Crowdsourcing has become well known because of high-flying concepts like the X Prize and the Netflix Prize. And everybody has heard of Amazon Mechanical Turk. Less well known are coding puzzle sites like Project Euler and HackerRank. Then there are the hidden gems for Application Development organizations – the crowdsourcing AD vendors like [topcoder] and uTest. That Crowdsourcing has appeared in many kinds of work, including application design, architecture, testing, and development, isn’t that surprising. Cutting edge “rocket science” stuff (which the X Prize literally rewards) always seems to make its way into the everyday eventually. What IS surprising is just how much impact Crowdsourcing AD can have on the enterprise today.
In my paper “Use Crowdsourcing as a Force Multiplier in Application Development” (link available to Gartner for Technical Professionals subscribers), I explore how Crowdsourcing maps to three key areas in the SDLC – design, test, and coding. I talk about good practices in applying Crowdsourcing to your own projects, and finally about the rise of the Crowd Curator – a new kind of role that blends the technical aspects of application architecture with sophisticated soft skills in community and project management. There’s no doubt in my mind that Crowdsourcing AD is going to be huge for the enterprise – and those who figure out how to harness it early will enjoy a substantial advantage over their competitors.