This past Sunday I hosted an Ubuntu Global Jam at the Gandi office here in downtown San Francisco. Given the temporal proximity to a lot of travel, I’ve had to juggle a lot to make this happen, a fair amount of work goes into an event like this, from logistics of getting venue, food and drinks, and giveaways to the actual prep for the event and actually telling people about it. In this case we were working on Quality Assurance for Xubuntu (and a little Lubuntu on a PPC Mac).
It’s totally worth it though, so I present to you the full list of prep, should you wish to do a QA event in your region:
- Secure venue: Completed in December (thanks AJ at Gandi!).
- Secure refreshments funding: Completed in January via the Ubuntu donations funding.
- Create LoCo Team Portal event and start sharing it everywhere (social media, friendly mailing lists for locals who may be interested). Do this for weeks!
- Prepare goodies. I had leftover pens and stickers from a previous event. I then met up with Mark Sobell earlier in the week to have him sign copies of A Practical Guide to Ubuntu Linux, 4th Edition we received from the publisher (thank you Mark and Prentice Hall!).
- Collect and stage all the stuff you’re bringing.
- Print out test cases, since it can be tricky to juggle reading the test case while also navigating the actual test on their laptop.
- Also print out signs for the doors at the venue.
- Tour venue and have final chat with your host about what you need (plates, cups and utensils? power? wifi? projector?).
- Send out last minute email to attendees as a reminder and in case of any last minute info.
- Make sure dietary requirements of attendees are met. I did go with pizza for this event, but I made sure to go with a pizzeria that offered gluten free options and I prepared a gluten free salad (which people ate!).
- Download and burn/copy the daily ISOs as soon as they come out on the day of the event, and put them on USB sticks or discs as needed: Xubuntu went on USB sticks, Lubuntu for PPC went on a CD-R (alternate) and DVD-R (desktop, currently oversized).
- Bring along any extra laptops you have so folks who don’t bring one or have trouble doing testing on theirs can participate
- Make penguin-shaped cookies (this one may be optional).
With all of this completed, I think the event went pretty smoothly. My Ubuntu California team mates James Ouyang and Christian Einfeldt met me at my condo nearby to help me carry over everything. AJ met us upon arrival and we were able to get quickly set up.
I had planned on doing a short presentation to give folks a tour of the ISO Tracker but the flow of attendees made it such that I could get the experienced attendees off and running pretty quick (some had used the tracker before) and by the time they were starting we had some newcomers joining us who I was able to guide one-on-one.
I did a lot of running around, but attendees were able to help out each other too, and it was a huge help to bring along some extra laptops. I was also surprised to see that another PPC Mac showed up at the event! I thought the one I brought would be the only one that would be used for Lubuntu. Later in the event we were joined by some folks who came over after the nearby BerkeleyLUG meeting wrapped up at 3PM, and caused us to push the event a full hour later than expected (thanks to AJ for putting up with us for another hour!).
Prior to the event, I had worried some about attendance, but throughout the event we had about 12 people total come and go, which was the perfect amount for me and a couple of other Ubuntu Members to manage so that attendees didn’t feel ignored as they worked through their tests. Post event, I’ve been able to provide some feedback to the Ubuntu Quality team about some snafus we encountered while doing testing. Hopefully these can be fixed next time around so other teams don’t run into the same issues we did.
Aside from some of the hiccups with the trackers, I received really positive feedback from attendees. Looking forward to doing this again in the future!
More photos from the event available here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/pleia2/sets/72157650663176996/