Earlier today, Koushik Dutta’s latest app, Vysor was leaked by someone on Reddit. Koush is being a good sport about this and providing insight via Google+. Nonetheless, I feel it is important to say a word or two about what it means to be a tester.
When someone asks you to test their product, whether that is an app or a device, they are asking for your implicit trust. Sometimes it comes along with a free version of the product, the experience of using a product before anyone else, direct input to get features or functionality you desire, or nothing at all. At the end of the day you are the person agreeing to help out testing either for something or for free.
When you go ahead and leak the beta link to an app, as what happened in this case, or photos of a to be released product, or anything really you are violating that trust. You are also burning a silly amount of bridges. Furthermore, you’re being a total jerk. You agreed to help someone by testing their thing, then you steal or post pictures of the thing.
I can guarantee you that nobody will want that person to help with anything secretive again. They were invited to a beta testing group, and they blew apart the test. This also made Koush have to take responsibility for actions that were not his own and have to answer a ton of questions that, from the wording of posts, he was not ready to answer yet. That person was not thinking of the overall process of making a cool thing or the consequences Koush would have to face down the road.
Perhaps part of this is that indie developers or big companies need to screen their testers better. I would be remiss in not saying that for sure. At the end of the day, however, it is up to the people entrusted to do the thing they said they would do. This means not leaking the hell out of it on Reddit or anywhere else.
If you are ever invited to help test something, keep in mind the negative effects of leaking said something. Not only do you make the creator have to be on the spot, answer questions they are not prepared to and possibly change or negate the entire project. Not only do you now create an influx of people using a “not ready for prime time” product which can influence development time. Not only, as in this case, have you now flooded a dev with a zillion more bug reports than they would have to deal with otherwise. Oh no, that’s not all. Most importantly you look untrustworthy and shady. Nobody will ever ask you to do anything with that level of trust again. And for what? All you’ve gained is 30 seconds of internet fame.
Pro tip, folks: If you want 30 seconds of internet fame, create something like Chocolate Rain. You won’t look nearly as bad and people probably won’t hate you. You may even be asked to do something like that again.