Strategies for Testing in the Real World

So, in the latest SitePoint Mobile Newsletter (You can read it here), I wanted to get some discussion started about how to test ‘in the real world’.

How to prevent so many of these problems we still see once the masses get their hands on software or hardware? How to identify them before a launch?

Your thoughts and advice please!

I always thought that was what “Beta” was for. i.e.
Alpha - “in-house dev and testing”
Beta - a limited number “real” users
Release - it’s out there baby!

Indeed, but have betas worked that well recently?

As far as developing I think they have been helpful for ny own code.

First, I should state that I’ve always done coding solo, not in a team environment.
I work something up to a point where I think I’ve got everything smoothed out,
-But- I can usually only see things based on my use and how I think things should work, and whatever I can imagine others use and expectations might be.
If I could “call others over into my cubicle” it would be different, but having a Beta allows me to get input from others about things I could never ever have imagined.

True, many are reluctant to go anywhere near anything Beta. And not entirely without justification. I certainly wouldn’t be happy if I tried somehing that trashed anything because of developer oversight.

From my limited experience, most of the feedback has been for feature requests. Feature creep results in code bloat so it is important to know when to draw a line. You can’t please everyone all of the time, so some balance is needed if one wants to retain sanity. But yes, for me Beta versions have been helpful.