Sharpen your skills, volunteer some time

I often get asked about how people can improve their testing skills. Practice. Practice. Practice.

Well. Here goes. I have a favour to ask.


I do some sporadic and ad-hoc Testing outside of work for a super little non-profit company. I won’t drop their name in here but suffice to say they are doing some awesome things in developing nations in and around SMS/mobile and communications.

As such I’d like to essentially create a very small focus group of testers who can help to feedback more about the product. I’m talking two or three people. I’m really hoping that one day we could become a sustainable group able to donate a couple of hours per week on an on-going basis. But to start I think a set of eyes over the product from a Testing Point Of View could offer some great value.

This is a call for a few people to join me:

  • I’m looking for people who are passionate about testing and WANT to help an organisation who offer life changing software
  • I’m looking for people who want to do Exploratory Testing
  • I’m looking for people who are doing this out of the goodness of their heart and mind; not just wanting some kudos.
  • It would be handy if you could code….we’ll need a test harness I suspect.
  • It would be handy if you have experience of SMS, mobile and telecommunication, but not essential. You can learn right? 🙂
  • It would be handy if you could bring your experience to the group, share it and help to self organise the group.
  • You WILL need to spend a little bit of money each month on SMS/phone messages (unless we find a good emulator/harness/hub). This cost will not be covered by me or anyone else. It will need to come from your wallet/purse.
  • You WILL need a mobile phone that is compatible, or some time to see if any old ones you have are suitable. (these are very cheap on eBay)
  • You will need to be passionate about community projects and interested in how people in different countries/cultures might use tech for different purposes/reasons than originally intended.
  • You will need to be a good communicator as we may be working in different time zones and relying on chat/email for conversations/information.

As mentioned, there won’t be much publicity around what we do, so Kudos is not the name of the game. This is a genuine opportunity to learn more about mobile whilst testing a product for a not for profit. I believe we can help greatly as we aim to discover more about the product under test whilst also revealing more about our own skills, assumptions and test approaches.

If you are genuinely interested then please email me here:

volunteer (at) thesocialtester (dot) co (dot) uk

Just for clarity – there is no need to have a smart phone. The phones that work are typically the older phones.

Note: I may not be back in touch for a few weeks but I shall aim to return all serious requests.