Hello everyone and greetings from Taipei! A thousand Mozillians gathered from across the world for our semi annual, company wide work week, which happened a few weeks ago at the world renowned Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. For many of us here across the globe spending a week in Disney was already amazing, even if it meant 24h+ in air travel. But what truly made the experience memorable and enriching was working and networking with other Mozillians all in one place! It was really inspiring and gave us a good idea of what to expect in the coming year.
Mozilla made sure to start the week off on a good note, as we walked into the All hands meetings, each seat had a furry Firefox doll waiting to say Hello! There was even a group of singers on the stage as well as a live beat boxer to welcome each speaker. And here are two of my personal highlights from the meeting:
We had a big announcement: Firefox OS will now focus on Connected Devices like Smart TV, Wearables and the Smart Home, which means we will refocus our strategy and explore the possibilities which the Internet of Things can offer. I’m personally really excited about this new announcement. It will be challenging, but also refreshing. We’ve been working on Smart TV for a while. It’s been a good start already, and it will be great to have the chance to explore more possibilities with IoT integration. For more information about the new strategy, check out our new SVP of Connected Devices, Ari Jaaksi’s blog post here.
FOCUS for iOS
An unexpected surprise, the Firefox team launched their new app, Focus by Firefox into the app store live on stage, during the all hands. FOCUS is a free ad blocker for Safari on iOS which also disables web analytics and social media trackers. This will allow the user more privacy, improve mobile performance and reduce data usage. For more information about FOCUS, link here.
Other parts of the work week that were important for us were the numerous small team meetings which let us explore and discuss new ideas and upcoming projects. And some of the highlights from the sessions were:
At Mozlando we wanted to share a concept project that most of the UX team has been working on for the last few months, codenamed: Alopex (a small arctic fox). The core concept of Alopex was to put the open web first, by focusing on a great mobile browser experience, advanced offline capabilities and the emphasis on webapps. With Alopex, one can build on top of the amazing work that has gone into customizations (add-ons), saving web content (Pin the Web), data sync and more. At the booth we provided our demo device for people to test out the new navigation model which received positive feedback. . It was a great project to be have been part of. We even had different kinds of stickers available for people to snag! For more information about Alopex here.
Besides Alopex, we had a session with Barry Munsterteiger who shared with us how the Web can make our TV project more exciting. He demonstrated some motion design he completed a few years back using only web code. It was amazing to see how much the web had progressed over the last few years, this really inspired us to prioritize our collaboration with engineering to make our motion design smoother and more performant during our next project. Of course, there are many other interesting topics and projects from various other meetings. But all in all, it provided a perfect environment for us to set goals and strategize with our team.
Now on the fun stuff…
Here is the Wednesday night event. We got to experience international cuisine while being entertained by different cultural performances on the stage, next to the EPCOT Center. The decorations were a big part of the events. There were several big, decorative projection screens that shows” Mozlando 2015”, and the colorful lighting all over the place. There were also fireworks after dinner as well as a reserved Mozilla only zone where we could watch them closer. Special cute desserts and drinks were also provided. This was the most memorable part to me.
In the end, it was an amazing experience. Our semi annual work week exceeds our expectations every time and makes us all like a big family again. And I still can’t get over those amazing fireworks. I can’t wait for the next upcoming work week in London in 2016!!! Now enjoy some of our most memorable photos taken by Mozilla Flickr.