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I have been working as a software tester, developer and manager for years. Serving organisation from multinational company to small tech startup. Regardless of what kind of organisation that I work in, we love to apply gamification in software testing.

We did it by hosting internal software test campaign after our product code complete. Within the time frame, we encourage developers to find each other’s bug and publish the scoreboard result daily. The score is based on evaluation of the quality of the bug that they found. For example, critical bug weights more points than less important bug. At the end of the campaign, we’ll reward those with most points. To me, if applying gamification in software testing correctly, it can bring more value than damage. Below are the three main reasons why we love gamification in software testing:

1. It is a cost effective way to increase product quality

Other than having the developer to test his own code, there are a few other options to do more testing:
A) Hire more internal software testers
B) Outsource software testing to professional firm
C) Crowdsourced software testing to freelancer around the world
These are some good options, however they might cost a lot, especially obvious to a small company. By applying gamification in internal software test campaign, you can increase your software quality by just rewarding a few top performers. It doesn’t sound cool, but it helps.

2. It motivates your team to produce better quality work

When gamification in software testing becomes a usual practice in your organisation, developers know that the result will be published to everyone else during the campaign. If they produce crappy code with lots of bugs, very likely their name will be shown as one of the top bug producers. With that, every time when they try to go with an easier path and write crappy codes, they’ll think twice. This helps to guide them to become a better and more responsible software developer.

3. It is fun

Software development and testing can be boring if we repeat the same routine again and again. So why not to make a fun game after coding complete? In order to make a test campaign fun, you need to be fair. You need to define the weight of different kind of bug differently. You need to set ranking for the different level (For example Godlike, Knight, Grown-Up, Baby), as a goal for participants to aim. You need to keep everyone updated on the status by publishing the result daily. At the end of the campaign, you need to reward the top performer publicly and make it a carnival. It can be fun and build up morale within your company.

Gamification in software testing definitely is not a replacement for all other software testing options. However, it can bring unique values and be part of your software testing strategy in your organisation. It might be a lot of work to evaluate and calculate all the scoreboard result manually. Because of that reason and we cannot find a tool that can apply gamification in software testing automatically, we’ve developed our own tool and share it to public. You can get more detail at http://get.bugmine.com.

I hope that you find this article useful and feel free to leave a comment to share your thought if you have any.


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Kenaz has 10 years of software development and team management experience in Altera Penang and ICT startup – Dinomedia. He is the CEO & Co-Founder of Persizt Technology now.