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Issue 9.2


The Fine Art of Beta Testing

Why beta testing is essential

Issue: 9.2 (January/February 2011)
Author: Tam Hanna
Author Bio: Beginner
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 11,045
Starting Page Number: 66
Article Number: 9209
Related Link(s): None

Excerpt of article text...

Imagine downloading a program or game just to find out that it is unstable, unreliable, and generally useless. You invested countless clicks to get the app, and all of that... for a useless piece of crapware. Would you trust this developer again? Would you try other programs from the same developer? Gee, would you even bother to write an email with a bug report?

I'll keep it brief: releasing unreliable programs is the safest way to damage your reputation. Even though code coverage tools, code reviews, and pair programming can keep errors in check, nothing beats the stampede of a good beta testing team.

Why Beta Testing?

Every developer tests his app on his own: the moment you hit that little bug's button... well, you get the idea. Unfortunately, this testing is severely limited by two factors: lack of scope and excess of familiarity.

Let's assume that you have been working on an accounts program for quite some time. Given that you designed the UI, the purpose of it is clear to you. But would it also be clear to someone who just sees the screens and has no understanding of the development process?

Let's furthermore imagine that a change in the billing routine somehow breaks the About dialog. Would you notice that while debugging billing?

...End of Excerpt. Please purchase the magazine to read the full article.