WORK IN PROGRESS. PLEASE ASK BEFORE EDIT (PaoloSammicheli)
This document came from the Italian experience in setting up a LoCo Testing Team. If you're a LoCo Leader who made the same experience you're welcome to add your toughts. If you've doubts in changing this document get in touch with Paolo Sammicheli (xdatap1 at ubuntu dot com).
The Italian experience
The Italian testing Team idea comes from a chat with Marjo Mercado during UDS Lucid in Dallas. The group started experiencing tests with Lucid Lynx during Alpha 2 release and finally become an official group in the LoCo Team for Beta1 release. We decided to perform ISO Testing with Live testcase because we wanted a very easy and low requirement testcase for starting the group. This experience was discussed during UDS Maverick in Bruxelles (link to blueprint) with the goal of how to improve it and how to incourage other LoCos in setting up their testing team. In the meeting minute you will found data and toughts about the Italian team.
Why a Loco Testing Team
ISO Testing is the best first-activity for a newcomer. In fact, testing is what every LoCo Leader always desired: a fast, easy task to give at those who want to start contributing but they don't know what to do because they don't have not enough experience in computers. It's a healty way to start because while testing Ubuntu you start using and learning the tools of the community (Launchpad, Wiki, Iso Tracker, etc), you learn how to report effective bugs and you learn new things about Ubuntu: how is made, who made it, where all these programs came from, etc. In the Italian experience, people who start contributing with testing, later started to contributing in other way: triaging, documentation, translations, etc. It's very important to catch people's enthusiams in partecipating in Ubuntu giving concrete goals to reach since the beginning.
Setting up the group
To start you need a core group, 2 or 3 people from the most active in your LoCo would fit. In the Italian experience I can say that people already involved often are too busy for also testing. You need to find active people but with still a little of time free. Maybe the people you find known well Ubuntu but not the Testing Topic. Performing test in our own few weeks for learning testing best practice helped us a lot.
When you will have few people for starting a core team, and you're confident to know Ubuntu testing quite well for tutoring newcomers, you can create the group. You will need some Wiki pages with description of the group and the testcase you want to adopt. You will found adoption topic in next chapter. In the Italian experience we opened a mailing list separated from Launchpad. We decided to keep separated being part of the team and to subscribe the mailing list. We encourage everybody in subscribing the mailing list but we have few minimum requirements for being member of the team. An IRC channel can also help for keeping team in touch and for asking suggestions.
For keeping people motivated and to make them feeling part of the team we introduced the Adoption concept (here an example LINK). We intend Adoption like the *minimum* commitment for a contributor. It makes the tests across the flavours very reliable for the QA Team and give everybody a role in the team. We invite all member in performing more tests than those adopted and keeping it like a minimum commitment.
I order to gain the Group's membership we ask to have account in order: a properly compiled launchpad profile, a personal wikipage and to signing code of conduct. Then we ask to read the pages about the testing and to adopt at least one image. We incourage newcomers in finding the less covered image but we leave them the freedom in choosing which one. In order to remain member of the group we ask to test every mileston. At the moment of the writing of this document we didn't decided yet strict rules about expiration from group but we have an acknowledge that in order to remain member people must perform at least the adoptioned tests every milestone.
Break the language barrier
If you're a Native English Speaker LoCo this paragraph would not sound really interesting for you. I suggest to read it anyway because LOCOs are spread all around the world and language is an issue. The first problem a newcomer face in start contributing in Ubuntu, if not an English Native Speaker, is the language. Translating the instruction to performing tests in their native language helps in understanding better the process. Don't understimate this aspect. Also for those who knows english, reading a page in their own language is less tiring than in English. Starting in contributing is a tiring process: registering in Launchpad, Wiki, Code of Conduct, etc. Making some reading more confortable helps a lot.
We belive very much in Team's spirit. We incourage people in sharing their impression during tests in mailing list and to express theirself. After a while we started also having meeting in IRC like most of the group does.