Web Profile: uTest

By Maureen Alley, Managing Editor

uTest is a software testing company that provides companies with project managers, approved testers and real-time reporting to guarantee bug-free software. For those developing Web, mobile and desktop software, uTest can match your creation with appropriate testers to guarantee bugs are found and with detailed information about each problem. And those looking to build your network and generate some additional income might like participating in uTest's testing program.

Launched in 2008, uTest originally expected its ideal clientele to be those in startups. "If the company is a fiveemployee startup, they may be developing different iPhone apps, Facebook or Twitter apps. We are a great fit for those companies because they don't want to build a half-million QA lab," says Matt Johnston, vice president of marketing and community, uTest. "But with the economic conditions, we are having conversations with big global enterprises that we didn't expect."

uTest has more than 19,000 testers from 157 countries. "There is no cost to join but testers have to profile their hardware and software with us. They also need to provide a profile of their experience so we can match them with the appropriate projects," Johnston says.

Each customer is assigned to a project manager who is responsible for understanding what the customer wants to accomplish as well as picking the right team of testers and managing the project. "For example, if a company came to us with a new BlackBerry application and said they wanted to test it on 10 versions of BlackBerrys in certain countries - we now know they need testing teams in those countries and on those BlackBerrys," Johnston adds.

Both testers and customers log into a uTest platform where the customer publishes their testing project. It is in this platform that testers report bugs and provide any additional feedback. Customers are then responsible for approving or rejecting bugs.

Testers are encouraged to document their entire process, including highlighting where the bugs occurred. The documentation should detail what the testers did and when, so the customer can recreate the experience. In addition, testers explain what they expected to happen and can also upload a screen shot or video capture. "Testers know they only get paid for approved work. And they also know it affects their uTest reputation," Johnston says. "Over time, those testers with the strongest reputations get invited to more and more projects - and can make more and more money. Our top testers are already earning a few thousand dollars per month for working on various projects."

There are three major benefits to being a uTest tester. The first is money, and the second is reputation within the uTest community and marketplace. Third is the ability to network and collaborate with other testers from around the world, Johnston adds.

Software companies only pay for what they need with no long-term commitments. "If you're a company that is launching sporadically in versions, we enable you to buy packs of test cycles - two pack, four pack, etc. Or if you launch like clockwork, you can buy monthly, quarterly, or annual subscriptions. The four pack is $6,000 over an eight month period and the six pack is $8,000 over a 12 month period. The more test cycles you buy, the price goes down and the same is true on the subscription side," Johnston says.

uTest is working on new developments beyond testing bugs including usability testing because of the demand from customers. In addition, uTest can provide load and performance testing where they can put an application under artificial load and put testers on it to determine any performance issues. And the third area of development for uTest is gaming.

For those looking for more information on being a uTest customer or tester, visit www.utest.com.