uTest Software Testing Platform. Can You Make Decent Money Online?
Getting started at uTest
If you would like to obtain a job as a tester, you are probably wondering what sorts of skills does it take to become one. I would definitely recommend starting with some basic tutorial on “how to test”, you can find those on official uTest Youtube channel, and there are a couple of good books for beginners: “Software Testing” by Ron Patton; “Agile Testing: A Practical Guide for Testers and Agile Teams” by Lisa Crispin and many others. But to become a good tester this kind of skills you need to have for starters:
– Great English skills (written);
– Analytical Thinking;
– Attention to Detail;
– Thinking Outside the Box;
There are no restrictions on the amount of work, but it really depends on the platform and your rating as a tester. There are projects that I get invited daily. The project really depends on the hardware you have. Mostly there it’s a web or app-based project. For instance – some hotel websites, or booking services. There is so much to test, starting with web forms, ending with validation of every input field. They are easy for beginners to start finding bugs right away. I worked from the US, and got what the platform offered me for the region, but I do know that project can be different depending on the country you are working from.
Types of tasks
Usually is a whole functionality testing of some elements of the site. For instance: the customer wants a tester to be precise in the Log-in page. So the tester focuses on those bugs which occur only on a login page, not considering the other parts of the website. Sometimes there is localization tasks. Let say you know Chinese, and the customer requires the testers to check the spelling and grammatical errors of a specific language. Most of the tasks are ad-hoc (exploratory testing) for functional issues. (App crashes, buttons not working, etc).
How to become a successful rater at uTest and make decent money
But there is no deep inside mentioning of a rating system and how it works. Let me explain why is it so important on uTest. This will be a more “in-depth” article on earning on uTest. There is this system where it takes your results (amount of submitted bugs) and the amount of rejected bugs and counts the successful percentage rate.
Based on this rate there are classifications of testers: Rated; Proven; Bronze; Silver; Gold
And there are different Testing Types, for each of which there is a rating: Functional; Usability; Load; Security; Localization; Automation
But don’t worry, most of the tests are functional and Usability and polishing skills on these Testing Types can set you with a good additional income for each month. Getting more in those ratings, as I mentioned earlier it is the key filter for uTest to invite you to the project. To become a Gold rated testers it takes quite some time and dedication. Not to mention the quality of your bug reports should be on a very high level.
Once you get a couple of rejections it is really hard to achieve the Gold rating. The highest rating gets you not only the more amount of offers, but you also get more paid, and those rare and exclusive projects available only for best testers out there.
Apart from this rating there is also a very cool and interesting opportunity on becoming a “Favorite tester”. Once you have a basic rating of Silver or Gold you might end up becoming the one.
Let me explain simply how it works. There is a certain person who manages a test cycle a TTL or Testing Team Lead. This person is responsible for other testers to follow the rules and code of conduct of Utest platform, and the project in particular. Sometimes there are even NDA’s which are needed to be signed. TTL is responsible for all this and more.
Let’s assume you have submitted 10 bugs in 1 test cycle, and all of those issues are either very valuable or exceptionally valuable bugs for the customer, Testing Team Lead can easily forward your account to the customer so that they can give you a “Favorite Tester” status.
What does it mean? Well, you get to be automatically invited to each testing cycle this customer has and many more. Some customers always slot a test case for a favorite tester, which leads to more earnings.
I’ll go into more detail with the favorite tester part and test cases. Why is it important?
How much really you can make of uTest?
Once you become a favorite tester, usually it’s a big project with a big company, and the pay is really good. Some test cases can be up to 50$ per/case.
Once you start doing those cases, simultaneously it is easy and very practical to look for the bugs, (the inconsistencies between actual and expected results). It really pops in the eye, once you get going through a test case.At that moment when you have found an issue and reported it to the system, apart from getting those 50$ for the test case itself, you can earn a lot more for reporting bugs additionally.
Talking about rates paid for bugs filled… Well, it absolutely depends on the person, the amount of details he/she is giving, the number of devices the person holds, and the overall work ethics a freelancer sticks up to.
Bugs may vary from 3$ for “Somewhat valuable” to 30-40$ (per bug) for “Exceptionally valuable” issue, depending on the customer.
For sure you are willing to know the real numbers, and the sacramental question needs to be answered. “How much really you can make of Utest”? I will repeat myself stating that everything depends on the person. But, you can crank out a fair 1000-1500$ per/month of income depending on your dedication.
Everything is done via PayPal and Payoneer. Sometimes the bugs are not approved by the customer for as long as 35 days. After that period, they are approved automatically by the system.
Use this link for applying for signing up to Payoneer and we will both benefit by earning 25$, once your account is loaded with payments.
There are many factors on becoming successful on this platform. Speed is one of them.
Sometimes it’s critical to start testing immediately, as other (hungry) testers will beat you to that critical issues, while you’re yawning.
The same rule is applied for the test cases.
Test Cases are usually limited, and not everyone can claim them, so it’s lethal to be fast.
To make the numbers I mentioned earlier, it really takes time to pump your account to a certain rating level. Usually it will take around month or two to get going, but hey, Rome wasn’t built in a day either.Once you become an experienced tester and acquainted with a platform like a “Pro”, you actually might get invited easily on becoming a Testing Team Lead.
Who are Testing Team Leads?
The roles of this person are really dependent of the customer you are working for.
My roles were:
Writing test cases;
Participating in meetings with other TTL’s, Project Managers and Software Delivery Managers;
Create and control a test cycle;
Check and forward bugs for the customer (yes, TTL has the power to approve or decline bugs).
The income story is completely different, as the TTL starts working on per hour rate, and once again it really depends from the customer on the rate. (It is near to a very entry level junior position in software testing working for an onsite company in the States).
The benefit of becoming TTL on one project is that very rapidly you become noticed by others, and easily can get invited to manage some other cycle.In addition, TTL’s are still allowed to do the functional testing as other participants, though some customers forbid this.
In conclusion, now that I completely moved to an onsite job I can say with a share amount of confidence – Utest is a great place to start. It takes that will power, but sure does pay off. Good luck fellow freelancers!
Thanks for this post Tim! I recently completed my first test cycle. I’m enjoying it so far. I like analytic component of the the work and community that they are building. I would like to get better and increase my rating as tester so I can be assigned more enriching/higher level responsibilities. If you had to do over again, what do you suggest I focus on in order to go from “Unrated” to the next level. I’ve started participating in the community more and I signed up for the Mobile test. Your input is appreciated 🙂