Before every release, Oracle runs the NetCat test program. This is a quick introduction on what it is, why it matters, and why you should consider getting involved.
What is NetCat?
Once Oracle have finished internally testing the next release of NetBeans, they ask volunteers to test the new release. And they endeavor to fix any bugs found before the official release.
If you are a software developer, you will know that it is only when the other people start using your application (and running it in lots of different ways on many different systems) that you find those low level bugs in the code. Ideally you want this to happen before the official release when lots of people start using it…
Why it matters?
NetBeans is a critical application for Java (and non-Java!) developers so a new version which is robust and works reliably is critical.
So what’s in it for me?
So, you can see why NetCat is important, but why should you bother? Why not just leave it to other people? At IDRsolutions, we get involved in testing for these reasons:-
1. It means that we can insure the next release will work for us (because we tested the features we use every day in the way we use them).
2. It means we get far more done with NetBeans IDE. Sitting down with a test schedule means you actually try features in NetBeans and discover lots of time-saving and useful features and really get to know the IDE which easily repays the time spent.
3. It allows us to get our voice heard in Oracle. We get to make lots of suggestions and put forward ideas on how we would like to see the NetBeans IDE develop.
4. It allows us to meet lots of other developers at Oracle and the NetBeans community. And they know who we are.
5. And there is usually some cool swag. (just a note the small size on the tee-shirt really is small).
How do people get involved?
Details on how to sign-up are on Geertjan’s blogpost on NetCat.