How to bring in games into software testing

We hear a lot about gamification in enterprises and specifically in software testing. We had an eminent speaker Ross Smith who gave a keynote, at our annual technical conference, Qualloquium at QA InfoTech on leveraging games in software testing. When I sit down to think more about this I am flooded with questions – where can I introduce games, how and when should I use them, how do I encourage and guide my team into this whole process, who will build these games and so on.

Some of the core areas where games can be introduced in software testing include functional, UI, usability, localization test attributes. I am just thinking aloud in this post, on some ideas where games can be introduced in these areas to kick start this whole process of “Leveraging games in software testing”

1. If the application has a lot of localization scope, the localized version can be made available as screens for players to evaluate one screen at a time and win based on number of bugs found. Static UI can also be evaluated along these lines to spot any design or presentation issues

2. If the application is a communication / messaging kind of an application, multiple players can be brought in at the same time to try and use several features and collectively find issues from a functional angle

3. If the application’s usability is under test, varied screen shots can be provided like a jigsaw puzzle asking players to arrange them into the top 3 most usable workflows to understand what the intuitiveness element looks like

4. Combining all of the above, look to see if bug bashes can be organized as games with specific times and prizes announced for varied categories of winners

5. Arrange a contest inviting testers to design games around testing the application such that the most valuable game is rewarded

If all of these are used in conjunction it may overwhelm the team and drift them away from their core focus area of quality of the product under test. You could start small by trying a few of these, see what positive and adverse outcomes arise specific to your team, before you branch into anything bigger. For sure, bringing in games into testing adds fun, promotes collaborations and breaks any monotony the testers may face. So, try some of these and see the difference for yourself!

About the Author

QA InfoTech

QA InfoTech

Established in 2003, with less than five testing experts, QA InfoTech has grown leaps and bounds with three QA Centers of Excellence globally; two of which are located in the hub of IT activity in India, Noida, and the other, our affiliate QA InfoTech Inc Michigan USA. In 2010 and 2011, QA InfoTech has been ranked in the top 100 places to work for in India.

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