Start working on project tasks (volunteers)

Once you’ve joined a project, it's now time to get to work. All too often, volunteers join a project and then wait for the project manager to engage them with an assignment. Unfortunately, many project managers are so busy, they may not reach out to new volunteers and invite them to do tasks. It's your responsibility to be proactive about getting involved in project work.

If there are aspects of the project you don’t understand, ask your project manager. Asking questions will increase your personal understanding of the project, and may also help project managers recognize which aspects of the project description need clarification.

Recognize that there is always something you can do. If you feel you don’t have the widest array of technical skills, you should still contact the project manager and look for ways to contribute. As Solutions Manager Alan Smoot noted, "We’re not always looking for someone to code; we’re looking for people to move the project forward."

See what work is scheduled

Most projects define their body of work in an issue tracking system called JIRA. Your first step should be to view what work is scheduled. To view the list of scheduled work:

  1. Log in to JIRA.
  2. Click the drop-down Projects menu on the top of the page and select your project.
  3. Click Agile on the top menu. If there are versions in your project, they are listed on the right.
  4. Click the latest version (the largest number) the team is working on. It will list all the items the project team is working on for their next version. This will give you a sense of the team's progress and scope.

Note: Not all projects may be using JIRA. If JIRA is blank or out of date, contact the project manager to see if he or she uses JIRA.

Testing tasks

Review and update current issues

See what issues have been reported in your project by reading them. Get an idea of which issues are most important by reading the different issues in the Blocker, Critical, Major, Minor, and Trivial categories. If you feel you can help clarify any issue, add your comments (using the Comment button on the bottom left), or Attach Files or Screenshot using the More Actions menu underneath the title of the issue.

Create screenshots

iPad and iPhone

Screenshots can be saved on an iPhone or iPad by lightly pressing the Power button on the top right side of the device, and the Home button on the front bottom of the device, at the same time, until the screen flashes white. This screenshot is then automatically saved in the Photos app of the iPad or iPhone. To see them, launch Photos and look in the Photo Stream. You can then click on the photo, hold your finger on it to Copy it, and click the Edit button on the top right and Email Photo or Save to Camera Roll to get from your device into an issue. Note: Photo Stream photos that have been saved to camera roll (if you have iCloud enabled for photos) are viewable on your Mac in iPhoto's Photo Stream, if you prefer entering issues or Commenting on issues from your Mac.

Review and update test cases

Test Cases for the LDS Mobile devices are currently here:

This Test Case Spreadsheets wiki page links to google doc files that contain the actual test cases.

You can read and print them, from the google document, or you can ask the project lead for permission to edit them and/or create new test cases.

Get the latest versions of the LDS Mobile Apps using TestFlight

In order to get the latest beta versions of the LDS Mobile Apps, you will need to have a TestFlight account. This can be setup by your project lead by contacting them. One of the easiest and best ways to do this is to go to the Help With LDSTech Forum and Post New Thread, asking for help with this, or do this during the Tech Conference.

Once you have a TestFlight account setup with your project lead, use the device that you would like to test on (for example your iPad or iPhone) and your browser app of choice, Safari or whatever to access Enter your email and password and you will be presented with an Apps screen of the apps whose projects you have joined that the project lead has given you access to. You will also be prompted as to whether you want to save a bookmark to your apps page called TestFlight and this is the "app" that you can use to access the latest versions of LDS apps quickly in the future.

Click on the app you would like to install and it will be installed to your device.

Versions of the apps can be verified (for entering in to issues and making sure you are on the latest version) by selecting the the gear button in the app or clicking on an About button.

Note: It will be installed to a page on the top level of the apps on your device and not within a folder, so if you want all your testing apps within an "LDS" folder, you will need to move it there later, after it has been installed.

Coding tasks

Set up a web development environment

If you're working on a project that involves a web application, such as Mediawiki or Joomla, you need to set up a local web development environment on your computer. This will allow you to create and modify web applications on your own computer, rather than uploading the application files to a server to run the files. See the instructions in Setting up a local web development environment for details.

Ask the project manager for a task

You can review the list of unassigned tasks for any JIRA project by clicking Issues in the left column, underneath Summary. In the Unresolved section, expand the list (if necessary) and click Unassigned. This list shows all items in JIRA that are not assigned to anyone else. Theoretically, you could select an unassigned JIRA item and assign it to yourself.

However, the project manager may not want you to pick a somewhat random JIRA item and fix it. Instead, contact the project manager and ask if there's a particular JIRA item that he or she wants you to complete. If the project manager isn't sure, suggest one of the unassigned JIRA items.

Assign yourself the JIRA item

Once you've decided on a JIRA item to complete, you should assign the item to yourself. To assign yourself the item in JIRA:

  1. Navigate to the JIRA item you want to work on.
  2. Click the Assign to Me button. A JIRA item can only be assigned to one person at one time. (However, you can always create sub-tasks for each JIRA item.)

Now that you've assigned yourself the JIRA item, it will be easier for the project manager to know what everyone is working on.

Provide updates via comments on the JIRA item

As you work on the JIRA item, rather than sending e-mail updates to the project manager, add notes about your progress in the comments section below your JIRA item. These comments on the JIRA item will automatically be e-mailed to the project manager. The project manager can respond with a comment on the JIRA item thread as well, and you will be notified. Keeping the discussion on the JIRA item's comment thread greatly simplifies project communication.

You can of course use e-mail to correspond with your project manager. But remember that a project manager may be managing more than 100 volunteers, who all may be working on various JIRA items. It's nearly impossible to remember everything about each item (who it's assigned to, what the status is, etc.). But if all the relevant communication about the task is included in the comment thread for the item, it's easy for the project manager to stay up-to-date about the item's progress.

This page was last modified on 11 November 2013, at 11:12.

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