It can be tough putting together a good closed beta testing pool if you’re a small developer. Perhaps especially so if you’re developing for Mac, which, despite recent advances, still has a smaller overall user base to draw from than Windows. Sure you can offer incentives, and try to use your own network, friends, and families, but there’s now an easier (if slightly more expensive) way.
MacDeveloper, a recently founded Mac testing community, wants to bring developers together with motivated, responsible beta testers. They do so through their website which allows individual testers to register and become part of a pool, which is made available to developers. Sign up is free for individual testers, but developers have to pay a $16.75 to set up what MacDeveloper calls a “Project Channel,” basically a home page and server space to house your development project.
The site is built around a rewards model for beta testers, and has a points system in place whereby you can earn free software or discounts based on your testing contribution. Testers also obviously get early looks at upcoming software, which is always a big incentive for Mac users involved in the development community.
Testers can also earn “Star Ratings” by becoming a “Quality Tester” through positive developer feedback, which grants even more benefits. If they wish, developers can limit their search to Quality Testers, in order to help ensure that those working on their product are interested and engaged.
As of this writing, MacDeveloper currently has a beta pool of 442 testers, though only 10 project channels are currently active. 88 developers have signed up. If you have a project you’d like tested, it might be a good idea to get in now, since there seems to be an imbalance on the side of available testers.