Firefox is turning 10! In order to celebrate, meet 10 Mozillians from all over the world.
They share with us how they feel about Mozilla and the Web : their memories, their daily life as a Mozillian, their expectations for the next 10 years and more.
“We do things together and that keeps us solid.”
Hi Ahmed! Tell us a bit more about yourself to get started.
I’m Ahmed Nefzaoui, from Tozeur, Tunisia. I study Web Development and it’s my graduation year!
I like developing web stuff using the latest technologies (sometimes the ones that are not even standardized yet) and I learn as much as I can about implementing RTL versions of stuff.
That’s awesome; we wish you the best for your graduation! And how did you discover the Web?
So this goes back to end of 2006, beginning of 2007 when I first bought a computer – without Internet access. I was like 13 years old and dying to explore the Internet. There were a couple of games in that computer but I wasn’t interested in the games themselves: I was trying to find out how to explore the code of their how-to-play guides, which used HTML technology – what we call now “inspect” and “view source”. Then I literally started to decouple the code (tag by tag) and that was when I learned some of the basics.
I didn’t have an Internet subscription as I was a 13-year-old kid, but I was secretly using a Dial-up Internet access and whenever I had the chance to be connected I was downloading PDF books about HTML, CSS and JS. I read them and started practicing.
That pretty much was my very first interaction with the Internet. You could say I was more interested in “how to do it” rather than “what to do with it”!
If you had one thing to say to the world about the Internet and its potential, what would it be?
FIGHT for it to stay open & free! That’s because the Internet is open that I have been able to view the code. If it wasn’t free I wouldn’t have had access to those books I downloaded, and I wouldn’t have learned how to “make the internet”.
Now what about you and Mozilla? If you had one word or sentence to describe Mozilla, what would it be?
Mozilla is my 127.0.0.1, my home, and is all my hopes for a better internet future.
How did you start contributing to Mozilla?
I was fascinated by the fact that an organization as big as Mozilla has everything they work on shared in a wiki that is accessible to everyone. I started crawling through the wiki trying to learn as much as I could.
Then, after about six months, Andreas (Editor’s Note: Andreas Gal is chief technology officer and Vice President of Engineering at Mozilla) announced Boot2Gecko. I LOVED the idea and the fact that someone like me could contribute such project with no one saying “No, you can’t.”
I started learning about Boot2Gecko and with time I wrote articles about it in Arabic. Those articles caught more and more attention, and in January 2012 a friend of mine suggested me to join the local community in Tunisia and gave me their contact. I contacted Melek and Sofien and they were very welcoming!
I learned more about how communities work and in the meantime they read my articles about Boot2Gecko and introduced me to Rami, founder of the Arabic Mozilla.
They all gave me a chance and trusted me on being someone who could help improving our community, Mozilla Tunisia, and Arabic Mozilla communities!
What do you like the most about what you’re doing with Mozilla?
That you get to contribute to things in the making, and you get to be one of the people who make it ready for everyone in the world to use and enjoy.
Unlike many others, Mozilla gives me the chance to REALLY impact the world and specifically the internet.
That’s great actually. And so what’s the contribution you’re the most proud of?
Firefox OS. Firefox OS is aimed at the developing countries, which means Middle East and North Africa too! But that’s not possible without a fully functional Right-To-Left User Interface. I work on developing that interface and it’s such a huge pride for me to do so!
What do you think makes your local Mozilla community unique?
Mozilla Tunisia is an example to follow here! We’re like a family, everyone has ups and downs but what makes us unique is that we do it all as a team. We do things together and that keeps us solid. We manage things as open as possible and as serious as we can in order to accomplish the goals we plan for.
What about the future now, what do you think Mozilla can give you in the years to come?
To me? The opportunity to have more impact and to help others even more by making the Internet a better place for the coming generations.
And which exciting things do you envision for Mozilla in the future?
If one day my refrigerator, TV or Car uses the web as its technology, it will be thanks to Mozilla. Mozilla doesn’t only fight to keep the web open and free, but also limitless.
What do you wish for the Web?
I wish for the web to stay open and free, and to keep developing while remaining accessible so that another 13-year-old kid from the future may hack on it and learn!