have years of experience. No matter your experience level, we have resources to help guide you toward your first paid project with uTest.

The first step is to sign up with uTest and make sure you have an Expanded profile. Not sure? Check out this simple set of instructions. 

The first stop in our journey after registration is a course in uTest University called “Getting Started with uTest Paid Projects.” This course contains answers to many of the questions that new uTesters typically have, like how to update your Expanded profile and how to get invited to the Sandbox program.

Keep in mind that, in order for uTest to match you with incoming projects, you will need to keep your testing profile complete and up-to-date. For example, if a project requires testers in Canada with BlackBerry devices and your profile matches these requirements, we will then be able to notify you of an upcoming test cycle. Be sure to update your profile as you pick up new gadgets (mobile devices, laptops, etc.) and update your software. Many customers are especially interested in testers with the latest devices for testing purposes. Removing outdated items you no longer own is also very important.

The next stop takes a step back from uTest and examines the greater software testing realm. In short, without a solid foundation in testing fundamentals, it will no doubt be tough to develop as a tester at uTest. “Building Your Software Testing Skills” is a great primer for new testers and vets alike, and contains many testing resources, those recommended by a 15-year software testing veteran, that are intended to help you grow as a software tester.

Coming back into the uTest world, the next stop is the “5 Steps to Succeeding in Your First uTest Project” course. Once you’ve been invited to a uTest project, there are helpful steps outlined in the course that will assist you, such as how to accept your first invitation, review the scope and chat, submit your bug reports, submit your test case, and check in on your bug reports in the event a Project Manager or Test Team Lead has a question.

Another course that contains invaluable advice for testers is uTest Test Team Lead Aaron Weintrob’s “When is a Bug Not a Bug?” One of the hardest things for new testers to know is where the line between a valid bug stops and good feedback begins, and Aaron’s course points out key tips for testers to remember when deciding whether to file a bug or not in testers’ first test cycles.

As you plan ahead for your testing future, also take a look at the Skill Tree for Paid Projects. This outlines the various ways that you can further your career with uTest. For example, some of our testers have day jobs as QA testers and supplement their income with paid projects at uTest, while others become some of our top testers and earn thousands of dollars a month by testing with us full-time.

Last but not least, be sure to browse through the careers in QA blog posts on the uTest Blog, and stop by the uTest Forums to hear from uTest veterans whom have a lot to share about their experiences and tips for success as a uTester (it’s also just a great place to network off the clock with fellow testing peers!).

While becoming a successful uTester will require a lot of hard work, learning core testing concepts, learning from peers and self-paced studying, we hope that these resources will ease you into your first cycles and the rewarding journey ahead as a uTester.

Categories: Companies