Get Paid to be a Beta Tester
Being a beta tester can be a great deal of fun. The software is fairly robust; all of the features are in place and it is functionally complete. This is a good time for the software. It’s time for the final adjustments – no major changes occur at this point.
Can you make a living as a beta tester? Of course you can!
Let’s look at how you can position yourself
The main challenge that you will run into is this: So many people like to play games companies don’t have to pay for outside testing once they reach the Beta phase. So, can you break into this world of free testing and make a living?
Absolutely you can…Here is what you need…
If you’re not, then all of the rest is just fluff. You must be able to test or you won’t add value to the test team. That is the real key here: You must add value!
The first step will be to ensure that you know what you are doing when it comes to Software Quality Assurance Testing. You should have the experience to know how to find a bug, log a bug, regress a bug, and write and send a report that really adds value.
All of this is really basic tester stuff, but is the foundation of being taken seriously. If someone is going to pay you to be a beta tester for them, you will need to provide value. You must bring something to the table that they are not already getting from their FREE beta testers. What you must bring is high-value work.
You have to be able to find more and better bugs than the free testers. You have to be able to submit those bugs in a clear and concise manner to the developers. You need to have the expertise to enhance the testing that is already underway. And you must do all this without supervision.
Since they are already getting video game beta testing for free, you will have to overcome this hurdle if you want to get paid. Why should a company pay you for something they are getting for free?
Because you are a great tester? Oh yeah? Prove it!
In order to get them to pay you to be a beta tester, you will have to sell yourself. You need to convince them that the work you will provide will be superior. You must illustrate the value that you bring to the project.
Think about it; How can you best package yourself for sale as a game beta tester? What makes you special?
Here is a list of questions that you need to answer so you know how to package yourself for sale as a beta tester. Look at each one separately and write down an answer. If once you have completed the list you think you need more answers or different perspective, then take the list and ask a close friend. They will be able to give you a different view.
The key word in that last question is relevant. It won’t help you to tell your prospective employer about the guilds you have belonged to or the quests that you have completed. You need to approach that question from a game skills and experience perspective.
Why? Because the point is to sell your gaming experience as it relates to testing. Any other gaming references you make you sound like that’s where you’ll spend your time and effort once you are playing their game. Telling a prospective buyer that you were the cofounder of 3 guilds and that you led your clan on 15 weeklong quests, or that you moderated chatrooms and maintained order…none of these things is a selling point.
If that is the way you have spent your time gaming in the past, why should they believe that you will spend your time differently as a beta tester? That is the perception of a “gamer” applying for a testing position that you need to overcome. By all means let them know what you appreciate about their games and what types of testing you perceive would be of value – but don’t tell them about the guild you are going to start to help you with testing!
Ok. If you’re with me so far…
You know you can test – you have the experience and the expertise.
To make an impact and separate yourself from the crowd…
Know the Demographic
Now this means probably that you need to do a little research. Fortunately, there is a ton of information on the internet for you to reference. If you are applying to test a game that you will enjoy, then you probably are the target market. This can make learning more about your own demographic interesting.
Yes, this does take some work. But remember…
No one else can do your pushups for you
Start with those questions. As you begin to dig, you will find other information that you can wield to help sell yourself. You will find what features and functionality the target market are clamoring for. You will learn why they enjoy the games and what they are looking for in the next one.
As you build your knowledgebase, don’t forget to check in on forums and message boards that discuss games that are like the one you are applying for. Here you will get firsthand information about the demographic you are researching.
File away as much information as you can manage. Learn everything you can about your target market so that you are as knowledgeable as the company you are hoping to help. Once you are up to speed on the target demographic, you will be able to sell yourself to any company making a game that sells to them.
See how this works? You do the work one time. You prepare yourself by becoming extremely knowledgeable about a specific demographic. You then approach a company when you are ready to make your pitch. If they decide hire you as a beta tester, GREAT! But if they don’t…is it over?
Of course not! You have the knowledge you need to approach any company that makes games in the genre you have researched – OR – that makes games for the demographic you have researched – OR – both.
If you are a skilled tester, understand what value you bring to the table, and know a specific (and profitable) demographic inside-out…then it’s just a matter of time. You land a paying gig as a beta tester because you are prepared. You just need to find the right opportunity.
Take the time to invest in yourself. If you want to be a beta tester, then get started today! Develop your testing expertise – Find what makes you unique – Know a demographic!
Prepare to succeed!