This has been a phenomenal year for the element14 RoadTest program. We began the year focusing on quality improvements and ended the year completing a record number of Roadtests and improved our review completion rate. We also got more members involved in the program, directly as official RoadTesters, or indirectly as RoadTest commenters (~1400), or through volunteering their time by providing technical support. Finally, we had about 2500 members apply to be RoadTesters, too.
I would like to thank everyone who participated in the program. More importantly, I would like to thank everyone who offered their ideas about the program management and ideas of how to improve it. But now it's time to announce the 2017 element14 RoadTesters of the Year.
This was my first full year as the RoadTest Program Manager. Thus, it was my responsibility to set the rules for this year's awards. I approached it a differently than my predecessors have, so I am told. I focused on the individual RoadTesters, rather than a specific review. I chose this approach, just like I make recommendations to a supplier. I review the application, but also consider participation, activity, and involvement in the community. I think all of these elements make a good RoadTester. I also feel that a specific review or a quantity of reviews or even a number of votes on a poll should not be the only metric for determining the winners of this important award.
2017 RoadTests That Received the Highest Number of Applicants
Here are the 2017 winners for the RoadTesters of The Year Award:
The Best "New" Roadtester of 2017: Donald Lane three-phase
This award was for a member who completed a first-time RoadTest in 2017. I always recommend new RoadTesters to suppliers for every RoadTest. It's important to bring new people into the program. Four people were nominated: Alin Iacobescu, Donald Lane, Mike VeeGee and Šarunas Straigis. All four of these nominees posted interesting reviews on just as interesting products: Raspberry Pi 3 Camera Bundle, Megger Insulation Tester, TI DLP Nirscan Nano EVM and the Amphenol Air Quality Engineering Dev Kit. These are all superb reviews. They are intelligent, articulate, and creative. Donald Lane is the winner of the "new" RoadTester of the Year for a commanding review of the Megger insulation tester which is not only a great review but an outstanding learning experience, and Donald's support and participation in the element14 community. He became a member in August 2017 and he has accrued over 8000 points, ranking at the Faraday level.
Third Place: Lucie Tozer
Lucie Tozer is the third place winner of the 2017 RoadTester of the Year. She has been a member and a RoadTester since 2014. She has a whopping 25,000 points and is at the Edison Level. This past year, she not only reviewed the Terasic P0082 DE0-Nano FPGA Development Kit, but also wrote a blog series for FPGA beginners. Besides the thorough and well-written review nomination, she engages in the community through a lot of commenting, answering questions and offering ideas and opinions.
Second Place: Inderpreet Singh ipv1
Inderpreet Singh is the Second Place Winner of the 2017 RoadTester of the Year award. Besides the two 2017 RoadTests for which he was nominated, he has a total of 11 RoadTests completed since he became an element14 member in 2013. His more than 48,000 points (Edison Level) do not fully capture how he touches the community, not only the RoadTest program, but also many other element14 programs whether it be Project14, Design challenges, blogs, discussions, answering questions, etc. He has been very helpful behind the scenes in helping new RoadTesters solves shipping problems in his area. (This is a gigantic help for Dan Zima and myself). Finally, he epitomizes what Top Member participation is all about.
There were so many good nominations that I appreciated the 53 votes in helping me decide who is the first place 2017 RoadTester of the Year. But as I previously stated, votes alone aren't the only variable in deciding who earns this award. So, I am happy to announce that the 2017 RoadTest of the Year was a tie between Shabaz and Douglas Wong. The four votes that separated these two fine nominees do not fully illustrate what value they bring to the element14 Community and the RoadTest Program. Even the difference between their points (Douglas 153,000 and Shabaz 222,000) do not show how they support, teach, and involve themselves in the community as Top Members. Both of their review writing are interesting, multifaceted and detailed. We have plenty of students and hobbyists who have probably learned new ideas or concepts by reading their reviews. Both have full time jobs and have found the time to participate in the community. Shabaz volunteered to write our new Getting Started Coding with the Raspberry Pi Series and Douglas won the Grand Prize for the Safe and Sound Design Challenge.