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An interview with a Closed Beta tester

With over 300 people and growing, the Closed Beta Testing program is at the heart of how users help shape OxygenOS. This group operates in absolute secrecy, as testers will often get builds and features weeks or even months before they are released to the public. Not much is known about it or even who is part of it, but, today, we invited CosmicPaladin, a Closed Beta tester and longtime community member, to tell us a bit more about his experience.

David Monteiro: Hi CosmicPaladin! Can you tell us a bit more about yourself?

CosmicPaladin: I am a Global Product Manager in Rakuten, based out of India. Am very passionate about UI/UX, gadgets, tech, product evolution et al. I am driven by music, travelling around the world, photography, running, reading and jamming up with folks around the world for endless conversations!

How did you come to know about OnePlus and why did you join the Community?

I saw some conversations on XDA forums going on about this OnePlus company, that was going to shake up the smartphone industry. I got the invite for the OnePlus One even before it was launched in India. Before that, I saw the daring ads, the Never Settle philosophy, the company being built in Shenzhen, about Pete, Carl, and the global team that was being formed there. Everything was so refreshing!

Many people from OnePlus – abroad and here in Indian office – were so passionate about what was being built. The community too, was different – they weren’t the typical ones who’d line up just for freebies. They were the ones who came from different professions but with a common goal of sharing knowledge, being creative and before I knew it, we were one big family connected to each other by the “Never Settle” philosophy. I started interacting the staff, ran unofficial photowalks around the world and it was such an enriching experience! OnePlus is one company that is open to critical feedback and that is why I love being part of it. Any given time, I can talk to anyone from the staff (even Pete!), and tell them what I feel, what can be made better, and share cool things we can do.

How would you describe the CBT program, to someone who knows zero about it?

In simple terms, it’s like a “DIY” lab. A little bit of tech, a little fun, lots of brain picking and tons of cool experiments that lead to some of the coolest insights in building a good operating system. And the prize of being part of it is getting the information first-hand, before anyone else. It’s a rollercoaster ride, and your phone is going to love it!

Do you have any funny or interesting story from the CBT program? Tell us!

One of the most interesting stories is the evening when Manu told me there is a new app OnePlus is planning and asked if I’d be willing to review the mock ups and provide feedback. I was torn between the choice of watching the India team playing the Cricket World Cup and discussing the new feature. Being able to be part of the process, I jumped into it! We had a very interesting discussion that led to many important pointers. I was a part of building it, making it close to my heart. It’s these things that keep me hooked to OnePlus. If the owners of the programs are willing to go the extra mile of sitting there on a weekend to churn out features for us, it’s something that speaks mile about their hard work.

Can you tell us why you decided to be part of the CBT program?

This program provides a fantastic platform for users to give candid and honest feedback that is then considered by OnePlus to decide if the feature eventually makes it to the final end users. This also provides me an insight into the direction OnePlus is taking, and why. More than anything, it’s my passion to interact closely with the OnePlus development team to help build the features together for the greater good of the product.

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