I do not think it’ll surprise anyone who has participated in the QA community in recent months when I say, “Testdays are broken!”. They no longer seem to be the energetic, robust, purposeful events they were in the past. This happened for a variety of reasons, not least of which was that we lost sight of the value these events provided to Mozilla and our volunteers. We need to refocus these events, to build a more vibrant and purposeful program that serves to mentor, to establish relationships, and to enable people to contribute in meaningful ways.
Reversing the Tide
It is not enough for a couple people within Mozilla to try to reform this program; we tried this numerous times and failed. The only way we solve this problem is by working together. We need your help and support to make this program a success. Internally, a couple of us have been brainstorming and we’ve come up with an extensive list describing what we believe to be working and what isn’t, and some ideas of new things to try.
Our goal for this quarter is to get help from you, our community, to determine our vision of what this program can and should be, to define a strategy to realize that vision, and to resolve some of the lowest hanging fruit. To this end, our first priority is to create a platform for conversation, to share experiences, and to start working together to solve our problems.
The community remains, and has always been, one of the biggest contributors to Mozilla’s success. We could not push Firefox and the Web forward at the speed and level of quality the world has come to expect without your support and contributions. Testdays have always been intended as a “gateway” to contribution and this will not change. We are hoping to fix the program without disrupting current activity and opportunity.
Calls to Action
To kick things off, we have a few calls to action we need you to take:
1. Fill out our meeting survey so we can determine a day/time for a new weekly meeting. This meeting will be a place for everyone with a vested interest to voice their concerns and to get their questions answered. We’ll be meeting Thursdays at 9am PDT (UTC -7) until we get enough feedback to set something more official.
2. Review our wiki to get a sense of what we’ve brainstormed so far. We will continually review and update this strategy as feedback is collected and as things evolve.
3. Update our etherpad with your feedback, questions, and suggestions. We will be reviewing this periodically to integrate into the strategy. Here are example some questions to help get you thinking:
- Why don’t you attend testdays?
- Why don’t you host your own testdays?
- What do you like about testdays?
- What don’t you like about testdays?
- What would you like to see in testdays?
4. If you plan to participate in the upcoming QA work week we’ll be having a session to review the feedback so far and to kick off some discussions. Think about what you want to contribute to our vision and bring them to this session. We’ll try our best to make this session remotely accessible for those of you unable to attend in person.
5. Continue to participate in and organize testdays, and encourage your friends to participate.
We’ll be meeting on Thursday July 17 at 9am PDT (UTC -7) to kick things off. I hope you’ll join us over the coming days, weeks, and months making this program a great way to contribute to Mozilla and to the QA team.