Here’s an interesting post by Wil Shipley on beta-testing.
It’s worth pointing out that beta testing is a great way to start a career in software. It looks good on a resume, and it gets you noticed by engineers in your field — if you submit a bunch of bugs to a company, it shows you have a keen eye and understand software, and they are going to remember your name later. Seriously, we’ve always known our top beta-testers by name, and they get much respect; someone might say, ‘Oh, O’Donnel reported a cosmetic bug in the main panel,’ and the engineers would be all, ‘O’Donnel? Dang, I better hop on that!’
And, in turn, lots of the guys I’ve hired over the years first came to our attention as beta testers.
An interesting twist on the topic of dealing with beta-testers.