Beta testing is the second phase of software/hardware testing. Alpha testing is the first phase.
It’s not the final phase and many things may still change in both hardware and software, depending on the outcome of the Beta testing and other factors.
Many companies do Beta testing of their products both on site and off site. This helps them see things from an outside
view and gives them a broader target perspective. Sometimes, the engineers get so focused on a big bug, that they might overlook a smaller bug. Or they become so used to the process that it becomes “second nature” to them. This is where the” Beta tester” fits the role. They see the product from a new perspective, have no idea how to use it, Have to figure things out, find bugs, keep track of said bugs, repeat bug process and report back to QA in a timely manner. They are working with software/hardware that is a Work In Progress and does fail all the time. (Think half way through a 30min job and the printer just stalls).
The testers sometimes see features that might not make it into the final version and this puts them in a very stressful place. They want that feature to work, keep testing it, but the bug is just not going away or cannot be resolved. This becomes very frustrating but a good tester knows, that is the whole point of the job. Now let’s say you have 50 testers… That’s a lot of eyes.
This brings us to the Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA)
You can read a full description here:
But in short, the main point is not to keep secrets from the people that bought a Glowforge, but to keep any rumors from spreading.
An example would be:
If a tester said “Cutting ¼ acrylic on my GF, settings at 50% power 100% speed is producing .1” kerf”, It could be taken out of context and somehow made into a “as a matter of fact”, When it could have been the tester simply picked the wrong settings.
I hope this helps some of the members understand the process more.