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Friday, July 24, 2009

Crowdsourcing Success stories in the UK

There's a growing trend of crowdsourcing, in all sorts of creative and productive spaces such as translation, design, development and software testing. We've brought this crowdsourcing into the PEST events with some 'software smackdown' sessions using the utest portal as the focus and it's been great fun.

Two websites have been very open minded and introduced their latest releases to a software smackdown session at PEST, and received a very intense and focussed three hour crowdsource experience as a result. They've interacted with the team in real time, and signed off the defects as we go. This gives great feedback (both ways) during the testing, and enables the pace of things to be quite amazing.

Huge kudos and thanks go to and for taking part and providing the opportunity for us to see the power of crowdsourcing. Of particular note was that the sessions not only found lots of great defects which needed fixing but also some real consumer style feedback which helps the companies to improve the customer experience on the sites.

Don't take my word for it! Here's what had to say..........

"After a year of successful operation with our launch site, we carried out a major refresh and wanted to test this. We carried out traditional systematic User Acceptance Testing, however decided to incorporate the techniques of PEST as part of the testing. We found the process very valuable as a means of getting a significant number of very capable people to interact with the site.

We received excellent feedback that not only covered design and technology issues, but also gave us some great ideas in how to develop the commercial and business aspects of the site."

Charles Peak-Smylie,

Monday, July 13, 2009

PEST Bangalore - Thursday 6th August 2009

I have great pleasure in annoucing that our next international PEST event will be:

• Event: Peer Sharing event on Software Testing

• Date: Thursday 6th August 2009
• Location: Central Park Hotel, Bangalore ->
• Start time: 6pm
• Expected end time: 9pm
• Cost: Free to attend
• Forum: Mixture of discussion groups and experience share alongside practical testing via the uTest platform.
• Who should attend: Anyone with an interest in software testing.
• Hosts: Stewart Noakes, Manoj Chandrappa and Andrew Coggins from TCL
• To book your place: Send an email to

More information can be found at:

This is the first event that we have run in India, so I'm very much looking forward to seeing how things compare and contrast. Learnt some great lessons last time in Boston, and the format is developing and 'internationalising' into something very exciting.

If you are in Bangalore and fancy joining us then please register your interest. The venue booking will limit the number of people we can host, so it's important we know that you are coming along!

Look forward to seeing you there.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Holidays are good!

Well, I'm nearing the end of my first week back, after a lovely two week vacation in Cyprus. All I can say is: Holidays are good!

At Xmas, I made some reflections on the year and recognised that there hadn't been enough breaks last year, and that when they arrived they weren't when I needed them e.g. they were reactive rather than proactive. When the holiday started I was very tired, and the entire trip was about recovery rather than relaxation and recharging and fun!

So this year the plan is different. Three vacations were booked before January had even started -> one every three months. March saw a trip to Portugal. June a trip to Cyprus and September sees a trip to Spain. The benefits are already showing. The trip to Cyprus came at the right time for me. I was able to enjoy it all the more because I was less tired, and even in returning to work I know the next break is only 12 weeks away.

Malcolm is very fond of saying: "breaks help you go faster", and he's right. (How fast would you drive a car without brakes???) I feel that I've achieved a lot more in the first quarter of the business year, and have greater clarity of mind and purpose. I do hope that it continues into the next quarter too!

Holidays are good!

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