Friday, March 27, 2009

Beta Testers

We all know that pre release projects will have bugs, and for as long as they do we will need people to beta test. Beta testing is rather simple, you push on it until it breaks, then you document what you did or what was not working when you got it. You aren't going to be held accountable for fixing what you find ... just pass it on in a documented and usable form. You may be asked to try a few things to see if it fixes the problem, which means again, you need to know what steps you took that put you in the position that your in, if any.

The other night, and not for the first time mind you, one of the folks from the beta team came wandering in to the support channel looking for assistance. There isn't a thing wrong with that at all. However ... you knew there was a however coming didn't you ... do not assume you know more than the support folks. Face it, if that were the case, you wouldn't need support in the first place. Don't argue or ask why three hundred times when one of the support crew asks you to run a command. We realize that you want to understand why we are doing something, but our time is valuable too, understanding can come later, or it may come moments after you run the command or do what you are asked to do.

Folks, being on the beta team does not abrogate you from the same rules of conduct we expect of anyone else. We expect a little courtesy and a willingness to follow directions so that we can diagnose and hopefully fix your problem (which by the way as a beta tester YOU get to document). If your coming in for support, we do not expect you to be argumentative, we don't ever expect you to be appreciative either, most of us got over that hang up a long time ago. There are some awfully smart folks who volunteer their time to do support. Never assume you know more than they do, because odds are you don't.

So for those beta testers who think that their positions allow them to step outside the bounds of civility when seeking support ... think again. We rightfully expect more from beta testers, not less. Work with us and we will work with you, argue with us and we will ignore you. Argue with us to much and we will remove you from channel, and pass on to the boss that we are having issues with you.

p.s. who am I to make these demands? absolutely nobody. Just one of the folks who spends time doing support or researching and documenting. So you can take what I say with whatever size grain of salt (and/or tequila) that you choose.

2 comments:

Jogai said...

A bitter post, but I think you'd seen enough.

I Just asked to be a tester: http://forum.sabayonlinux.org/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=13649&p=94010#p94010

Azerthoth said...

Not so much bitter as a reality check.