I remember him saying at one point that he had a big problem with beta testers, someone even took his concepts to a competitor, despite the confidentiality agreement. (snippage) And come on, I'm sure he's not hurting for additional beta testers. We're just hurting for not being beta testers.
That is the crappiest thing that I've heard! I can't believe that someone would do that to Mr. G. (fill in whichever naughty word you'd like here...) __________!!!!
I know that there's plenty of more than worthy people around to be his testers. I wasn't asking to be one, it was just one of those random things that I'd wondered about.
How do you guys become beta testers? I mean, half of the forum users have the Gofriller already! Is there some way to apply for beta testing of future products?
Beta testing is very important to us and helps us make better libraries. Not only does it work out the wrinkles in a library, but it can serve as an incubator for new ideas. We take beta testing very seriously.
Almost all of our testers we have met here at Northern Sounds. I believe we were the first sample developer to institute a formal beta program. When we announced six years ago that we were going to beta test a library, some thought we were nuts. One company even commented that no one ever beta tested a sample library and that such a program was a waste of time and would take away those dozen or so sales (that company now has beta testers ).
Since that experiment six years ago, many good things and innovations have resulted for the beta program. Some have been with us from the beginning when we first started this journey, and long-standing friendships have developed. It has been a very positive thing.
That's not to say a beta program has its downsides and over the years we have been burnt a few times. Unfortunately a few ex-beta testers have done some very strange things, but these are the exceptions and were only a few. Some have gone to the competition. Some have received free product and have no contributions whatsoever (only to discover they were getting free libraries from other developers too). Some have even intimated that negative things about us would be posted if we did not provide beta copies (the sample mafia). And one time we found our samples on pirate sites before a product was released. Again these are the exceptions.
Understandably, we are a bit more cautious than we were at first. And having introduced so many innovations to the sample industry, I am sure the competition would like to know what we are up to. Now with our own sampler,we are on the cusp of some new innovations and breakthroughs.
The testers that are with us are highly-regarded by us and we look for a long-term relationship. Every week we get a number of requests to be on the beta team. So many that we cannot accommodate all of them. Tom, the other developers and I will sometimes meet and discuss various candidates (getting along with Tom can be a major hurdle ). We sometimes check recommendations as well. I can't speak for other developers, but I will tell you some of the factors we consider in a beta tester:
First we look at creativity and music ability. We are in the business of make the software equivalent of musical instruments. It is very valuable for beta testers be musicians and to know performance aspects and techniques of the various instruments. This helps us to make our instruments more musical and playable. And its important to have people who think in new and creative ways.
Next we look at technical proficiency. Can the beta testers work their native sequencing and notation programs well? Do they have an understanding of MIDI performance, plug-ins, sequencing, convolution and other aspects of music technology? We want people who understand and appreciate the technological aspects.
We also see if they share the same vision and philosophies. Does a candidate want to help other musicians? Do they believe quality software instruments be made available to many musicians, or just an elite few. To they want to make things easier for musicians? And is there a commitment to educating and encouraging people.
Also, we look to see if a candidate can communicate well? Are they able to communicate their thoughts about these libraries in a clear and cogent way? Can they work with a group and listen well? And can they explain things in a constructive way that is helpful?
And finally, a very important requirement for us is characterand integrity. I know this is a subjective thing, but very important to me. Does a candidate encourage creativity or snuff it out with cynicism and superiority? Do they create and build up - or destroy and down? Are they helpful to others and patient? Can they keep secrets or are they easily swayed? And do they post truthfully or post rumor and innuendo? You can often get an insight into a person's character by their postings.
These are our main factors that go into looking for beta testers. Conduct on public forums weighs very heavily for our development team. Lately, we have been selecting testers from the forum. So often the best way to be a tester is to be active and helpful on the forum and we may just choose you . Hope this give some insight into how we choose our beta testers.