want to be a beta tester in software
The first question is "Why would anyone want to be a Beta tester?"
The hardware or software has problems, and you have to spend time finding, reporting and resolving issues. Sometimes it takes a whole bunch of your time. It also takes away from your personal time, that and you can't make any real money doing it. Then, in most cases, you can't even tell anyone you are a tester.
So why is it that when a company that puts out a beta test tons of people clamor to become testers?
Most people do it because if, like me, you like to be on the cutting edge, or need a product that is new, you can (usually) get it for free, way ahead of the masses. A few examples are Windows Vista, the Drobo box and the Slingplayer for Palm. These products all did Beta testing before releasing them to the public.
Disclosure: I have done Beta testing for Sling Media and am heavily involved in the Slingcommunity.
So how does one become a Beta tester? Well you can do it the hard way, go to school, get degree, get a job in the technical world and become a well know expert in your field. Then they may come to you to test. However, if that seems like it may take too long. Here is what I recommend.
1. Follow the news - see what companies going to be releasing soon.
* Here are several ways to get up to date and breaking news. Sites like Google News, Yahoo News, C-Net, etc. This article is not going to get into how to find breaking news, but you definitely need to find a way that works for you.
* My personal favorites for getting the technology news is of my own making here.
* Watch the news on a daily basis. Things come fast in the technology world!
2. Find something you would be excited about.
* It's no fun testing products that bore you. There are many new gadgets coming out everyday. Pick one that you are interested in.
3. Standout from the crowd.
* Join the manufacturers group or community early. Become known, before the Beta comes out.
* Be someone that the company may recognize, by seeing you "around" before the Beta comes out.
* Everyone clamors on board when a new beta comes out. They are asking to be included and the manufacturers are swamped by requests from folks that they have never heard of. Don't be a no-name.
* Don't send the company a "Me Too" email or message. There are thousands of those. You will not go far if you are thrown in with hundreds of other Me Too people.
4. Learn everything you can about their product.
* You will never know as much as the manufacturer does. But the more you know about them and their product, you will be perceived as more of an "expert". It also shows your excitement of their product.
5. Be helpful to others.
* Once you know everything you can about the product, you can help others. Doing this in a knowledgeable and professional manner shows that you care about the product and care that is works as needed.
6. Stay on board and follow through.
* Don't be a Beta tester that receives a product and then does not give feedback.
* When the company asks you to test something, give a report or answer a questionnaire, do it quickly and honestly. This will give you credibility and you may be asked to help out again.
7. Be a fan!
* Tell the company, others and anyone else you talk to about how great the product and company are.
8. Honor your agreement.
* This really goes without being said. Whatever agreement the company asks for, do not break! If you are not allowed to talk about it, then don't!
9. Find out what you are allowed to talk about after the Beta period ends.
* Once the beta is over, are you allowed to tell that you were a Beta tester?
* Can you discuss the "what and how" about the tested product?
10. Tell people what you did in the past, get recommendations.
* Remembering #9, if allowed, tell other companies the tests you took part in.
* If possible, if you can get a recommendation from one Beta Test Manager to another, will go a long way in gaining acceptance.
11. Don't be the news.
* When Beta testing you may find out about things that make the news. Such as Beta release dates, Bug fixes and new features.
* Don't "scoop" the company by putting it on your blog or submitting to a news site, before they can. News releases and buzz are very important to these companies. Let them break the news first. If you are allowed and feel the need, you can discuss the product later.
Doing these things will get you to the top of the list of Beta testers. You will also find the more things you test, the more you will get asked or accepted.
Then you may get to the point at the beginning of this article. You may find it's too much work to Beta test. :)
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I have been a Microsoft Beta tester since Windows 95, I would like to be alerted to other opertunities to beta test products and software,
I would enjoy becoming a beta tester, I just don't know where to start. I tried many beta programs, never really gave any feedback for them. kinda just did it for personal enjoyment. I would like to take it to the next level to get more involved in latest builds, and new hardware. I love giving constructive criticism, and not just make fun of it. I enjoy letting people hear my views on how to make latest software/hardware, so in the end I would become a more valued consumer. I know most of the Microsoft system in's and out's, been an android user for a couple years now, also started as an iPhone user, and Blackberry.
i need to know what people to talk to i would like to be at the cutting edge but i dont know how to find the right people