I wanted to write this blog post to present the only crowdsourcing platform that worked for me in a relevant way.I am reffering to uTest.com
I have an account at uTest for one year and one week, but only in the last couple of months I was more active on the platform.
The surprising thing is that you can really earn some cash and by that I mean incomes comparable with the local market. I myself can vouch for Czech Republic and I say that I believe it’s possible for a “uTester” to earn better than a full time tester here.
I don’t want to focus on the money part, but the truth is that we do give interest more to something that can offer us financial benefits. You can also mix uTest easily with another job or other projects.
But leaving that aside, I think what you can learn and the experience you can get is amazing. I have learned from others tricks, tools, approaches that I am not sure I could have found otherwise. My favourite areas are security and mobile.
I have also tried other platforms, but most seem to use too much the “first you have to do free testing for your rating, then maybe we can give you paid projects” approach. In uTest you also have to build your ratings, but you still get something by doing that and it gives you some motivation.
Now probably most testers, like me in the beginning, just make an account, see that don’t get relevant invites and then give up. uTest, as I see it, works more like a market, where testers and companies are paired by the demand/offer principle. To be successful you need good ratings, local reputation, be active and respond at the ads from the forum and,not the least, you need a public reputation.
The good ratings are important because it proves that you did well for other clients in the similar environment and on the rules set by uTest. Of course you need projects and you need to do good work on those to get the ratings.
The local reputation is what you proved on the platform. This includes in a way the ratings too, but not only that. Some project managers might give you projects if they thought you did good in a previous Test Cycle. Some clients might hire you again based on previous work. There are all types of forum activities (like “Bug of the month” contest) that can help you get a prize and a good project.
Another thing that you should try is to respond to ads to projects that you think are suitable for yourself.
Public reputation I think it’s always important. There are special projects (where you can get 60$/bug and you can put 10 bugs easily / day) where the clients prefer to handpick the testers. Those projects require a sensitive NDA ( the client needs to trust you) , proof of skills (the client cannot hire 100 testers and just let them play with their product; so skill is an important filter); the fact that you have a reputation (even controversial one) means that you have some “peer recognition” or you are “up-to date” or just “good” in a particular area. In general the client can find more about you and then more chances to hire you.
One critical thing at uTest is to read the rules. The tendency is to be frustrated or not able to understand the rules enough (when you are starting with the platform). You might complain in the wrong place and a client can see the discussion and that is not good and might result in penalties.
Overall I think uTest is something real.I am very glad uTest exists. Don’t quit your full time jobs! , but give the platform a chance and maybe you might like it. Ask for projects, participate in the initial programs that can give you a startup boost and try to check the ads.