Alphas and Betas

I've noticed something that's a little aggravating lately.

I work in QA, so my job is to take releases as they are produced and thoroughly test them. I know how tedious it is. I also know how hard it is for the developer and the QA analyst to come up with every single user scenario and edge case that will be encountered.

That is why alpha and beta releases are so important. It's an opportunity to see what the end user may do withe the software that you hadn't previously considered. It's a way to see if your infrastructure scales well and a way to get feedback from the end user on changes that should be made before release and bugs.

What is getting frustrating is the habit of people in tech forums and blogs to want to get this pre-release software, or get early access to a service but not have any appetite for bug reporting or feedback to the appropriate channels.

The Mailbird post is filled with people who downloaded the app, found some aspect about it they didn't like, made time to moan about it on the comments section of The Verge but then decided they didn't want to use the app any more, no doubt not bothering to feed back their issues to the developers.

So the question is...why did you download it in the first place? Do you not know what a beta is? Were you expecting early pre-release code to be the finished article? What software is bug free that they would have this crazy expectation?

If you're looking for finished software, do not install beta or alpha builds. Your moaning and FUD spreading after the fact isn't helpful and only tarnishes some devs work long before they get to realise their work.