More than usual that is.
Specifically what has me thinking are these quotes from the article:
“…testers receive feedback and can gain in the rankings, just as with any other promotional network where individual users can establish themselves as authorities.”
“Take this developing team model, and it can be applied to a great number of projects that can be rolled out on a variety of websites, allowing uTest to offer specialized niches within its larger network. One way in which this could become particularly helpful is for another one of its upcoming features: a Facebook application. This won’t be a Facebook app like all the others, but a testing platform for app developers. It allows testers to show and their their uTest tester profiles within Facebook (self-promotion at its finest), while also enabling testers to report issues and bugs via the uTest testing platform. This is in fact quite similar to what Facebook itself is taking on with its own Translations Facebook application, which is the social network’s way of better acclimating to the global growth process. Both new developments should work quite well for uTest’s platform, and I think this company has found a great way of letting companies leverage a dedicated, professional social network for quality assurance.”
As testers we have a pretty good feeling of where we stand amongst our team at work and other teams within our company. But how do you think your testing skills rate when you compare them with another company, the whole state, the country, and better yet the nation? The notion of sharing your skills with the world is not new to me, but I think uTest and its feature of Facebook application is cutting edge. It’s brilliant, scary, good, and bad. A couple years ago my first real leap into the social networking space was with LinkedIn.com, a professional network. LinkedIn.com has done me well. It has proven to be a fantastic resource…Especially if you know how to sell yourself. But beyond LinkedIn, as a Quality Assurance Engineer, I seem to be lost in the sea of other QA professionals. I’ve attempted to break out a bit with my blog, sharing testing tools I’ve written, posting advice on forums, joining a software testing club, writing a magazine article, and recently my first public presentation, but still… I am one among many.
It will be very interesting to see the dynamics that uTest ratings and feedback will bring for testers. Will I be able to use a testing rank to gain the edge over another person for a job in the real world? Could my rank be considered a real-time “testing certification”? In my opinion a “testing certification” is useless without a governing authority, but if I have a good rank and a excellent feedback from 200 people is that a better or more acceptable governing authority? What if it works against me? It only takes a few mistakes, misunderstandings, or one jack-ass to throw off your rank (as seen with XBox Live). It takes a long time to get back into good graces once that happens.
We are definitely seeing a trend for career social networking on the Internet. Recruiters, Human Resources and hiring managers are using the Web to check you out now days (Googling your name, look at your LinkedIn feedback, forum posts etc). As a hiring manager, I wouldn’t have a problem with considering your uTest rank and feedback as additional information to help make sure I’m making a good decision about hiring you. Scary huh? Granted, being a good quality assurance engineer isn’t all about testing skills, but the more history and data I have on you, the potential hire, the better.
What are you doing to prove your software quality assurance rating in the social networking space?