I take a lot of flack for this, but I pick people that I know well for
the simple reason that i am familiar with them, and I know they'll do
what I need them to.  I know it's probably not fair, but it's how I
like to work, and it's what works best for me.  to each his own.


On 1/4/10, Thomas Ward <thomasward1...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi Claudio,
> Well, as a game developer and someone who has run my own private beta
> teams I have to say there is a lot more to the selection process than
> you may realize. When a developer such as myself puts out a request
> looking for beta testers it is easy to get back several applications for
> the position, but only 10 to 12 out of those applications will actually
> be selected for the team. Therefore my job as the lead developer and
> beta tester is to somehow select 10 to 12 people out of 40, 50, or 60
> applications for the position. The only way to do that is by looking for
> specific skills and qualities that would make a good beta tester in my
> opinion. I have to do that, because not everyone who applies for a
> testing position is exactly qualified for the position he/she wants.
> Just like any employer I pick and choose based on certain criteria which
> i feel would best be suited for the job. Here is a few that I personally
> look for.
> The applicant's language skills. When testing it is important for the
> tester to be able to clearly state his/her opinions, problem with the
> product, and be able to communicate effectively with the other beta
> testers. Since communication on a test team is vitally important I'm
> likely to reject an application if the applicant makes consistent
> grammatical and spelling errors, and the message is difficult to read.
> Previous experience testing software. Just like any employer I tend to
> look for references and prier experience testing software. It is nice
> for me to be able to ask developer x if he/she has had such and such an
> applicant as a beta tester, and how well he/she did while testing. A
> good reference from developer x goes a long way towards getting on my
> beta team, and a bad reference will put the applicant at the bottom of
> the list. So references are just another way for me to sort out the
> potential applicants.
> The applicant's hardware/software. Not only does a potential tester have
> to meet certain criteria his/her computer also may have to meet specific
> criteria for testing. Given the number of types of computers out there,
> different operating systems, processors, etc it is vitally important
> that a developer try and gather information on as many different
> computers and configurations as humanly possible during the early
> testing period. Now, that USA Games is now going forward with a
> cross-platform design initiative it will be more important than ever to
> include a little bit of everything in the testing process. Generally, it
> would be a good idea to have at least one representative for each
> platform targeted such as Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Mac OS,
> and Linux. A team consisting of 12 users all running the same operating
> system would obviously be too narrow a target group, and so I may decide
> to reject someone on the grounds I already have the maximum number of
> testers for a specific target group.
> The applicant's reputation. As a developer I often look at the
> applicant's reputation or character for possible membership on one of my
> test teams. I wouldn't want a known software pirate for obvious reasons,
> and someone who is frequently disruptive on list wouldn't exactly be a
> good choice either. So a person's reputation will definitely be factored
> into my decision for beta testing.
> The applicant's technical skills. As a beta tester I expect an applicant
> to be able to perform basic computer operations such as adding and
> removing software from his/her computer, being able to install required
> dependencies on his/her own, be able to trouble shoot problems that
> arise during testing, and to do all of this with little to no
> documentation. The object of selecting a test team is to test the
> software, run it through various test situations, etc and the developer
> is not there to hold someone's hand and walk them through basic skills
> like installing software, removing software, deleting files, downloading
> software from the internet, whatever. Therefore some basic computer
> skills are absolutely essential for a beta tester.
> For example, currently I'm working on porting Mysteries of the Ancients
> to C++ and have already cross compiled a version for the Linux OS.
> Before it goes public I'll be forming a test team to test the Linux port
> of the game. I'd expect a tester using a Debian based Linux to be
> familiar with the Linux operating system as well as package add/remove
> tools such as dpkg and apt-get. Similarly a Red Hat based Linux user
> would be familiar with his/her Linux operating system as well as package
> add/remove tools like rpm and yum. The Linux user would have to be
> familiar with the Gnome desktop environment, and have basic skills using
> a screen reader like Orca. I'm not going to pick a Linux tester that
> doesn't have at least these technical skills for the position.
> As far as responding to each and every applicant sometimes that isn't
> feasible. When I announced beta testing positions for Mysteries of the
> Ancients I got just over 60 applications. That's just to many people to
> respond to individually. Instead I inform the members who were selected,
> and let the rest know via this list that I've selected my testers and
> that the positions are filled. Anyone who was not personally contacted
> by me is not on the team. That is the most effective and only way to
> approach that many applicants at once.
>
> Cheers!
>
>
>
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