i’m now over 10 Years a Mozillian and Part of the Mozilla Community (and now about over 6 years employee at Mozilla) and it still rocks.
I’m sure everyone involved into Mozilla has his own story how he/she got involved and here i my story:
How i got involved:
First, i never actively planned to join the Mozilla Community it just happened I worked back in 2001 at a German Email Provider as 2nd Level Support Engineer and as part of my Job (and also to Support Customers) we used different Email Programm’s to find out how to set-up the Programm and so.
Some Friends already involved into OpenSource (the Linux Community) pointed me to this Mozilla Programm (at that time M1 or so) and i liked the Idea with this “Nightly”. Having everyday a brand new Program was something really cool and so started my way into the Community without even knowing that i’m now Part of the Community.
So over the years with Mozilla i finally filed my first bug and and was scared like hell (all this new fields in a non-native language) and not really knowing what i signed up when i clicked up this “submit” button in bugzillla (was not even sure if i’m NOW supposed to fix the bug
So over the years with more involved into Mozilla and (in my case) with QA and Testing i got the offer to work at my favorite OpenSource Project and Browser in Full-time. And still super excited to work as part of this super great team.
And its still great to show new Community Members how to got involved
What i learned
Being a Community Member at Mozilla is something very special. Even from the first more active days in the QA Community i felt more than welcome and people are very thankful and helpful to show you the way and how stuff works.
I was never planning or hoping to get rewards etc when getting started, but contributing to a OpenSource Project like Mozilla is no one-way thing where you donate something to the Project. You get a lot back like interacting with a lot of people from different locations and maybe from around the world.
Also i learned a lot about Software Engineering like how stuff works and also about Teamwork and Co-working and also somehow improved my language skills a lot Also you meet and work at least online with a lot of new friends. Thats all something you never get at one place in your normal day job (at least was my experience)
The most important lesson i learned over the years is “never afraid to ask questions”. Nobody is expecting you that you know everything. So never afraid to ask questions – its much better to ask someone instead of getting stuck on something where the answer might be a “mouse-click away” on IRC Also this might also result in new insights into the Problem and Solution and maybe result in a way better solution than you were thinking.
Learn to accept that there will be mistakes – nobody is perfect – and there might be situations where you are on the wrong track or you made an error/ mistake. Happened as example to me too when i was verifying a bug wrongly in a Firefox Release that caused in the End a Re-Release of a Firefox Version. I can tell you i was super sad that day when i realized that i could have catched the Regression if i were digging deeper and with more testing etc…So yeah was a super bad feeling but then someone i got of motivation from other Team Members telling me that Errors can happen and thats its not the end of the world. So yeah that was super great at that day and reminded me that Mozilla is also not a one-man show its TEAMWORK!
We need YOU!
Open-Source lives from Contribution to the Project by the Community. So its never too late or bad timing to join the Project. There is always a place for you to join the Mozilla and also its a super great place to do you very own impact to make the web a better place to everyone. You don’t need to be a super code expert, there are a lot of Areas at Mozilla where you can contribute.
So yeah get started today!
What i do currently:
Like i said i started in QA and now working as Sheriff at Mozilla. Its part of the Auto Tools Team at Mozilla.
The primary responsibility of the Sheriffs is and will always be to aid developers to easily, quickly, and seamlessly land their code in the proper location(s) and ensure that code does not break our automated tests. In the service of this objective, the Sheriffs work closely with the larger engineering organization to create and enforce landing policies that increase productivity while maintaining an efficient and robust automated testing system. Beyond the policy role, they have also become shepherds of automation quality by monitoring intermittent failures, performing uplifts and merges, and identifying poorly performing automation machines.
And we are also looking for new Community Members!
Why not Community Sheriff
A Community Sheriff is working the other Sheriffs to keep the Code-Trees in a good shape and also working with Developers and also filing bugs for failing tests etc.
We are working currently on creating documentation to get new Community Members. So when you are interested in becoming a Community Sheriff let us know in the #ateam Channel on IRC (irc.mozilla.org).