Sunday, November 8, 2015

We-Test Looks to Carve Out a Niche in the Crowdsourced Testing Sector

We-Test is a Tel Aviv-based crowd sourced testing firm that launched earlier this year. Though it’s hardly the first quality assurance company to leverage the power of the crowd, founder and CEO Eran Arye believes it is different enough from the incumbents to find success.
Arye was inspired to create We-Test when he tested software in foreign markets at his previous jobs. The process wasn't bad, he recalled, but it was imperfect. Specifically, he disliked the process for being slow — he needed to issue a purchase order, consult with a project manager, and complete other steps before he could begin testing.
Inspired by the One-Hour Translation model, Arye decided to build a firm that is immediate, transparent, and affordable. Thus, We-Test was born as a marketplace for testers to list their services and for customers to find testers who fit their needs.
Creating the platform as a marketplace creates benefits for both testers and customers, Arye thinks.
Testers are paid hourly, which separates We-Test from platforms on which they are paid by the number of bugs reported, and may end up working a long time without pay. On We-Test, they set their own wage, which should encourage them to list their services. (Though, as on any marketplace, they may feel compelled to lower their rate to attract customers.) The workers, Arye says, are experienced professionals who must take a screening exam before they’re able to participate.
There are also benefits for the customers. Because the process is on-demand, they can save time and money associated with contracting a more traditional crowd sourced software testing company, which can involve introductory and project milestone calls, training for the workers, or bringing on a project manager. We-Test, on the other hand, promises to have the test up and running within a few hours (the time gap is for finding the best testers that suit the client’s needs, Arye said). Each test takes no longer than 24 hours.
While the session is going on, the customers can contact the testers; when it’s done, they get an aggregated list of results. Customers can then rate and favorite the workers, which improves (or lowers) their chance of working on future projects.
“It’s a very, very transparent system,” Arye said.
We-Test does fill a gap in the crowd sourced testing market. As Arye points out, most firms offer a managed service, meaning there are more up-front and overhead costs. A larger firm won’t mind paying someone to manage the process, but a start-up may not be able to swallow the costs.
Still, We-Test is not without competition for start-ups’ dollars. Companies like UpWork and Freelancer also offer a marketplace where testers can list their skills, though these horizontal platforms don’t offer the same level of functionality as platforms dedicated to QA. We-Test should be able to compete well when (and if) it manages to recruit more quality testers: today, there are 1600 on the platform from 40 countries. Only 400 are shown, however, because the rest have a low rating. Arye says this is due to the difficulty of the screening exam, which 25-30 percent of the testers don’t pass. 
In any case, We-Test will need to broaden its worker base in order to be able to offer customers testing services on more operating systems and devices, and in more countries. The company knows this.
“We are active in QA groups, we are active at colleges [and other educational institutions] that train QA, and the model brings testers [on its own], as they are paid hourly,” the founder explained.
The company is also working on several new features, which should make it more appealing for testers and customers alike.
“We are collaborating with SDK for Android and Apple companies, so once the [testers] do what they do, the customers will have video recording of the sessions, CPU usage, crash logs, battery consumption in one place,” Arye said.
In addition to working on the new features, the company is focused on finding new customers.
“I want to achieve a strong customer base, that’s my major concern,” Arye said. “The rest is product, to make the experience better.”

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