How to Become a Beta Tester

What is a beta tester? First of all, beta software is ‘test’ software that a software manufacturer offers to those who are interested in trying its latest wares. The software may then be offered for testing to either the public, as in Symantec’s latest offering for testers, about which I have already posted in a past issue – see link here or by invitation. Once you have signed up and have been accepted, you then become a ‘beta tester.’

You will then be sent a link by the software manufacturer that normally will have an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) for you to accept, which requires that you may not disclose certain aspects of the program, and also a link to download the software for testing.

So what is then required of the tester?

1. Naturally the software manufacturer would like for you to install its test software on your computer system. Warning! If possible, I would recommend that you use a computer that you normally would not use in your daily activities or rely on for business purposes.

2. You will then provide what the software manufacturers calls ‘bug reports.’ This is where some testers fail. ‘Bug reports’ should be concise and of value to those who have written the program. To submit a ‘bug report’ such as ‘it didn’t work’ offers very little value. Be concise with your report so that the software folks can duplicate the problem and try and fix it before the final release.

3. Be an active tester. Use the beta software as much as possible. Look for updates and patches that may be offered during the testing period. Also some software companies may offer testing forums in which you can participate in feedback.

By sending in good ‘bug reports’ and becoming active in the company’s software testing forums, you will increase your chances of being invited again to test other beta software.

What’s in it for you? Sometimes nothing is offered except the satisfaction in knowing you helped in creating a better software product. Sometimes the software manufacturers may offer free software to those testers who have provided useful and helpful feedback.

Enjoy, and happy computing!

[tags]beta, software, testing, invitation, required, useful, helpful, qa[/tags]

Article Written by

I have been writing for Lockergnome for eight years.

  • bobby jones

    i’ve never been a bata tester but its something i’ve always wanted to do i am totally able to comitt the time to do it i would b a worth while tester all i ask is that u give me the chance please let me become a beta tester

  • Ron Schenone

    Hi Bobby,
    You need to sign up at the software manufactures website for a software you are interested in.

    No one ‘personally’ signs up testers.

  • Aaron Bowditch

    i would like to be a bata tester and i dont know how can someone help me

  • Aaron Bowditch

    i still dont know how to be a beta tester and i always wanted to do can someone HELP ME !!!!!!!!


  • Ron Schenone

    Hello Aaron,
    May I recommend that you do a Google search for ‘beta testers’ I just did that and there was a listing of over 100 sites seeking applications for various softwares.

    Good luck.

    PS Be patient. It takes awhile to get a response from some of the larger companies.

  • kuul

    hey i wanna be a beta tester but i know i have to be 18 or older but you guys think you can change your mind and let me be a beta tester? please?

  • Pingback: Become A Beta Tester For Microsoft Game Studios « The Blade by Ron Schenone, MVP()

  • austin

    OMG!!!! this is soo lame i wanna be a tester but im under age AHHHHH!!!!!

  • D-Man

    I have been wanting to be a beta tester for about three years now but im curious, is being a tester really difficult or is it something you can pick up on the first couple times you do it? I would like an honest opinion from someone.

  • Ron Schenone

    Hi D-Man,
    I believe a lot has to do with which product you test. Testing Vista required a total clean install. Other products may just have you test the software using your standard OS.

    Hope this helps, Ron

  • D-Man

    Well, see im really new to the whole thing and no quite sure what all that means. I know, lame, but i wanna learn as much as i can because i just recently applied to test an online PC game call ATRIACRH.
    Thank you Ron for your help.

  • Ron Schenone

    Hi D-Man,
    Good luck on your beta testing. I’m sure you will do well.

  • david

    can i become a beta tester if a live in Mexico??
    or i have to be in the US??
    i really want to be a tester

  • MrBigJeezy

    Just curious, what types of reports do you have file on the beta tests? I mean, do you have to know a lot about programming and stuff like that? I just applied to be a beta tester for Microsoft games, but do I have to have a lot of knowledge on video games (aside from having played them my entire life, and loving them to death, and playing them every idle moment possible)? In other words, do I need to know technical things to be a successful tester? I’d like to eventually become a full time video game tester and I’m hoping this could help get my foot in the door. But should I start doing research?

    Also, what are they chances that I’ll actually be chosen to beta test anything? Is there a 90% chance that I’m just wasting my time?

    Thanks Ron for the good article.

  • Ron Schenone

    hi david,
    It all depends on the software to be tested. I know that when Microsoft first tests a new operating system the beta testers are usually US based in the beginning.

    Hi MrBigJeezy,
    No programming experience is necessary. What most software companies want is to test their product and different types of machines to determine what ‘bugs’ if any may plague the final release.The companies usually provide a method of feedback in which you provide your computer spec’s, installed software & the problem you are exhibiting. It is usually very non-technical in nature.

    As to who gets selected, it is a hit or miss situation. I have been selected and rejected to beta test about equally. :-)

    Enjoy, Ron

  • http://mikey michael sanders

    Hi i am a 15 year old boy looking for a job and I thought youre company would be a good place to start my carrer so if you could write me back at your latest convience that would be great

  • Ron Schenone

    Hello Michael,
    Unfortunately Beta testers don’t get paid. They may end up with free software but no money.


  • sam

    Can anyone be a beta tester?

  • aaron

    how do i be a beta tester for free

  • Mohan Arun

    I would say different individualized, personal styles of presentation work best for different people. “the Lessig method” “the Kawasaki method” “the Godin method” “the Takahashi method” etc. The Takahashi method uses only big-letter text in all slides…

  • Jun Inoha Edwards

    will you show us your presentation?

  • Eduardo

    OMG 30 rock arrived to lockergnome. This is getting ridiculous…