Want to be a SmartThings beta tester?


(Tim Slagle) #1

Hello SmartThings community!


Do you want to beta test new products and APIs that we are working on at SmartThings? Do you like to keep detailed notes and find all the quirks in products? Do you want to help us make SmartThings even better!?

If you haven’t already I’d like to invite you to fill out our Beta Tester Signup form. This form will let us know a little more about you so we can better match you to specific beta programs we may run in the future. Thanks for taking the time to fill it out! :smile:


##Click Me!


Does Anyone Still Use SmartThings?
Device.statesSince() documentation incomplete?
(The Viking AKA "Holy Crap You're a Giant!") #3

Awesome.
I’m all signed up!

I’m not a developer at all, but I have extensive hardware knowledge and have done large scale product testing in various environments as part of my job. Note taking is a strong suit of mine. :smile:

I love me some SmartThings, and look forward to all sorts of new stuff in the future.


(Jeff DeWolfe) #4

Do existing beta testers need to fill out the form again?


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #5

Is an NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) required for all Beta tests?

Even if required for only some Beta tests, could you please post or link to the NDA so that I can review it before wasting both our time to apply to become a Beta Tester? Thanks!!!

Overly broad scoped NDA’s can be a burden to people that have careers in the tech or consumer products industries as they may affect the signer’s ability to serve their new employer (or self-interests, if self employed).


(Scott G) #6

I’m in if you’ll have me. Not a developer by trade or knowledge; but I know enough to have a very messy IDE! Pretty good with zigbee, and have contributed a couple deviceTypes here.


(Tim Slagle) #7

This would be decided on a case by case basis depending on the type of beta.

If there is an NDA, it would be tailored specific to the beta test at that time. If you wish to not sign it, that choice would entirely yours depending on your current situation at the time.


(Tim Slagle) #8

Please do, we are trying to consolidate information and this one is updated from the previous one.


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #9

Thanks for the response, Tim!

The thing is, I was presented with the NDA after traveling for an hour to Palo Alto (thus, would have had a total 2 hours of wasted time if I didn’t sign), so I’m trying to help myself and others avoid that particular quandary. I felt very pressured to sign the NDA and did not have an attorney available to advise me (which I could have arranged to review the NDA in advance).

I had to write a few emails to even receive confirmation that I could terminate the open-ended scope of the NDA per the clauses that permit this termination.

All this left me with a poor experience as a volunteer contributor and Customer.

BTW: I wrote the person who invited and coordinated the test with me, and never received an apology or acknowledgement of my concerns.


I think there’s a few little things that can be done to greatly improve the experience … hence the questions and feedback I offer here. Legal stuff like this is a formality and a bother; but it has very serious potential implications. I don’t sign stuff lightly.


(jhoff80) #10

You mean, we’re not already all beta testing? :wink:


Release Notes – Platform – 09/06/16
(Tony - SmartThings Unpublished Contributor ) #11

Terry -

My experience was - luckily - somewhat different than yours. I spoke with @April when I received a previous NDA from ST. With her assistance, I was able to limit the scope of the NDA.


(Bobby) #12

You just posted the question that came to my mind when I saw Tim’s post…ha, ha, ha.


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #13

Yes… I didn’t mean to imply that SmartThings couldn’t / won’t be flexible in this regard and I’ve also been given opportunity and appreciation.

I had a specific case with very bad experience when the NDA was sprung on me at the last minute and the test coordinator was unauthorized to make any alterations… Even to clarify the scope.

SmartThings certainly has no ill-intentions in this regard, but the NDAs should be considered a bit of a worrisome burden to participatants and it is to the benefit of SmartThings to minimize this burden… ie, easy language, minimal scope, automatic and short duration termination, and plenty of advance publication so we can all consult with legal advisors if desired.

I was treated very poorly for one particular case. For the other case, I still had to dig through all the clauses in order to find the most expedient scope limitation and termination method.

As a volunteer tester… I shouldn’t have to waste my time or worry on legal issues. I’d prefer no NDA, frankly, but there is middle ground.


(April Wong) #14

:frowning: I hope I didn’t ignore your emails that I wasn’t aware of! (because… that is pretty concerning, the experience, that is.) My heart skips because I’m worried I did that to you- did I?

I’m sorry to hear that one of us dropped the ball of letting participants know ahead of time about the NDA, before even allowing them to go. I understand that there’s more of a process in place now- after a lot of the experiences we did, including betaing-the beta testings ;).

While that admittedly, really sucks, and is a terrible experience for you as the end user - I ~do~ know the visibility of the projects now to flow like this : you fit the criteria > if NDA is required : sign NDA to participate > you can choose to participate this one or not, and if not, you won’t be punished for future testings. Some testings will require an NDA, others won’t.


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #15

It definitely wasn’t you, April. The project we did together was great and everyone was reasonably responsive.

I emailed my concern clearly to the other coordinating individual and received no response.

I’ll presume that was an anomaly and assure everyone this can be a very rewarding fun experience. Just don’t hesitate to ensure folks that they can ask questions regarding the NDA, etc.


(April Wong) #16

PHEW! hahahah. I was SERIOUSLY freaking out here. I like to cross my T’s and dot my i’s… generally stuff does fall through the cracks though - i know especially since I transitioned out of the developer community role.

I’m still very sorry about that experience though - that’s certainly not what we strive for, and because I now know that instance, I can easily go inform the offending party of this, to ensure this doesn’t happen in the future.

Totally! I have to say, I’m really glad there’s people who do question NDA’s and ask for exceptions, etc. While we try to provide the most leeway to allow you to review the NDA as much as possible prior to signing, sometimes, (like another project I saw after I no longer oversaw Betas), the turnaround is super quick- and so we skipped those revising on a first-come basis to fill what we needed. Not ideal, but every time we do these, the more we take our findings and learn - and provide better lead time to allow you to read, consult, and sign without feeling rushed.

Thanks for the feedback! :slight_smile:


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #17

My pleasure, April – And I really super appreciate being genuinely heard. :smiley:

This is the type of statement that gives me a tremendously positive outlook… :sun_with_face: [quote=“April, post:16, topic:30714”]
I have to say, I’m really glad there’s people who do question NDA’s and ask for exceptions, etc.
[/quote]


(Benji) #18

Would love to help out where I can.


(Rpadilla65) #19

I signed up but it seems like you guys are looking more for developers than testers. I test software and hardware for my company but there was no questions about testing, using a test plan with pass/fail, recording steps that cause you the fail for attempting replicating it , etc. Oh well, I signed up anyway.


(Paul Green) #20

May as well. Seeing as we’ve all been unofficial beta testers since the day we brought the godawful starter kit.


(Tony - SmartThings Unpublished Contributor ) #21

I try to dot my T’s and cross my I’s.