One of the most interesting trends in technology is the trend called Gamification. Gamification involves turning activities that usually take a lot of effort and a lot of brain power and analysis and conscious thinking into something fun. Instead of looking at a task as something that is a hassle and something that you just need to get through and get over with, Gamification turns these tasks into something that you look forward to or at least they take the sting and boredom out of these tasks.
Nothing is more boring and potentially frustrating than software verification. Software verification involves checking pieces of software possible vulnerabilities and errors that might crash the software later on. What makes this all particularly problematic is that, a lot of these errors are not obvious. A lot of them involve running the software and working with the software for these bugs to pop up. This takes a lot of work obviously, and it can get quite expensive to hire outsourced workers to pour through these materials.
Moreover, even if you do outsource this work, there is no assurance that they would spot all the vulnerabilities. A new company based in Menlo Park California called SRI International has an interesting spin on software verification. Instead of outsourcing the work or having it done the traditional way, SRI created this xylem. This puzzle-like game makes a game out of software verification . More importantly, this game could be distributed to a whole range of people which essentially crowdsources the task of software verification so the company doesn’t have to do it by itself. When you do crowdsourcing you initially reduced the price of something especially people download software that they think is free. Little they know that they are actually doing you a big favor by doing software verification of some other tasks behind the scenes. That’s how awesome this idea is. The Gamification is not a joke.
Gamification, if done right and linked with the right technologies like crowdsourcing, can truly revolutionize how work is being performed. This is especially true in industries where a lot of analysis and a lot of manual and tedious labor is involved. By distributing all these works and chopping them into bite size pieces and making them fun by using Gamification format, xylem and similar types of software can truly usher in a revolution and product development.