I would definitely NOT make that public info, unless they want a war from a group of people that think they should have been picked.
Lets assume they already know what type of tester they are looking for.
- Knows their way around software
- Has history with BBR (Beta Bug Reports)
- Will push the limits to try and break it!
- Keeps good workflow records so bugs can be reproduced
- Knows they are not using a final product
- Will test things like killing wifi, software and power in the middle of a job to see how it will react
Being a good tester takes a lot of time. I think a lot of people are wanting to do it just to get their unit sooner, and that might be the wrong reason.
Agreed. When I said “evaluation criteria” I was talking about the unit itself. For me “what can it do?” and "what can’t it do? are equally interesting questions.
That seems so understandable. Makes sense to have a process that includes measurables. I guess you can’t just release it in the wild and let “nature tooth and claw” figure it out, especially when you are tying production so closely to feedback. I have no experience with beta testing. I did try hard when Lego Mindstorms were beta testing and were looking for some users to bang on it. I would imagine that these betas will be pretty complete units and software ready to roar. I just can’t imagine the GF team sending something out and saying, Oh, by the way, we still haven’t quite figured out [insert random core feature here]. However, the discussion about December has been largely hardware centered and may not include the catalog as promised. Still clicking on a picture that goes nowhere on Glowforge.com. I’m ok with that, as long as they have at least one prêt a imprimer project even if it is just the shipping box. I wish the team good luck in the home stretch.
Also, not sure if putting a beta unit in a high traffic area is a good idea.
Sure, you will get a lot of “possible” hours on the unit, but unless you have a single key person running it, you may not get any good feedback if it goes down. Too many times have I seen someone break a tool and just walk away…
Yup. High traffic “random” users won’t likely be watching for issues, know them if they see them or even report them accordingly if/when they arise. Instances like this really would need a beta leader for the location. Although Dan & crew seem to be on top of this stuff, so I’m guessing they are already planning for this.
I think one of the main reasons this forum is kept friendly is that it’s ‘future owners only’. Everyone here has already spent the cash towards a glowforge. On other forums and other hobbies most of the negative comments comes from people that don’t have said product or that will only buy said product when it meets all there demands. Most of those so personal they will never make it and are unreasonable in the first place.
I’m looking forward to reviews of beta units and what the beta testers make with their glowforge. The good, the bad and the ugly. However I think true beta test subjects should be discussed in a shielded forum. Exposing beta problems to the end users is just making unnecessary waves.
100% with you.
Also, their should maybe be a more “open to the members” beta section for the testers to post work they did/are working on to show what it can do.
@spike and @darkdesign Agree with both of you. It would be easy to set up an approval process for staff to review any postings to that forum from Beta Testers. Even if it’s just pictures I would love to see what’s being produced from the Beta testers.
I prefer that the people with the Beta units can post whatever they do freely, because I am quite curious and I would love to be a part of things, even if I don’t have a unit of my own to toy with.
But, the practical side of me says that even if the people reading those posts on this forum understand that these are beta results, and do not reflect on the final product… the more eyes that see the information here, the more people who may potentially share it outside of here. Once you get out of this forum, the chances of someone forgetting it is a beta unit skyrockets.
I have seen so much terrible news treatment of scientific studies, I imagine that a developing project will have it even worse. I understand that news/blog writers need to make headlines and draw readers, I just don’t like how it usually goes down (of course 80% of the issue falls on the readers, not the writers. Even with massive disclaimers all over the article about not being 100%, people walk away from the articles thinking “This is certain!”)
I only just noticed this, but these forums are publicly visible. The only restrictions are on posting.
I agree that it would be nice if the beta testers were able to share their experiences, but perhaps a forum that only owners can read would be a good idea.
I have no doubt my GF will be available to me when it’s ready and I’m ready. Life just works out that way when you let life unfold as it is intended instead for forcing your will. Let go. Let life.
Will these beta units be upgraded to the same level of reliability and functionality as the final production units? Or will you swap them out to final units once everything is dialed in?
Stay tuned for lots more detail on the beta program. Draft post on that is going through the Friendly Neighborhood Lawyer right now.
I second (or technically fifth) your proposal.
The boards are set up to provide easy linking to other posts so for anyone who feels up to it linking a question to a thread that already covers it obviously a huge help to people asking the questions but perhaps more importantly also helps keep the threads clean and eliminates the problems that come with having to decide which thread to follow on a specific question.
Hey, this is going to teach me patience. One virtue I do not possess at the moment. At least I will have plenty of time to collect cardboard, leather, wood, and hopefully some focus. There is just too much we can do with the printer.
Like that first Reddit thread that took so much energy.
Yeah, that would be a solid first hand example.
The moment any beta discussion breaks out of these forums to reddit or to some other laser group’s forums, instead of asking “Does the user understand what he is doing” it will jump straight to “Doom and gloom! We were right all along! OMGWTFBBQ VAPORWAREZ!”
I laughed at that L33tSP33K. Thanks Jacob.
Maybe Makers are just generally good/reasonable people? I was actually wondering this exact thing: that the general tone of even disappointment in this forum skews toward the positive. I have seen maybe one badly worded/ unreasonable comment the entire time, and it was very efficiently handled. good work people