Community Speaks #3- Konstantina Papadea speaks

We’re really happy to see the Community Speaks initiative picking up really soon. Breaking the stereotypes have indeed succeeded in getting the attention of many community members as well as new contributors.

If you’ve missed out on the last issue of community speaks, here is the link.

Today, we have Konstantina Papadea with us to share her thoughts.
Konstantina Papadea is the Mozilla Reps Co-ordinator. Her responsibilities include developing and managing the reps global volunteer reimbursement framework for events, enforce budget standard operating procedures (SOPs) and oversee the overall program finances, including auditing and forecasting.
In addition she supports the Mozilla Reps Council with day-to-day operations, including gear requests, budget requests, and liasing with Mozilla’s accounting department.

 


 

Hello Konstantina, we’re sure that many, on reading your profile, would be interested in knowing more about your link with Geology. Could you tell us more about this?

Konstantina: Geology is one of my passions in this life, for me it is exciting to know how everything around has been formed long before people existed. What is more fascinating is that Earth is somehow a living creature which means we can see geology on the making at this moment. Being a geologist enables you to understand how small we are compared with the glory of Earth.
I’ve recently received my bachelor in Geology and one day I would like to continue my studies on the field especially in mining, since I have a soft spot for ore deposits.

How would you describe your journey from being a Geology student to a Mozillian?

K: Well it has been a fun ride. Geology is all about the earth and we don’t use hight tech technology unless it is needed. Since I consider myself a geek. I’ve always wanted to put the technological side into my studies and Mozilla gave me an excuse to spend more time with my computer :) I have to say I needed to find a balance between spending time in the field and in front my computer, but I managed to have a schedule and have time for my both passions.

Were there any difficulties when you first started contributing? If yes, how did you overcome those?

K: In the beginning it took me some time to understand how the community works and all the different cultural backgrounds. But after I came to know the people and how passionate they are about Mozilla, everything made sense and I fell in love with our mission

Do you find time to keep up with your passion towards Geology while contributing to Mozilla?

K: Yes, I am a passionate caver and I try to go caving with my friends almost every weekend. I also try to attend geological lectures in my old university when I have the time or even spend sometime in the field.

What is the status of the projects you are working on and what more could we expect from Mozilla under your project in the near future?

K: Right now I’m fully dedicated to the Reps program, working on policies and features related with the program finances and gear procedures. Since our main goal right now is to reach the 1 million mozillians, I’m working on automating and making the reimbursements and gear procedures easier for our reps so they can dedicate their time to the million Mozillians goal. I hope that what I’m working will be able to help them.

Being with a community like Mozilla would certainly have its perks. Could you List out 5 things that you like at Mozilla?

I have to say there are a lot of them. My top 5 are:

the community, it is amazing to see people from different backgrounds come together for one cause

travelling, I love to travel and meet the people of Mozilla, get to know them and understand them

my colleagues, without whom I wouldn’t be able to achieve anything

the mozilla reps. I know I’ve mentioned the community before but those 500 hard core dedicated Mozillians are just amazing, every single one of them

the friendship. I consider myself lucky that I work with people that I can call my friends, both employees and volunteers.

We’re sure that you would serve as one of the best examples of contributors who don’t contribute to code. How important do you think is the role of such contributors to Mozilla?

K: I think it is very important. To be honest, before I started contributing I believed too that the only way to contribute was via coding, but Mozilla proved me wrong. We are a global community with the same passion, the open web, and in order to make it work we need all the help we can get. Mozilla is all about the diversity and equality and this is what makes us unique

Do you think it is important to show that Mozilla is not all about coding? What would be your advice to such Mozillians?

K: Mozilla *not* being all about coding is one of the aspects that makes us unique.I would tell them that being part of Mozilla is being part of a global community. Their work and contribution is as important to us as writing codes. It doesn’t matter if you write code, translating articles or teaching webmaking, what it matters is making an impact. So my advice is keep rocking and let the people know what Mozilla is and how we can change the web.

Thanks a lot Konstantina for taking time to answer our questions. We’re really happy to have you with us

K: Thanks a lot too for inviting me, I truly love this initiative :)

 


Thanks Konstantina, we really appreciate your thoughts.

If you have any suggestions for Community Speaks, please let us know by tweeting @dun3buggi3 or dropping a mail at dun3buggi3@gmail.com

Community Speaks #2 -Rebecca Billings speaks

Hello all, as a part of Community speaks, we recently started- “Breaking the stereotypes”. Through this initiative, we try to break the stereotype that people have-Mozilla is all about code. We try to showcase contributors/staffs, who don’t contribute through code.

If you’ve missed out on the first one, here is the link.

We’re lucky to have Rebecca Billings for this session of Community Speaks.

Rebecca is a Senior QA Engineer on Mozilla’s Web QA team and also a certified homeopath.


Q. How would you describe your journey from being a certified homeopath to contributing to one of the biggest organization that advocates for an Open Web?

R: I’ve worked in software for many years now- I had my first QA job in the mid-90’s. I didn’t begin studying homeopathy until much later. I have worked as a homeopathy the entire time I’ve been at Mozilla. It’s an interesting question because my journey was never from one to the other- it’s more that I’ve developed parallel interests!

Q. “Technology and Medicine go hand in hand”. Thoughts?

R: I’m not familiar with that expression, but it makes sense. Technology is a branch of science – as is medicine. There is no question that technology brings opportunities for new tools for greater understanding of medicine and the human body.

Q. Is there anything you feel similar between Homeopathy and Mozilla?

R: I was wondering if you’d ask me that! Homeopathy is open source medicine in my opinion. There aren’t patents on the medications which keeps it affordable and available to everyone. The goal is greater freedom in health. Mozilla’s goals are about freedom of the web and being open to everyone. In that sense they are similar, but there aren’t any solid overlaps between the two.

Q. Were there any difficulties when you first started contributing? If yes, how did you overcome those?

R: Starting at Mozilla always involves the “firehose” of information. There is a lot to learn! Not only how to do things, but how to find them and who to ask for what. That’s something that I try to help contributors with, as I know it can be confusing. There weren’t any real difficulties as I found everyone in the community to be very helpful.

Q. Something we ask all the SuperWomen out there: How do you manage time between work, consulting and family?

R: It is a challenge. Balancing work and home is a common problem in this day and age- and having more than one job makes it more complicated. Having two jobs that have very flexible hours is the only way I can make it work- going from one to the other and back again. I have also set limits on how much time I am willing to work in the evening or on weekends. Ultimately it’s my choice to be this busy, and it’s for things I love to do – so that makes it easier to make it work.

Q. How crucial do you think is the QA and Testing in Mozilla? What would be your advice to new contributors in QA?

R: I’m obviously biased, but I believe QA is crucial to any technological project. It doesn’t have to be done 100% by QA Engineers, but people need to have a QA mindset for testing- that’s the only way to really use the product as a User would, and to make sure it does what it’s supposed to do. Everyone in a project has their own priority for getting the project done well and on time, and I think QA sees from the User Advocate point of view. My advice to new contributors is to be willing to learn, and to be persistent. It can be frustrating to learn how teams do things, and to figure out how best to help- so keep trying! Getting to know the team on IRC also helps a lot.

Q. Could you tell us more about “One and Done” ? What is Mozilla’s vision on the same and what could we expect to see in those in the future?

R: The idea behind One and Done is to have one place to direct new contributors to. All of the people who want to help, but don’t know where to begin. You can see a variety of QA tasks that need to be done. They cover all of the QA teams, all of the products, all of the types of testing. It’s a good place to try new things and learn what you like to do. Coming up soon we’ll have a new version that will include more content, with some design and usability improvements. We want to make it fun and easy to use.

Q. Being with a community like Mozilla would certainly have its perks. Could you List out 5 things that you like at Mozilla?

R:

The number one thing is the people! All of the people who make up the Mozilla community. It’s filled with smart interesting people from all over the world, who all have different skills and talents.

Number two would be innovation. There are so many projects and ideas at Mozilla. Everything moves really fast, and everyone is really busy- so it’s fun to work at, and never boring.

Number three would be Community. I know I said people were the number one thing, but this merits another slot. I love working on community building- watching people get to know each other, learn new things and grow their skills with contributions. It’s really cool! Helping people get started is one of my favorite parts of the job.

Number four is learning. You never stop learning in this job! We work on new projects, new tools, new languages, new styles of development. To stay here is to build your skills and career, and I really appreciate that.

Number five is working with a mission statement. I really believe in. You don’t always get to work for a place that shares your personal values, and I feel really lucky to be here. I have a deep appreciation for the Mozilla value of openness- accessibility, transparency, valuing privacy. It’s hard to limit the perks to just five! I’ve worked here for four years now and am still glad to be here, and I know how rare that is!

Q. We’re sure that you would serve as one of the best examples of contributors who don’t contribute to code. How important do you think is the role of such contributors to Mozilla?

R: I do actually contribute to code by doing test automation – but it isn’t what I spend the majority of my time on. Doing work with SUMO and in community building I’ve had a lot of experience working with contributors who don’t add code. They are invaluable! Mozilla relies heavily on contributors to help with L10N translation – for websites, documents, help questions, test events and more. There are the people who do UX and other design work- like those who design badges. We have contributors who do project management. There are people who help primarily with community building and communication- no code is required! Mentoring is another area where the help you give is all one-to-one.  Participating in IRC or mailing lists, doing One and Done tasks, taking charge of projects. And all of this is in addition to one of the main QA activities- manual testing! All of these things are extremely important, and the people who make these contributions help Mozilla every single day.

Q. Do you think it is important to show that Mozilla is not all about coding? What would be your advice to such Mozillians?

R: Mozilla is about a lot more than coding- just read the manifesto [http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/about/manifesto/]! It’s about openness, innovation and opportunity. I really believe that. For anyone who wants to help there is a place for you, regardless of your coding ability. Being a Mozillian is about believing in Mozilla and what we do, and helping advance Mozilla’s goals. The trick is being willing to get involved, meet new people and do new things.


Thanks a lot Rebecca for taking time to chat with us. We really appreciate your thoughts.

If you have any suggestions for Community Speaks, please let us know by tweeting @dun3buggi3 or dropping a mail at dun3buggi3@gmail.com

Mozilla India Community Meet up

Mozilla India Community Meet!!This was the stuff going on in my head since a long time after I got the invite. On 2nd of April I started off from home sweet home, Kannur, Kerala to Chennai.

Though every single time, when I sit in the railway station and see the train coming to take me from Kannur to Chennai, I always have second thoughts of running back home. But this time, it was very different. The very thought of meeting many Mozillians and having an awesome time, got be running inside the train with joy!

I reached Chennai at around 6 am in the morning, came home, freshened up and got a call from Damini, “Do I have to take anything specifically?” , Nah, not required.
Fastforwarding the other parts, I reached the station, met a friend of mine who lives near Chennai Central, went to the compartment. After a while Naresh reached. Damini also reached soon.

We started discussing random stuff and having fun on the way. Stories about each other, to events we’ve conducted to random facts like “Did you know that the eye sight of people does not really change after 21 years”. Not mentioning the person who said that :P

We reached Secunderabad in the morning after a fun filled journey. Soon enough we reached The Park Hotel.

On reaching the hotel, we checked in at the reception. We met Ankit at the reception. Later, we saw Gautham, Sayak and Vineel too. We then proceeded to our room. The view from the room was pretty good, and so was the room. We could see the beautiful Hussain Sagar lake from our room.

As soon as we kept our bags, we went for breakfast because we were told that the session would start soon. We hurriedly ate our breakfast and got in to the conference hall.

We entered the room to find out that it had already started. We grabbed our seats next to Brian King. I looked to my left to see Gen Kanai and Madalina Ana. It was great to see these wonderful people.

Discussions were going on about the Stepping down of Brenden Eich . Mozilla hitting the media for the wrong reasons in the past week. There were sharing of views from the Community and Gen, Brian and Madalina made us aware of the importance of standing together as a community and dealing with such delicate issues.

After that, Vineel briefed us on the agenda for the day and the task force that were working.
Myself and Damini joined the Webmaker Task Force while Naresh joined the Localization, which was lead by some amazing people from Red Hat.

The Webmaker taskforce discussion was started by Ankit. Gauthamraj , Vikas and Tripad were the others present in the discussion apart from myself and Damini.

General Idea:
The general idea in the first half was to give a brief on what is the particular taskforce about and it’s achievements from January 2013 to April 2014. The second half of the discussion was to  brainstorm and build a roadmap for the future and set specific target and goals.

The brainstorming resulted in elaborating the types of events we conducted until now, issues we faced during the events and how we could enhance the quality of the events in the future by implementing new stuffs to teach the web.

After the webmaker session was done and the taskforce Mentors Gauthamraj and Ankit presented a brief session on what is the Webmaker Task force and all the activites conducted till now.

After this session, there was a discussion about FSA’s by Umesh. We discussed on the problems faced by the FSA’s now and the possible ways in which we could overcome these problems.

Two of the major issues that were listed out were:

  • Lack of swags and budget for an event for some Firefox clubs.
  • Permission for FSA’s to conduct events in their colleges.

Solutions to these above problems:

  • Swags  and Budget are a very important factor. Hence, the FSA’s are initially requested to  conduct few events without these so that the Local Reps in their region are confident about requesting Swags or budget to support them next time when they are in need.
  • Perhaps Mozilla India could have a template of an official letter stating that the particular FSA is authorized on behalf of Mozilla India to conduct the event in their University or College.

After that , Galaxy discussed about the Events , Campaign and Logistics task force.
Jafar gave insights on the  Design as well as Social media Task force.
The details about Technical and Documentation task force was given by Kaustav.

The day got over really quick. At night, the Mozillians walked to Ohri’s for a wonderful dinner.

After the dinner, we all returned back to our rooms and retired for the day.

Next day morning I woke up and saw a reply for the mail I had sent to Doug Belshaw about the “Community Speaks”. I was really happy that he had replied, after which, I completed the blog post : http://dunebuggie.wordpress.com/2014/04/04/community-speaks-from-mozilla-india-doug-belshaw-speaks/

As I was taking a shower, I heard the doorbell. I opened the door to see Sujith and Sajeev. I told them that I’ll catch up with them in a while. I got ready and went to their room to see Varun and Gaurav. We were joined by Damini and Diwanshi for breakfast.
After breakfast, we all went to the Panoramic Hall for the meet.
The session started off with the I am a Mozillian video. Each time the someone the face of someone present there was shown, we cheered!


Gen gave a talk on Million Mozillians, which was on building a strategy to reach a Million contributors focusing on the transition from Users to contributors.

After this, we went back to our respective taskforces for the discussion for the day and building the roadmap.
The webmaker team got back to work!

Discussions for webmaker:

  • What exactly is Webmaker?
  • It’s more than just Thimble, Popcornmaker and X Ray Goggles
  • The fourth element we’re gonna add for webmaker events: Appmaker
  • Makerparty 2014 from July 15th to September 15th.
  • Web Literacy as  a major part of Webmaker.

Tracks:

  • Theme based makes. Example: Independence day
  • Tagging the makes with regional tags or #india so that it could be easily remixed when needed
  • Web Literacy Mapper: Including Web literacy in future events and taking up Mapping activities.
  • Webmaker Mentor Tasks: All the webmaker mentors in India should prepare atleast one Popcorn or Thimble make every month so that it can be used as a template. This ensures activity of the mentors and increases the number and quality of the makes.
  • After each event, the organizer of the event could be given access to a Google docs form where he nominates best makes from his event. Assessing the number and quality of makes, the best makes could be featured on Mozilla India Blog or maybe creating one called webmaker.mozillaindia.org(Over to technical taskforce).
  • Ensuring the importance of Offline activities :
    Considering a country like ours, where Internet and other things might not be stable, offline activites plays an important role. Some of the existing offline activities could be found on Webmaker.org with tag ‘#offline’. Importance to activities like Paper prototyping and other physical ones is needed.
  • Demo of Together.js, a collaborative and fun way to learn by making. This is another concept which will be showcased in upcoming webmaker events across the country. http://i.imgur.com/C48Dyra.png
  • Privacy and Security using Webmaker:http://blog.mozillaindia.org/823
    This would also include clear definitions of the words “Hacking” and “Remixing” which is often mistaken, especially when using tools like X Ray goggles.
  • Hive India and collaborations with Webmaker
  • Appmaker to be showcased in upcoming events. This would be able to sort out the issue of advanced users who want to get involved with webmaker. Considering the level of expertise, we could even ask them to contribute to Webmaker by giving them the link to Github.
  • Proper process to follow up to the participants after the event is done, which would benefit in getting more contributors.
  • Webmaker L10N: Translating the basic landing page of Webmaker into local languages.

Here is the link to the etherpad: https://india.etherpad.mozilla.org/Mozilla-India-meetup-Feb14-Tracks-Webmaker?

Before the end of the session, during the breaks, we got some awesome swags!
After the session, we parted ways-some to their rooms, some went out, some stayed back.
Me and Sujith went to his house to meet his parents. Unfortunately, they weren’t home. On our way back, we bought the thing that Hyderabad was best known for! Not pearls! It’s the Hyderabadi Biryani ! How could one come to Hyderabad and not have the Biryani!
It was indeed a travel through 3 different Biryani Zones in 2 days: From Thalassery Biryani to Dindigul Thalappakatti Biryani Chennai to Hyderabadi Biryani !

At night, we had an awesome time with Komal, Jafar, Naresh, Sujith and Damini.

Discussing stories, and making fun of each other, the day was almost over. But we always have time for nightwalks. And nightwalks, means selfie time!

We forced ourselves to go and sleep since we had an awesome session awaiting us the next day same day.

The next morning we got ready in our super awesome Mozilla India tees. Which again meant we had to take a selfie.

We first had a session by Deb and Kaustav on Developer Engagement and Evangelism task force.

We then had recap and highlight sessions by the taskforces.
Post lunch, Madalina talked about SUMO, and the contribution from India.

Gen talked about the launch of Australis. Yes! We’d love to have a launch party in India!

Brian and Jane talked about Firefox OS and Market research.

Post the sessions, it was group pic time!
The making here
The normal one:

The crazy one:

The webmaker team:

Fortunate enough to meet these awesome people! The Malayalees present at Mozilla India Community Meet have a click together

MozAliyans with Deb:

Seriously awesome time with y’all. The thought of getting back to Chennai and preparing for exams was just horrifying.
But then they say, good times are short lived. They also do say, When winter comes, can spring be far behind?

Looking forward to meeting you all again soon…

Flickr link to images : https://www.flickr.com/photos/mozillaindia/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/king-molan/sets/72157643390438705/

“Community speaks” from Mozilla India-Doug Belshaw speaks

We recently started of with this initiative called Community Speaks. This is an initiative in which every week, we would be interviewing one Staff/Community contributor at Mozilla. Every week, the team would be getting in details of the person who would be interviewed and Mozillians can send in the questions they want the the person to answer. These would be moderated by the team and selected questions would be answered by the person being interviewed.

This week, as we started off with this initiative, we are proud to have with us, Doug Belshaw.

Doug is Web Literacy Lead for the Mozilla Foundation. In this role he works on the Web Literacy Map and Webmaker badges as part of the #TeachTheWeb team. Prior to this, Doug evangelised Open Badges for Mozilla, having come across them in 2011 during his time working in Higher Education. Doug started his career as a teacher and then Senior Leader in English schools.

Below is the excerpt from the interview with Doug Belshaw.

 

 


 

Q. From a History teacher at High school, to the Web literacy lead at Mozillla, how was your journey?

 

Doug: Hi Shreyas, thanks for inviting me to do this. I find other people’s questions about my life a great chance to pause and reflect on who I am and what I’m doing. I don’t think we get enough of a chance to do that in our normal, busy, working days.

 

To answer your question, it’s been a fairly indirect, meandering journey. My first degree was in Philosophy and I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do afterwards. My father was a teacher, and he encouraged me to do my teacher training. I ended up loving it and then moving into Senior Management as Director of e-Learning of a large (3,000 student) academy.

 

Teaching while being a senior leader and doing a doctorate is tough, and it came to a point where something had to give. In the end, I decided to finish writing my thesis while working in a non-teaching role in Higher Education. It was during this time that I found about Mozilla’s (then) new Open Badges project. I started finding out more about it, showing up to community calls, and telling others.

 

To cut a long story short, I was eventually invited to be a judge for the DML competition around Open Badges. There was a job going on the Open Badges team and I was invited to apply for it. The rest is history. ;-)

Q. Of course it wouldn’t have been a been a bed of roses even though you make it seem easy, what were the difficulties and challenges you faced and how did you overcome it?

 

D: I guess the main shift was moving from a education-focused organisation where I was interested in technology, to work for a technology-focused organisation where I’m interested in education.

 

Working from home has also been more of a challenge than I expected. It’s better and worse than I thought it would be at the same time. Better because I see a lot more of my family than I thought was possible with a full-time job. Worse, because my home is now my workplace and there’s always things to do! It’s difficult to separate the two. Something that’s neither better nor worse is the way that I interact with colleagues. Interacting primarily online rather than face-to-face is sometimes good, sometimes bad, but certainly different.

Q. Was the transition from a teacher(a person who interacts a lot with students) to leading one of the projects for an organization like Mozilla(a job that would require you to sit behind the desk) difficult? What do you miss the most?

 

D: Well first of all it’s worth saying that I don’t sit behind a desk a lot. I try to vary where and how I work. So, for example, although I have got an office that’s separate from the house, I don’t always use it. In fact, associating different tasks with different places can be beneficial and focus the mind. I’ve started using a DIY standing desk while I’m on calls, and I’m writing this in the armchair next to the bay window in our bedroom. Other places I work include coffee shops, our dining room table, and the library!

 

I do miss teaching, but not necessarily teaching in the context of formal education. The hours were crazy, and there was a lot of bureaucracy and ‘jumping through hoops’ that you had to do. It used to really frustrate me when you couldn’t do things that you knew were in the best interests of students.

 

But, yes, I do miss interacting with young people at a formative stage of their lives. While I might have a shallow impact on a global scale, when I was a teacher I could have a much deeper impact on a local scale.

Q. List out 5 things that you like at Mozilla

 

D: Oh… where to start?

 

  1. The community – without which we wouldn’t be ‘Mozilla’

  2. How talented and committed my colleagues are.

  3. The way we are treated equitably, as people who are acting out of the best intentions for Mozilla.

  4. Travelling. I wouldn’t have said this last year when I was doing too much, but I do enjoy meeting new people and seeing new places.

  5. Working in an open way. It’s such a refreshing change from how I’ve been forced to work in previous organisations!  

  

 

Q. Open Badges was a project that you worked on. How did the concept of Open Badges come into existence? Where do you see the future of Open Badges?

 

D: Well I wasn’t there right at the start, but I understand that the idea behind open Badges began at the Drumbeat Festival in Barcelona in 2010. Mozilla, P2PU and some other folks came together to re-imagine credentialing on the web.

 

I found out about in 2011 when Mozilla was testing the idea with a P2PU course. Looking back, it was such a simple (yet brilliant) test and paved the way for everything that’s followed. The technology behind it is impressive, but that hasn’t been the biggest stumbling block. That would be how long it takes people to realise that the way things are is necessarily not the way they have to (or should) be.

 

Excitingly, Open Badges is such a big thing that there’s no need for me to go out and evangelise it on behalf of Mozilla. In fact, while the technical work will continue at Mozilla, there’s a newly-formed non-profit Badge Alliance headed up by Erin Knight (co-founder of Open Badges) that’s working on growing the ecosystem.

 

What’s next for Open Badges? Well, I suppose once BadgeKit is launched and it’s easier for organisations to create and issue badges, we’ll see them being used instead of – or as well as – certificates, diplomas and the like. It’ll take a while before people use them really innovatively in important settings, I suppose. That’s the nature of innovation!

Q. Your current project is the Web literacy map. Could you brief us about the general concept of drafting a Web literacy map? Also, what is the status of this project as of now?

 

D: Yes, I’m really excited about the Web Literacy Map. Just as my experience as an educator drew me to the revolutionary potential of Open Badges, so I think there’s some exciting work to be done around Web Literacy.

 

The original idea was to come up with a Web Literacy ‘Standard’ – and, in fact, I started working on that with the community  while I was on the Open Badges team. We quickly realised that ‘Standard’ was the wrong word, however, and what we were actually doing was provided a map of the territory of web literacy that others could use.

 

Right now we’re at version 1.1.0 of the Web Literacy Map. As it currently stands, the competency layer is relatively mature and stable, but we need to do some work with the skill layer underpinning those competencies. Working with the community to produce this has been such as successful experience that the competency layer of the Web Literacy Map will soon be used to form the UX (user experience) of webmaker.org/explore.

Q. Having been involved with Mozilla, there sure would have been some awesome moments where even though you did something small, you might’ve felt really happy and consider it as your personal achievement. Could you tell us about one such instance?

 

D: It’s difficult to point to something that’s a personal achievement because almost everything I do is in collaboration with a colleague and/or the community. However, something I’ve been very pleased with recently is a new prototype that Atul Varma and I have been working on.

 

It’s called the WebLitMapper. Just as you’d use a bookmarklet to add things to social bookmarking sites like Delicious, Diigo or Pinterest, you can add resources relevant to the web literacy to the WebLitMapper. The tags you use are from the competency layer of the Web Literacy Map.

 

I mentioned it in a meeting a couple of months back and some people thought it was a good idea while others were skeptical. It turns out that, after testing and iterating with the community, it’s something that people teaching the web really value. So I’m very pleased about that.

Thanks a lot Doug. We would like to thank you for spending time to answer our questions. We are indeed proud to have you as our very first member under the “Community Speaks”. Kindly let us know if you have any suggestions/tips/wishes for us.

 

D: I’d like to thank all the Mozillians around the world for their efforts, especially those in India who seem to be doing such a great job at teaching the web!

 

Thanks very much for inviting me to be the first in this series. I’m very much looking forward to further contributions to ‘Community Speaks’.  :-)

BroMoz Makerparty

After the super awesome WoMoz Makerparty conducted at Sathyabama University, only for girls, the boys went came and asked us to conduct an event for them. “Why should Girls have all the fun!?” was their question.
We agreed to conduct the event even though it was on such a short notice. This gave rise to the BroMoz maker party-Brothers in Mozilla :D
I must admit I was reminded of Barney when we decided to name it BroMoz.

Since college was coming to an end, even though we were busy with record submissions and practicals, I gathered my team and we were up and prepared for the event.

On 27th March, Thursday, the volunteers from IInd year-Franklin, Navdeep and Subash arranged for the registrations which were limited to 60 at the max.

They got the names of the students and the session started at 1:00pm in the Digital Library.

I asked the students whether anyone had attended any of our previous Mozilla Events before. We got a few hands up.
After that, I asked these students to explain to their friends about their understanding of what Mozilla is, as an organization. I was really proud to see them explaining so well about Non profit and sharing knowledge and volunteer community. I was proud that I was successful in spreading the word during my events.
I told them about the Mozilla Community and general functioning of Open Source.

I also told them about Persona and it’s uses, so that they could use it to save and publish their makes.

The next session was taken by Achyuth and Shashank who explained them about Webmaker tools.

When we interacted with them, we found out that they were more interested in doing things rather than listening about the tools, so we told them in advance that since the time is very less(the session was from 1pm to 3:40pm), we had to go quick in order to cover all the three tools. But fear not! For we had our super awesome webmakers to the rescue!

  • Achyuth
  • Shashank
  • Nikhil
  • Franklin
  • Navdeep
  • Subash



We also had the WoMoz team lead, Damini, and WoMoz volunteer- Monika, to help out so that they could assist the boys if they had trouble using the webmaker tools.

We started with X-Ray goggles, since it’s one of the tools that is very less time consuming and extremely easy to understand.

Students had a good time playing around and creating a lot of fun stuff using X Ray Goggles.

We then moved on to Thimble. We gave them the general theme as Meme making since Internet meme’s and trolls were widely popular in here.
Results were some hilarious and creative makes!
We saw multiple makes in thimble from some students who were really interested.

Last session was about Popcorn. Everyone had a great time using Popcorn maker.
Though initially some had a tough time understanding the concept of different Layers in popcorn, I explained them in detail about the need of Layers.

Achyuth, Shashank and Nikhil walked around and helped everyone with their doubts and troubles with saving their makes.

In the end, we had our WoMoz team judging the makes and 3 were chosen among the best, though they had a tough time judging the 100+ makes by these students in the limited time.

Finally three winners were chosen.



We gave away Mozilla swags to the winners.
And no, we never forget to have our share of fun.
Here is #thedaminipose by us:

Links to awesome makes from the event[WARING-A lot]:https://etherpad.mozilla.org/bromozwebmakerparty

Event flickr link: here
and here

WoMoz Maker party.

On the 13 of March, Damini Oberoi, WoMoz from Sathyabama Firefox Club, conducted the very first Makerparty that was exclusively for girls.
Even though we planned to keep the event for around 60 people, we were amazed at the number of enthusiastic girls who wanted to attend, and hence, made the maximum to 90.

The event was restricted to the students belonging to CSE and IT department.

At around 9 am,the students settled down in the Digital Library of Sathyabama University.
I started off with an introduction about Sathyabama Firefox Club, FOSS, Mozilla and Web Literacy.

Damini then took over the session with WoMoz.

She told them about the various influential women all over the world and about Women in technology.

She started off by asking the students a question-How many of you think that there is a need of a separate platform for women to talk, share their views and learn more?
There were many students who raised their hands.

She then asked them why they felt for the need of a separate platform. This gave rise to the current situation and the existing male dominated system.
She asked them whether this was because girls aren’t interested in technology or they have lesser knowledge when compared to their male counterparts? The girls strongly disagreed to this!

She then told them about Women in Mozilla.

Later on, she mentioned about Webmaker. She explained to them various tools and how to work with them.

I told the students about Persona. From why it is used, to getting started with persona.
Everyone signed up for persona.

We then told them in a detailed manner on how to work with Popcornmaker, one of the tools they liked the most.
Everyone were told to create a video and save it.

This video was then judged later on based on their idea, number of events used and length of the video and idea conveyed.

We walked around helping the 90 students to get started with Popcorn. Many had doubts on what was the use of different layers. We explained to them the concept of layers in detail.

We had many wonderful makes from the students.

We had given a general topic as Women Empowerment.

From Mother Theresa to Malala, there were a variety of pictures in the popcorn makes and content.



Me and Shashank started judging the makes. Later, Damini joined.

Here are the makes from the event: https://etherpad.mozilla.org/womozmakerparty

We gave 3 Webmaker tees to the first, second and third, and many swags to the winners.

Introduction by Damini Oberoi (WoMoz)

Event photos on Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/116230719@N08/sets/72157642305135244

Hive Vizag

Hive Vizag Day 1:

I started from Chennai on 5th evening at 5pm. The bus departed 15 minutes late from Chennai. I was told that the bus would reach Vizag at around 8 am on 6th. The journey was pretty good but tiring. On reaching Vizag, I called Rajath, one of the point of contact that Vikas had arranged. He told me the name of the hotel as Royal Fort.
I got an auto from the bus stop and reached Royal fort. On reaching, I saw a guy sitting on the sofa near the reception wearing a Mozilla tee.
As I told my name to the reception, they told me my room number and also that the guy sitting there was my room mate.
I got introduced to him. He was Santosh Viswanatham, an FSA from Hyderabad. It later struck me that he had organized the App Days at Sreenidhi College recently.
I asked him if he was waiting for someone. He told me that Vineel had asked him to wait in the reception. He accompanied me to our room. We were discussing about how we contribute to Mozilla and I learnt that he was an App Developer for Firefox OS. I told him that I’m more into Community outreach, SuMo and that I’m a Webmaker Mentor and also initated KidZilla.
We realized that Gauthamraj and Ankit were in the same hotel, but since we did not have their contact numbers or know their room number, we couldn’t meet them. Later, Santosh got in touch with Gautham who told him that they were in a room on the same floor as ours. He went in to meet them while I took a shower. Later, I joined them. Gautham greeted me with a really awesome news that my video was chosen as the “Video of the month”! I was overjoyed to hear this!
We had some chit chat and later we got a call from the reception saying that Vikas and Vineel were in the reception waiting for us to join them for breakfast. We met them too and had breakfast. At around 10:40 am, we started off to Gitam University in the cab.
We were also joined by Pratheesh[Robo Inventions] and Surendranath Reddy[Redd Robotics]. It was really great meeting these two. Quadcopters and 3D printers are always a crowd puller where ever they go.

The view on the road was great with the Ghats on the left and the sea to the right. Vizag sure did get our liking for that!
The university was quite big. We were taken to the workspace of the GUSAC team. The place looked great and there were students working everywhere in keeping the pre-Hive spirits.

I was amazed at the way Vikas and his team were arranging and organizing things there. The amount of effort they had taken for Hive was really showing. Vineel, Ankit and Gautham started on planning how things should begin.

It was a “Train the trainers” session.
We were later taken to the auditorium where the event was to happen. We had all the volunteers and mentors of each station to assemble there. Vikas introduced Vineel, Gautham, Ankit, Santosh and myself.
We were given the ID’s that read “Super Mentors”. It was a really proud moment for us!

Ankit started with an ice breaking session. It was a spectrogram. He asked questions like “Is privacy important at all times. Does it really matter if some things were looked over”, “Is Open Source the best option at all times in every situation”. Interesting were the replies from the students and the session went really good. The last question he came up with was ” Do you think this Hive Vizag is gonna be the best Hive event ever!?” We had an amazing and enthusiastic reply for the same!
After this, we had a short lunch break after which the sessions resumed.

Later, Ankit started his presentation about the concept of Hive. It also had a video on the Mission of Mozilla.
The slides contained pictures from various Hive events across the world and it really motivated everyone.

After that, he told the students to get into their groups, sit with volunteers and discuss about what they were going to do in each station. Any random member from the team was to come and explain and answer three questions:

  • What is your station about?
  • What do you plan to do?
  • One thing you would like to take away

We had volunteers from all stations come up to the stage and answer these three questions.

After all this, we showed them something really special. It was video from Mark Surman wishing us all the very best with Hive Vizag. He also expressed his sadness in not being able to attend the event in person.
It was a really important and big video for all of us.

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The volunteers and mentors were then given their ID cards and the Hive t shirts were distributed.
After this, the students began sticking the posters. I was amazed when Vikas told me that they had worked about over a month to complete 100+ posters. I took time in reading and snapping all the posters I could find. It was great! The time, effort and creativity portrayed in each one of them.

After this was done, we had a few trial makes with the 3D printer. It was really facinating to actually see it in action. It was the first time that I had seen a 3D printer for real. The little boy in me came out! In no time, I was hooked to it and began playing with the 3D models that Surendranath Reddy had made.

It was a long day. We all went back to the hotel and had dinner.

Everyone equally excited about the big day next day!

Hive Day #2

Me and Santosh woke up at around 6:30 am the next day. We were really excited about Hive. We got ready at around 7:30 am and Vineel and the rest of the team joined us for breakfast. Over to the other table we noticed a team of people and they had “KiDiHOU” printed on their t shirt. We knew that they were also coming for Hive Vizag.
Post breakfast, we got introduced to each other and we learnt that they are a Children’s learing museum based in Hyderabad. Got a lot to know about what KiDiHOU aims at.

We reached Gitam to see the Hive everywhere! The venue was filled with a lot of people with Orange colour Hive T shirts.Everyone working hard to set up the station and make the arrangements from decoration to setting it up.

While playing with the Android controlled Car, I met Galaxy.
Someone whom I really wanted to meet after hearing his name :D
TOTALLY WORTH IT! #crazy

In total, there were 22 stations. Each one had their mentors and the volunteers.
Here are the links to the events:http://makerparty.hivevizag.org/
Below is a walkthrough video to the stalls.

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Though all the stations were amazing, something that I was really interested was the Stop Motion Animation as well as the sound editing.
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I really like the Python and Arduino station too. It was really informative and opened new doors to the endless possibilities.
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The Silk Screen Bandana and Hack the T shirt were really creative.
I was awestruck at the wonderful things they created at the Origami station. The amount of patience required to make something is great.

I looked into the Webmaker stations. There were some fascinating questions and doubts from the mentors. One asked me as to why Popcorn maker was dynamic and I told them about the flickr photostream that gets updated when we insert into the existing photostream. I also got to learn new techniques from them too. One of the webmakers asked me during the discussions as to what is the major difference between w3schools and thimble if both are HTML editors. I told them about the Open source concepts as well as the instant output which is shown in thimble. Also the major advantage of being able to share the makes in thimble. The satisfaction of having spread atleast some amount of knowledge was great.

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Om, from the Python programming station, approached me saying that there were some students from a nearby college wanting to start a Firefox Club in their college. I was really happy to meet them. I told them all about Mozilla, FSA’s and Firefox Clubs. I also gave them my mail id and told them to contact me whenever they need.

It was soon time for the Quadcopter flight. We saw Pratheesh in action with the amazing Quadcopter. Seeing a quadcopter in real was something extraordinary!

When we came back , we had a Redd Robotics showdown with 3d makes.

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A little while later, we saw the Mascot Fox come up into the venue! Everyone were really excited to see the mascot! All had a lot of fun with the fox and showered it with love.

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We even had a Foxy dance!


Hive Vizag was truly one of a kind experience!
Truly, Explore+Create+Share

More photos on flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/116230719@N08/sets/72157642151878314/