19 Replies Latest reply on Oct 14, 2018 6:15 PM by abrain

    Update: Change in RoadTest Applications

    rscasny

      Anyone who has followed the RoadTests group is probably aware of my challenges in getting applicants to submit complete applications. My specific challenge is those writing "single-sentence" applications. Given the fact that recently, I have had a roadtest where over 50% were single-sentence applications, I decided to implement a new policy.

       

      When you click to enroll in a roadtest, and the official application form opens up, you will see the following message in the comments section of the application form:

       

      ---

      Stop and Read the Directions.

       

      Please answer the following questions:

       

      (a) What is your background?

      (b) Why you are applying for this roadtest?

      (c) What is your testing procedure?

      (d) Give some examples of your element14 community participation

      (e) Please verify that you can complete the testing and review writing on element14 within 60 days from the receipt of the product.

       

      Single-sentence applications are incomplete and will not be eligible for winning the FREE product.

       

      If you are still unsure of what to write about in a RoadTest application, then Click Here to view a short webinar on Writing RoadTest Applications

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      To submit a complete application, you must answer the five questions cited above. If you do not, your application is incomplete and will be ineligible for winning the FREE product.

       

      The good news is that there will be better quality applications and likely few applicants overall, hence, less competition for winning.

       

      Sincerely,

       

      Randall Scasny

      RoadTest Program Manager

       

       

        • Re: Update: Change in RoadTest Applications
          14rhb

          Hi Randall,

           

          I tried out a 'mock roadtest application' on my PC and the instructions are clear and straight forward. The only minor point was I had to hold CTRL + click the link (Windows 10 + Mozilla Firefox) to get it to work - but everyone knows that don't they?

           

          Rod

          • Re: Update: Change in RoadTest Applications
            balearicdynamics

            Sounds great Randall!

             

            It is the worth that submitters spend some more time on thinking and writing a more detailed scenario on what they are enrolling...

            Thinking to this last resolution and some kind of quasi-null roadtests, maybe that many of them have not so clear what it is really. Ok, it's silly as there are plenty of documents etc. but in this way at least they should face to what it is, a short "entry exam" is not a bad idea

             

            Enrico

            • Re: Update: Change in RoadTest Applications
              geralds

              Hi Randall rscasny ,

               

              During writing the application for the PicoScope_5444DMSO roadtest there are problems with the form fields.

              I sent this information via email as well. Hopefully that is not a problem for me.

              There are missing two text fields.

              This problem was also last year, or maybe some browser cannot display correctly.

              I use normally the IE11.

              Maybe this can appear after saving as draft.

               

              Roadtest enrolling application - missing text fields

               

              Best Regards

              Gerald

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              • Re: Update: Change in RoadTest Applications
                Fred27

                It's great that you're making people consider their application more carefully and put a little more thought in. I'm sure that will help screen out some of the poor quality applications.

                 

                However, I think that the prominent promotion of winning the FREE product attracts the sort of people who might be persuaded to spend some time filling out an application properly, but then feel they now have their FREE product and don't have to do the important bit afterwards which is the road test. It's a trickier problem to solve, but I think "FREE" will get you more applicants when perhaps you would be better served by fewer but better applicants.

                UPDATE: I just realized that I'm going over stuff we've previously discussed at length. Let's not drag this update off in that direction. Sorry.

                • Re: Update: Change in RoadTest Applications
                  Instructorman

                  As a frequent applicant to the Road Test program I appreciate the quality control measures you are implementing on the intake funnel.  I think the changes you are implementing will deflect applicants that still hold the belief that Road Test is a lottery.  Your changes will also deter those that have no intention of developing a complete test plan, and furthermore may guide the efforts of those considering a comprehensive plan, but in need of a prescriptive framework.

                   

                  It seems to me that the quality of Road Test reviews, especially for higher valued items, is improving, but not necessarily because of higher quality applications. What I sense, but have not verified through investigation, is that the field of Road Test reviewers is consolidating around a group of reliable, talented, and prolific members.  I'm not sure this is the case for dev kits and tools, but I feel it may be true for test equipment.  However, in the list of recently completed Road Tests, new names stand out among familiar names.  This should encourage new members to take your advice and put in the effort to compose a well considered and well written application. The probability of being selected for a Road Test is directly proportional to the quality of your application.

                   

                  Of all the skills I brought to my career, or developed along the way, writing clearly, factually, and persuasively has had the most impact on moving me ahead.

                   

                  Mark A.

                  3 of 3 people found this helpful
                  • Re: Update: Change in RoadTest Applications
                    rscasny

                    Update:

                     

                    I skimmed through all the applications for current roadtests. Only 25% are answering the 5 questions. From my point of view, this means any decent application has a great chance of winning because I am screening out people now who do not submit a complete application.

                     

                    Up coming roadtests:

                     

                    a DMM from Keithley

                    an Arduino engineering Kit (worth ~200 Us)

                    an NXP rapid Iot prototyping kit

                    2 NFC kits

                    some Pansonic BT and Wifi kits

                     

                     

                     

                    Randall Scasny

                    RoadTest Program Manager

                    2 of 2 people found this helpful
                      • Re: Update: Change in RoadTest Applications
                        geralds

                        The formulation of question b) is in principle very simple.


                        However, answering this question can sometimes be very complex, especially if you get a lot of emotions when filling out the text boxes and writing your application.
                        Answering this question can range from technical discipline with a factual description to the description of his personal inner feeling, or motive.

                        Therefore, you can easily get nervous, hoping to get it right.
                        Yes, that can be a challenge.

                        I need to think about this for a few days, because the planning of the project and the necessary preparation have to come with that as well.

                        Needing to answer these 5 questions is just right, to separate the chaff from the wheat.

                         

                        Best Regards

                        Gerald

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                        • Re: Update: Change in RoadTest Applications
                          lui_gough

                          Ooh ... Keithley back with another DMM after the 2110 I reviewed five years ago Now that's exciting I wonder which one it is as I did get a chance to play with the DMM6500 and  DMM7510DMM7510 sampling multimeter at the ElectroneX trade show and it looked quite interesting with the full-touch LCD interface I guess I'll just have to wait and see , but if anything, the fact my 2110 has seen a bucketload of Li-Ion battery capacity tests (using the Dual Measure functionality), sampled data throughout a ~6500hr LED test for my PhD and is still helping me out with RoadTests today just goes to show how robust and reliable they are.

                           

                          As for RoadTest applications - as long as users keep in mind the competitive nature of the process and the outlined "questions" that they will be judged on, it's beyond crystal clear. But I'm sure someone will still try to click that submit button ... thinking that it's up to chance. Just hopefully fewer.

                           

                          - Gough

                            • Re: Update: Change in RoadTest Applications
                              geralds

                              Yes, yes, yes!! I'm waiting for that "ONE PIECE".

                               

                              Well, yes, Roadtesters should think about having some responsibility.

                              I understand Randall well because it is hard to filter out only from letters, certain personalities (responsible / irresponsible).

                              Among other things, this is similar to a job interview when you have to hire a new employee.

                               

                              The most important is that the suppliers / manufacturers of this device are satisfied.

                              They give this device to someone unknown, hoping / ok, profit-thinking / that their device is not just stolen.

                              If so, they may also have to provide further explanations in their own company.

                               

                              Well, it's not easy.

                               

                              Gerald

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                            • Re: Update: Change in RoadTest Applications
                              shabaz

                              If the first one is their latest DMM - the DMM6500 then I have a comment - that device is a single thing that has really improved my engineering productivity and capability, and I've only started using it.

                               

                              It seems so well executed and feature-rich, but I won't say more so that people can discover for themselves when they read the various reviews, because I know they will be interesting to read.

                               

                              It is however missing a "thank the engineers who created me" button. That should be on the front panel : ) I bet they use this DMM themselves too in their day-to-day work..

                              1 of 1 people found this helpful
                            • Re: Update: Change in RoadTest Applications
                              DAB

                              Hi Randall,

                               

                              As someone with a long history of doing road test I greatly applaud your changes and diligence at selecting the best people do conduct each road test.

                               

                              I have long supported these types of changes to improve the return on investment to the vendors that provide the equipment.

                               

                              We owe them a road test report for every item.

                               

                              Thank you for helping to improve the element14 compliance for the vendors.

                               

                              The whole community benefits from actually getting multiple road test reports for each device.

                               

                              DAB

                              1 of 1 people found this helpful