Appirio's crowdsourced approach to software development -- now called [topcoder] -- has garnered planned of attention among organizations that simply don't have the time, resources or skills to get cloud projects or mobile apps or even Google Glass solutions created more quickly.
Over the past month, the cloud and systems integrator has made two noteworthy strategic moves to strengthen that community: first, it has acquired Coderbits, the creator of a developer profiling system that helps showcase real-world skills; more recently, it has forged a relationship with Applause to bring testing capabilities to the [topcoder] community.
Here's why both matter.
The profiling system that Appirio got through its buyout of Coderbits uses information from GitHub, Stack Overflow, Behance, Codeacademy and other communities that developers and IT professionals to brush up on their technical skills, earn certifications, share code and so forth. The idea is to marry this rating and profile system with the [topcoder] community's existing crowdsourced mechanisms for evaluating and rating design and development activities.
"With so many online communities where people regularly contribute code, answer questions and showcase new ideas, relying just on educational achievement or a listing of work experience is limiting," said Narinder Singh, president of [topcoder] and co-founder of Appirio, in a statement. "We no longer have to guess how that background will apply to getting work done in the real world, we can see it."
The integration of the two platforms is anticipated by late 2014.
The new relationship that Appirio has forged with Applause, which offers both testing services and supports a community of more than 140,000 software and application testers, is also intriguing.
Essentially, the relationship is one of referral: [topcoder] will point its customers to Applause testing services while Applause will talk up the community's crowdsourced development approach. Together, their services span almost the entire development lifecycle (not counting updates after the fact).
"We've had great success working with Appirio to accelerate development of innovative applications via crowdsourcing," said Lee Odess, general manager at Appirio customer Brivo Labs, in a statement. "The Applause partnership makes this an even more comprehensive solution, by adding the testing functionality that is so critical to our business and to the quality of applications generally."