Results of the Firefox Automation Survey

November 23rd I blogged about the active survey covering the information flow inside our Firefox Automation team. This survey was open until November 30th and I thank everyone of the participants which have taken the time to get it filled out. In the following you can find the results:

Most of the contributors who are following our activities are with Mozilla for the last 3 years. Whereby half of them joined less than a year ago. There is also a 1:1 split between volunteers and paid staff members. This is most likely because of the low number of responses, but anyway increasing the number of volunteers is certainly something we want to follow-up on in the next months.

The question about which communication channel is preferred to get the latest news got answered with 78% for the automation mailing list. I feel that this is a strange result given that we haven’t really used that list for active discussions or similar in the past months. But that means we should put more focus on the list. Beside that also 55% listening our activities on Bugzilla via component watchers. I would assume that those people are mostly our paid staff who kinda have to follow each others work regarding reviews, needinfo requests, and process updates. 44% of all read our blog posts on the Mozilla A-Team Planet. So we will put more focus in the future to both blog posts and discussions on the mailing list.

More than half of our followers check for updates at least once a day. So when we get started with interesting discussions I would expect good activity throughout the day.

44% of all feel less informed about our current activities. Another 33% answered this question with ‘Mostly’. So it’s a clear indication what I already thought and which clearly needs action on our side to be more communicative. Doing this might also bring more people into our active projects, so mentoring would be much more valuable and time-effective as handling any drive-by projects which we cannot fully support.

A request for the type of news we should do more is definitely for latest changes and code landings from contributors. This will ensure people feel recognized and contributors will also know each others work, and see the effectiveness in regards of our project goals. But also discussions about various automation related topics (as mentioned already above) are highly wanted. Other topics like quarterly goals and current status updates are also wanted and we will see how we can do that. We might be able to fold those general updates into the Engineering Productivity updates which are pushed out twice a month via the A-Team Planet.

Also there is a bit of confusion about the Firefox Automation team and how it relates to the Engineering Productivity team (formerly A-Team). Effectively we are all part of the latter, and the “virtual” Automation team has only been created when we got shifted between the A-Team and QA-Team forth and back. This will not happen anymore, so we agreed on to get rid of this name.

All in all there are some topics which will need further discussions. I will follow-up with another blog post soon which will show off our plans for improvements and how we want to work to make it happen.