Have you ever wondered what the terms alpha and beta meant in software testing? And what about the gamma? Well, alpha (α) and beta (β) are the first two letters of the Greek alphabets, and may be that’s the reason why they are termed as the first and second phase of software testing. These terms originate back from the time the first commercial data processing machines were used. The hardware first went through an initial alpha test for testing the preliminary functionality of the product. Then came into existence the beta test which included people other than the developers to verify the end-user functionality.
Let us understand each aspect of all of the 3 software testing phases:
Alpha testing is a type of internal testing performed for Commercial off-the-shelf software (COTS) by a highly skilled group of testers and engineers at the developing site to find bugs that were initially not found. This dedicated team observes the products behavior and notes down the differences. It usually involves testing the product by imitating the real user environment by carrying out tasks that an actual user might perform. Once the software passes the alpha test, it is considered fit to be used for the next phase, i.e. beta testing.
The term ‘alpha’ can be differentiated based on the projects it is used for. In case of a web application, alpha testing can be interpreted as an online application that has access via personal invitation, to gather initial feedbacks from the users for improvement and bugs.
Pros of Alpha Testing
Cons of Alpha Testing
The Beta testing basically deals with imitating the end users input to ensure release readiness. It’s considered as the last stage of testing and includes distributing the products to beta test sites and individual users. Some other tests may also include testing a free trial of the product downloaded from the internet. The product is then tested by users in real time to find bugs that are left to be fixed. It is also used to determine the quality of the product.
Beta testing also includes many sub tests if required, for some software’s, particularly for PC games. These tests are known as Open beta tests and closed beta test. The closed beta test is followed immediately after the alpha test ends and is limited to only a few selected beta testers. The latter that includes testing by the general public is then known as the open test.
Pros of beta testing
Cons of Beta testing
Many of us have been turning around the term ‘Gamma’ thinking about its importance. It is the third and final testing phase just before the release of the app.
Since being the final phase of the testing, Gamma does not include any enhancements and changes to be made to the product, only the part of the code that is wicked or tending to affect the performance of the product can be changed. It validates the performance and functionality of the product making sure the product is completely ready for use by the end user.
Pros of Gamma testing
Cons of Gamma testing
Software testing is as important as any other process of the software development. It not only helps you gain confidence in your build, but also ensures a flawless experience for the market. So next time, don’t forget to do your homework about alpha, beta and gamma testing for improved quality.