The people in charge of the quality of Thunderbird , are organizing on a weekly basis a quality team event. These event cover most of the area where quality is involved. This means testing new feature, testing pre-release version of the software, and maintaining the known bug database. If you come to think about it, none of these activities require to be done on a given date, so why bother with an “event” ?
First of All the event is virtual, it happens online – this is for practical reasons, it would be very difficult to have people living in Singapore, the US east coast or The Netherlands to meet and work in the same physical place. We do bother to have an event because sometimes when looking at a problem or at something new being able to ask other if they see the same thing is valuable, because they might know something you don’t or might have encountered the same issue earlier etc … The value of the event is communicating with other people doing the same thing as you do, but with a different perspective. This is specially true for people who want to join. Asking the people that have been doing quality for quite some time will be available to help new comers.
We are using a distributed chat system called IRC, which is available with dedicated clients or through a web interface. As all the people available for a chat are not always in front of the chat window, you might not get an immediate answer. Typing a name a person being in the chat room will help you get noticed and get a faster answer. And don’t be afraid to ask or participate , it’s not that difficult.
Now that you know how those events take place, you might be interested in figuring out the subject that is going to be going on during the event. We publish a wiki page for each event that take place, and we have an other page referencing all past and future events (well most of the future events are being announced on a weekly basis). This week for example will be focused on duplicate events. I’m also announcing the events on Thunderbird dev mailing list.