It’s a new month and time for another awesome beta tester to take the limelight here at the Beta Family Blog. This month we’re featuring Amit Kulkarni who’s been a part of our community for several years. He has some interesting tips on how to become a successful beta tester so keep reading and have your notepad ready!
Age: I am still young in testing 🙂
Interests: Cycling, Music, Writing, and of course testing variety of apps
Devices you own:
iOS: iPhone 6, iPhone 5, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad mini, iPad 3
Android: Galaxy Note II, Galaxy S 2, Galaxy Ace, Galaxy Tab 2(7”), Galaxy Tab 10.1, HTC Desire C, LG Optimus Vu
Windows: Lumia 520
How many apps have you beta tested?
At the Beta Family community I have tested 46 applications. It may sound less when compared with other testers around the world and part of this community, but there are other factors that affect the actual numbers.
What’s your best quality as a tester?
Perseverance, creative thinking, and of course patience.
What’s your favorite app?
Well, this is kind of a question where you not necessarily have a specific answer. I always keep trying new applications as and when they are available in their respective stores. But since you need specifics – I’d say that Strava (Fitness ), Peak (Education), Microsoft Outlook (Productivity), Swipes (Productivity), Wally (Finance), hike (Social networking) , 8 Ball Pool (Games), and any casual games like Candy crush, Daddy was a thief and many more.
There are others as well but that list will be quite long so I tried to list one from each category that I use the most. To sum up; any application with interesting concept, excellent UI and feature set would be my favorite app. It does not need to be from a big company and can be from a startup or sole developer.
Do you have a favorite app developer or company?
I truly believe that all developers try their best and it would be harsh to pick one or for that matter the company. Just to give the background I like the developers/companies which actually listen to their user base. This is very important today since we are becoming more impatient and with growing large number of options, we are always on a lookout for a switch if needed. Users are ready to pay more for a good deal so I feel that all the companies/developers try to match up to the expectation of their user base.
Over here at BetaFamily I like to work with some developers like Dave V and Tamas Laszlo. Having said that, it doesn’t mean that I do not like others but I just wanted to be specific. (Not diplomatic :D)
How come you started with beta testing?
I really don’t know. But, I guess I got to know about BetaFamily while going through some article. They have come a long way and there is quite a long path to cover, but I believe I was the early adapter to the BetaFamily community.
What kind of apps do you most like to test?
I like to test any kind of application where there is a new concept behind its implementation. By that I mean, not necessarily that it’s a totally new idea but the implementation is such that it makes the app different from the rest.
Over here at BetaFamily I feel that developers take a chance to actually see if there is any interest for the idea they have in mind before going to the larger audience. I like to play or test any games or an ideas that is something new and I haven’t had a chance to use any app like that before.
As you’ve tested lots of apps you must have encountered many bugs and faults. Is there one bug or fault you see often that you feel developers should know about and fix before starting the beta testing?
More often I find that there are quite a few applications which have not been tested when offline (no connectivity) and that results in a crash.
Why are you a part of Beta Family’s community?
I am part of the community because I get a chance to play with the apps before other people. I get to interact with developers and understand their point of view. There have been instances when the developers have helped me with something I thought could be different. Also, the community has quite a good testers and that’s helps.
The support team here is quite good as they take time to respond to each and every small question, and fix an issue with the platform at the earliest. The good part is they don’t mind you contacting them – it may take some time but there is always a reply.
How long have you been a member at Beta Family?
It has been almost 2 years. I signed up with Beta Family in the month of December, 2012 so I am counting from 2013.
Do you have any tips for newly started beta testers?
- Be practical while applying to the tests (make sure that you can dedicate them the time it requires.)
- Interact with developers when unsure.
- And most important focus on quality.
- Bonus tip (for reading thus far): Imagine developers as a friend of yours who need constructive criticism from you even if it hurts.
- Try to win the confidence of the developers with your testing as that could go a long way.
What’s your philosophy towards beta testing?
I feel that beta testing in general is quite good as that gives developers a platform where they can see if the idea that they have in mind could attract audience. It has two fold advantages as it gives developers a platform and new testers to get better at testing. However, new testers can also spend time on open source application under some mentor to learn more about testing and get better at it.
I feel beta testing is also useful for the companies who feel they need testing but can not afford too much of money pouring into it. Such companies can take advantage of the platforms like BetaFamily.
What do you need to be successful in beta testing?
– Most importantly you need to be patience, as it is really something that is going to help you in long run.
– Need to be honest with your criticism while submitting the feedback. A developer does not mind if you tell them truth of what you actually feel about the application, rather they appreciate your honesty and not just good words for the app.
– Try to be as helpful as possible and when needed – do not hesitate to interact with the developers to put forth your point if you missed out something in your report
– Refrain from using words that are too harsh in your feedback even if it is constructive criticism.
– Help BetaFamily if you encounter any issues with their site as that way they would be in better position to fix something that needs immediate attention
What are the best and worst things about beta testing?
- It is your choice what to and what not test.
- Chance to work on the applications not yet gone live.
- A platform with quite useful features that helps you with your feedback.
- Helpful team of developers and support team.
- And of course a chance to earn money while you test the apps.
- Less communication with stakeholders.
- At times the information related to the app is not adequate or sufficient.
Would you rather test apps for bigger companies or new start ups?
That is good question. What matters to me the most is communication. I love to work with the companies which are ready to communicate, helps you understand and answers any of your question unless they are not too obvious. There I feel start ups are more open and they tend to be more co-operative with you. Other advantage of working with startups is that they are ready to listen and willing to change something if that makes the app better.
I believe that both startups and sole developers who are working on these apps and needs some constructive opinion are the most often willing to communicate if you have any question. There is no way for us (testers) to actually come to know whether it is a big company or startups at Beta Family so this I am saying from my personal experience. It has been pleasure to be a part of this community.
What makes an app exciting to test?
How many apps are on your phone right now?
As you can see I have a lot of devices and it would take some time to count them all but just to go by the new device that I own i.e. iPhone 6 – I have 100+ (107 to be very specifics and growing).
Are you a gamer? If so, what kind of games do you like?
Hmmm, yeah! But I would point out that I do have control where I do not keep on playing the games for hours. Mostly I enjoy any new game with something new in it. I do not have any special choice or specific category as long as the game keeps me interested. At times I had to clear some space and it is hard choice which one to remove. 🙂 I kind of feel I should just keep on adding any new game that serves the purpose of having a good/fun time.
Thanks to Amit for taking time to answer my questions about beta testing. It’s been a pleasure having Amit in our community here at Beta Family and we hope he’ll stay with us for many more years. Check out some of our previous posts to learn from other Beta Tester of The Month winners. Stay tuned by subscribing to our blog.