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Testing as a service uses innovative pay model

My old pal Bob Dylan never spoke a truer phrase than when he said the times they are a-changing.

Not a million years ago, the concept of software as a service began taking off; then Salesforce.com launched the platform as a service concept with its Force.com application development platform.

And now we have testing as a service, from a company by the name of uTest. "We're the SaaS marketplace for software application testing," uTest CEO and co-founder Doron Reuveni told me. "There's no long term contracts, when you're ready, come to our Website and sign up, define your parameters and tell us the kind of testers you want."

Reuveni said uTest has 8,700 professional software testers from 135 companies worldwide, most of whom do the same thing in their day jobs. About 60 percent of them have three to 10 years' testing experience.

The company signs agreements with testers and pays them with a debit card. Testers log their results, and, over time, uTest will "create the largest repository of knowledge and statistical information about software testing, and knowledge base of methodologies of how to test," Reuveni said.

Customers pay per bug found, and pay for performance. When they sign off on an application and pay for the testing, they also grade the tester.

Some companies, especially those using agile development methodologies, subscribe to the service because "they need our services on an ongoing basis," Reuveni said. They get a discount on the bug rate, but also have to commit to a minimum amount of usage monthly.

The service was launched as a pilot with 12 customers "of various sizes from small, innovative companies to large enterprises," all of whom are full-time customers now, and uTest has added another 12 customers, Reuveni said.

So what's in it for the testers? The thrill, kiddies, the thrill. "We give testers the opportunity to test brand new applications, we expand their knowledge and expertise, and we run forums and Webinars that cater to them," Reuveni said.

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