Born and raised in Berlin, Alex began his work with test IO three years ago as a member of our crowdtesting community. His passion for game testing and technology eventually led to a degree in business analytics. Having started here as a tester and worked with dozens of customers as a member of the customer success team, Alex knows crowdtesting from the ground up. He sat down with me to share his insights as a former (and sometimes current) tester and on how test IO guarantees our customers’ success with crowdsourced testing.

Alexander NiemeierSean: You’ve been working full-time for test IO for almost three years now, but you started off as a tester here. What brought you here and can you talk a bit about your growth with the company? 

Alex: As I was finishing my Bachelor’s thesis, I was looking to augment it with some field experience. I was attracted to test IO’s concept and the flexibility of working from home was great. After working here for a few months, I decided to speak with the Project Manager at the time about moving up within the company. Shortly thereafter, I began here as an Implementation Manager and recently moved into the role of Product Manager.

Sean: What makes test IO a good place to work from a tester’s perspective? Why did you join test IO instead of being a freelance tester or taking a job as a QA Engineer?

Alex: Well, the flexibility of working from home is what initially attracted me to test IO. But once I started as a tester, I loved that it was straightforward and that I quickly had a lot of opportunities to test, with feedback that helped me build my skills. And I didn’t plan on going into QA, but after I started testing, I realized it fit my skills and that I enjoyed the role, so I sought out the chance to move up within the company.

Sean: What is test IO doing to further engage our testers?

Alex: We are working now to further improve our tester interface. Soon, testers will be able to instantly begin testing once their registration has been completed, in a supportive environment where we spend extra time working with them to learn the ropes. Additionally, we are also increasing transparency in multiple areas (payment, decisions of team leaders) and will soon introduce a browser plugin.

Sean: As a member of the customer success team, you’ve worked directly with both testers and clients and are responsible for onboarding and assisting clients when they begin crowdtesting. What do you wish customers knew that they don’t always know?

Alex: I wish they knew how good some of these testers are, first of all, and how much effort goes into making sure they see the most useful reports. I was a pretty good tester, or so I thought at the time, but some of these people blow me away — they are really sharp! And we do a lot of quality control on their output before you, the customer, ever see it.

Sean: How do we complement an internal team?

Alex: I find that internal teams are often focused primarily on conformance to a spec or set of stories. Our testers don’t necessarily have the spec, so they’re focused on what the user-end experiences. We test if the app or website is functioning on devices in the real world. Additionally, our testers are able to test without bias, which internal teams often struggle with.

Sean: Are there any tips you have on how a company can quickly embrace crowdtesting?

Alex: Well, what’s most important is that a company needs to see us as a platform — a tool in their testing arsenal — and not as an agency that they contract out to from time-to-time. We are designed for continuous human software testing, and our most successful customers test frequently and adjust with each test cycle. The customer success team are experts in fitting crowdtesting into your development process, and we’re here to guide and assist you, especially when starting off.