Bug Bash Testing is the concept of ‘pounding the product’ by varied user base so as to catch the maximum possible bugs.
Bug Bash concept of testing is gaining momentum worldwide with software projects ranging from mobile apps, games, e-commerce domain websites, financial applications and general websites. The main principle behind bug bash testing is to gather as many bugs as possible with varied perspectives.
In the previous post we expanded on ways testers can bring their best to bug bash test cycles. Here we will discuss how these test cycles or ‘bug bashes’ can help your software project and what are the benefits you can find by engaging a bug bash test team into your software development cycle-
10 ways Bug Bash Testing can help your software project:
1. Environments Coverage
Clients receive maximum possible coverage of test environments, devices, browsers and setups with use of a crowd of testers. Since the tester database is broad and distributed, the tests performed are all varied in their environments-
- Different OS and versions like Win 10 , Win 7, Mac , Linux and their different versions + upgrades and patches
- Different Mobile OS like Apple , Android , Windows and their different versions + upgrades and patches
- Use of different devices like iPhones , iPads, tablets, smart phones of different makes
- Use of browsers Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox and their many versions and Microsoft Edge, Safari and so many more
When planning internal tests, a development team can plan only as much of these environments and their numerous combinations. Having a bug bash team of testers would expose the software to so many more of the unplanned test environments.
Even if planned test environments have been configured in-house for tests, they may not be as close to a real environment and typically be blank boxes with bare minimum setup. While when bug bash testers test on their own devices, they are the most real environments where software is exposed to so many more integrations and parallel software and threads, hence getting us feedback on real world performance of the system.
2. Localization tests
For systems supporting multiple languages, the most important part is to ensure consistency of behavior and UI across all of the supported locales. While it can be a challenge to hire bilingual testers in-house or ask testers to translate and test in various languages in-house, this can be easily achieved by use of bug bash tests as the testers from across the globe can be involved and testing in their native languages, they can easily highlight areas of discrepancy.
3. Broader Perspective
The internal testers of a team, however good they may be, eventually end up having a bias towards the system based on their knowledge of –
- What is being done – features and fixes
- What is considered out of scope
- Limiting tests in certain areas due to known issues
- Knowledge of processes and what is considered ‘good’ bugs by the developers
- History of the software and its previous versions
Though, their experience helps, but eventually it might become a block in their perspective. So bug bash testers help bring a completely new, open and broader perspective to testing of the software. They are not limited by any such boundaries or bias.
4. Exploratory Tests
Bug Bash testers are bound to use more exploratory testing. They rarely follow any scripted tests and hence are free to go beyond the boundaries. This exploration helps them learn the system, understand its working and also look for inconsistencies and bugs all at the same time. With this exploration, bug bash testers bring out not only good bugs but also some great suggestions for improvement of the system.
5. Latest Technologies and Skills
If you are looking to adopt a new technology, tool or skill set into an ongoing project, you have a challenge of acquiring it as well as training or hiring team members for its application along with meeting project deadlines. Bug Bash test teams remove this delay by providing you what you need when you need it.
Clients often complain of lag between development and deployment and most often than not put it upon testing. But with crowd sourced tests it can be removed. Developers check-in the production code by Friday evening and by Monday morning bugs will be ready and listed out for them. This is not possible with in-house testers who typically have the same work days, timings and holidays as developers. Crowd testers are always available!
7. Replace in-house test team
Small companies or start-ups which cannot afford to hire and keep an in-house testing team look towards crowd source testers for their testing needs. For them hiring expensive testers and keeping on salary for months and years may not make sense. So the best option for them is to engage bug bash testers on need basis like for release times. Not only do they get the best talent on call, they also get the best ROI with the targeted test cycles and efforts.
8. Becoming a part of agile teams
The concept of Crowd CI or Crowd Continuous Integration brings the idea of integrating the crowd testers within the development team’s agile cycles.
The developers work is integrated continuously in a repository (Github) and the moment they deploy their code in staging server – Github signal is triggered and testing is started automatically by the crowd testers. This ensures constant involvement and feedback from a larger community within the agile life cycle of development. Even clients who do have internal test teams or have very small test teams do benefit by the Crowd CI approach.
9. New Innovative Ideas
Companies and teams are constantly trying to reinvent themselves to better their software quality. For the PMs or CTOs who want to implement new innovative ideas within their processes to improve delivery cycles, software quality and customer satisfaction– Bug bash testing is the latest IN thing and brings a breath of fresh air into our team’s perspective.
10.Consistency and Reliability
With a smart set of testers available at their call, customers no longer have to worry about hiring new resources, maintaining team, losing team member mid-way during projects and need of more tests/ test environments each cycle. Bug Bash testers can execute tests consistently at any scale needed.
Looking at all these benefits, all software development teams and companies will be encouraged to try out and incorporate bug bash testing as a part of their delivery life cycles.