Monday, March 14, 2016

Reflections

The joys of Spring (or Fall for our friends in the Southern Hemisphere) are now upon us. The change of seasons spurs us to implement our own changes, to start anew. It's a time to reflect on the past, appreciate it, and then do a little Spring cleaning.

As I write this post to you, I'm doing my own reflecting. It's been quite a journey we've undertaken within the QA community. It's not always been easy, but I think we are poised for even greater success with Xenial than Trusty and Precise LTS's. We have continued ramping up our quality efforts to test new platforms, such as the phone and IOT devices, while also implementing automated testing via things like autopkgtest and autopilot. Nevertheless, the desktop images have continued to release like clockwork. We're testing more things, more often, while still managing to raise our quality bar.

I want to thank all of the volunteers who've helped make each of those releases a reality. Oftentimes quality can be a background job, with thank you's going unsaid, while complaints are easy to find. Truly, it's been wonderful learning and hacking on quality efforts with you. So thank you!

So if this post sounds a bit like a farewell, that's because it is. At least in a way. Moving forward, I'll be transitioning to working on a new challenge. Don't worry, I'm keeping my QA hat on, and staying firmly within the realm of ubuntu! However, the time has come to try my hand at a different side of ubuntu. That's right, it's time to head to the last frontier, juju!

I'll be working on improving the quality story for juju, but I believe juju has real opportunities to enable the testing story within ubuntu too. I'm looking forward to the new challenges, and sharing best practices. We're all working on ubuntu at it's heart, no matter our focus.

Moving forward, I'll still be around in my usual haunts. You'll still be able to poke me on IRC, or send me a mail, and I'm certainly still going to be watching what happens within quality with interest. That said, you are much more likely to find me discussing juju, servers and charms in #juju.

As with anything, please feel free to contact me directly if you have any concerns or questions. I plan to wind down my involvement during the next few weeks. I'll be handing off any lingering project roles, and stepping down gracefully. Ubuntu 'Y' will begin anew, with fresh challenges and fresh opportunities. I know there are folks waiting to tackle them!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Prepping for a Summer of Code!

The time to apply is here! Ubuntu has applied for GSOC 2016, but we need project ideas for prospective students, and mentors to mentor them.

What is GSOC?
GSOC stands for Google Summer of Code. The event brings together university students and open source organizations like Ubuntu. It happens over the course of the summer, and mentors mentor students on a one to one basis. Mentors give project ideas, and students select them, pairing up with the mentor to make the idea a reality.

I'll be a mentor!
Mentors need to be around to help a student from May - August. You'll be mentoring a student on the project you propose, so you'll need to be capable of completing the project. As the time commitment is long, it's helpful to have a friend who can pitch in if needed. We've put together all the information you need to know as a mentor on community.u.c, including links to some mentoring guides. This will help give you more details about what to expect.

I'm in. What do I need to do?
To make sure you ideas are included in our application, you need to have them on the Ideas wiki by February 19th, 2016. When you are ready, simply add your idea. It's that simple. Assuming we are accepted as an organization, students will read our ideas, and we'll have a period of time to finalize the details with interested students.

I have a question!
If you have questions about what all this mentoring might entail, feel free to reach out to myself or anyone on the community team. This is a great way to make some needed ideas a reality and grow the community at the same time!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Google Code In 2015: Complete!

Google Code In 2015 is now complete! Overall, we had a total of 215 students finish more than 500 tasks for ubuntu! The students made contributions to documentation, created wallpapers and other art, fixed Unity 7 issues, hacked on the core apps for the phone, performed tests, wrote automated and manual tests, and worked on tools like the qatracker. A big thank you to all of the students and mentors who helped out.

Here's our winners!

 * Daniyaal Rasheed
 * Matthew Allen

And our Finalists

 * Evan McIntire
 * Girish Rawat
 * Malena Vasquez Currie

The students amazed everyone, myself included, with the level and skill they displayed in there work. You all should be very proud. It was lovely to have you as part of the community, and I've been delighted to see some of your faces sticking around and still contributing! Thank you, and welcome to the community!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Google Code In: Week One Summary

As we are now one week in, I thought I would give a little update on what's been happening inside Ubuntu for Google Code In (GCI). This is Ubuntu's first time as a GCI mentoring organization, and so far it's been a wonderful experience! I want to thank all the mentors and students who have already completed tasks for the greater Ubuntu community.

In the numbers
How about some raw numbers from the first week:

- More than 200 active students worked on tasks for ubuntu
- More than 30 mentors are lending there expertise and help on tasks
- 182 tasks were completed by students

That last number makes us the organization with the most tasks completed thus far. Amazing. It was a very busy week for everyone and the numbers help verify that. I've personally been blow away at some of the work the students have been able to accomplish already.

Details, please!
To name just a few cool tasks that have already landed, we have a wonderful new Bacon2D tutorial, HTML5 theming has gotten some love, and we've gotten some new inspired designs and bug fixes for the core apps. On the quality side of things, we've gotten new manual test runs for images and packages, the QATracker has seen a slew of long-standing bugs get fixed, and lest you think the desktop got left out, even Unity7 is receiving attention and getting bugs like this one fixed! That's on top of all the introductions in the the community, new installs, and socializing that has happened during the week.

If you are a high school student, I encourage you to check out GCI and consider participating with any of the great organizations available to mentor you in a variety of tasks. For those already a part of GCI, I invite you to check out what we have to offer within the ubuntu community. I look forward to meeting and working with you on some fun tasks.

And finally for who are ubuntu community members, it's not too late to become a mentor and be a part of this event. We are still welcoming new mentors and new tasks. Get in touch with myselfpopey, or José who can get you started.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Google Code In 2015

As you may have heard, ubuntu has been selected as a mentoring organization for Google Code In (GCI). GCI is a opportunity for high school students to learn about and participate in open source communities. As a mentoring organization, we'll create tasks and review the students work. Google recruits the students and provides rewards for those who do the best work. The 2015 contest runs from December 7, 2015 to January 25, 2016.



Are you excited?
On December 7th, we'll be gaining a whole slew of potential contributors. Interested students will select from the tasks we as a community have put forth and start working them. That means we need your help to both create those tasks, and mentor incoming students.

Mentoring!?
I know, I know, it sounds like work. And it is a bit of work, but not as much as you think. Mentors need to provide a task description and be available for questions if needed. Once the task is complete, check the work and mark the task complete. You can be a mentor for as little as a single task. The full details and FAQ can be found on the wiki. Volunteering to be a mentor means you get to create tasks to be worked, and you agree to review them as well. You aren't expected to teach someone how to code, write documentation, translate, do QA, etc, in a few weeks. Breathe easy.

You can help!
I know there is plenty of potential tasks lying in wait for someone to come along and help out. This is a great opportunity for us as a community to both gain a potential contributor, and get work done. I trust you will consider being a part of the process.

I'm still not sure
Please, do have a look at the FAQ, as well as the mentor guide. If that's not enough to convince you of the merits of the program, I'd invite you to read one student's feedback about his experience participating last year. Being a mentor is a great way to give back to ubuntu, get invovled and potentially gain new members.

I'm in, what should I do?
Contact myself, popey, or José who can add you as a mentor for the organization. This will allow you to add tasks and participate in the process. Here's to a great GCI!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Show and Tell: Xenial Edition

It's show and tell time again. Yes, yes, remember my story about growing up in school? It's time for us to gather together as a community again and talk, plan, and share with each other about what's happening in Ubuntu.



UOS is the Ubuntu Online Summit we hold each cycle to talk about what's happening in ubuntu. The next summit is called UOS 15.11 and will be on November 3rd - 5th, 2015. That's coming up very soon!

So what should I do?
First, plan to attend. Register to do so even. Second, consider proposing a session for the 'Show and Tell' track. Sessions are open to everyone as a platform for sharing interesting and unique things with the rest of the community. A typical session may last 5-15 minutes, with time for questions. It's a great way to spend a few minutes talking about something you made, work on, or find interesting.

What type of things can I show off?

Demos, quick talks, and 'show and tell' type things.  Your demo can be unscripted, and informal. This does not have to be a technical talk or demo, though those are certainly welcomed. Please feel free to show off design work, documentation, translation, interesting user tricks or anything else that tickles your fancy!

Got an example?
Yes, we do. Last cycle we had developers talking about new APIs, flavors teams doing Q and A sessions and demos, users sharing tricks, and even a live hacking session where we collectively worked on an application for the phone. Check them out. I'd love to see an even greater representation this time around.


Ok, I'm convinced
Great. Propose the session here. If you need help, check out the wiki page. If you are still stuck, feel free to simply contact me for help.


I'm afraid I don't have a demo, but I'd like to see them!
Awesome, sessions need an audience as well. Mark your calendar for November 3rd - 5th and watch the 'Show and Tell' track page for sessions as they appear.

Thanks for your help making UOS amazing. I'll see you there!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Wily Final Image Testing!


Wily is almost here! The summer has past us by (or is arriving for our Southern hemisphere friends). Thus, with the change of the seasons, it's time for another release of ubuntu. Wily will release the final image this Thursday, 22 Oct 2015. It's time to find and squash and last minute bugs in the the installer.

How can I help? 
To help test, visit the iso tracker milestone page for final beta.  The goal is to verify the images in preparation for the release. Find those bugs! The information at the top of the page will help you if you need help reporting a bug or understanding how to test. 

Isotracker? 
There's a first time for everything! Check out the handy links on top of the isotracker page detailing how to perform an image test, as well as a little about how the qatracker itself works. If you still aren't sure or get stuck, feel free to contact the qa community or myself for help.

How long is this going on?
The testing runs through Thursday, 22 Oct 2015, when the the images for Wily will be released. 

Thanks and happy testing everyone!