Our Top Testers talk Crowdworking with IG Metall

In February, 14 of our Top Testers from across Germany joined Testbirds and IG Metall (a German Worker’s Union) to start a dialogue about fair crowd working. Andreas, Michèle, Alexander, Astrid, Jan and Hermann share their experiences with us as guest bloggers.


Hi, and welcome to the blog!
Hi, my name is Andreas. I’ve now been a part of the Testbirds crowd for nearly two years in my hometown, Munich. I’m a loving husband and father of four soccer talents.
My name is Michèle, my username on Testbirds is Cinnemonia. I live in Berlin and I am 36.
My name is Alexander, I am 23 and have more than 3 years of testing experience. I’ve participated in dozens of test cycles with Testbirds, testing software from all possible industry sectors.
We’re Astrid and Jan – we come from Lower Saxony and we do crowdworking for a living.
My name is Hermann and I’m a student at the THM Mittelhessen. I know Testbirds since they started in 2012 and test in my free time. I’m excited by new test invitations – there’s a lot of great stuff you can get your hands on, often before it goes public.

In your opinion, what was the purpose of this workshop with IG Metall?
Andreas: This very first workshop was for gaining an overview about the current situation in crowdworking and checking out the potentials for improvement in the future.
Michèle: IG Metall wants to find out more about fair crowdworking, what “kind of people” do that “job” and whether these people need some kind of support.
Alexander: Our main goal was to start a dialogue and try to establish a constructive form of communication for the future. Personally, I also wanted to get a deeper understanding about what it means to be a crowd worker and how the digitization of the world of work affects, for example, the wish for social security.
Astrid and Jan: IG Metall was and is looking for ways to support the crowd and wanted to find out what we need and want.
Hermann: The topic of this workshop was “working in a digital room”. But this day went beyond that. IG Metall and Testbirds are on their way to establish regulations for crowdworkers.

How would you describe the day?
Andreas: That’s a tough question – there were so many impressions in a short time. It was nice to see the Birdmasters and have the opportunity to meet some fellow birds. It was a very intense day with a lot of thought exchanges and time was just flying by, making it exhausting but great.
Michèle: The workshop was interesting. Many topics were discussed which was chaotic at times but interesting because it showed that there are many aspects of the topic to discuss and one day is actually not enough.
Alexander: At the beginning, we discussed some topics very openly like our individual experiences and personal circumstances as crowdworkers. But by the end of the day, we had managed to agree on a concrete common plan for the next steps:
• Help IG Metall with their rating website for the various crowd working companies.
• Stay in contact and share new ideas in an online forum.
• Organize a follow-up meeting.
I also planned enough time after the workshop to sit down at a café with two fellow testers, Herman and Moritz, for a quick drink. We continued our talk about crowdworking, shared our stories and had a good laugh together.
Astrid and Jan: It was fun! We learned a lot and got “food for thought” that will stay with us for quite some time.
Hermann: It was an amazing day. I had a blast with all the different “birds” from the crowd. They all had different perspectives on how to write a great test report or ways to find as many bugs as possible.

What motivated you to take part?
Andreas: It was an opportunity to open my mind, to get a wider view of everything and to support Testbirds. It is a matter of course to give something in return.
Michèle: I was curious about what the IG Metall have do to with crowdworking. Another motivation was to meet other testers and to see the Testbirds office. As well as meet some Birdmasters that I already “know” from many tests.
Alexander: Not only was I curious to “see behind the curtains” of Testbirds and be able to express my opinion, but also to be exposed to a range of perspectives, experiences and knowledge from people with different backgrounds.
Astrid and Jan: Mostly, we wanted to contribute to making crowdworking a normal part of working life, with all the necessary social, fiscal and legal implications. We were also eager to meet other people: from Testbirds, IG Metall and, of course, fellow testers.
Hermann: Since I’ve been at Testbirds for 5 years, it was nice to meet some Birdmasters who are managing different tests. My next motivation was meeting testers from the top ten ranking list: who are these people, what are they doing differently, what’s their motivation to be part of Testbirds?

What did you take away from the experience?
Andreas: I think I got a wider view of crowdworking which is a new and exciting working field. Despite being in a crowd every Bird is still unique and taking part for completely different reasons. It was nice to learn some different perspectives including those of several crowd providers.
Michèle: I was surprised that the IG Metall already has a website about fair crowdworking and that they had some really useful advice for some of us who had, for example, questions about the finance office or health insurance.
Alexander: I gained insight about how with “IoT”, smart homes etc. there are countless scenarios on how crowdtesting can improve tech-products in the future – good news for every passionate tester! I also learned that there are already a variety of people earning money – some even making a living – on the internet as crowdworkers.
Astrid and Jan: Everybody is really interested in improving things. The fellows at Testbirds are very nice indeed, the union shows a genuine interest in our needs and the other testers are a very pleasant bunch.
Hermann: We shared some helpful tips: how to be more efficient during different tests and how to increase the payout. Furthermore, I didn’t know anything about the Code of Conduct or the website IG Metall created. It helps me with my tax declaration. I’m also thankful to stay in touch with Testbirds and IG Metall to continue our work on topics related to fair crowdwork.


From all of us at Testbirds: Thank you for sharing your insights with us! We have really enjoyed meeting and brainstorming with you all and look forward to continuing this important dialogue together.

Tester

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