A Beta tester is basically a software tester who carries out his testing activities when the software is in the Beta stage of development. This is usually the step that precedes releasing the software to the client, and it is also the first time that the software comes into the hands of a party other than the developer himself.
Technology is all around us today, and the software that runs this technology is the key to it all. We have software programs for millions of tasks today, and the fact is that someone has to develop this software so that the end user does not get confused, and is also able to fulfill all his tasks successfully. This perfection can only be achieved with the help of constant testing and retesting of the software before it actually reaches the hands of the user.
The software development cycle talks about the various stages in the development process of any software, and it is a fact that grueling testing procedures are carried out at every possible moment in this process. Beta testers are just a part of the entire testing team, and they are given very specific instructions and processes to test.
What is a Beta Tester?
He is simply someone who tests a software when it is at the Beta stage. This stage generally implies a state when the software is actually passed on to someone from outside the developer’s office, so as to ensure that the usability features of the software are in compliance with the initial requirements that were made.
Every stage of the software development process requires incessant testing and there comes a time when the developer has to let a non-developing party test the software from a user’s perspective. This is a mandatory state for every software developer and a Beta tester is simply someone who carries out this testing process.
What Does a Beta Tester Do?
They generally have to carry out a variety of functions over and over again, and check for bugs and glitches that could cause trouble to the end user. While the job sounds interesting at first, it can get very repetitive and monotonous. A software, or a video game, that is in the development process cannot possibly be handed out to a client without checking it properly. Hence, a tester will simply pose as a client and use the software in a manner that the client is expected to use it.
As a result of this, he will soon be able to find any problems that exist in the software code. If there are any complaints that the client could possibly have, the tester will know about them beforehand. He will then communicate this information to the software developers who will then make the necessary changes. The testers generally work for the testing department in a software development company or video game development company, or they also work in a specialized agency that is hired by developers.
Becoming a Beta Tester
First and foremost, you should have a decent educational background. Specializing in fields like Computer Science, Software Engineering etc. will also be a major plus, but this will depend on the nature of the software that you will be testing. For instance, Beta testing video games does not require in depth knowledge about the programming codes, but certain other companies will need you to know this before testing their product. Someone with knowledge about software development will always be preferred though.
The next thing to do is to decide if you are going to work as a full-time tester for one specific developer, or a company that outsources such services, or lastly, as an independent tester who works on a contractual basis. Depending on your choice, you can start searching the market for relevant jobs and perform some voluntary work here and there so as to enhance your resume and experience. Someone who has done this before will naturally be more appealing to a potential recruiter, or client.
Follow the news regularly and keep yourself updated with various workshops and seminars that the big companies regularly hold. These are the places where they recruit their Beta testers from the most, so you need to be present at these events and you need to announce yourself well. You can also rest assured that with experience and growing skills, your salary will rise and you will soon find yourself in the high income bracket.
At the end of the day, Beta testing is a vital component in the software development stage. Developers from all around the world regularly hunt for competent testers, so it is not very difficult to be one. With the right networking skills, you will soon find a great opportunity to showcase your abilities.