So far, so good

It’s been more than two years since I started working at Canonical and, although I have been blogging about my daily job here, I have never talked about how this job is important to me.

I love testing software. Yes, I know it seems strange to love an activity that some other people find a bit tedious, but I do. I was a full time developer when I discovered that I liked testing the software. Testing software gets you the opportunity to see the product as a whole, but without losing the technical part of the job. So, when I got the opportunity to work at Canonical as a member of the Ubuntu QA team it was like a dream job. Not only I was going to be able to test free software during my daily job but, also, I was going to test ALL the free software that is included in Ubuntu.

When I was hired, one of my first missions was to create a way to to test the desktop in a repeatable way, easy to maintain. That’s how Mago project started, a couple of years ago. Working on this project has been great, as it has been working closely with LDTP upstream developers. I have contributed to LDTP through bug reports, patches and helping with the release of LDTP in Ubuntu. I always tried that the latest LDTP was successfully released and uploaded to Ubuntu.

I specially remember when we were trying to get the latest LDTP before Ubuntu 10.04 Feature Freeze. Nagappan, the main LDTP upstream developer and I worked closely on IRC to meet the deadline. Together, we fixes issued, verified them, got everything together and got it uploaded it to Ubuntu just in time. It was the perfect example of Open Source collaboration.

Mago, itself, is free software, released under the GPLv3. People inside and outside Canonical have contributed to it with bug reports, patches, new features and, of course, new tests to test the desktop applications, often GNOME applications.

But, apart from Mago and desktop testing automation, I am specially happy to be able to test all the open source bits that make Ubuntu: from the kernel to the desktop, from brand new topics as Multitouch, to all time classics as Firefox.

I work for Canonical, testing free software, trying to make it better for everybody. I need to remind myself everyday how privilege I am.


  1. Indeed, what a wonderful privilege you have. Thanks for writing about it so we can all share in it. Every time Mark writes a post about free software I wish I worked at Canonical, or better still, wish I had the privilege to work on Ubuntu for free…

  2. I think Canonical and the Ubuntu community is privileged to have you as part of the project too! The testing work (and what I understand the bit that I have seen is probably just the tip of the iceberg) that you do is amazing and I think you’re doing a great job!!!

  3. Canonical is very lucky to benefit from your contribution and your enthusiasm :)