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Webinar Recap | Adding the Human Factor to Agile Development

Aug 5, 2020 | Webinars, Crowdtesting

Recently we hosted a webinar together with Deutsche Telekom where we discussed the pros and cons of crowdtesting vs. test automation and introduced the audience to how Testbirds became the “external testing department” of Deutsche Telekom. 

Developing a New Webmail App – Challenges

When Deutsche Telekom started developing their new webmail app, the biggest challenge was the huge amount of data they had to deal with.

We’re talking about 24M mailboxes, 3.6M unique users, 50M emails daily, 215M saved contacts, and 18M address book accesses. 

With this huge challenge, Telekom began to restructure its organization in the development teams and moved from waterfall to agile development. While using the waterfall model, development took 12 months followed by a testing phase of three months. During this testing phase there were literally 30 people sitting in a room clicking through all the test cases in different browsers and with different e-mail clients.

So overall, the rollout took over a year – if everything went smoothly.

Switching to agile development,suddenly the project had to be split into sprints that took one month each. As they were used to, the team added a testing phase of 14 days after each sprint. Developing and testing in the same way as before, but just in smaller “packages”, was okay for the first halfyear as they developed a completely new product. However, after some time, the code and software became so huge and complex that an extra test phase for regression testing was needed after every sprint, adding two extra weeks.
Once again, development took a lot of time which wadefinitely not the idea when switching to agile development in order to release quicker and more frequently 

Why Test Automation Wasn’t the Solution 

Deutsche Telekom was looking for a solution to make the test phase quicker and allow them to re-integrate test results into the sprint again. So, the idea was to automate the tests using the agile testing pyramid. That means that you usually test most functions with unit testing in the code, do a lot of integration testing, and only a small amount of manual end-to-end testing 

What Deutsche Telekom did was to start automating the end-to-end tests because it seemed like a good idea (but in hindsight it wasn’t the best solution). Deutsche Telekom invested a lot of time and resources in automating those end-to-end tests and keeping them running – time and resources that were missing in other crucial parts of the development life cycleSubsequentlythey decided to outsource their testing projects and make development resources available again for their actual product development 

Besides time and resources, Deutsche Telekom also had to deal with further challenges like device and sim card availabilitya missing testing infrastructure, and the need for testers who match the target audience of the different products and needs.  

That was the point when Deutsche Telekom started to investigate crowdtesting and its capabilities. To find out what Deutsche Telekom had to say about the advantages of crowdtesting, like the big pool of devices, the fast test setup and execution, and the independent view on the application, watch the full webinar.

Quote about Crowdtesting from Deutsche TelekomAlso, listen to David, Project Manager at Testbirds, who gave insights into the testing process for Deutsche Telekom and especially on rapid testing over a weekend and how we’re integrated into their development sprints. 

Are you interested in what crowdtesting can do for you and your company? Reach out to us, we’re happy to find a suitable solution for you and your digital product 

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About the author

Simone Groß

Simone Groß

Content Marketing Manager

When Simone is not working on superb texts for Testbirds, she and her horse live it up on the tournament areas in Bavaria.



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Testbirds specialises in the testing of software such as apps, websites and Internet of Things applications by using innovative technologies and solutions. Under the slogan, “Testing Reality”, the company offers various testing methods to its clients looking to optimise the user-friendliness and functionality of their digital products. With over 250,000 registered testers located in 193 countries, Testbirds is one of the world’s leading crowdtesting providers. In addition, the IT service provider utilises cloud based technologies to support customers in the optimisation of their digital products. The combination of the two testing methods delivers a unique and extensive portfolio that takes the quality of software to the next level. Testbirds was founded in 2011 by Philipp Benkler, Georg Hansbauer and Markus Steinhauser. Today, the company has over 100 employees. Other than its headquarters in Munich, there are now offices in Amsterdam, London and Stockholm, franchises in Hungary and Russia and sales partners in Italy.

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