Nate Miller | Consensus Networks

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#1
Hello Community,

Here to announce that I'm interested in becoming the next testnet admin. I'll be the first to admit I'm not the most vocal either here or on discord, but I think you'll find me to be process driven and consistent, which I hope to bring to the testnet. Testnet admin can a thankless position but I think the previous admins have done a fine job and I hope to expand on what they've done. I plan to focus on ensuring the duties and responsibilities of the testnet admin are carried out as required, work to efficiently onboard new testnet servers, and ensure the testnet (and fct.tools) remains up to date with active servers. I'm also open to comments/suggestions as to other things users would like the testnet to do/function as or other things they'd like the testnet admin to focus on. Thanks!
 
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#5
Nate, thank you for applying for what is generally a thankless job. :) I'll ask this question to all candidates.

I'd like to hear how you plan on running the testnet. I think the testnet is one of the most under-utilized assets we have. It seems to exist just to exist. When a new release comes about we upgrade the servers to the new version and the testnet mostly sits. Sure, a few 'transactions per second' tests are run but its not used and abused as much as I feel it should be. I personally would like to see some types of automated regression testing set up so they trigger every day, and we can monitor performance over time, or some other type of usage that can help detect problems earlier. Can you please explain what proactive measures you plan on taking beyond the usual: "when Factom tells us to upgrade, I'll send the word out to the ANOs to update".
 
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#6
Michael, I think that's a great idea and I think there are probably more out there. I'm thinking things like forcing elections and trying to stall the network. Although I don't have the dev experience to develop the testing tools, I'm a capable sysadmin and would work to help implement and automate the tests. It will be important for me to get support from the community to help build (as needed) the tests we'd like to do. I've already spoken with some members of the community who have indicated their willingness to help, in general, with the testnet. I'll get some threads going here on Factomize to gather community input in regards to testing and whatever other ideas they have for the testnet. From there we can generate an implementation plan and coordinate with those who can contribute technically to get those ideas into production.
 
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#7
Hi Nate, Thank you for applying to be the Factom Testnet Administrator. :)

As Michael Lam has indicated this has historically been an undervalued role. As indicated by the new Testnet Governance Process (and Michael's comments) we are beginning to properly value the Testnet. I like the ideas you have outlined above and the engagement with the community for them to support you. What in your mind are the priorities for future Testnet development?
 
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#8
Hi Mike,

I've got a few admin type priorities I think we need to take care of:
1. Streamline the onboarding/server switching process. It sometimes takes weeks to get added to the testnet or swap a server out so I'd like to understand fully the process and make changes so it can be done in a few days or less.
2. Ensure documentation available to new users is adequate and up to date. I think overall the testnet docs are good, but I just checked and it looks like the original video walkthroughs aren't available anymore. So, I'll spend some time cleaning up the testnet docs and getting those videos back up (redoing them if necessary? That may take me some time but I'll ensure it gets done).

For future development:
1. Automate performance testing
2. New ANO applicant testing - I'd like to run through network restarts, alert testing, and brain swaps (and other pertinent things) with each new ANO applicant to ensure they are ready for mainnet.
3. Work to attract new developers/users to Factom - this is a bit of big vision vice specific actionable item. I think for devs, the factom testnet has too many friction points before they're able to actually able get to developing. I'd like to figure out ways to make interacting with the testenet easier and am happy to open that discussion with the community as well.
 
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#9
Hi Nate,

Thank you for your response.

I think that streamlining the on-boarding process would be very useful. I also think that improving documentation generally is a good thing and not only for new users.

Performance testing automation sounds very useful. Objective assessment of new ANO applicants makes good sense.

Your point about making the Testnet attractive to new developers etc is spot-on, how else will we accelerate core or 3rd party new development. You are right about engaging the community in this because this is not just about doing the technical admin work it is about the community pulling together to play their role in the standards and operation of Testnet.
 
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