In any discipline, we often see practices gain prominence, not in isolation but together with another practice which is also taking shape. This is exactly what is happening in the mobile testing industry, and the crowd sourcing world. With the growth in the mobile industry, a lot of businesses have sprung off of it and mobile software testing is a significant discipline therein. While testers from the core team have been practicing newer testing techniques and acquiring newer devices to enhance their mobile testing coverage, given its vast scope it is not possible to test it all in-house. Slowly, testers are herein opening their testing options to newer practices, including leveraging the rest of the organization as part of their crowd team. In more mature test groups, external crowd is also brought in to enhance test coverage and more importantly device coverage. The growth in mobile computing has definitely given crowd testing a face lift and an important avenue to showcase the value crowd testers can add. Mobile app testing efforts continue to leverage in house devices as well as mobile simulators, but has started increasingly using crowd sourced testers for three reasons:
- Better access to mobile devices besides the ones they have in their internal mobile test labs
- Connect with end users, who possibly can be signed up for testing the product before release
- Test under realistic end user environments such as bandwidth and locales
Crowd sourced testing is not limited to just mobile testing. It can be used in places where end user feedback is very valuable – such as performance test scenarios, acceptance tests, usability and accessibility tests etc. The mobile device has become such an important platform to test on, that crowd sourced testing has further gained prominence and relevance in the software testing world in the recent years, that it can now almost be considered as a formal practice in the mobile testing strategy of an organization.