Beta testing can bring tremendous insight and value to companies launching new products or features.
Today, we’d like you to meet Kailash Joshi. Based out of India, he began his journey with test IO as a tester. Over three years, Kailash has logged more than 7,000 bugs in his tenure, securing his spot as as one of the most active testers in the community. Recently, he’s expanded his role to act as a test IO brand ambassador to share what he’s learned with his peers. Read on to learn about how he got where he is and what advice he offers to those just starting out in the crowdtesting space.
Michael: How did you start testing with test IO?
Kailash: It’s a bit of a story, because previously I had no information whatsoever that something like crowdtesting exists. My previous experience was with software testing, but that was a totally different kind of software testing. We used to make test plans and study test requirements. It was totally different from what I’m doing right now—testing apps and websites. For me, it is actually the purest form of testing.
I started back in 2018, when I met someone from Ukraine in India. Actually, she introduced me to this term, “crowdtesting.” She knew I was from a similar background with software testing. She told me her friends are already doing it back in Ukraine, and that it’s a good way to earn money. I can do it from the comfort of my home. She told me about test IO and the rest is history.
Michael: You mentioned, you think this is one of the purest forms of testing. Can you tell me a little about the differences, and why you like this more?
Kailash: I would say it is the purest form of testing because I'm just making sure that a piece of software—which is going into the market, or going into production database or into productive markets—I make sure it works. I’m making sure the functions are working properly. My last experience basically involved studying some plans and policies.
There was a configuration system wherein I have to run SQL queries or something like that, so it wasn't a kind of pure testing. It is a mix of configuration and testing. It is not pure testing because it's somewhat white box as well.
Here, I'm not concerned very much with what is happening inside—with the configuration or coding—I'm only concerned about how things are working for the end user. When I used to work with a different company, I was basically into white box kind of thing as well.
I did enjoy that, but this is the pure form of testing. I'm just testing from a user’s perspective. That’s where the fun is. That's why I say it's the purest form of testing.
Michael: What kind of apps and websites do you enjoy testing the most?
Kailash: If I had to rank, the number one would be e-commerce based apps. Where we can buy groceries, we can buy clothes, we can buy sports items and different kinds of merchandise in just one app.
Then, I also like apps to reserve or book cars—premium apps for booking cars from the airport to your destination. Similarly, when we talk about websites, I really like to test websites. Basically, anywhere we purchase tangible items.
Michael: Do you like those because it's one defined flow—that everything goes through the checkout? Do you think it's easier to find bugs or because it's a simpler structure? What about it appeals to you?
Kailash: Yeah, exactly. You caught me, right? At the same time it is easy, but not all the time. It is something that interests me as well, and I used to do it on a regular basis. Back at home, I used to purchase things from Amazon, I used to purchase things from Flipkart—an e-commerce based company in India—and then Snapdeal or something. It is my comfort zone, so I find myself well-equipped.
Suppose I'm going to test a website where finance, loans and mortgage are concerned. It will take some time to familiarize myself with the site and then start testing. That's why I tend to be more into testing e-commerce based websites than any other field or any other domain.
Evgeniya: You’re now one of the most active and well-known testers on our platform; all the community members know you. Can you share your tips on how you manage to keep up with the high pace of finding bugs and testing many products?
Kailash: I have completed my two years with test IO in April 2020. Here’s what I have learned over the past two years. So, what I have learned is sometimes you don't find bugs and you think, “I'm wasting my time.” When, it's been almost half of a day and I haven't found any bugs in any particular app or website, and you want to quit. When you reach that threshold, you have to keep going. You have to keep your foot inside of that threshold. If you have already tried two times or maybe three or four times, try a fifth time. I'm sure you will find that bug. Something like this has happened with me almost each and every day.
There are days where I can be more productive, and then there are days I’m less productive. But, I don't remember a single day when I haven't found a bug. This was my rule and policy. I work slowly, slowly, but almost a whole day. You should never think that you have to quit. You keep on searching, you keep on searching, and you finally dig into that. Bugs are there. Very, very rarely are there websites where there are very few. If you try hard enough, you're going to find bugs.
Originally, my strategy was to just jump into the test at the time it starts, so that I have more chances of finding bugs. But after one year, I was not rushing so much. I used to join tests with 30 to 35 bugs already logged in. I search with a cool and calm mind, and maybe I'll spend four to five hours at length, but eventually, I’ll uncover bugs. This has been my strategy and I'm still following it, and I can say I am successful when it comes to finding bugs. I'm not saying I'm a good tester, or maybe I'm finding a high number of bugs. But by adopting this strategy, I can say I'm finding bugs almost every day.
I would like to give this suggestion to new testers and aspiring testers: they should not hold themselves back. If bugs are rejected, and they cannot find bugs, and there are already 50 bugs logged, they might think like, “OK, no problems here, I’ll go to some other test.” No, there are always more bugs until the test ends.
Michael: It's different every day, and sometimes you can't find bugs. Do you ever then just focus on reproductions or user story tests? Do you ever find other ways to supplement that income, or do you focus on bugs?
Kailash: Yeah, this is a good question. I preach about reproduction all the time because, these days, I have to convince people that this is good work. I have changed my life and you can see, you can come to my home and see my tests all around on the iPad, MacBook and a whole lot of devices. I recently bought a piece of land, and almost half the money came from test IO earnings.
I share this so that new testers, or aspiring or potential testers, will start testing. I always preach about reproductions because they are a kind of stepping stone to learn about bugs, and how other good testers are logging bugs and what are different ways and what are different areas where you'll find bugs. But, at the same time, you will improve your quality. You'll earn money.
My own story was a bit different because when I started, I was fascinated with bugs. To be very frank, I did reproductions, but, as Evgeniya can very easily tell you, my record with reproductions is not very good. I was always into bugs, and functional bugs. Yeah, functional bugs, not visual or content. But most of the time functional. But you can also confirm this with Evgeniya when it comes to the number of bugs. The time I spent doing reproductions, I realized I can spend finding bugs. So that is always goes into my mind. Sometimes I got tempted, seeing the number of reproductions, 180, 200 most of the time because I used to accept a number of tests. I used to think if, suppose I did half of them, I can earn more than half of the money I'm earning by logging bugs. I can take a rest, but still I'm into bugs only. I cannot keep my mind away from bugs.
Michael: Can you tell us about some of the challenges you experienced when you first started, and how you’ve changed how you structure your day to deal with that?
Kailash: I cannot say that I changed my way of life. After coming to this town, where I am right now, not much is happening. There are not a lot of jobs here. I was working with a temple after coming here in 2017. This is a small town in one of the states of India. I joined a temple, and I wasn't earning well. I had some savings, so my lifestyle was not basically like a nine to five job. I used to be at home most of the time.
I would not say that after starting testing with test IO, my schedule was drastically changed. I used to spend a whole lot of time in the testing academy, mostly getting myself acquainted with all of the concepts. But I would also say that being from the IT side of the software testing field, I had a baseline understanding of the information. In my current role, I'm trying to introduce people to testing and they are not from that kind of background, so they are finding it very hard. If I put myself in their shoes, I can understand because they have never seen a website, and they have never seen these kind of apps, apart from some common e-commerce apps, so they find it very difficult. They need to learn a whole lot of things and still our academy has totally improved.
I used to spend more than 60% of my time reading about different kinds of bugs—how to log bugs, and what are the areas we can find them. I used to visit the academy website on a regular basis to see if there were any updates or articles, so I could keep an eye on that as well. I just started following the YouTube channel more closely and started seeing those videos where our respective team leaders are explaining how to log bugs, what to do and what not to do, and what they feel is a bug and how they feel when testers don’t follow rules and regulations. It is quite helpful, and I think new testers especially should watch those videos. It's very well organized and very, very helpful.
Evgeniya: Thank you for the nice words.
Kailash: Yeah, it's true. Yesterday I was watching a video, and they explained the concepts very nicely and that helped me a lot as well. Because I’m still improving. It’s been two years, but still it's a learning phase.
Evgeniya: How do you feel about being a brand ambassador? What are the best techniques that you've used so far in the Indian community?
Kailash: Being in this small town, I'm facing challenges when it comes to contacting people or promoting this work. The thing is the best thing that works for me is to have a one-on-one discussion. And then having one-on-one classes, because in that sense, I can see what they're doing and they can ask questions directly.
Small story, but in the month of February, I did a one-on-one class with around 15 testers or potential testers. That was pretty successful because they were in front of me, and they were making mistakes and I was correcting them in the moment, so that is very, very fruitful.
I had planned to visit colleges, especially engineering colleges, where I'll have the same kind of session with students and explaining everything on a white board. I'll see what problems they have and then I can have our next session where we discuss onboarding, what problems they're facing while they're finding bugs or looking for bugs. This is the brand ambassador role. For me, I work best when I'm interacting with people face-to-face.
Until this point, I'm very happy when I'm doing like that, but just because of this unprecedented situation, I have to resort to online and WhatsApp groups.
Michael: Can you give me your pitch as a brand ambassador role? What do you tell someone that you don't know? How do you convince someone to try test IO?
Kailash: The very first point: I approach only those who use smartphones. I'm not approaching people who are not aware of smart phones or computers. I tell them, “If you have purchased clothes, or some groceries, or anything from a website through your smart phone or computer, then this work is a great opportunity, you can earn unlike anything. I have changed my life.”
This is the pitch and they say, “Yes, I’ll do it. I will do it almost every day. I can't believe that just by doing that, I can earn money!” Because we spend money all the time by shopping and buying things online. So they want to know, how can we can make money by doing the same thing? I used to say, “That's the trick that I’ll teach you. You can see my bank accounts and you can see everything. I'm not lying. It's not a scam. You must have heard about earning online.”
Those were the days before, maybe 2015. When there were a lot whole lot of scam and data entry jobs. But now it's a gig economy, where most people—and especially after the COVID-19 pandemic began— now this industry will boom. And it has to boom—because whether you’re in the US, Europe, India, or China—now we understand the power of computers and being online. Even in the time of COVID-19 this is the only thing that actually keeps us connected. I'm also using this technique because these days, I'm the only one who is earning money.
Many are unemployed, but I'm still earning money. People are astonished because they had the impression that since I'm sitting inside the home, locked down, I'm not getting opportunities to work or earn money.
It's really tempting to join tests and skip meals. Like I said, I burned the midnight oil. When you have access to tests 24/7 365 days a year, you have to plan your schedule, you have to plan your day. You should take time to eat properly and you should also devote some time for exercise, which I failed to do. I failed miserably.
Now I understood the importance of keeping a good schedule. I have just started doing it. But I would like to guide in these terms as well, because this is very important. You should make sure you take care of your health so you can continue with your testing for long time.
Evgeniya: I always worried about you, so please don't forget to take care of yourself!
At test IO, we have a big emphasis on being part of a community; we're testing community. Have you managed to connect to some testers around the world with similar interests and passions, and does it help to know that there are people like you?
Kailash: One of our greatest testers, Nicola is really a good tester and a good friend of mine, and Charlie as well. I had been in touch with our respected deal, and they also share their insights and explain a few things. And they also explained a few things about how I can improve, and how they see me through tests. So, it helped a lot while I connect with different people from different countries who work for test IO. It's really helpful. And I'm sure I'll continue to do it.
Evgeniya: Do you feel any cultural difficulties, or has it not been affecting your work?
Kailash: Yeah, there were instances, but it is not having any impact on my work. But it really depends on the person. There are cultural differences, but being at test IO, I hardly see the team play any role to disconnect us.
test IO already gives us a kind of platform where we are more connected rather than being disconnected because we are all into testing. We are into technical things. Sometimes it happens just because of the nature of work we're doing, it’s a bit competitive. That's why I think it happens, not just because of cultural differences, but it’s never impacted my testing results.
I'm very much happy. I always share this kind of feedback with Evgeniya and Stephen and that I am more than happy with test IO.
Michael: Do you have any last words that you want to say to any potential testers who will read this interview?
Kailash: Yes, I would say more and more testers should join this community. This is high-level, professional work. This is not just some other kind of online work, like data or filing service. This is very much professional. The catch here is that it’s not that difficult. It doesn't have that kind of learning curve like you have to learn Java, or something like that, and spend around six months before you can earn anything. This is highly professional work, but in no time, you will start earning and in no time, you can learn this.
This is actually the high time to join this as well, because who knows? We still don't have much competition. I feel that is a very good time to join a crowdtesting concept. This is a very good business model, wherein you learn things, you earn well, and you enjoy yourself. You don't have any pressure. You are totally free and at the same time, you're learning something professional and earning a fair amount.
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