QA Staff Meeting 2011-07-20

Owen Coutts [:ocoutts]

Continuing with our initiative to post our meeting notes on QMO – here is a distillation of what we talked about in our QA Staff meeting. Our staff meetings are bi-weekly and allow us to keep ourselves informed about the status of the QA org as a whole.

These were our topics:

  •  Testdays
  • Working with outsourcing
  • Whois Page

Today’s discussion centered around test days and how we can continue to work towards improving them. Some people feel that we could be doing different types of testing. The following ideas were suggested:

  • More general Firefox testing (reaches a broader audience)
  • More specialized testing (based on an individual products or features)
  • Focus around new features and new experiments in Firefox
  • More exploratory and open-ended testing.

What do you think? If you have any suggestions we would love to hear from you.

From a technical standpoint we’ve started to find that our testdays are most effective when we target the Aurora branches. We wanted to move away from testing nightlies because bugs often end up blocking that we’re already working on a fix for or aware of.

One of our challenges as a QA team is effectively communicating with our outsourcing teams in Romania. We were finding that we lacked two way communication and trust. Often times we would find out that people had been blocked on a task and found out later that they felt uncomfortable reaching out to us for help. Marlena started doing quick “standups” with all the engineers working on testing the AMO project. Standups are extremly quick meetings where people addressed three questions: What happened yesterday? What are you going to do today? What’s blocking you? By asking the question in a real time meeting we were able to get much better feedback and start to develop a relationship that was much more in line with how we felt our teams should cooperate. Though it was a sacrifice to schedule a meeting at such an awkward time it is a model we are thinking about growing beyond the AMO team.

We’ve started a whois page! This is to give everyone a little more information about who is working on what project and how you can reach them. It should be a great resource for anyone looking for some help on a specific project.

You can read more about our team by team updates on our wiki at

As a final note, I’d like to welcome David Clarke to Mozilla. He will be working on automation frameworks for the automation and services team as an employee.