Evaluating new software

When trying out the latest beta (or general pre-release) version of a software build, what is your gut reaction when something doesn’t work? Are you inclined to rant and rave and post flaming Twitter posts or do you accept that you are testing pre-release software, anticipate that there will be bugs and helpfully feed back to the developers to help them rectify the issues when you come across them?

Behaviour towards software bugs fascinates me. When testing pre-release software you have to understand that it’s not a finished product. The purpose of opening up access to pre-release software is always done with a disclaimer. It is always done on the (published) understanding that there may be bugs, it may not work exactly as it should.

Cut the developers some slack. Accept that you are fortunate enough to be helping to test software before the majority of people get to try it and assist the developer(s) by giving them constructive feedback. Tell them what you were doing when a bug occurred, what steps you carried out in the lead-up to the fault and be clear about what version of the software you are using, what version of operating system you are using and on what hardware you are using it.

Help them to make the product that you want use. Be constructive, be helpful.

I am @iCraigt on Twitter and you can find me on chime.in here.

By icraigt

Craig Thornton (@icraigt), Geek Dad, husband of @linsthornton, Principal Engineer at JLR, tech addict. All views my own.