Just finished prepping for the next community test meeting

December 3, 2008 – 11:33 pm

Ok, help I’m not quite done preparing for the meeting, but I know what I need to do to get ready for it, and I’m psyched. This is our next community testing meeting (focused on Sugar Activity testing – today, Thursday 12/04, in #olpc-meeting, join us!) To understand why, first look at The Law Of Two Feet, then read on for an excerpt from the meeting announcement email…

This meeting is a little different from the ones we’ve had before… at any given moment in the meeting hour, everyone should be engaged and getting something out of it – with all the work you’re putting in, it’s the least we can do to try to make that happen. Conversely, it means that if you’re there and don’t announce yourself as a lurker, I’m going to assume you’re listening and want to be constantly engaged, and act accordingly… Instead of status updates [and action items], we’ll spend our time on decision-making, discussions, reviews, and brainstorms – things that really need the whole group present.

Here’s the entire email for the whole context of how that’s going to happen. We’ve got a brainstorm planned to smoke out Activity testing blockers. For folks who might be slightly rusty on their brainstorming, check out the brainstorming rules that we’ll be using; they feature dragons. (Pony-eating ones, of course.)


My job is to enable people to test the things they want to test. (Er, OLPC-related things. I’d like to test chocolate cake too, but until we find a way to make it an Activity…) So. How can I help you?

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  1. 2 Responses to “Just finished prepping for the next community test meeting”

  2. Mel, how about that part of your job that requires testing of something created by OLPC itself? Can I count on your help?

    By Joe on Dec 4, 2008

  3. All of the things we’ve been creating and testing in the OLPC Community Test team are created by OLPC – we’re a community, and it doesn’t matter if code we ship is written by an engineer at 1cc or as a high school student’s hobby. It’s the same code.

    Actually, a good distinction to make might be testing of things formally supported by OLPC-the-organization vs things that aren’t. My personal thoughts are that OLPC staff testing resources should be focused towards testing things that we support, because that’s how we make sure that we keep the promises we’re making.

    For that reason, the OLPC Community Test team’s work on Activity testing is something that I’m hoping to transition upstream to Sugar Labs as soon as possible – we’re working with them now to help the Sugar Labs Bugsquad start up and build capacity so that the handoff can be smooth. While Activities aren’t formally supported by OLPC-the-organization’s technical support, they’re a large part of the customer experience, so it’s worth our while to make sure that the testing of Activities is handled well – and handled well by Someone Else.

    Some of the things that OLPC supports can’t easily be tested by most of our volunteers. Large-scale system tests involving many XOs and particular networking configurations, for example. I’m a strong believer that people should first do the things that only they can do; that’s the reason why I’m so driven to help our testing community build their capacity to help us. The more we let them help, the more we’ll be able to not do what they’re doing – and the more we’ll be able to focus on the things that only we can do.

    Hm, that was a good mindstretch. Thanks for the seed.

    [Edit: Michael Stone points out that I should have clarified my point on large-scale testing by volunteers - I believe volunteers can do large-scale testing (indeed, I can't think of any testing that they wouldn't be able to do). A better phrasing of my point would be to say "some of the things that OLPC supports can't easily be tested by most of our volunteers because OLPC has not provided them with the resources that they would need to do so; the volunteers themselves are able." Thanks, Michael.]

    By Mel on Dec 4, 2008

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