MDN MozFest outcomes: self-teaching

Jeremie Patonnier

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A few weeks ago the Mozilla Festival took place in London. Members of the MDN team were there, and we ran several sessions. Chris Mills and I ran two instances of a session about self-teaching.

MozFest by Yuandra Ismiraldi

The intent of those sessions was to share experience about self-teaching (as everybody teaches themselves one way or another) and to get some outcomes to improve the MDN Learning Area, which is intended to be used for self-teaching about the Web.

We ran two 40-minute sessions, one on Saturday and one on Sunday. In order to make sure everybody had a chance to share their experience, we split the session in two parts:

For the first ten minutes of each session, we asked five questions to the participants, and gave them sticky notes to put their answer to the questions on a wall.

  • What works well about self-teaching?
  • What sucks about self-teaching?
  • Do you prefer self-teaching or mentoring and why?
  • What resources are good?
  • What tools would you like to see/use?

The remaining 30 minutes was dedicated to discussing the various answers, making sure every body had a chance to share their experiences and opinions.

So what did we get?

What works well about self-teaching?

The biggest outcome is the feeling of accomplishment of learning things by ourselves. Fighting difficulties and being able to solve problems on our own is a big part of the self-teaching experience.

What sucks about self-teaching?

On the other hand, feeling lonely appears to be the biggest issue with self-teaching. That sounds obvious but very concrete issues were raised:

  • It can be difficult to keep motivation and focus.
  • It’s hard to find answers when we are stuck with a problem and it feels sometimes like “begging” for help.
  • It’s hard to find good self-teaching materials without any help or guidance.

Do you prefer self-teaching or mentoring and why?

According to our participants, both self-teaching and mentoring have their pros and cons:

Self-teaching is nice to be able to learn at our own speed and to choose what to learn. On the other hand, again, being lonely and alone when facing a hard problem can lead to a dead end.

Mentoring definitely makes things easier when we need help or to reach a community of peers, especially to solve complex problems. But on the other hand, it requires to adjust ourselves to peers’ and mentors’ way of teaching/learning which can be difficult to follow because it’s too fast or feeling like moving too slow if we are quick learners.

What resources are good?

Among the various resources that came out of the session, there are three which were pointed out quite often:

  • Online courses and tutorials (with Codecademy gaining mindshare as usual) to learn the basics.
  • Community tools (forums, mailing-lists, IRC, etc.) to share help and knowledge between peers.
  • Books or offline resources as a source of reliable long standing knowledge.

What tools would you like to see/use?

Finally when it come to self-teaching, the most wanted tools are:

  • Interactive learning tools for code (Codecademy and Webmaker are the most often names that show up).
  • Tools to measure/evaluate one’s level of knowledge.
  • Some resources on “learning to learn” on their own, and on structuring their learning pathways.

Those session were very enlightening and will definitely help us in shaping the MDN learning area.

Thanks to all the attendees. I look forward to run some other sessions next year.

10 days of Mozillians: meet Irayani!

Tristan Nitot

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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.

Irayani Queencyputri

“And above it all, I teach the Web!”

Irayani Queencyputri

Hi Irayani!

First of all, may you please shortly introduce yourself?

My name is Irayani Queencyputri, but you can call me Rara! I am 34 years old, I live in Jakarta, Indonesia. I work as a dentist in my daily life, I blog since 2002, and I volunteer for Mozilla as a Mozilla Reps member and mentor. I like to travel and meet some new people. Three words: Dentist, Travel, Mozillian!

What about the Web? How did you discover it?

I was introduced to the Internet back in 1997. I just graduated from high school at the time and I was about to enter university. At first, I only knew there was a service called e-mail, thanks to which one would send some mails via the Internet – and not by post. Then my mom received an e-mail from the internet service provider, which I emailed back. Someone answered and she is the one who introduce me to mIRC, browsing, personal web at Geocities, and then I discover a new playground called the Web <3

What about you and Mozilla, if you had one word or sentence to describe Mozilla, what would it be?

One word: Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!

Tell us a bit more about how you started contributing to Mozilla…

I knew Mozilla from a browser named Firefox!

I have been using Firefox as the default browser in my computer since version 1.5 and never changed since then. Before Firefox, I actually used Netscape and then Internet Explorer and many years later I learned that actually Mozilla actually was born from Netscape!

Back in 2010 I was a chairwoman at Pesta Blogger, an annual national blogger event in Indonesia. That’s where I met Gen Kanai, as Mozilla was supporting the event. After a long talk with him I realized that Mozilla is not only about the browser. Mozilla is a community that has many projects and an awesome mission!

I also met Mitchell Baker in the process. Mitchell is so inspiring! After the blogger event, I was so driven by the mission and asked Gen how to join Mozilla. I love the Web so much, but I cannot code. So I started helping to organize events for Mozilla.

Then I met Viking Karwur, and soon after that, mid 2011, the Mozilla Reps program was launched, and I have been a Rep until now.

What’s the contribution you’re the most proud of?

I am a Mozilla Rep! In that position, I have the opportunity to create Mozilla events in Indonesia, and to give Mozillians the chance to share their experience with the attendees.

I also teach how to use the Web in a very positive way with Mozilla.

And above it all, I teach the Web!

Let’s talk a bit more about you & your community. What’s your best memory with your fellow community members?

There are so many memories, and all of them are the best! But what I cannot forget that we found a way to
do a Maker Party in the Park.

Let’s open up about the future! What do you expect from Mozilla in the future?

I think Mozilla can spread the spirit of community and openness even more broadly in the future. And keep on influencing other people to learn, to teach, to share everything about the Web, in a positive way!

And what do you wish for the Web?

I wish the Web to be more open, to give us a place to be as creative as we are, to dig some positive potential in each of us, and to give us a space in which we may always teach, learn, and share!

Thank you Irayani!

Thank you! Peace, Love and Smile :)

10 days of Mozillians: meet Shreyas!

Tristan Nitot

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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.

Shreyas N. Kutty

“The Internet is the world’s largest public resource. It’s our duty to protect it! “

Shreyas N Kutty

Hello Shreyas! Could you please introduce yourself in a few words?

My name is Shreyas. I’m a student pursuing my Bachelor in Computer Science Engineering. I’m an Open Web enthusiast, a Mozilla Representative and a Community builder from India.

Tell us a bit more about you and the Web: how and when did you discover the Web?

I discovered the Web when I was in school. I used to get projects from school and my sister used to search for images in Google and print it out for me. I always fancied the concept of getting whatever you wanted at the tip of your fingers. It was when I started growing up that I discovered the endless possibilities of the Web.

If you had one thing to say to the world about the Internet and its potential, what would it be?

The Internet is the world’s largest public resource. The possibilities are only limited to your thoughts. It’s our duty to protect it! Play your little part and protect the Web!

If you had one word or sentence to describe Mozilla, what would it be?

Mozilla, as defined by any Mozillian, would be a Community of like-minded people who strive to protect and preserve the Open Web ensuring transparency and accessibility to all.

What do you like the most about what you’re doing with Mozilla?

Whenever I see people using Mozilla Firefox, I feel proud thinking that I’ve helped shape a community of people who contribute to build the browser.

And what’s the contribution you’re the most proud of?

Growing communities and getting new contributors to join a global movement to protect and empower the Open Web is the contribution I’m the most proud of.

Evangelizing, inspiring people to contribute and get involved, and convincing them that “one does not need to be a coder to contribute to Mozilla!”

Absolutely! Let’s talk about your community. Is there anything you find particularly interesting or special about you and/or your local community?

The Indian community is one of the most active communities in the world, with active student participation. This is something I am particularly proud of when I attend events where I represent Mozilla.

The best thing after contributing to Mozilla is that now, wherever I travel in India I have friends that I’ve met through Mozilla and the Firefox Student Ambassador program!

And what’s your best memory with your fellow community members?

Each and every event, from a MozCafe to a Hackathon, is really unique. People with various skills with the common passion for the Open Web get together and make things and inspire more people to be a part. The ever growing community is the strength of each event.

What exciting things do you envision for Mozilla in the future?

The launch of the Firefox OS phone in India has paved the way for new possibilities and limitless opportunities in shaping the future of an Open Web, by making it more accessible for the common people. I believe Firefox OS could have a revolutionary impact on the entire world and not just the Indian community.

What do you wish for the Web?

I wish to see a future Web which is secure, transparent, open and easily accessible for everyone, irrespective of who they are, and to protect and to preserve the world’s largest and ever growing public resource – the Internet.

Thank you Shreyas, I could not agree more!

Grow Mozilla discussion this Thursday

dboswell

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If you’re interested in helping new people get involved with Mozilla, join us Thursday for an open community building forum.

10 days of Mozillians: meet Ben!

Tristan Nitot

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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.

Benjamin Kerensa

“Mozilla means open because it is moving the Open Web forward and ensuring it is protected and open for all to access and build.”

Ben Kerensa

Hi Benjamin!

First of all would you please introduce yourself in a few words, and give us three keywords that define you?

My name is Benjamin Kerensa and I’m 30. I live in Portland, Oregon and am an IT Consultant. I’m passionate about building communities around open-source projects and moving the Open Web forward. In my spare time, I enjoy hobbies such as photography and soap making. Keywords: Open, Innovation, Community.

How and when did you discover the Web?

I discovered the web in the 1990’s in school where I got an opportunity to use Mosaic, a predecessor to Netscape Navigator, which was my primary browser for a number of years. I would surf the web and use early search engines to find information and learn.

If you had one thing to say to the world about the Internet and its potential, what would it be?

I would say that the possibilities of the Internet are beyond anything we can imagine. The Internet continues to evolve far beyond what anyone had ever imagined and it is important that we protect this resource so its available to everyone.

If you had one word or sentence to describe Mozilla, what would it be?

For me, Mozilla means open because it is moving the Open Web forward and ensuring it is protected and open for all to access and build.

What do you like the most about contributing to Mozilla?

I like the feeling of knowing the work I do will impact millions of people around the world in a positive way. I enjoy knowing that everyone from schoolchildren to world leaders use software that I help build and that software helps them do what they are passionate about.

What would be your best memory with your fellow community members?

My most fond memory is gathering with Mozillians for Summit and being able to be equally excited about how were all working on something so much bigger than ourselves.

What exciting things do you envision for Mozilla in the future?

I truly believe Mozilla’s future is bright and that millions of people around the world will look to Mozilla to be a good steward of the Open Web and help push the open web forward through amazing open-source software and new platforms and tools.

Thanks Ben!

10 days of Mozillians: meet Rami!

Tristan Nitot

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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.

Rami Khader

“When I started contributing I felt like I lived in a different world, where contributors volunteer to shape a better Web”

Rami Khader
Hi Rami! First would you please shortly introduce yourself?

My name is Rami, I am from Jordan but currently living in the Netherlands. I am working with the Organization of Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) as Application Programming Officer. I am a passionate, smiley and optimistic guy who is an IT addict, enjoys cooking and playing yoga!

What about you and the Web, when did you discover it?

My first encounter with the Internet was in 1996. I was visiting my uncle and he showed me what the Internet can do. I spent quite some time surfing the Web and reading about it in magazines, then I decided to bring it home and spent more time online and discovered its possibilities. I couldn’t sleep for a few nights!
I still remember how my phone line was always busy, everybody was complaining about that because it was a dial-up line and I was always connected!

If you had one thing to say to the world about the Internet and its potential, what would it be?

I would say Internet = Knowledge = Power.

Tell us about you & Mozilla. If you had one word or sentence to describe Mozilla, what would it be?

A Safe House in the virtual world.

How and why did you start contributing to Mozilla?

I started contributing to Mozilla in 2003, I was in love with the Netscape browser and I wanted an alternative to Internet Explorer.

One day, I read in a magazine about a new browser called Phoenix which was still in version 0.1. I went home, downloaded it and tried it. It was love at first sight and it became my default browser from that moment on.

With version 0.4, I decided to start working on an Arabic-localized version of the browser. In version 0.6.1 of Firebird, the Arabic localization was almost ready, as listed in the release notes.

The 9th of November that year was a big day for me; I walked around asking people to try Firefox and to download it. I still have the Firefox t-shirt and the Firefox stuffed toy that I got with that release. When I was in Jordan I was even looking for the New York Times to see the big ads for Firefox.

Meeting Mitchell Baker in Amman back in 2009 was the moment that changed everything. I received an invitation to the Mozilla Summit in 2010, and after that I established the Arabic community, which is an umbrella for all Mozilla communities in the region.

A first Arabic meetup happened in Amman in 2011 and then a second one in Tunisia the following year. Then I was chosen to be in the first Mozilla Reps Council, and now I focus more on organizing the community, I help localize Firefox OS and I’m mentoring new contributors.

Do you have a Mozilla-related anecdote you’d like to share with us?

“Mozilla changed my life” is the title of my story with Mozilla.

Before I started contributing to Mozilla, I was working as a developer then as a team leader in the private sector and I didn’t know anything about open-source and community work. Company satisfaction was my major goal, secrets and closed-door policy was my favorite policy.

When I started contributing I felt like I lived in a different world, where contributors share their work in an open environment and volunteer to shape a better web, where users have the choice.

I decided to move from the private to the public sector, as I want to impact people both online and in real life. I worked with the United Nations in Amman, and now I’m currently working with another public organization in the Netherlands.

Mozilla changed my career direction, impacted my life and opened my eyes to a different world, so in return I’m trying to change others’ life as much as I can.

Wow, that’s inspiring! Now tell us a bit more about you and your community. Is there something you find particularly interesting that you would like to share with us?

I don’t belong to a single community, I find myself as a member of the Mozilla Jordan community, of the Mozilla Algerian community, of the Mozilla Tunisian community or of the Mozilla Egyptian one.

We share the same language, same culture and we volunteer for the same cause. We are spreading in different country but when we are together, we are as one! Our passion for Mozilla makes us one and makes us best friends.

In short, I am a Mozillian.

Let’s talk about the future! What exciting things do you envision for Mozilla?

I would like Mozilla’s working model to become the dominant one, not just in the IT world but also in other industries.

And what do you wish for the Web?

I wish the Web more freedom and more choice for users.

Thank you Rami!

10 Days of Mozillians: meet Monique!

Tristan Nitot

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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.
Monique is the first Mozillian of our Anniversary series, but more portraits will follow ;)

Monique Brunel

“Mozilla gives me the opportunity to contribute to a better Web in a very strong community.”

Monique BrunelHi Monique!

So first things first: may you quickly introduce yourself and tell us more about you in general?

My name is Monique Brunel but I am also known under the nickname “webatou” (on Twitter, IRC …) which is the name of my blog.
I’ve been a librarian in a school for about twenty years, then accessibility consultant for websites.
I live in Mons, Belgium, and I retired some time ago.

Could you please give us 3 keywords that describe you?

Yes! My keywords: Open Web, Web for all, sharing.

Awesome! And how and when did you discover the Web?

I started using a computer in 1989, and a few years later I read articles about the Internet in computer magazines. I finally got a connection in 1999 and I immediately put my first website online (it was for the athletic club of which I was the secretary).

If you had one thing to say to the world about the Internet and its potential, what would it be?

Keep the web open, safe and accessible to all!

Yes! And what about you and Mozilla: how and why did you start contributing to Mozilla?

The first time I contributed to Mozilla was at FOSDEM 2004, I helped hosting the stand with the Mozilla Europe team.

If you had one word or sentence to describe Mozilla, what would it be?

To me, Mozilla is the organisation that guarantees the openness of the Web!

Do you have a Mozilla-related anecdote you’d like to share with us?

In October 2013, I had the chance to meet Vint Cerf (one of the two inventors of the Internet) in Mons… I introduced him to Firefox OS running on the Firefox OS smartphone I had just received from Mozilla Reps!

Monique / Vint

Tell us about something that you find particularly interesting or special about you and/or your local community!

I am proud and happy to have contributed to the creation of Mozilla Belgium with Benoit Leseul, it was at FOSDEM 2011!
Belgium is a small country and there’s not many Mozilla events over there, but we are actively participating in those that take place in France.

What’s your best memory with your fellow community members?

I’m thinking about the first participation of a student, Anthony Maton, to an event in Belgium… and from that day, Anthony became a very active contributor. This makes me proud!

I understand that! Now let’s talk about the 10 years to come: what do you expect from Mozilla in the future?

Mozilla gives me the opportunity to contribute to a better Web in a very strong community.

What exciting things do you envision for Mozilla in the future?

Make the Web a platform with Firefox OS, so that smartphone users can benefit from the open nature of the Web.

And what do you wish for Mozilla and for the Web?

I wish Mozilla to exist for a long time while keeping on enhancing freedom of choice for users. And the Web must always be open and accessible to all!

Thank you Monique for your time and commitment!

We Love Mozfest! Mozilla Communities Newsletter, November 2014

jhalperin

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Community Logo

Mozilla Communities brings you the best new opportunities to help support the open Web.

November 2014

What Can You do for Mozilla Today?

Task 1: Take our community survey!
Task 2: Visit our new Get Involved page!
Task 3: Search for events near you!
Task 4: Sign up for Mozillians.
Task 5: Join the Grow Mozilla Call every Thursday.

Why do you contribute, Leo McArdle?

Last week, Mozilla Communities caught up with Leo McArdle at the fifth annual Mozilla Festival in London, England.Leo started contributing to Mozilla when he was 11 years old. Now 17, he’s a Mozilla Rep and community leader. Leo’s involvement ranges from answering questions for SuMo to Learning and Teaching the WebLeo has attended all four Mozilla Festivals in the UK and has been excited to see how it’s grown as a global tech event. This year’s festival brought together 1700 tech leaders from around the world to hack, play, and learn together at Ravensbourne College.

Leo has “big plans” for the Mozilla UK community, and invites everyone to join them today.

In his words, “MozFest presents a lot of opportunities for doing things which help others and are personally gratifying… we need people with hands-on, on-the ground, experience – and that is what we get [there].”

Keep the spirit of Mozfest alive!

Want to hack, play, and grow in the spirit of MozFest all year long? Check out these awesome opportunities!

  • Hack on BRCK, an application to bring connectivity to more places around the world.

In their own words… Joe Reddington, new Mozillian

hacking

Over 1,600 educators, community-builders, technologists and creators from nearly 50 countries met in London from October 24-26, 2014 for the fifth MozFest.As expected for a mind-blowing alternative tech extravaganza, MozFest featured rousing keynotes and calls to action, demos of amazing hacks of technology for social change and hundreds of sessions on topics from open standards for musicians to building sentient news articles.

As a first time attendee, I was blown away by the interactions on the stairs, in the cafe, or at the demos where you could turn to the person next to you and say “So what’s the cool thing you are doing?” and they’d know!From improving access to medical research, developing a standard for civic tech, or teaching kids to teardown routers, every single person I spoke to was working to make the world better in an open and free way.

Join Joe and 10,500 other Mozillians to…

  • Get into the Mozilla Youth Zone with EPIK.

Teaching kids to code with Mozilla and Coder Dojo!

CoderDojo CEO, Mary Moloney, said in her opening keynote Saturday morning, “if a 9 year old thinks they can change the world, at 11 they’re changing it” – inspiring the crowd of over 1700.

CoderDojo and Mozilla empowers kids around the world to code,the festival featured a joint session between CoderDojo and Mozilla where 20 CoderDojo ninjas showcased what they have learned.

Mozilla is proud to partner with CoderDojo to inspire the next generation of tech leaders.

Pic of the week

MozFest Group Photo

Pic of the week

Mozilla Reps at MozFest

Photos by Christos Bacharakis,Mozilla Rep.

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Grow Mozilla discussion this Thursday

dboswell

0

If you’re interested in helping new people get involved with Mozilla, join us Thursday for an open community building forum.

Grow Mozilla discussion this Thursday

dboswell

0

If you’re interested in helping new people get involved with Mozilla, join us Thursday for an open community building forum.