Brrrlin 2020: a SUMO journal from All Hands

Hello, SUMO Nation!

Berlin 2020 has been my first All Hands and I am still experiencing the excitement the whole week gave me.

Contributors picture

The intensity an event of this scale is able to build is slightly overwhelming (I suppose all the introverts reading this can easily get me), but the gratification and insights everyone of us has taken home are priceless.

The week started last Monday, on January 27th, when everyone landed in Berlin from all over the world. An amazing group of contributors, plus every colleague I had always only seen on a small screen, was there, in front of me, flesh and bones. I was both excited and scared by the number of people that suddenly were inhabiting the corridors of our conference/dorm/workspace.

The schedule for the SUMO team and SUMO contributors was a little tight, but we managed to make it work: Kiki and I decided to share our meetings between the days and I am happy about how we balanced the work/life energy.

On Tuesday we opened the week by having a conversation over the past, the current state and the future of SUMO. The community meeting was a really good way to break the ice, the whole SUMO team was there and gave updates from the leadership, products, as well as the platform team.  This meeting was necessary also to lay down the foundations for the priorities of the week and develop an open conversation.

On Wednesday, Kiki and I were fully in the game. We decided to have two parallel sessions: one regarding the Forum and Social support and one focusing on the KB localization. The smaller groups were both really vibrant and lively. We highlighted pain points, things that are working and issues that we as community managers could focus more on at this time. In the afternoon, we had a face to face meeting between the community and the Respond Tool team. It was a feedback-based discussion on features and bugs.

Thursday was ON FIRE. In the morning we had the pleasure to host Vesta Zare, the Product Manager of Fenix, and we had a session focusing on Firefox Preview and its next steps. Vesta was thrilled to meet the SUMO community, excited to share information, and happy to answer questions. After the session, we had a 2-hour-long brainstorming workshop organized by Kiki and me for the community to help us build a priority pipeline for the Community plan we have been working on in the last few months. The session was long but incredibly helpful and everyone who participated was active and rich in insights. The day was still running at a fast pace and the platform team had an Ask-Me-Anything session with the contributors. Madalina and Tasos were great and they both set real expectations while leaving the community open doors to get involved.

On Friday the community members were free to follow their own schedule, while the SUMO team had the last meetings to run up to. The week was closing up with one of the most incredible parties I have ever experienced, and that was a great opportunity to finally collect the last feedback and friendly connections we lost along the way of this really busy week.

Here is a recollection of the pain points we got from the meetings with contributors:

  • On-boarding new contributors: retainment is low for many reasons (time, skillset, etc.)
  • Contributors’ tools, first and foremost, Kitsune, need attention.
  • The bus factor is still very much real.
  • The community needs Forum, Social and Respond Tool analyze:
    • Which questions are being skipped and not answered?
    • Device coverage from contributors.
  • What about the non-EN locales on the community events?
  • Localization quality and integrity are at risk.
  • Language level of the KB is too technical and does not reach every audience.

We have also highlighted the many successes that we have from last year:

  • The add-on apocalypse
  • The 7 SUMO Sprints (Fx 65-71)
  • The 36 community meetings
  • More than 300 articles localized in every language
  • One cool addons (SUMO Live Helper) (Thanks to Jhonatas, Wesley, and Danny!)
  • The Respond tool campaign

As you’ve probably heard before, we’re currently working with an external agency called Context Partners on the community strategy project. The result from that collaboration is a set of recommendations on 3 areas that we managed to discuss during the all hands.


Obviously, we wouldn’t be able to do all of them, so we need your help.

Which recommendation do you believe would provide the greatest benefit to the SUMO community? 

Is there a recommendation you would make that is missing from this list?

Your input would be very valuable for us since the community is all about you. We will collect all of your feedback with us to be discussed in our final meeting with the Context Partner team in Toronto in mid-February. We’ll appreciate any additional feedback that we can gather before the end of next week (02/14/2020).

Please read carefully and think about the questions above. Kiki and I have opened a Discourse post and Contributor Forum thread to collect feedbacks on this. You can also reach out directly to us with your questions or feedbacks.

I feel lucky to be part of this amazing community and to work alongside passionate and lively people I can look up to everyday. Remember that SUMO is made by you and you should be proud to identify yourself as part of this incredible group of people who honestly enjoy helping others.

As a celebration of the All Hands and the SUMO community, I would like to share the poem that Seburo kindly shared with us:

It is now over six months since Mozilla convened last,
and All Hands is now coming up so fast.
From whatever country, nation or state they currently be in,
Many MoCo and MoFo staff, interns and contributors are converging on Berlin.
Twenty Nineteen was a busy year,
Much is going on with Firefox Voice, so I hear.
The new Fenix is closer to release,
the GeckoView team’s efforts will not cease.
MoFo is riding high after an amazing and emotional MozFest,
For advice on how to make the web better, they are the best.
I hope that the gift guide was well read,
Next up is putting concerns about AI to bed…?
Please don’t forget contributors who are supporting the mission from wide and far,
Writing code, building communities and looking to Mozilla’s north star.
The SUMO team worked very hard during the add-on apocalypse,
And will not stop helping users with useful advice and tips.
I guess I should end with an attempt at a witty one liner.
So here it is.
For one week in January 2020,
Mozillianer sind Berliner.

Thank you for being part of SUMO,

See you soon!