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Testbirds Continues to Experiment with its Crowdtesting Portfolio

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When NelsonHall published the first crowdtesting vendor evaluation in the industry in 2017, it was striking to see how the main crowdtesting players had different strategies and were developing their services in different directions. And crowdtesting continues to surprise by bringing novelty to the testing service industry – an industry essentially based on process and, increasingly, on automation. Here I take a quick look at recent developments at Testbirds.

Going beyond the lab

Testbirds’ positioning is around technology and automation of functional and unit testing. But the company has taken the unusual step of going beyond crowdtesting to offer access to virtual computers (operating on Windows, Mac OS, and Linux), as well as iOS- and Android-based devices. Along with the emulations/virtual computers, Testbirds also offers test automation services based on Selenium, Tricentis, Appium, Sikuli, and on Jenkins (CI), and Maven (unit testing). This offering is called TestChameleon.

In 2017, Testbirds also launched its GRDN offering, for accessing the mobile phones of its crowdtesters, competing with the offerings of mobile lab vendors such as Perfecto Mobile and Device Anywhere. However, rather than building a lab of devices, Testbirds developed an app that provides access to the smartphones of its crowdtesters. Crowdtesters download the app and then give permission to Testbirds to use their smartphone to run automated or manual functional testing during convenient time slots.

The result of GRDN is at scale, and well beyond what most mobile lab vendors can achieve. Testbirds estimates that, if all crowdtesters were to participate, it could provide access to ~450k devices globally in real-life conditions rather than in a lab.

GRDN’s progress

The past year has been one of commercial take-off for Testbirds, and the company has continued to invest in its offerings. It is finding that the complementary nature of TestChameleon and GRDN is working well, and is using GRDN for major releases and TestChameleon for clients’ minor release/daily build needs.

One major client of this offering is Deutsche Telekom, which uses GRDN for its news and email portal, T-Online in Germany. Testbirds conducted regression testing for four features added by T-Online, providing automated testing, exploratory testing, and usability testing. This is a recurring project, providing testing services during two days for every new sprint.

Testbirds has expanded GRDN’s capabilities, going from Android to iOS devices. The company highlights the expansion to Apple devices was a significant technical investment, involving as it does Apple’s proprietary approach.

And what lies ahead?

The immediate priority is now a commercial push. Testbirds believes that the GRDN offering has solid growth potential, especially now that it supports iOS devices. Enhancing the iOS offering is a priority, with Testbirds aiming to connect iPhones wirelessly, as the company does with Android devices, rather than via a cable.

In the longer-term, the future of GRDN will be around connected devices, with Testbirds exploring how to test a multitude of connected devices in real-life conditions. The company wants to avoid having to recreate an app for each new connected device product, and is looking to create an app that can be used across several different connected products. Testbirds is currently working with a major German automotive OEM on this, for its connected car testing needs, and NelsonHall will report on the progress of this new offering in due course.

 

To find out more about NelsonHall’s crowdtesting NEAT vendor evaluation, contact Guy Saunders.

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