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I have several projects coming up soon for public release, both commercial and open source. The projects are all downloadable, not web apps. I've worked on them alone and would like to get feedback during a beta period, but I don't currently have a large audience (though the markets are large). What are the best ways to get participation in the betas? Are there any existing sites or communities that specialize in software testing that I can reach out to? At this point, I'm specifically looking for technical testers who aren't intimidated diving into the code and can help spot security bugs, logical errors, etc.

Edit: I'm looking for websites or communities similar to Invite Share. Invite Share itself would be perfect, but there doesn't seem to be any public information about how to submit a beta.

Bounty Explanation:

While Joel's article on running a beta is helpful, I wonder if there isn't an existing community available for beta testing of any sort, technical or user. As a self-taught and sole developer, I don't have a lot of technical contacts that would be appropriate approaching for testing. I did propose a Beta Testing site in Area 51 a few months ago, but it seems as if it either got buried, there wasn't a whole lot of interest, or it's a poor fit for StackExchange. If you know of existing testing communities, sites like InviteShare, or other ways to get testers, please share.

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possible duplicate of [When is the time right to bring a project to the alpha/beta/public phase? ](programmers.stackexchange.com/questions/2185/…) –  Tom Wijsman Sep 16 '10 at 23:12
    
@Tom - That question only addresses one of my questions, but thanks for linking to it. –  VirtuosiMedia Sep 17 '10 at 0:07
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Your question is too bloated: you should only have one question per...question. Break them out. –  user8 Sep 17 '10 at 2:57
    
Edited to be more focused. –  VirtuosiMedia Sep 19 '10 at 6:32
    
I'm interested in testing.. gfosco@gmail.com –  Fosco Sep 19 '10 at 7:08

3 Answers 3

up vote 5 down vote accepted

What are the best ways to get participation in the betas?

Joel (on Software) has an excellent article on this: Top Twelve Tips for Running a Beta.

Are there any existing sites or communities that specialize in software testing that I can reach out to?

I don't think there will be much "We Test Your Code" sites so you will have to start a webpage yourself and advertise it to the right audience...

At this point, I'm specifically looking for technical testers who aren't intimidated diving into the code and can help spot security bugs, logical errors, etc.

This seems more like a job description that you need technical testers in your company and is less like beta testing, perhaps it can still be alpha testing... But those aren't always technical either.

Test-Driven Development helps you prevent bugs and errors, thinking about the security can help too...

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While I still haven't come across quite as comprehensive as what I'm looking for, many of the websites in this article provide feedback for a design.

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Invite Share handles invites for 37 different services, that's why you can't submit a beta to it... I don't think there is any open beta testing service, I guess it's the best thing to send your beta to several software sites. Sites like FileHippo even allow users to show/hide betas and their updates...

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