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The story of my first Mozilla Festival


I remember rushing through my paper which got over by 4.30pm and I had a cab booked for the airport which was to pick me up by 5pm. Well, that was the level of adrenalin rush I had faced throughout my MozFest.
After a not so uncomfortable journey of about 9.5 hours from Mumbai, I finally landed in London in the morning at around 6.45am (from here on, all the mentioned times are going to be London's local time). Well, after the immigration check and luggage check out, now the challenging job began.

Initially had thought of not sharing this part of the story, but then again, why not! While trying to find the station from where I could get a train to Green park, I kind of got lost at the airport. I went to the wrong station and almost boarded a wrong train! Phew! A timely realization just saved my day. Finally after finding the RIGHT path, I did manage to check into the hotel.
Didn't get much time to explore my room or the hotel though, had to immediately leave for the venue as I was already running late by an hour.

Day 1 begins: 
It was such a relief to finally meet the rest of the team at the Ravensbourne. The day began with loads of excitement but the schedule didn't look much heavy initially. The first half of the day mostly consisted of a few meetings and strategy building sessions. We also had a super fun T-shirt designing session where we did hack some Webmaker T-shirt did actually wear those hacked stuff on the following Sunday.

My hacked T-Shirt!!!


It was fun dressing the venue up for the big event that morning. Sooo many creative people with their artistic gloves on were doing an awesome job at making the place look super cool.

The SCRUM wall is being prepared!
The actual fun began in the evening with the science fair. It was like awesomeness all around me! There were so many creative stuff all around the place. Some of my very favourite ones were (sorry, should have noted the real names down...these are the names I have given them as per their characteristics):
  • Save the kittens game
  • Painting robot
  • The glowing T-shirt
The robot...completing his painting job!
After an amazing day, it was time for an amazing dinner. The Brazilian Grill it was on our plate that night.

Day 2 begins:
The second day was more of 'making'. We reps were all over the place, no doubt about that, but there were a few places where I was seen a bit too much (well, other than the coffee stalls). In the morning, I was mostly hovering all around the 'Green Screen' to learn the art of making those awesome popcorn videos with live memes. Some of the awesome work of this booth can be found here. 

Another place where I was probably expected to be found a lot and yes I was there, was at the table where "Girls in Technology" teaching kit was being prepared (well, yes I am a feminist and everyone knows that by now :P ). The kit we had built that day can be found here. This is one of my favourite contributions (that I could give) to MozFest.

The amazing Mozilla Reps at the MozFest

Other than these, we had the Reps group photo taken, we (all the reps) did play the Ware-fox (some game similar to the Ware-wolves game that we play a lot).
That night it was Japanese food that was served on our plates for dinner. Post dinner we did even join the Karaoke night party (though for a really small amount of time).

Oh ya...this time I got hold of Mr.Foxy when the camera was around ;)

Day 3 begins:
I knew it was my last day in London and last day at the MozFest...so from the very beginning I was determined to make the most of the day. On this day, I was all over the place. I made badges, I gave an interview for the MozFest documentary, I did paint T-shirt and I also played the recently learned Ware-fox game with a group of kids.
Wow! What a day it was. Even before I realized, the clock had turned and it was time to say good bye to all. Here I shouldn't forget to thank Christos for the swags that I received as the departing gift. I wish I could stay back longer....I wish MozFest was celebrated for a month (I know the Mozilla accountant will kill me at this demand :P ).
I headed back to the airport with a heavy heart. Departing after awesome 3 days is never easy...but like every other great things, this also had come to an end.

  
Thats me at the MozFest!
 
I did return to India. Trust me when I say, I gave the remaining two papers and to my surprise they didn't go that bad :P


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Mozilla Summit 2013....through my glasses!

This one is gonna be long as I have too much to write this time.
Mozilla Summit 2013 was my first International Mozilla event. The summit venue for me was Santa Clara, California.
It was still 2nd of October 2013 when I did meet my fellow Mozillians at Mumbai International Airport. Though we were together at the airport, we were not traveling together. Mine was a flight to SFO via Amsterdam. After a long restless wait at the Mumbai airport, I did board the flight for Amsterdam. Well, it was a long flight indeed but somehow was not as tiring as I had thought it to be. I did get the first glance of Summit at the waiting lobby of Amsterdam airport. There were some 30+ Mozillians there....all heading to the Summit. Oh my god! Wearing a Firefox/ Mozilla T-Shirt made so much sense. It was like several members of the Mozilla family, who didn't know each other, did recognize each other instantly by the Family mark they were in. Another long flight took us to San Francisco. At the airport, there were several volunteers who were enthusiastically waiting to receive us. A shuttle took us to the hotel. Tired we were...no doubt about that. But the moment I entered the venue, energy of several hundred Mozillians present there somehow did fill me up with energy and washed all the tiredness away.
We went ahead, completed the check in process at the hotel, completed our Summit registrations, collected the cool goodies which was waiting for us and finally headed to our respective rooms.

The super cool welcome kit...

All the Mozilla India community members did meet before the Welcome reception to discuss about the next morning's country fair. The Welcome reception hall was my first realization of how huge the Mozilla family was and how little I was exposed to this family. I didn't even know 20% members present in that Hall that evening.
It was so awesome an experience to have unknown Mozillians walk up to me to say 'Hello' and how those small conversations did turn into huge important discussions.

Day 1 (Friday):
The next morning began with Tristan Nitot's welcome speech. Mitchell Baker's speech about Nature of Mozilla was really encouraging. When Mitchell explains-"What makes Mozilla 'Mozilla' "....you cannot but listen to her in all attention.
The World fair was so awesome that I have no words to describe it. The Indians were all in their traditional dresses and even if I sound really biased, I will have to say that the Mozilla India's booth was the most attractive one. Though more than Mozilla India's booth, I did spend my time in the WoMoz booth with Michelle and Faye. More than responsibility, it was the fun I was having making those wax seals that kept me glued to this spot.
The one question which I get a lot from my friends whenever I show them my Keon-" Whats the Future of Firefox OS?" This question was best answered by Sandip Kamat and Christian Heilmann during their session.
Post these sessions, we had the panel discussion session followed by the Group photo session. It was Firefox OS dinner party that night followed by awesome Karaoke performances.

Day 2 (Saturday):
The morning began with Anderson, Jim and Patric's session presentation on the Health report of the web.
Woooow!!!! Open web apps is completely and totally awesome.
That morning's most fun part was the Innovation fair. Well, since the Innovation fair was a "Shh!!!Secret Zone" I will avoid writing much about that.
The sessions I attended that day were:
  • Understanding web developers
  • Defining and Packaging a "Mozilla Core" experience for onboarding
     
Both the above stated sessions were awesomely enlightening. They were very different from each other, the discussions that took place were very different but the impact from each one was equally huge on me.

Mozillians from India and Bangladesh....at Santa Clara

That night we had a trip to the Great America amusement park. We were waiting at the lounge for the team to gather before departing to the amusement park. I remember watching a guy standing a few feet from us, a beer glass in hand. We exchanged smiles and it was then that he walked up to us. It was the usual introduction with which the conversation began. I guess it was in his 3rd sentence of the conversation, he casually said-"Do you use JSFiddle? Ya...thats one tool I have built!" We were like speechless and awestruck! We didn't know exactly how to react. I guess it was the awe stuck me that made my brains not remember his name. Well, for me, he is the 'JSFiddle God'!
We then headed to the amusement park (already sufficiently amused :P ). It was my first visit to a Halloween theme party. If I had to describe this trip in a single word, the word would be "THRILL". Starting from dangerous Roller coaster rides to 100 meter free falls....we did it all. Well, needless to say, Mozillians are awesome in every domain ;)

Day 3 (Sunday):
This morning was a bit different from the other two. This time, we were no more passive listeners. We gathered in groups and pitched in our ideas about different Mozilla products and how we could make them better. Fun it was! Sooo many brains...sooo many ideas! Ever thought about the different Community Tools - What do we currently have? What are our top needs?- Honestly I had never given it a genuine thought before attending Pierros and Soumya Deb's session. It was a brain storming session where the participants initially came out with all the problems of the present community tools followed by some probable solutions.
This evening was like a dream come true evening for me. We visited the Mozilla Head quarters in Mountain View followed by the Google office. Wow! Simply simply awesome.

At Mozilla HQ....with Mr.FOXY!!!!


The evening ended with the Dinner and dance party and that was the official end of the summit.
This evening, I chose to spend my time in the Hacker Space instead of the dance floor. Well, I was kind of tempted to be a part of the MDN Code Sprint discussion. It was at the hacker space where I met David Walsh and Luke Crouch. I had seem them around in the past two days but it was my first MEETING with them. I have been a huge fan of David ever since the first blog of his that I had read a few years back. It was like meeting the celebrity you always admired. The moment was as if not sufficiently magical, when suddenly David came up to me and asked if I would like to help him with the front-end of MDN! Well, it was a moment when I had to literally ask my friend (Kaustav) to actually pinch me so that I could believe it was not a dream but reality!
After so much of awesomeness, you never feel like returning back. But like all other great things, this also had to come to and end. After another series of long flights, I finally reached back home.


P.S: I am sure I am missing out on a lot of important and interesting things here. This blog will thus undergo several updations.




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