New SUMO Day this Thursday, Jan 29th 2015

Madalina

Two weeks have passed so it’s time for a new SUMO Day! We are answering questions in the support forum and helping each other in #sumo on IRC from 9am to 5pm PST (UTC -8) today.

We’re trying to answer each and every incoming question on the support forum today so please join us, create an account and then take some time today to help with unanswered questions. The more the merrier! Please check the etherpad for additional tips. Last time we have managed to go up to 90% answered in 24 hours so let’s try to reach at least 95% this time!

See you online and happy SUMO Day!

Bug management and prioritization FAQ

Madalina

We spend a lot of time in SUMO filing and working on bugs and roadmap items. This is a quite complex process that can sometimes be confusing to a lot of people and raises questions around how things are being done.

This blog post intends to provide more information around bug management and prioritization that will hopefully clarify some of the questions and make the process a bit more transparent.

Ready? Here we go!

 

Developer time

bugzilla

Currently there are 2 developers working on Kitsune (with Ricky leaving, this will probably be reduced to 1 dev until a replacement will be found).

 25% of  development time is used for what we call “paper cuts”: small features and bug fixes, anything that can be done fairly quickly and doesn’t require a long time.

 75% of development time is used for roadmap items. Roadmap items are those features or bugs that require more planning and are large enough that will require several sprints to complete.

 Anything that can be done quickly will be done as a 25% time. Everything else needs to go on the roadmap.

 All bugs are going in sprints. If you want to see what are the bugs that are currently being worked on you can follow the sprints here: https://sumo-ernest.herokuapp.com/project/support-mozilla-org

 

How is prioritization being done?

 

There are two steps when doing prioritization.

First step: champion prioritization

It is the area champion  who does the initial prioritization. He or she will have to assess the bugs that are filed for his area and decide which are the top priority ones. He will then push those ones to development.

Currently there are around 700 bugs in the SUMO backlog so looking at all of them is a bit difficult but we’re getting there :)

Second step: project manager prioritization

After champions choose which bugs they want to push for development the project manager (Kadir) needs to do a second round of prioritization. That means that he needs to look at all bugs that are being pushed, get some estimations and decide what goes first, what needs more details etc. If in the first stage the prioritization was done at area level (for example comparing L10N bugs between each other) at this stage the prioritization is done across all SUMO areas. That means that all KB, Forum, L10N, AoA, Search, Mobile, Users and Groups etc. bugs are assessed against each other. There is no quota for each particular areas, whatever is most important goes first no matter what areas it belongs to.

 

How are top priorities being chosen?

 

Normally there are two main things that are being looked at:

  • how many people is this impacting
  • how strongly are  people being impacted

 Unfortunately when it comes to prioritization there is no hard and fast rule and no perfect process. There are many things to be taken into consideration like the amount of work that is needed, developer availability, UX needs etc so sometimes the Project Manager will need to make harsh judgement  calls.

However breaking issues will be tended to right away. Normally things break only when we change something in the code (like a new feature being implemented) so they are part of the roadmap items time.

To make things easier, SUMO Admins are now using a spreadsheet where they enter the bugs they want prioritized. This will make it easier for Kadir to decide which bug will go into which sprint. You can view the spreadsheet here: https://docs.google.com/a/mozilla.com/spreadsheets/d/1BGULIZZxFv54EcVoBo1IGPzsjlOsuUB-0CnaU_oJjjQ/edit#gid=0

Normally if a bug makes it to that spreadsheet it means it will be done, it’s just a matter of when (some will take longer then others depending on what the priorities are).

After bugs are being prioritized they go into sprints. What goes in each sprint is based on estimations (i.e. how much effort individual bugs would take) and how much dev time is available.

 

How to file bugs and feature requests?

 

Make sure that in your bug description you touch the following points:

  • What problem are we trying to solve? (why are we doing this)
  • Who are we trying to solve this problem for? (target persona/impact)
  • How will we know if we succeed? (what is the outcome we are hoping for)

Feature requests are generally better to be discussed in the community forums first to get a feeling on what is it exactly that we want. Bugs that contain feature requests that are a bit fuzzy and require discussions are more difficult to prioritize. It is also a good idea to try to estimate how big of a job this is, features or bugs that require a lot of development time but have a low impact are unlikely to get prioritized any time soon.

The more clear we are about the impact that our feature will have, the better. The more data we have the easier it will be the area champion to prioritize and push your bug to development.

 

I never know which changes are happening and I’m sometimes taken by surprise, where can I get more info?

 

All changes, features, sprints are being discussed in the Platform meeting, every Thursday at 9 am PDT in the SUMO Vidyo room. The meetings are recorded so if you cannot attend, you can always watch the meeting afterwards. If there are specific bugs are features that you want to discuss simply add them to the agenda. You can add them even if you cannot attend the meeting live, just make sure you provide enough information and context so the people present can address your questions. More details about the meetings can be found here: https://wiki.mozilla.org/Support/KB/Meetings

That’s all folks! I hope all this information was useful and helped making the whole process a bit more transparent. Should you have any questions or concerns feel free to leave a comment, drop an email or discuss in the community forums. And don’t forget to bookmark some of the useful links below!

Useful links

 The SUMO Roadmap is listing all the big items that are being worked on during the quarter:https://trello.com/b/lo2NBhas/sumo-roadmap

If you want to see the bugs that are currently being worked on check out the sprint page (it lists the current sprint and the previous ones): https://sumo-ernest.herokuapp.com/project/support-mozilla-org

If you want to see bugs that are being prioritized per SUMO area, you can check this doc (work in progress): https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1BGULIZZxFv54EcVoBo1IGPzsjlOsuUB-0CnaU_oJjjQ/edit?usp=sharing

SUMO Platform meeting: https://wiki.mozilla.org/Support/KB/Meetings

More info about sumodev and the sprint process: https://wiki.mozilla.org/Support:Sumodev

What’s up with SUMO – 23rd January

Michał

Another week, another welcoming party!

There’s definitely more of your coming over, but not everyone’s saying “hi” – don’t be shy, we love good company such as yours – introduce yourself!

The latest SUMO Community meeting

You can find the agenda and notes here: https://etherpad.mozilla.org/sumo-2015-01-19.

Unfortunately, we had an issue with the video recorder and it’s impossible to recover recording for this week :-(. My sincere apologies for that. It would be weird to have a WUWS post without a video… So here’s something to make you (hopefully) smile:

Reminder: the next SUMO Community meeting…

  • …is going to take place on Monday, 26th of January. Join us live if you can! Details on how to do it and the agenda & notes can be found here.
  • If you want to add a discussion topic to the live meeting agenda:
    • Start a thread in the Community Forums, so that everyone in the community can see what will be discussed and voice their opinion here before Monday (this will make it easier to have an efficient meeting).
    • Please do so as soon as you can before the meeting, so that people have time to read, think, and reply (and also add it to the agenda).

Community shout-outs

  • Everyone who helped us rock the last SUMO Day up to 95% questions responded in 24 hours, and 98% in 72 hours. You are amazing and we bow to your awesomeness :-)

Developer news

Forum news

L10n news

Firefox (+ OS, + for Android) news

January is almost over – hard to believe how time flies by, hm? Almost as fast as on Twitter (are you following us already?). We are all looking forward to seeing you on Monday – have a relaxed weekend… Unless you prefer adventures, in which case may your compass never stop guiding you to all the right places ;-).

 

What’s up with… SUMO Buddies

Michał

Hello, SUMO Nation!

You may have heard of SUMO Buddies and noticed that recently we have not been particularly active in that area. Time to update everyone on what’s up with Buddies and where we want this idea to go this year.

We can not start talking into the future without a brief look into the past, of course. Soon after I had the honour of joining SUMO, Madalina asked me to take a closer look at Buddies and lead the charge in organizing the way SuMozillians support one another and help new members of our community get started.

The idea behind SUMO Buddies is a very simple one, but also one tied directly to how Mozillians as a community operate and succeed: “no new contributor left behind”. This means that whenever there is a new person joining SUMO and wanting to help as a member of the Support Forum Army of Awesome, the KB Editors, or the L10ns (rawr), there would be someone to show them around, answer their questions, and make sure they feel confident, comfortable, and happy to contribute to SUMO’s and Mozilla’s mission.

To achieve this, we tried to organize through different ways of communication (including IRC meetings on #sumomeet and #buddies, as well as forum threads on Discourse) and documentation (which you can find on the Mozilla Wiki, where it migrated from SUMO KB and was significantly expanded).

With time, it slowly became obvious that we were facing a few factors that made the Buddy format obsolete:

  • We were too spread globally to meet at regular times. We tried supplanting that with asynchronous communication (also known as “forums”).
  • Forum communication was not working, because being a Buddy was an extra activity for the majority of Mozillians willing to “buddy up”, already busy with the many aspects of supporting Mozilla’s mission in their free time.
  • Too much structure felt restrictive and “mechanical”; not enough structure felt loose and disorganised. At its core, the need and will to help others comes from within, and putting too many rules and regulations around it destroys that.

Having learned all this through trial and error, we discussed the state and future plans for Buddies last year in December, and now it is time to share our ideas for the next iteration of the idea with you:

  • We will keep encouraging all new SUMO contributors to introduce themselves in the forums.
  • As much as possible, we (Madalina and Michał) will take care of the new contributors and guide them to the SUMO experts – you :-)
  • Everyone (and we do mean everyone!) is welcome to jump in and be friendly and informative – the new SuMozillians count on you!
  • We will encourage new contributors to nominate the most helpful among you as “SUMO Buddies”. Yes, there will be badges…

The “SUMO Buddy” title will therefore be more of a badge (heh ;-)) of recognition for your friendly community presence and general awesomeness, rather than another role to fill in.

Confused? Concerned? Got questions or comments? Let us know in the forums!

What’s up with SUMO – 16th January

Michał

Welcome to the second update of the year. We hope your 2015 is shaping up nicely and you’re ready for another set of news and reminders from the world of SUMO and Mozilla.

For Those About To Support Others… We Salute You!

Apologies if I missed you – let me know below, in the comments section.

The latest SUMO Community meeting

You can find the agenda and notes here: https://etherpad.mozilla.org/sumo-2015-01-12. The video should be below – if it’s not showing, check your browser settings ;-)

Reminder: the next SUMO Community meeting…

  • …is going to take place on Monday, 19th of January. Join us live if you can! Details on how to do it and the agenda & notes can be found here.
  • If you want to add a discussion topic to the live meeting agenda:
    • Start a thread in the Community Forums, so that everyone in the community can see what will be discussed and voice their opinion here before Monday (this will make it easier to have an efficient meeting).
    • Please do so as soon as you can before the meeting, so that people have time to read, think, and reply (and also add it to the agenda).

Community shout-outs

  • Safwan gets a million high fives for fixing a bunch of KB bugs in 1 day – thank you, good sir!

Developer news

Forum news

L10n news

Firefox (+ OS, + for Android) news

. Before you ask “where is the summary post for 2014, hmm?”, I’ll say “it will be here when it’s ready”, Duke Nukem 3D style ;-).

Whew, that’s it… Yes, we are still on Twitter, and we are looking for events around the world where you think SUMO and Mozilla should be present, talking about our mission and increasing Mozillian ranks. Have a great weekend and see you on Monday.