19 Replies Latest reply on May 13, 2019 5:31 PM by rscasny

    RoadTest Application "What Am I Supposed to Write?"

    rscasny

      Part of my job at element14 is to read the RoadTest applications and make recommendations to the supplier for who should be selected as the official roadtesters. I just spent an hour going through applications for a roadtest. A high number of them were one sentence applications, which I do not consider competitive applications. In this sub-group I received a higher number number than usual which stated as his application: "What am I supposed to Write Here?"

       

      It's a curious response, from my point of view. If this were a job application or a job interview, and the employer asked why do you want this job, would you answer, "What am I supposed to say?" My guess is probably not. If I were competing with other people for a product, I guess I would want to show them my I was the best and what I would do with it. Perhaps adding in something I did in the past was tangible proof I could do the job would help.

       

      If you still do not know what to write in a roadtest application, please take the 15-munutes to listen to my webinar: Webinar Recording: How To Write a Winning RoadTest Application.

       

      There was a previous discussion that memebers began on the chances of getting selected: https://www.element14.com/community/message/241787/l/re-commenting-in-roadtest-and-chances-of-getting-selected#241787

       

      There is a 100% chance you will not get selected when: (a) you only write 1 sentence in the comments of the application or (b) you ask, What am I supposed to write here?

       

      Randall Scasny

      RoadTest Program Manager

        • Re: RoadTest Application "What Am I Supposed to Write?"
          hlipka

          Would it be useful to add a link to the Webinar (or to some of the explanations / discussions regarding the road test applications) right next to that text area? It might just be that some newcomers really don't know what is expected of them there...

          2 of 2 people found this helpful
          • Re: RoadTest Application "What Am I Supposed to Write?"
            14rhb

            Hi Randall,

             

            I was looking through my application for some helpful comments to pass on to fellow members and somehow managed to click on Unenroll. Now I don't seem to be able to find any trace of my actual application, I'll see if I can salvage it somehow or else I will rewrite it.

             

            Re: the roadtest applications you mention, I assume the comments were in the description box as that is the only place for free text.

             

            Rod

            • Re: RoadTest Application "What Am I Supposed to Write?"
              lui_gough

              I suspect the allure of "free" and the occasional social-media advertisement (e.g. on Facebook) that makes the RoadTest seem like "any other competition" might have some applicants think that this is only a game of chance. Regardless, I think that there's enough good examples of reviews/how to apply floating about and information about the process that there really isn't any excuse for not knowing. Applicants will do as they see fit and if that's to put it an unfit application, I think that was because they were never really serious about the program (and consequently may have never been serious about delivering a review anyway) ... in which case there's not much point in investing too much time to try and encourage them to up their game.

               

              I think that rscasny has done a great job in making the RoadTest system a lot less opaque, by providing these occasional thoughts and guidances, so it's really not element14's fault that these applications keep coming ... indeed, it may have made your job of weeding risky-applicants out a little easier .

               

              - Gough

              2 of 2 people found this helpful
              • Re: RoadTest Application "What Am I Supposed to Write?"
                gpolder

                rscasny  wrote:

                 

                There is a 100% chance you will not get selected when: (a) you only write 1 sentence in the comments of the application or (b) you ask, What am I supposed to write here?

                 

                Hi Randall,

                 

                it shouldn't be too difficult for the software guys, to adapt the application form to force a minimum amount of words.

                This will learn applicants that they really have to investigate in a proper application, and if they decide not to take the effort, you are not bothered with all these futile applications.

                 

                Gerrit.

                2 of 2 people found this helpful
                • Re: RoadTest Application "What Am I Supposed to Write?"
                  gecoz

                  Hi Randall,

                   

                  It is a tough act to balance. On one side, there is the push to make the selection process more strict, so that you get better odds of good reviews published, but on the flip side you need to give chance to newcomers to prove themselves.

                   

                  I think that you are doing a great job with the program, which I feel has noticeably improved in the last year. One thing we need to accept and live with is that a 100% success rate on all the Roadtests, as nice as it would be, it is just impossible, as there will always be someone who will play the system to their own benefit.

                   

                  Making the enrolment process too strict it might result in reducing the number of applicants to the usual group of very reliable active members, which surely would provide excellent reviews, but would make the Roadtest group feel like a closed group, compromising the chance of further grow.

                   

                  One possible way to try improve the quality of the application could be to add a short mandatory questionnaire as part of the enrolment process: the questionnaire would be based on the information given in the webinar you have published (a bit like the format used for the quiz of Essentials learning modules). Nothing overly complicated, just couple of questions (the ones that cover the points you made at the end of your post).

                   

                  Probably, to be more effective, the questionnaire should be put as first step of the enrolment. The rest of the process I think works well just as it is now.

                   

                  Just my 2p.

                   

                  Fabio

                  6 of 6 people found this helpful
                    • Re: RoadTest Application "What Am I Supposed to Write?"
                      rscasny

                      Fabio,

                       

                      I agree that making the application to strict may cause unpredictable results (i.e., fewer applicants.)

                       

                      But I am not asking for a book. Three paragraphs would do:

                       

                      Para #1-- introduce yourself and tell me a bit about your background for the roadtest.

                      Para#2-- how you plan on testing it.

                      Para 3#-- something on your schedule, availability and commitment of completing the roadtest and review in 360 days.

                       

                      300 words, maybe?

                       

                      Randall

                      6 of 6 people found this helpful
                      • Re: RoadTest Application "What Am I Supposed to Write?"
                        rscasny

                        I understand that sometimes I won't get all the reviews back. People get ill, or a family issue comes up. Or even someone gets laid off and now is looking for a full time job. These are valid reasons. When these things do arise, I tell the supplier and they always understand and are compassionate about these things.

                         

                        In every roadtest, I try to reserve a spot for a new/first time roadtester, because we always need new people in the program. But a new person still needs to write a reasonable application and I have to feel they can do the job. I have had several roadtests where ad no first timer write a reasonable application. I had no choice but to rely an experienced roadtesters.

                         

                        Am I too strict? I reflect on that a lot. I surely don't want to dissuade anyone from the program. But I need someone who has a genuine interest. So, if people don't complete the application or when I ask them to tell me about how they would roadtest and they say, "I dunno. I'll figure it out when I get the thing ion my hands." I have to think twice before sending it to that person when another applicant writes a good testing procedure.

                         

                        Randall

                      • Re: RoadTest Application "What Am I Supposed to Write?"
                        14rhb

                        It is a shame you have this issue and it is quite difficult to understand why - I assume the E14 team needs that greater breadth of  suitable applications to allow a more diverse selection and hence a more realistic set of roadtests. Why do so few people apply? I'd have thought these roadtests would attract the attention of 10,000 of similar likeminded engineers, tinkers and makers rather than the 54 counted on the STMicroelectronics-DISCO application.

                         

                        You could:

                        • Amend the empty description box to include the simple one-line prompts that are in your useful webinar (the still at the very start).
                        • Break out into separate description boxes - Personal overview, why I'm applying, road test proposal brief summary, etc

                         

                        I guess you'll either start getting applications back with existing text still in place or just a greater number of blank text boxes.

                         

                        Rod

                        • Re: RoadTest Application "What Am I Supposed to Write?"
                          anuag_ashim

                          The webinar "How to write road-test " helped me to write my road-test application as I am also new here. I think everyone who is applying should view it.

                          I occasionally also took advice from fellow community members which was of great help to me.

                           

                          If someone is not sure what they want to do in the road-test probably they will not do it later either.

                          Some sense of responsibility has to there even if is not 100%.

                          3 of 3 people found this helpful
                          • Re: RoadTest Application "What Am I Supposed to Write?"
                            colporteur

                            Your efforts to manage the RoadTest program are exemplary. I suspect you will continue to receive suggestions that may provide insight for improvement tweaks. I do believe you will never eliminate the candidates who chose to do as little as possible in the hope of garnering success.

                             

                            I would recommend you to organize your reading of applications as to position those fields that enable you to eliminate applications that don't meet the minimum requirements first. You could include a canned response reflecting the submission deficient content if it blatant. I believe this effort will be of little return.

                             

                            Sean

                            1 of 1 people found this helpful
                            • Re: RoadTest Application "What Am I Supposed to Write?"
                              Fred27

                              It must be a tough job selecting road testers. I think you will always get the one-liners. Maybe you need to look at it as a positive thing? It could be considered a helping hand in weeding out the poorest applicants. The worst possible scenario would be if those people were diligent enough to put some effort into the application but not then carry that through into the road test itself.

                              • Re: RoadTest Application "What Am I Supposed to Write?"
                                colporteur

                                G'Day,

                                I am curious about the return(s) on your investment regarding RoadTest reviews.

                                 

                                I was fortunate to be selected in the New Year's Grab Bag RoadTest  review as my introduction to the process. I see 9 of 19 possible reviews using the participation list at https://www.element14.com/community/allRoadTestReviews/2015#recentReviews . I appreciate this RoadTest may not be ideal for results. The Arduino kit review produced 5 reviews for 5 candidates Arduino Engineering Kit .

                                 

                                Did your efforts result in any improvements on quality of applications?

                                 

                                Has the end game of increasing the number of completed reviews improved?

                                 

                                Has the quality of RoadTest reviews improved, gone down or stayed the same?

                                 

                                Are you satisfied with the results or are there additional plans?

                                 

                                Sean

                                3 of 3 people found this helpful