How to find good beta testers...

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I have been working on a software application in PHP for a few years
now, and it is finally "ready" for some testing.  I was wondering what
was the best way to get a solid group of folks willing to provide
actual feedback, not just "yeah its great", or "yeah, it stinks.".

I am willing to grant free licenses for the software and was curious
what other incentives would really prove worthy of the tester's time.

I am very serious about getting my product to market, and would love to
find a bunch of testers willing to work with the software for a bit and
get a chance to beat out any bugs they find, and go over the general UI
of the whole system.  I am also looking for feedback on how the
software operates, and what could be enhanced, upgraded, etc.

This feedback is essential as you all know, that is why I started here!

If you yourself would like to participate, here is some info.  It is a
CMS/Site dev software app that allows you to create custom input forms,
html templates, member management (custom reg form), protected pages,
administration permission levels, data backup, data import, user
tracking, plugin extensibility, group and category (nested)
organization for content, keyword links, html text editors for entering
content, error reporting, activity log, etc...whew.

I would love to see how people use the software, this is cool stuff.

Thanks in Advance!

Databake Software

Re: How to find good beta testers...

Mm, sounds interesting. I may be interested in testing.

trops wrote:
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Re: How to find good beta testers...

Cool, if you are interested, please head over to
http://www/ and simply register on the site, and download
the software.

There are forums, help tickets, and integrated feedback buttons in the
software to provide your thoughts.



Re: How to find good beta testers...

trops wrote:
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First of all, you need to provide structure for the feedback.
Two facilities you must have if you are serious about testing
and qualuty assessment are a defect tracking system and a
comprehensive tester questionnaire.

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Free conversion from the most disliked CMS, perhaps?  There seem
to be quite a few people who initially fell in love with some
variety of Nuke (PostNuke, PHP-Nuke, etc.), but eventually were
disappointed for whatever reason.  There may have been similar
stories with commercial CMS, too...

Free application hosting for a limited time, maybe?  This way, you
won't even need to grant licenses...

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Then you need to somehow do away with dependency on PEAR.  Bundle
the required libraries with your product, replace them with your
own if you have to, but don't ask the less technically sophisticated
to "contact your webhost to find out if they have PEAR installed
on the server"; this is going to be a huge turnoff...


Re: How to find good beta testers...

Great Advice, NC!

I have a bug submission system in place on the website, and integrated
into the software is a feedback form, and error reporting (like XP).  I
will develop a comprehensive questionnaire (great idea), and never even
thought to bundle PEAR with the software. That would truly help out the
installation conidering I only am including 3 libraries... you are
absolutely correct.

The incentives are key as well, and the idea of conversion is a cool
one...I would have to do some testing with conversion scripts for my
software, and would love help converting my software for other systems.

I must say this is very good advice, and much appreciated NC.

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