Mozilla Web Literacy workshop at Darbar College

Almost a year ago, Mr.Praveen, an assistant professor at Darbar college reached out to me to guide his students to contribute to Mozilla. We did the very first Mozilla event in the whole of Bijapur last year.

It was amazing to receive an invite from Darbar college for the second time to conduct a follow-up workshop. The best part was to see the contributors grow in such a short span of time.

Some observations over time

  • Students had more awareness about Mozilla, what we do for web literacy, about Firefox being open source and even some of the contribution pathways.
  • The teachers and management was more welcoming because of the leadership opportunity they see in associating with such workshops.
  • For them , this is also an opportunity to add this to their showcase of events during admissions. Events like this give them an edge over other colleges in the city.
  • Mr.Praveen, the assistant professor who’s our point of contact from the college, is now doing a research paper including Mozilla Firefox in his test cases on  open source.
  • He is also working hard in spreading the adoption of open source and volunteers his time educating his colleagues on various internet related issues.

The session started at around 10 am with a quick overview about what happened during last year’s session(for the students attending this for the first time). The entire session was divided into two parts

  1. A brief idea about Mozilla, MLN and Mozilla Clubs.
  2. Prototyping and presenting teaching activities.

During the first session, we discussed about various topics trending on the internet such as privacy, surveillance and sharing personal data on the internet like Apple vs FBI, FreeBasics etc. The students agreed that there are lot of issues they are ignorant about, but need to build better awareness so that they can be vocal about these.

During the second half, we started prototyping and presenting concepts in a fun manner. The idea was to explain about technology and computer related topics in a fun and participatory manner to a 5th grade student.

Absolutely loved the energy in the entire room when they started ideating. I’ve tried to capture some of the ideas generated out of these sesssions below.

  1. Team 1:
    Members: Shanwaz, Vaibhavlaxmi, Sujuta, Ashwini, Sushma
    Idea:
    Explaining the concept of networking with the help of hoomans!<a data-flickr-embed=”true”  href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/116230719@N08/27747229754/in/album-72157670469998381/&#8221; title=”DSC_6409″><img src=”https://c3.staticflickr.com/9/8592/27747229754_c2f9a1b067_c.jpg&#8221; width=”800″ height=”534″ alt=”DSC_6409″></a>//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsDetails:
    The team explained the basic idea of networking along with the types (LAN, MAN, WAN) with the help of people standing inside a circle.
    First, they formed a small circle with a PC who would be inside the circle. This mean the PC is in the Local Area Network. After this, the PC moves out of the circle demonstrating that it’s no longer a part of the LAN. The circle then extends to form the MAN and the similar excercise is carried out to show WAN. This was a quick and easy way to show the different types of networks as well as the concept of networking to a 5th grade students.
  2. Team 2:
    Members: Pradeep, Anand, Vinod, Riyan, Madesh, Siddarth, Karthick and Manju

     

    Idea:
    A skit on ordering a custom assembled PC online.<a data-flickr-embed=”true”  href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/116230719@N08/28259755122/in/album-72157670469998381/&#8221; title=”DSC_6414″><img src=”https://c3.staticflickr.com/9/8699/28259755122_0d4e4c323b_c.jpg&#8221; width=”800″ height=”534″ alt=”DSC_6414″></a>//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

    Details:
    The team did a short skit on a website where you can order a custom PC with your own configuration and the process behind it. Everyone is aware that assembled PC’s are expensive. This offers a platform to order custom built versions. They demonstrated this by showing different students as different components like- PC, website, monitor, CPU, keyboard etc. in a very funny and interactive manner. Especially loved the way they showed Google loading the search results.

  3. Team 3:
    Members:Akshata, Rohini, Asharani, Jyoti, Pooja
    Idea:
    A skit on the contrast between an internet enabled teaching environment and one without internet.<a data-flickr-embed=”true”  href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/116230719@N08/27747610813/in/album-72157670469998381/&#8221; title=”DSC_6416″><img src=”https://c6.staticflickr.com/9/8657/27747610813_ddf5e54003_c.jpg&#8221; width=”800″ height=”534″ alt=”DSC_6416″></a>//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

    Details:
    The team did a skit in a government school setup with a teacher and two students. The teacher explains the students about the various generations of computers and the students ask questions on how it looks, why is it called that etc. This is when the teacher with internet enabled smart phones comes to the class and teaches her colleague to use the internet on her smart phone and that too in her local language. This impacted the students in a large way and they were now able to understand much better.

  4. Team 4:
    Members: Nasira, Amruta, Shreya, Arun, Pradeep, Akash, Varun, Shashikani
    Idea:
    A skit on how Online Shopping works.<a data-flickr-embed=”true”  href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/116230719@N08/27747597784/in/album-72157670469998381/&#8221; title=”DSC_6419″><img src=”https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8598/27747597784_db851b6c2d_c.jpg&#8221; width=”800″ height=”534″ alt=”DSC_6419″></a>//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

    Details:
    The team did a skit on how online shopping works. Right from the placing of order, to dispatching the same by the courier service. They also showed the availability or returning an order. This is used by ecommerce services like Amazon, Flipkart etc.

  5. Team 5:
    Members: Mahadev, Vishwanath , Akash , Anand , Varunkumar , Vishal, Ravikiran
    Idea:
    A detailed explanation on what happens during software installation.<a data-flickr-embed=”true”  href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/116230719@N08/27747546123/in/album-72157670469998381/&#8221; title=”DSC_6420″><img src=”https://c4.staticflickr.com/9/8636/27747546123_b3e909e528_c.jpg&#8221; width=”800″ height=”534″ alt=”DSC_6420″></a>//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

    Details:
    This team gave a detailed step by step process of installing a software. From browsing, to installing to setup to packaged installer to admin permissions to files in the registry.

    Press Report:

    <blockquote class=”imgur-embed-pub” lang=”en” data-id=”UtlKnju”><a href=”//imgur.com/UtlKnju”>View post on imgur.com</a></blockquote>//s.imgur.com/min/embed.js

    <blockquote class=”imgur-embed-pub” lang=”en” data-id=”xkeHJgL”><a href=”//imgur.com/xkeHJgL”>View post on imgur.com</a></blockquote>//s.imgur.com/min/embed.js

    My day in Bijapur:

    Flickr link

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[Day 1]Makerparty Chennai-Train the Trainer event

13th September, 2014-Train the Trainer event.

I woke up early in the morning at around 5 am! Partially due to the fear of something going wrong at the event and also due to the excitement. I remember lying down on the bed the previous night and on 13th morning I wake up noticing that I’ve got a laptop near my bed with the Makerparty slides just under construction! I somehow managed to complete it before we started to MIT. We had a lot of swags and banners, so we had to go in a cab, in which it was easy to manage and work on the slides final design.

As soon as we reached MIT, we had the organizations coming in one after the other. As soon as everyone reached, we started the session.

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I started the session with an introduction about Mozilla, Webmaker and Hive.

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I then told them about the Hive events in the past, including the one that happened last week in Pune.

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Below given is the presentation that I’ve used.

Once this was done, the station super mentors were requested to come to the stage and give a brief about their station to the volunteers so that those interested in helping the particular station, may do so.

This was started by Jeyanthan and Muthu from Google Developers Group, Chennai. Jey told us about the GDG stations and talks like App Inventor, Google glass, Google Cardboad and Material design.

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Muthu told us about Android Wear and smart watch.

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After this, we had Mr.Pavanaja, from CIS to talk about contributing to Wikipedia. He told us about the importance of language and the reasons why we should spread the awareness about it to sustain cultural and linguistic diversity.

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This was followed by a session on Game Design and development by Cerlyn, Arun and Varun. They told us that the game design station would be split into three phases- Concept, Design and Code, where the attendees could give suggestions for a game and at the end of the day they would choose one game idea and develop it into a game and give credits to the person.

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Next we had Achyuth and Shashank taking care of the Webmaker station for Mozilla. They gave us insights on the different tools in Webmaker and the importance of Web literacy.

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After this, we had Nikil, from the Appmaker station by Mozilla, on the stage. He was also handling Firefox OS with many devices to display.

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We then had Greema, from the Vibrant Hue station, to talk about the Art station. She told us a lot about the significance of colours by pointing out the designs and patterns on our dress.

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Next, we had Damini, Satya and Jerald from the FSA station for Mozilla. The FSA station was an experimental station that we came up with, in order to follow up with the participants who would be interested in contributing to Mozilla after the Makerparty.
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Then we had Surendranath Reddy from Redd robotics, to brief us about the hardware stations like 3D printing, Arduino, Augmented Reality, MindBot etc.

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We then heard from the Null community on how you can stay safe on the internet, about user privacy, hacking, malwares and network protocols.

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Lastly, we had Himanshu, telling us about his Chain reaction station, which was based on Goldbergs machine used for printing.

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After all the sessions were done, we had volunteers pick the stations they are interested in. We then had lunch.

Post lunch, we had breakout sessions where these volunteers interacted with their station super mentors to discuss their plan of action for the next day.

Wikimedians busy editing the wiki and making it better for us:

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Null hackers and security enthusiasts hacking their way:

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Game designers developing games:

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Our awesome Google Developers community discussing on how they can plan for their sessions:
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The Chain reaction team were quick to start work with their volunteers as soon as the talking was done.
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All the teams were done with their discussions and everyone dispersed. The organizers and the Chain reaction team stood back to set things at the venue and to decorate it. The stalls were set up and the chain reaction machine was tested to perfection despite flaws.

Tired, exhausted, sleepy-everyone went back with much hopes and expectations for the big day!

Hate reading but love checking out pics? Check out our collection on Flickr:
flickr link to album

Initiating a club at SSN College of Engineering

SSN! The name sure might ring some bells to the long time Mozillians.
The college that had given many awesome Mozilla Reps- Dwaraka Nath and Harvish Sekar. Indeed, I must admit, the first person that I approached to get involved with Mozilla was Dwaraka and it was a proud moment to plant water the seeds of Mozilla in their college.
Having expressed his interest in contributing to Mozilla, Vaikkunth had approached me over facebook. I invited him for our event at MIT after which he was totally enthusiastic about starting a club in SSN. I still remember Bharath from SSN, who joined us for our very first event-MozMania. It was so good to know that he was guiding Vaikkunth.
Earlier that day, I was introduced to Farina, their club lead. It was the second club in 2 weeks and this one also lead by a girl! Oh how proud I was! GO WOMOZ!
We reached early around 10 am at SSN and started with the event soon. I started the ever awesome Spectrogram ice breaker!
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I must say, this was very different from the one at MIT. There were some really good and strong arguments over some points. It was great to see the crowd warming up so fast.
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I was informed that there were two sessions the same day of 2 hours each.
After the spectrogram, Naresh took over the session with a session on Firefox OS and how to contribute to Mozilla through code.
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After this session, I gave a talk on what exactly is Mozilla as a community and the ways in which you could contribute. There was a demo of the Firefox OS devices too.
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This marked the end of the very energetic first session. Post lunch, we had another session.
In this one, there was a new crowd of students and for them, the spectrogram was conducted by Damini, Achyuth and Shashank.
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Sure they did get the wave and it went really well. Time was running short now for the last session so we had to hurry things a bit.
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Damini started off the session since she couldn’t contain her excitement seeing more girls than boys in an event. She told them all about WoMoz-the who, why and how part of it!
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Wonderful it was to see all the hands go up when she asked-“So how many WoMoz can I expect after this event?”
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Achyuth then gave a talk on Webmaker and our very own Makerparty!
It was nice to link the Web literacy question from Spectrogram to this session. Now they began to realize the importance of Web literacy-Users to makers of the web, indeed!
Shashank took the next session on SuMo and helping people on the forums as well Localization. How easy it is to translate articles from English to your local language.
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Nikhil gave them insights on how to create apps using the Appmaker. Students really liked it since there was less of code and more of design.
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Satya talked to the students about our initiative called KidZilla, which really impressed the students and many approached us asking how they could be a part of this.
The event signed off with Makerparty, Hive and Firefox OS discussions with groups of interested students into breakout sessions.
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Cors, this wouldn’t have been possible if not for the excellent team and their efforts.
Well done Farina and team!
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Event link on reps portal: https://reps.mozilla.org/e/inauguration-of-ssn-firefox-club/
Flickr link to images: https://www.flickr.com/photos/116230719@N08/sets/72157645968805605/
Blog post by Bharath: http://www.quora.com/Bharath-Arjun/Posts/SSN-Mozilla-Club-Inauguration
Blog post by Vedanth and Vaikkunth: http://www.ssnmoz.blogspot.in/

Mozilla comes to MIT

When people hear the name MIT, they often tend to think of Massachusetts Institute of Technology. But for the ones in Chennai, it’s always Madras Institute of Technology. Such green, much wow!
The last time I went to MIT was again for a hackathon that we organized(https://dunebuggie.wordpress.com/2014/02/17/mit-firefox-os-hackathon/). Indeed, it was a proud moment for me because I still remember, the last time we were leaving MIT, Naresh pointed at me and told the boys-“See this guy, he’ll be the Mozilla Rep from Chennai who would be coming for your next event.”
And I was!Their first event after the hackathon was this one-Initiating a Firefox Club at MIT.
Although Naresh and Viswa could not make it, I promised to myself that I’d go for this one no matter how sick I was(Yes, I was sick). At around 10 in the morning, I got a call from Anna, the organizer and Club lead of MIT.
I told her that I was right outside the college, although the evil intention of telling her that I can’t come, crept into my mind multiple times. We got the whole team inside by 10:15 am and started the event soon.
I started off with a Spectrogram– A wonderful ice breaker activity.
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It was really nice to interact with the students and get to learn and know what the think about different issues like Privacy and sharing their data on the internet to Using Open source over proprietary software.
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The Spectrogram sure did make the attendees more inquisitive about how the entire session is gonna be.
The session started soon after the spectrogram. Being part of CSMIT , they were all pretty much aware of what Mozilla is, as an organization and as a community.
I told them about the various products, projects and contribution pathways within Mozilla.
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A demo on Firefox OS was given with the tablet from the TCP. There was a mixed feedback from the students about Firefox OS.
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After my session, Achyuth took over the session by going deeper into Webmaker. He showed a Demo of Popcornmaker and X-Ray Goggles and also told about the Makerparty.
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Shashank took over by explaining about SuMo, Localization and Thimble with the help of his teaching kit for Localization.
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After Shashank was done, Nikhil then took a session on Firefox OS and Appmaker. He explained how to create a simple application using Appmaker and it’s in-built templates.
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The last session was handled by Vikneshwar on Bug fixing. He gave us more insights on the best practices to get started with fixing bugs by showing his own first bug and how he got started. Having fixed many bugs over time, it was really good to have him with us to share his knowledge with the students of MIT.
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I would not do justice if I fail to mention that the help extended by the FSA’s from Sathyabama University, is worth a shout!
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It feels really good when you have many clubs and FSA’s together for initiating a new club. A true sense of a Community.
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We talked to the Chairman of CSMIT who was really interested in the idea of Hive and told us that he would definitely talk to the management to try to organize a Hive makerparty in MIT. Surely, one of the reasons I love what I do is the Networking part.
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Wonderful job! to all the organizers- Anna and team, wishing you all the best and good luck for the club 🙂
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Event link on reps portal: https://reps.mozilla.org/e/initiating-firefox-club-in-mit/
Flickr link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/122049104@N07/sets/72157645254512938/
Event blogpost by Anna: http://jodanna.org/blog/2014/07/15/mozmit-makes-its-debut/

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