You’d really need feedback from the SUF team as to what sort of things they expect to be testing and where it may take effect, but…
I worked at a software developer for a lot of years and have beta tested other sports products and my guidance would be:
Reasons to participate in beta testing:
- You get to see new features early
- You get to play an active part in helping the company make a better product for all of us
- Er, the benefits they have offered for people participating
Things to consider as part of beta testing:
- You need to pay more attention to the app and your use of it
- When you get unexpected behaviour, you need to take note of it, when it happened, what was different to normal, what you may have been able to do to fix it and you need to report that back
- If you’re not prepared to actively communicate back to the team regarding the behaviours of the software, then don’t participate because you’re taking up a space and just getting to see “cool new stuff” isn’t the point, you’re supposed to be providing feedback
Reasons not to participate in beta testing:
- You’re actively training for something important and your training is more important than some additional future features. Yes, there is the possibility you get an update that breaks training sessions. If you can’t afford a potentially messed up schedule, don’t
- You only use the app occasionally and you may not even use it in one of the windows they want a feature tested.
- You don’t want to have to actively report information back
Participating in testing is cool, you get to see some new things early, you get to help out, you get to feel part of the team, but it can also affect the stability of the product, there will rarely be truly ground-breaking features added, anything that is worth adding will come to the end-users once it’s stable anyway.
If you’re in a training plan you want to stick to without any worry or interruption, you’re not sure you’ll be using it very much or you don’t really fancy having to report incidents in detail and potentially respond to further questions, then there are almost certainly enough users who aren’t in a 100% committed plan, are going to use it regularly and will report their issues that you don’t need to worry and you will see the benefits of the good additions once they are stable anyway.
Participate if: You can cope with an occasionally broken session, will use the app regularly and will communicate
Don’t participate if: A broken session actually matters to you currently, you don’t use the app that often or you just want to see cool things but not respond to the developer