Wednesday, May 8, 2013

People behind ubuntu quality: Howard

This post is part of a series on the people behind the ubuntu quality team. Let me introduce you to Howard, an energetic and driven young man who has enjoyed being a part of the community. Howard exemplifies the ability to dive in and learn and continues to expand his horizons 
 and areas of contribution. 

1) Could you provide a bit of background about yourself?
Hello everyone, I'm Howard Chan (smartboyhw on World Wide Web), an energetic 14-year-old (K)ubuntu member from the busy harbour city of Hong Kong SAR, China. I like computers and science (especially Chemistry and Physics), and I like Ubuntu!

2) How did you become invovled with the Ubuntu community?
I was a Windows maniac before I used Ubuntu, and I liked running Beta software of things like Firefox Nightly, Microsoft Security Essentials Beta, Office Beta and such. I got fed up with Windows 8 Consumer Preview since I need to scroll the long start screen to access my applications, so I changed to Ubuntu 12.04 LTS. I liked Ubuntu, so I decided to start contributing. I joined the Ubuntu QA Team at first in June 2012, then I started to contribute to Ubuntu Studio as their tester for amd64 images. In January 2013 I started to do more development, helping out the Kubuntu Team to package KDE applications. I got my Ubuntu and Kubuntu membership respectively in February and March this year. I am now Ubuntu Studio's Release Manager, responsible for calling people to test, coordinating with the Ubuntu Release Team, marking images ready and such. I also go for some Testdrive hacking, and I am now working on different items in Ubuntu.

3) What attracted you to the quality team?
No need for programming skills. I only know beginner C, C++, Java (and more recently, Python). Except if you are writing automated testcases like Autopilot or autopkgtest, you don't need any programming skills to test applications and images for Ubuntu. You only need to like Ubuntu, that's all.

4) What would you say to folks new to ubuntu and/or testing?
Make sure you ask. If you are new in the community, try asking experienced people what to do and what NOT to do. Also, maintain a humble attitude. IRC etiquette is my biggest pain in the neck, and I don't want new contributors to make my mistakes. Never.

5) How would you describe the community and the experience of using ubuntu?
The community is awesome. Everywhere you go (for example Ubuntu Forums, the Ubuntu Studio IRC channels, Ask Ubuntu chatrooms, etc.) there is a lot of nice people willing to help you, no matter you are a novice user, or a starting contributor. Ubuntu itself is awesome too. We don't need to wait for extremely long release cycles like Debian. We have every desktop environment experiences to utilize. It's just great.

6) What would you like to see in the future for ubuntu?
A harmonized Ubuntu community. I have recently seen conflicts between many flavours, and many people (including me) disgruntling about Canonical moving to a new-styled community that doesn't seem to fit. Conflicts always happen between people, but I seriously hope that we can be more harmonized and create an awesome Linux distribution.

7) Do you have a favorite experience to share from being a part of ubuntu?
LOL that's difficult. A funny thing I've met is under-quorum. When I applied for Ubuntu membership, I almost can't get it since there was almost not enough quorum of Membership Board members until the last minute. That scared a lot of people coming to support me. When I applied for Kubuntu membership, I almost don't have enough votes for approving. That's two scary stories:)

8) What is your favorite activity or interest outside of computing (including ubuntu!)?
I love watching TV, Science and Fencing. I play fencing every Saturday. I am also a lover of teenage novels. Of course I like Ubuntu!


  1. To clarify: The picture is me in Form 1… I'm Form 3 now.

  2. @HoWanChan "This isn't even my final form". LOL