The most time-consuming part of creating new software is not writing code at all, but the process of debugging and fixing bugs. Code is written by people, and people can’t help but make mistakes. According to statistics, there are from 5 to 15 errors for every thousand lines of code, and catching these errors takes the lion’s share of time. That’s what debugging is for. What is alpha and beta testing, we will now find out.

Primary debugging of the code goes in parallel with its writing, and the programmers themselves do it. As soon as the individual software modules are ready, they go to the developer’s full-time testers, who begin to check them using special automated testing systems. Usually, a certain set of parameters is set at the input of a program module, while it is known what should be at the output if the program works correctly. If the output is different, the tester starts looking for bugs using bug trackers and detectors.

What is Alpha testing?

Alpha testing is the stage of debugging and testing the alpha version of the program, and the people who will be testing it are alpha testers. These may be full-time testers of the company or people who work under a contract, but these are qualified specialists who can work with specialized software and use special techniques.

When the alpha version is finished, the beta version is released . It is a real working version of the program with full functionality. And the task of beta tests is to evaluate the capabilities and stability of the program from the point of view of its future users. Therefore, the role of beta testers is simply invited to people who have experience with programs of this type or, even better, with a previous version of the same program. Typically, companies already have a certain circle of people with whom they constantly cooperate.

What is Beta testing?

Beta testing is the stage of debugging and testing the beta version of the program, that is, the almost working version that end users will see.

And finally, open beta testing (OBT) can be announced, when everyone is invited to the role of beta testers. To connect to this process, it is usually enough to leave a request on the manufacturer’s website and fill out a questionnaire.

Some deviation from the above order is allowed by companies that produce online games. They often begin to involve their future users in testing even at the alpha testing stage. This is due to the peculiarities of programming online games. The game world consists of a huge number of maps, characters, weapons, items, but the “playability” of the new world can be checked even with a minimum set of all of the above. This allows you to involve gamers in the early stages of the project.

I must say that developers do not lack those who want to take part in such work – gamers are gambling people and everyone wants to be the first to get acquainted with a new game. This kind of cooperation is beneficial for both parties, because corrections are easier to make in the process of work, and not when it is already completed, and the comments and wishes of users help to make the game better and more interesting.

And when it comes to open beta testing, there is generally no end to those who want to. Among other things, the manufacturer usually saves beta testers after the transition to the final version of their achievements and regalia earned during testing. As a result, they have a considerable head start compared to other players, not to mention the earned gaming experience.

Now you know what alpha testing and beta testing are, tell your friends about it, they will surely be interested!

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