Alpha Version

An alpha version is usually an initial release of software, designed to assess its usability and interface.

What Is an Alpha Version?

The term ‘alpha’ came from the first letter of the Greek alphabet, used by scientists to denote which experiments must be tested by further research.

Alpha is a version of something that is not complete or ready for release. Alpha versions are typically preliminary versions of software, released to test its usability and interface. 

Alpha testing is often done with a small group outside the organization that developed the product (often under strict confidentiality agreements) and sometimes distributed as a form of beta testing to outside volunteers or through market research firms.

Alpha testing typically starts when the development team thinks they have something ready to test. It continues throughout the development cycle until all identified bugs have been dealt with. When people refer to something as an “alpha product,” they’re usually mean that the product has been tested at least once, but may still contain bugs and doesn’t have documents to support the QA.

It doesn’t involve much market research, but some basic A/B testing. The tester group might be shown different landing page versions or receive slightly different value propositions than other testers to gauge which version performs better. In addition, because this is an early release, testers will typically have fewer expectations about how the product should work or how they’re supposed to use it. They’re often more willing to provide feedback on parts of the product that seem buggy, confusing, or hard to use than the users who have been using the same interface for months.

Difference Between Alpha and Beta Version Testers

Alpha is the first testing phase. The public isn’t supposed to see or know about it. Alpha-version testers are usually internal staff members or close company partners, such as investors and advisors.

Beta version testers are external people who don’t work closely with the company. Beta versions are released outside of the company to many users at once to get a broad range of feedback on how well the program works and what features need to be improved.

What Is Included in an Alpha Version?

Alpha versions are the first versions of a product. This is where you will find the most bugs and problems, but in rare cases, some alpha versions can be very stable.

An alpha version usually includes all of the basic features a program will contain when it comes out of beta testing. Still, it rarely includes all of the features available in the final released product. Some alpha versions include only a few features in comparison to what will eventually be in the final release.

The time frame for alpha releases varies significantly for each product, but it is typically several months before the beta version is released.

It is said that if your alpha version is too bug-free, it means you didn’t get enough feedback from your testers and you should ask for more testing.