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Finding the right beta testers

Beta testing is an essential stage in any software development. It is the point where the application and the potential customer come together. No matter how good your development team may have been, they can not possibly account for every contingency in the “real world.” That’s where beta testing comes in.
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This is why handing your application to the right team of beta testers is so important. You need a team of qualified people who know what to look for and know what you are looking for and can provide insight into how well your application matches up to expectations.

There is more than one type of beta tester. There are the professionals who can test the functionality of your application and will report every difficulty and mistake they find. Then there are those who directly relate to your customer base. These testers are your potential customers and your main concern will be how well they like your product. While both types are important, the first group is essential. Handing off an application to the second group, without first testing for functionality, will undermine any useful information they might provide. The first group should be hired professionals, while the second may be drawn in by offering incentives. However, make sure they really are interested in your product and not just in the free gift.

You should avoid people who are biased in one way or another. Recruiting your friends and relatives to beta test is rarely a viable option. So, be selective. It's best to hire type one beta testers before releasing your product, whether you plan on running type two tests or not. And the best type ones can be supplied by established companies with experience in the beta testing field.

It's important to vet beta testers to ensure that they have the right technology to run your app. The environment in which applications run can cause problems, which is why knowing the beta tester's platform is important. If the tester has the right platform, then you have a very good chance of getting accurate feedback. Also, even correct platforms can be slightly different from each other and seeing how these slight variations affect your application is something you can't get under controlled lab conditions.

Beta testing is a process that entails feedback from people who are not part of the original development team. They are there to provide new eyes that can see things that others have missed. Ultimately, the quality of beta testing depends on the quality of beta testers.  


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