SDLC IX : Beta Release

This is part 9 of a 13 part series.

After the alpha run, the results are analyzed. The failures are evaluated and a new strategy is worked out to add more robustness, add more presentable cosmetic changes and verify the compliance with the original idea. The biggest failure at this stage is an issue that demands redesign, slightly more acceptable is redevelopment and minor fixes being most desirable. The beta release is ideally the product itself only tagged beta version as a respect for unknown and a way to tackle the unaccounted.

After graduation from academia, first reality check in the industry is the review/appraisal process. Another broken metric but just an extension of the basic ranking system student has been gauged on previously in educational life, only difference being the personal touch of management delivering the verdict in person. The general performance as expected is average for most, the well known reasons being lack of direction and over confident attitude. The two factors that hamper learning and hence growth. Some mentors are kind enough to present a reasonable argument to improvise in current job but the rest just don’t care.

The alpha phase can last for a lifetime for some and just a few months in some cases. The outliers can be disciplined enough to enter this beta state directly post testing. But the majority is still the alpha task force. The diverse nature of this sample demands more sophisticated tools. This sparse set tends to present some well know workarounds in general.

Considering a 2-3 year professional, the escape route is either a post graduate course or a job change. Job changes are often based on current skill set, which already lacks the punch. So for majority it is again finance driven and a step back into the alpha zone. For those who chose to make decision on a rational basis by justifying their choice based on their long term career goal successfully enter the beta phase.
If the aspirant enters the academic arena again, there are two most likely possibilities. If the goal is to increase monetary worth using the degree then they go back to testing phase and repeat the whole cycle again, the redesign mistake. If they really go to academia with a purpose to learn then it is the redevelopment path and gives hope of getting back a more prepared professional in future, then it is beta phase.

There are few more permutations of these options like entrepreneurship, but the general outline of alpha failures is applied there too. The ones who often prosper during the beta phase are the ones who realize the systems failure in nurturing them and grab the opportunity to redefine themselves with more meaningful skills. These few are the professionals who inherit the reins of innovators in every generation in every industry. These beta professionals are not just educated, but enlightened enough due to work experience. Now, able to appreciate the vast nature of their field of work and steps they need to take, not just to stay competent in the field but to contribute back to progress of field as well. These are the people making the right shift as mentioned in chapter 2. They are the one who need to be the majority, for the world to be a better place.

The second category is the remaining of the alphas who have outlived their initial utility for the industry. They mostly choose to reconsider their situation based on finances. A resume update is the first step towards bursting the bubble they have create over the years in some delusion of being intellectually superior. The application process provides a reality check and mostly it is too late to take any action to move to beta. The realization and social pressure decrease their efficiency even further and result in a left drift in the intellectual curve of second chapter.

Unfortunately, industry cannot cut their profits by letting go the left drifters as the replacement are going to come from an already decaying and even badly broken education system. Hence the trend continues and the left drifters being the majority dictate the policies which stifle the right drifters even further. This battle of alphas and betas is defining the industry and innovation. The future of next generation is based on who are able to project themselves as the majority, the stagnant alphas or the dynamic betas.

This is the defining clash of ideologies where the shortcomings of all systems involved in upbringing of a human being are showcased. This is the battle of values and work ethics. The next generation looks up to these two categories and demands for convincing arguments why they should join one of them. The unfortunate part is that alphas have majority and too much time to cajole the newer recruits and the betas are too busy to defend the attrition of their forces. The ability to pick sides based on reason cannot be taught in a day, the education is responsible for building it over the years. And that is how the education system, the social structure imposed by parents and a blind eye of betas spells doom by allowing the alphas to multiply year after year.

The alphas will always exist but them being in majority is the concern. The change cannot happen in a day but cannot wait a single day either, it is already too late. Each individual needs to take time and think if they have turned into an alpha, if so start fixing the issue at individual level, the system will tip in a positive direction eventually.

Click here to read part x : User Acceptance Testing.

SDLC Series iterator : I : Preface , II : Introduction , III: Normal Perspective , IV: Requirements Gathering , V: Functional Specifications , VI : Development , VII : Testing , VIII : Alpha Release , IX : Beta Release , X : UAT , XI : Migration , XII : Release Notes , XIII : EOF , Book Shelf: Bibliography

Human by default, Engineer by Education and Programmer by Choice. This blog is digital diary for all the technical information parsed while solving problems at work. Targeted purely as a collection of the basics that are independent of employment status and designations, but some how are most crucial in defining career and inspiring growth. If anything unique is found here then it is definitely by accident !!


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