Announcing the MDN Fellows!

Diane Tate

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The Mozilla Developer Network (MDN) is one of the most frequently used resources for web developers for all things documentation and code. This year we’re making the rich content on MDN available to even more people. We’re developing beginning learning materials as well as a template (which we’re calling “Content Kits”) to make preparing presentations on web topics much easier.

As part of this effort, we also launched the MDN Fellowship last quarter. This is a 7-week pilot contribution program for advanced web developers to expand their expertise through curriculum development on MDN. MDN Fellows are experts that will continue to grow their skills and impact by teaching others about web technologies. Specifically, the Fellows will be developing  Content Kits, a collection of resources about specific topics related to web development to empower technical topic presenters.

After a lengthy process where we solicited applications and involved reviewers from across Mozilla, we’re delighted to announce our inaugural MDN Fellowship Fellows! Here they are in their own words – feel free to Tweet them a congratulations!

Steve Kinney, Curriculum Fellow (Colorado, U.S.A.) – @stevekinney

I am an instructor at the Turing School of Software and Design in Denver, Colorado, where I teach open web technologies. Prior to Turing, I hailed from the great state of New Jersey and was a New York City public school teacher for seven years, where I taught special education, science, and — eventually — JavaScript to students in high-need schools in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. I have a master’s degree in special education. I’ve spoken at EmberConf and RailsConf, and will be speaking at JSConf US at the end of the month. In my copious free time, I teach classes on web development with Girl Develop It.

István “Flaki” Szmozsánszky, Service Workers Fellow (Budapest, Hungary) – @slsoftworks

I’ve been following Service Workers’ journey since before it was cool  as a web developer and longtime contributor to Mozilla. Known as “Flaki” in the community, I’ve been evangelizing new technologies to make the Open Web a first-class citizen. As Service Workers seemingly play a key role in this battle, there is no better place to do this than at Mozilla, the most adamant proponent of the Open Web. During my Fellowship I hope to further previous work on MDN’s offline support, while helping in the explorations into Firefox OS’s reimagined new architecture.

Ben Boyle, Test The Web Forward Fellow (Upper Caboolture, Australia) – @bboyle

I’m a front-end developer from Australia, making websites since 1998 primarily for the Queensland Government. Lots of forms, templates and QA. I also mentor front-end web development students at Thinkful. I got interested in automated quality control using custom stylesheets and scripts in Opera, then YUItest, then inspired by ThoughtWorks developers on a project when they introduced selenium and automated acceptance tests in the browser. I’m excited to be helping Test The Web Forward as an opportunity to both learn and share. Because everything runs off browser. Love the latest front-end frameworks? They don’t exist without web standards. I cannot sufficiently appreciate the work so many people have done creating a solid foundation for everything we (as web developers) often take for granted. I am really glad to have this chance to give back!

Vignesh Shanmugam, Web App Performance Fellow (Bangalore, India) – @_vigneshh

I’m a Web Developer from India focused on building the Web Performance platform at Flipkart, one of Asia’s leading e-commerce sites. I am also responsible for advocating front-end engineering best practises, developing tools that help identify performance bottlenecks, and analyzing metrics. I am an Open Source contributor with a deep research background in front-end performance and am happy to be a part of the MDN Fellowship program to contribute to MDN’s Web App Performance curriculum.

Greg Tatum, WebGL Fellow (Oklahoma, U.S.A) – @tatumcreative

My background is in contemporary sculpture, aquarium exhibit design, marketing, animation, and web development: in short, it is all over the place :)  But the central guiding principle behind my work is to find the middle ground between the technical and creative, and explore it to see what emerges. I am a Senior Web Developer at Cubic, a Tulsa, Oklahoma-based creative branding agency where I help create rich experiences for tourism and destinations. I applied for the MDN Fellowship because I’m passionate about the open web and inspired by the possibilities of using 3D for new, richer experiences online with the potential reach that WebGL can have. I really enjoy helping to build the creative coding community and hope to make it even easier for more people to get involved with my own passion of exploring creative code.

Good Bye Firefox Affiliates; Hello Firefox Friends

Jess Osorio

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For 2015, one of Mozilla’s primary goals is to grow Firefox. In order to achieve the growth we are looking for we looked closely at all of our programs and channels to identify opportunities. We focused on how we can better leverage our most powerful differentiator; our global community of contributors, supporters and users. We quickly realized that Firefox Affiliates was limiting our community’s potential. We needed a program that allowed people to participate in spreading the word in a way that aligns with how people share on the Web today.

Firefox Affiliates in its current form was outdated. It was focused on banner creation that supporters could post to their sites/blogs to spread the word about Mozilla and it wasn’t built to be available on mobile. Today, the majority of Web users are consumers of content vs creators of content and a large percentage of people are consuming this content on a mobile device. These are two of the reasons why social media engagement took off so quickly. Sharing content is a simple action that anyone can take without having to go through the process of actually creating content to share and it’s easily accessible on a mobile device.

Some of the biggest brands in technology, retail and nonprofit industries are having huge success with word of mouth marketing programs all focused on making it really simple for fans, contributors and supporters to share content the way people consume it on the Web today.

We decided that our referral program needed to better reflect how people engage with content today. We did extensive research, talked to a number of companies, followed by a very thorough RFP process to learn more about word of mouth marketing programs and eventually select a partner. Volunteer contributors helped by demoing the top potential partners and providing feedback.

Once we dug in, we knew we were on the right track as our own research showed that the more people know about why we do what we do, the happier they are about using Firefox. And the happier users are about using Firefox the more inclined they are to tell other people and the more they know about us, the more they love us.

There is also industry research confirming the power of referral marketing:

  • One third of sales can be attributed to word of mouth, it amplifies paid media
  • Third party conversations and recommendations are responsible for 13-20% of consumer purchases
  • A single word of mouth impressions accounts for 5 times more sales than a single paid media impression
  • 74% of Internet users rely on social media to guide their day to day decisions
  • Impact of an online referral is more immediate than any other type of promotion

Source: 2014 WOMMA Study

The data reinforces our need to introduce a new program that would arm our community with:

  • Content! News & updates around Firefox & Mozilla
  • Tools! To help amplify those messages and conversations around Firefox & Mozilla

This is how Firefox Friends was born! Firefox Friends is our new social sharing program that offers a fresher, better way to show your support for Firefox and all things Mozilla.

With Firefox Friends, you’re at the forefront of our mission, sharing our latest news and announcements with the world. And much like Affiliates, you’re able to track your impact (but with even more stats & data) and get rewarded along the way! Plus Firefox Friends is available on mobile, so its really easy to participate from wherever you are.

It’s really easy to get started with Firefox Friends. Just go to friends.mozilla.org and sign up. You’ll be asked to give your email and create a password. We ask for the password just so you can keep track of your activities and see the impact you’re making along the way. Plus, this way we can recognize you for the great work you’re doing.

We need everyone’s help to ensure we are hitting our goals and growing the number of long-term relationships we hold. That is the key to our success. Firefox Friends will help us foster these long term relationships.

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Sign up with Firefox Friends today. (friends.mozilla.org)
If you’re interested in contributing to Firefox Friends, please contact us firefoxfriends@mozilla.com.

 

Timeline & details for phasing out Firefox Affiliates:

Screen Shot 2015-05-11 at 11.50.05 AM

 

Firefox 38 new contributors

Josh Matthews

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With the upcoming release of Firefox 38, we are pleased to welcome the 54 developers who contributed their first code change to Firefox in this release, 47 of whom were brand new volunteers! Please join us in thanking each of these diligent and enthusiastic individuals, and take a look at their contributions:

  • beracochea: 1111294
  • ian.wills.9: 1055933
  • kevink9876543: 1057600
  • mozilla: 1123480
  • sssarvjeet27: 1122984
  • Aaron Raimist: 665324, 1042619
  • Abhilash Mhaisne: 1097876, 1130210
  • Abhishek Bhattacharya: 737046, 1092547, 1119921, 1125498
  • Adrian C: 1119873
  • Ahmed Khalil: 1125531
  • Akos Kiss : 1122111
  • Alexander Dimitrov: 1125449, 1125497, 1125523, 1126259
  • Andy Pusch : 964412, 982797, 1099500, 1125529, 1134015
  • Avijit Gupta: 934748, 1091117, 1112618
  • Barbara Miller: 1123683, 1125739, 1127823, 1128495, 1128654, 1129099, 1129159, 1131181, 1131219, 1131223, 1134752
  • Boris Egorov: 1070015
  • Christopher Reyes: 1122709
  • Collin Richards: 1089201
  • Dhi Aurrahman: 835800, 1113003, 1120649, 1125766
  • Gabriel O. Machado: 1117889, 1128933
  • Ganesh Sahukari: 1114594, 1114637
  • Gene V: 1076735
  • Geoff Piper: 1134949
  • Giovanny Gongora: 991745, 1124479, 1126426, 1126738, 1126781
  • James Cheng: 1104422
  • James Cowgill: 1130434, 1130438
  • James Dearing: 1124006
  • John Tungul: 1117722, 1123125
  • Josh Grant: 1105863, 1128515
  • Lewis Cowper: 980090
  • Maire Reavy: 1109467, 1126952
  • Manan Doshi: 972138
  • Martin Liška: 1121410
  • Michael Holloway: 924009, 966485
  • Miles Rakestraw: 1126290
  • Mrinal Dhar: 979991, 1096289
  • Rahul: 1093668
  • Rebecca Billings: 1129652
  • Rob Wu: 1128478
  • Roy Li: 896688
  • Shivanker Goel: 1073935
  • Staś Małolepszy: 1133725
  • Swapnil R Patil: 1085428, 1098420
  • Tejas Srinivasan: 1120060, 1120652
  • Timur Valeev: 1133246
  • Tommy Kuo: 1123622, 1125527
  • Vikram Jadhav: 1108049, 1121471, 1122430
  • Wander Lairson Costa: 1109365, 1130327, 1130467, 1132583
  • Yash Mehrotra: 1009056, 1037225
  • Ying Ruei Liang: 1092398
  • nithin: 1098517
  • shreyas: 547623, 1071558, 1119719, 1122433
  • surabhi anand: 1115542, 1116633, 1120203
  • vaibhav: 1127417
  • MDN Contributor of the Month for April 2015: Julien (Sphinx)

    Janet Swisher

    As part of the recently launched recognition program for Mozilla Developer Network, I’m pleased to announce that our first Contributor of the Month, for April 2015, is Julien (a.k.a. Sphinx).

    Julien (in the Batman t-shirt) with other Mozilla Francophone contributors at a localization sprint

    Julien (in the Batman t-shirt) with other Mozilla Francophone contributors at a localization sprint

    The MDN Contributor of the Month is selected from among those users who have been awarded an MDN Star badge for a “significant” contribution. Julien’s MDN Star badge was awarded for doing the “lion’s share” of effort to translate the entire JavaScript section of MDN into French. Many other contributors also helped in this effort, but Julien spent many nights and weekends over several months, translating JavaScript articles.

    The following is a lightly-edited interview with Julien, conducted via email.

    When and how did you get started contributing to MDN?

    When? During Spring in 2013 when I was studying in Edinburgh, where I had some time for my personal projects.

    How? I had already done a translation project with a French association called Framasoft (which closely related to Mozilla in terms of community here in France) and from one pad to another I ended up translating a small piece of article for mozilla-fr (mostly thanks to Goofy who was part of both projects). One thing leading to another, I discovered IRC, the nebula of Mozilla projects, and then MDN. After some edits, I discovered that the article about the <img> HTML tag was not available in French, so I localized it and that was it :)

    How does what you do on MDN affect other parts of your life, or vice versa?

    I’m not a developer but I have some background in IT and my job is about organizing projects with software, so I’d say it feels like two complementary part of what I want to learn and discover. With MDN, I can learn new things (like up-to-date JavaScript while localizing articles), see how an open project works, contribute to what I want, when I want. While at work, I can picture how this sometimes differs in companies where culture and methodologies are more classical. Both are really complementary in terms of skills, experience and knowledge.

    Regarding the time I spend, I tend to contribute during evenings, almost every day (instead of watching TV ;) ) Of course, it doesn’t have to be every day! One should just find the rythm he/she is comfortable with and go with this.

    And technically, MDN is affecting me with travels recently :) From Paris, to Berlin [for the Hack-on-MDN weekend] and Vancouver [for the Whistler work week], this is very exciting to meet people around MDN, whether they are employees or contributors and I’m very lucky to have these opportunities.

    What advice do you have for new contributors on MDN?

    Do hang out on IRC and ask questions [in the #mdn channel]. Do send an e-mail on the dev-mdc mailing list saying who you are and where you’d like to contribute. There are many people waiting to help you. If you prefer Twitter, go for it.

    Contributing to MDN (and to Mozilla in general) can be a bit confusing at the beginning since there is a lot of stuff going on: don’t worry about that!

    The MDN team is very helpful and looking forward to helping you :) See you soon on #mdn

    If you don’t know where to start, you can contribute to the Learning Area or localize the glossary in your language or simply go to the Getting Started guide.

    A highly productive “Hack on MDN” weekend in Berlin

    Janet Swisher

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    Pitching project ideas at HackOnMDN weekend, Berlin 2015

    Pitching project ideas at HackOnMDN weekend, Berlin 2015. Photo by Biraj Karmakar.


    About 30 Mozilla contributors gathered in Berlin over 27-29 March to collaborate for the second annual “Hack on MDN” weekend. Together, we achieved our goal of producing a ton of useful outcomes that will improve MDN in different ways, including code, content, community, and processes.

    Here is a list of the projects that were accomplished. All of them were worked on collaboratively, so if I miss mentioning everyone who worked on each thing, I apologize.

    Platform Code

    • Proof-of-concept for offline use of MDN, implemented with Service Workers, by Szmozsánszky István (Flaki).
    • Prototype Metrics dashboard for MDN, using Google Analytics and database queries, by Rabimba Karanjai, Rob Hudson, Luke Crouch, Justin Crawford, Jannis Leidel, Akshay Aurora.
    • A prototype for opening MDN code samples in JSFiddle, by Flaki, Eric Shepherd (Sheppy), Jérémie Patonnier, and Akshay.
    • A prototype for an annotation system for MDN editors, implemented as a Firefox add-on and back-end server, by Andre Garzia.
    • Proposal and mock-up for slicing MDN into smaller sites, by Vladimir Krstic, with input from Sheppy, Franceso Iovine.
    • Design improvements for viewing MDN on mobile devices, by Thierry Régagnon.

    Content

    Community

    • A draft of new recognition system and process, by Biraj Karmakar, Ali Spivak, and Janet Swisher.
    • Badge for participants of the weekend, by Biraj Karmakar and Janet Swisher.
    • MDN Youtube channel with screencasts on contributing to MDN, and the Learning area, by Biraj Karmakar.
    • A plan for expanding the current “Wednesday Docs” meetup concept to more general MDN meetup-like events.
    • Roundtable discussion about the history of the MDN community, in preparation for our 10th anniversary celebration, later this year. Recorded by Niklas, with a bunch of people participating.
    • Plans for an HTML tutorial, by Jérémie and Thierry.

    Processes

    Firefox 37 New Contributors

    Josh Matthews

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    With the upcoming release of Firefox 37, we are pleased to welcome the 43 developers who contributed their first code change to Firefox in this release, 39 of whom were brand new volunteers! Please join us in thanking each of these diligent and enthusiastic individuals, and take a look at their contributions:

    Mozilla Fellowships #1: Become a curriculum developer!

    Chris Mills

    I’m Chris Mills, and I’d like to tell you a little bit about the Mozilla Fellowship I’m mentoring this year: Curriculum Development.

    By day I write documentation for the Mozilla Developer Network (MDN), and it gives me immense job satisfaction to know that what we write is being used by around 3.5 million people each month. Not only that, but our material benefits professional developers, and also increasingly students/learners (exemplified by our Learning Zone.) We are not only helping people with their work; we are also helping to shape web literacy and future careers.

    Wouldn’t you love to be a part of this? One great way would be to sign up for a Curriculum Development Fellowship. In this role you’ll get to develop a curriculum of your choice — learning materials that aim to teach a subject you are passionate about. You can feel free to suggest anything you like, as long as it is in the remit of MDN and suits our purposes.

    This means key web or Mozilla technologies. We’ve already got other fellowships specifically covering WebGL and Service Workers, but what about a curriculum about web animation, Firefox OS apps, game development in general, or the new features of ECMAScript 6?

    The curriculum can involve multiple media types, for example articles, code samples, exercises, videos and more. As long as the learning path makes sense and works — and you are happy — we are happy.

    We will work with you to match you to the best subject based on your background, ideas, and Mozilla priorities.

    You should be an experienced web developer with expertise in JavaScript, CSS, HTML and/or other key technologies. Proficiency in written and spoken English is also necessary, as the curriculum should be published in English first, although we also welcome localised projects too.

    So what are you waiting for? Learn more and apply!

    In search of the perfect HTML tutorial

    Jeremie Patonnier

    As you might know, MDN is running a big project, code-named “Learning Area“. The main objective of that project is to make MDN more friendly for people who wish to start their journey in the world of web development.

    I already told you about the project in this blog last year, but where are we now? Well, we are in a fairly good shape: We have a glossary of the most common terms used in web development (more than 200 and counting) and we have two very comprehensive tutorials: a generic “Getting Started With the Web” for those who have no idea where to start, and a more complete “How to build a web site” for those who want to get into it straight away.

    This is a good start but it is far from complete. This year we will dig into what is at the heart of MDN: Web technologies. All through the year, we will build or refresh our tutorials for getting started with the main web technologies: HTML, JavaScript, CSS and SVG. The idea is to provide comprehensive content, interactive exercises, and self-assessment tools to learn those technologies. It won’t be easy but if we work all together it’s doable.

    Our first action is to build a full HTML tutorial. Why this one first? Well, there are two reasons for starting with this one:

    • First, HTML is the entry point to all the other technologies. Without HTML, other technologies can be used but are close to useless inside a browser.
    • Second, HTML is the only basic technology that has no getting-started tutorial on MDN. JavaScript, CSS and SVG have tutorials on MDN (okay, mostly out of date, but they’re better than nothing). So it makes sense to us to start with that technology.

    Building such a tutorial is not simple and we need all the help we can get, including yours. If you want to help us shape the HTML tutorial, now is the right moment to step up. Helping is really simple:

    1. If you want discuss the plan and the content of the new HTML tutorial, you are welcome to discuss it on the dev-mdc mailing list.
    2. If you want to provide feedback and follow up on our plan, we are taking raw notes on a dedicated Etherpad (feel free to comment and edit).

    MDN is awesome for seasoned developers. Let’s make it awesome for beginners as well.

    Firefox 36 New Contributors

    Josh Matthews

    With the upcoming release of Firefox 36, we are pleased to welcome the 50 developers who contributed their first code change to Firefox in this release, 44 of whom were brand new volunteers! Please join us in thanking each of these diligent and enthusiastic individuals, and take a look at their contributions:

    Firefox 35 New Contributors

    Josh Matthews

    With the upcoming release of Firefox 35, we are pleased to welcome the 41 developers who contributed their first code change to Firefox in this release, 35 of whom were brand new volunteers! Special thanks to Sezen Günes for compiling these statistics for this release. Please join us in thanking each of these diligent and enthusiastic individuals, and take a look at their contributions: