It’s like the stock market – it can be risky – it can be frustrating and downright annoying – and it can be rewarding. I’ve always liked participating in beta testing of products which I find of value, or as has happend to me before, in a product that I had to use – but (let’s just say to be nice), needed a lot of work — and by beta testing (with our live data of course) we got to evaluate the latest and greatest of the software. Most of the time it was a win-win situation, but not always.
I wrote a few weeks ago about how my chiropractor didn’t realize what it meant to be a beta test site, and consequently just how much she “suffered” with the arrangement.
For me, as a custom software developer, I think I like participating in anothers beta test because I invevitably learn from the experience. There are 2 major learning opportunites that I consider to provide the value for me by participating — they are:
- The opportunity to really learn a product and understand it
- The opportunity to find out just how the software provider works
Products and companies have made it and lost it based upon my experience with beta testing their product. If a company isn’t easy to work with when you are providing beta testing, they probably aren’t a company you’ll want to work with long term. Likewise with the product.