This week, Mozilla IT is on-site at one of our offices for an IT meetup. Back in March, I chose to take part in helping physically move some of our infrastructure. When we were not in the data center, it was great to meet team members in person, but there was very little time for heads-down work. I was skeptical that a week together would be worth it, because it is a lot of expense to send the IT department to one location (we’re scattered all over the globe) and not get too much work done. However…….
As it turns out, the week was fantastic. The culture was conference-like – we had a big room and many breakout rooms, so we were able to address everyone, as well as groups.
Monday was a travel day. Tuesday we had lightning talks, where all of our teams had 10-15 minutes to explain what they do, what they have done, and what their upcoming projects/goals are. There was also a group activity (which I missed due to flight timing so I can’t comment on). The teams are:
Data Center Operations
Wednesday through Friday (today) involved breakout sessions. For example, we had a work session where we audited the monitoring against Crash Stats. We had learning sessions such as “Secure Cookie Solutions for Admin Sites” and informational sessions such as “State of the Mozilla Network: Past, Present, and Future” and “Addons/Marketplace Architecture”. And there were strategic sessions, such as “Defining our First Principles (systems team)” and “Brainstorming a Mozilla IT Advisory Board”.
And of course, there’s the hallway track – at this meetup, the “hallway track” consists of finding someone in person whom you want to talk to about an important topic. For example, I was able to sit down with Gerv and hammer out a plan to start optimizing queries for Bugzilla.
And of course there are some evening activities – some touristy events, and some good fun game playing, too.
I was skeptical at the beginning of the week, and the actual meetup has blown away my expectations. This week has been totally worth it, and I hope that we can continue to have meetups like this, preferably more than once yearly.