uTest- a crowdsourcing experiment

I signed up today for an interesting experiment in the usage of crowd sourcing. UTest is a new service that is compiling a portfolio of software testers that will be paid on a per-bug basis. There is no good indication yet what the pay scale will be, except that it will be sliding and linked to the type of software ( web or desktop), type of bug, number of bugs left to find (if they have come up with some magical way to divine the number of bugs in a software project in order to know how many more are left, they could probably make a whole lot more off of that service alone 😉 ). What I think they actually mean here is that if you find the very first bug, likely it is an easy to find obvious one that is different than finding obscure bug number 150. Since there is no indication of what impact this has on the pay, I can not comment on the “rightness” of this algorithm, other than to indicate that that first bug found may NOT be the obvious jump in your face silly one- it could be that you have a really good tester who noticed the back end data linkage error that will kill you application. Perhaps their inclusion of factors like experience, “reputation” and other personal factors in the pay rate will balance some of this out. It is all a big social and business experiment, I will report back as we go how things play out. They are claiming that testers can make hundreds or thousands of dollar per week, so perhaps the pay rate will be higher than the small rates typical over on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. There is no guarantee of pay rates at this time, and you can only register for consideration- they say they are not assigning any jobs for a couple of weeks; but if you like to play with new software and think you are good at finding and defining bugs, hop on over and sign up- who knows, it may give you some vacation mad money.
A special note that in order to get paid, you have to sign up for a special debit card and your pay will be deposited into that account. If you have some particular phobia or annoyance about debit cards, this may not be a solution for you. As for me- I am up for the ride and interested to see if there is actually money to be made in them thar bugs..

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