Monday, June 03, 2013
For anyone interested in helping to test the software the runs Wikipedia, we have a new mail list dedicated to exactly that topic. The mail list is not even a month old, so the archives are pretty readable. If you're interested, you can sign up here.
Let me expand on what I mean by "open testing" and by "interested". At any given time, there are dozens of software development projects (at least) in progress in support of Wikipedia. Some of these projects are for particular niches in the Wikipedia universe, but others are expensive, high-profile, in some cases world-changing.
Every one of these projects needs more testing than it gets.
So if you want to spend an hour looking for bugs in a Wikipedia feature under development, that's great. We at the Wikimedia Foundation have worked with Weekend Testing Americas and other organizations on several occasions to do exactly that.
But would you like to help design every aspect of the ongoing test effort for major software development projects for one of the biggest web properties ever, and the biggest encyclopedia in the history of the world? That's also possible.
And so is everything in between. From the code to the documentation to the licensing to the communication, every aspect of this software development is open to scrutiny by anyone at any time. This environment allows thoughtful contributions by an interested community, and I hope would be particularly attractive to thoughtful software testers.
That's what we're talking about on the Wikimedia Foundation QA mail list. Feel free to join.
So about miagi-do...
A disclaimer up front: I have been aware of the existence of miagi-do for some time, and many of its members are friends and acquaintances. But I am not a member, nor I have ever had a conversation with anyone about any aspect of miagi-do.
So I was intrigued when the miagi-do folks started a blog, and I was particularly intrigued by the first two posts. Or maybe four.
It's quite possible to certify yourself as a software tester by simply working openly, as the miagi-do people have. And the software that powers Wikipedia is radically open, for testing, for everything. And while thoughtless contributions are eliminated ruthlessly, no approval is required to contribute. I think the miagi-do folks would agree with me: If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him.