Taking a break from all Mozilla events

Posted by Unknown on 10:18 PM
Globetrotting, meeting new(awesome) people, getting a chance of public speaking, exchange of knowledge....everything I always loved was given to me by Mozilla; by giving me a chance to host and participate in several of its events. I became greedier with time and starting getting involved in more and more events.
In the last 4 months, I have been out for some or the other event every weekend. It feels great when people invite me to their event as a speaker. But in the entire 'Oh I am loving it mode...' I have neglected by job enough. I work in a start-up which deserves a bit more attention from me than I am currently giving.
There are two events that I have already committed to, after that (from March 10th) I am taking an official break from events for the next few months.
I will continue my contribution in all other forms in my free time. The offers to speak at an event are always too tempting and really tough to turn down, so I am writing this blog post to let everyone know that I am not available for any event for the next two to three months.


A dream come true....FOSDEM

Posted by Unknown on 11:28 AM in , ,
Since the day I had been involved with Open Source and known about FOSDEM, it was my dream to be able to attend at least one FOSDEM before I die ;)
I never knew the dream would come true so soon, that too, it was a dream come true++ scenario for me. I was not only invited to FOSDEM, I was invited to give a talk on the platform of FOSDEM.
I still remember the exact feeling when I had received that email which read "Your talk proposal for the Mozilla DevRoom at FOSDEM 2014 has been accepted!". I was on cloud nine....too happy to be able to share the news with even the people sitting next to me in office (I was in my workplace at that time).
From the day of receiving the invitation to the day of travel...things moved a bit too fast and even before I had realized, I was already in the flight for Brussels.

Day 0 in Brussels

Brussels welcomed us with an awesome climate. The temperature was 0'C when we landed. I was warm in my jacket but I remember not being able to feel my hands after being out for sometime. The hotel was at a great location....so centrally located that we had seen most of Brussels just by taking a walk around our hotel on the first day itself. It was in the evening that I met the rest of the Mozillians over dinner. I was literally the youngest one in the team and I bet was the one most scared (for the talk) among them all. Later that night, we had the FOSDEM bear party where I had the chance of meeting some of the awesomest minds of the Open Source world. I wish I could stay back longer at the party that night, but my unfinished slides didn't allow me to do so. I left early and rushed back to my room to complete my slides and run through them, just to be prepared for the big day.

Day 1 in Brussels

The bus we took to the venue was jam-packed and I was astonished to know that most of them (about 95%) were actually travelling to the same place as I was. Someone had mockingly said in the bus-'if we could hijack this bus now, we could build the Operating System of our dreams. This bus has some of the best brains of the world'.
As soon as I entered ULB Campus, I was thrilled! I had never expected such a crowd in an Open Source event.
It was only at 5pm when my blood pressure started rising...my talk was the next one in line. I was scared like hell but somehow the moment I got on the stage and held that mike and few familiar faces wished me luck, I got an unknown strength to address a crowd of 280+ people. This was my first ever talk in a platform like FOSDEM, addressing a crowd this huge!

Me...in action at FOSDEM

In the next 30 minutes I just lived my dream. I knew this was the moment I had dreamt about all my life.
I can't be a good judge of my own performance, but the tweets I had received during and after the talk were really encouraging.

Day 2 in Brussels

The next was more of enjoying and less of responsibility. I went around all the buildings, visiting all the booths, talking to people, building contacts (and of-course collecting swags). I met some awesome people that day...some whom if I describe as 'genius' it would probably be an understatement. I also got to meet a few people whom I had previously interacted with,online, but never met before.

Meeting Quim Gil at FOSDEM 2014

The most amazing part of this day was when I was told that someone had come at the Mozilla booth, looking for me. When I reached the booth, there was a man who was waiting to interview me and know my journey in the FOSS world. He said that my story could encourage other girls to get involved with Open Source development.
Trust me when I say that there is no feeling better than knowing that your story could make a difference to someone else's life.
I wished FOSDEM was held for longer than 2 days :P

This FOSDEM was a real big event of my life and I hope I get an invitation for the next one as well ;)

My slide can be found here :

The recording of my talk can be found here:
Video Link


Campus Konnect II

The event was rightly named and it was organized exactly a year after the version I. This time, the venue was chosen to be Techno India college at Rajarhat, Kolkata.
This event was meant to open the doors of the Open Source world to the first year computer students of this renowned technical college. The event was planned and organized by Sayak Sarkar, presently a Mozilla Reps Council member, with the help of Srijib Roy,a local Mozillian from the college.
Kaustav Das Modak, a Mozilla Representative, and I were invited as guest speakers for the event. The event start unfortunately got delayed by an hour due to some technical issues faced by the organizers. Instead of 10am (IST), we began at 11am. I took the stage to begin the day with an introduction to Open Source followed by a Mozilla introduction. I touched a bit upon what are the different Mozilla products and current projects being supported by Mozilla. I also spoke a little about how one could get involved with Mozilla and start their open source contribution.
After an introduction session, I handed it over to Kaustav who introduced the MDN project to the participants. After Kaustav, Vineel Reddy Pindi, an ex-council member and one of the oldest (I only mean in terms of experience and absolutely not in terms of age) Mozillians from India, took the stage and spoke about the Firefox Student Ambassador program.
After all the introduction sessions got over we decided to turn the passive listers to active coders and thus divided the crowd into two groups and began parallel hands-on sessions on MDN Code Sprint and MDN Documentation Sprint. As always, Kaustav led the code sprint and I took care of the Documentation sprint. This time, when we had a proper planning done on our end to not let anything go wrong, the Internet did fail us. The connection was so poor that both these sessions turned out to be mostly one way talk sessions where we just explained the participants how to do stuff instead of getting a change of doing something for real. With all the internet issues getting pretty common in most events now, the Mozilla India community is brainstorming on how best we could deal with the situation.

Post lunch, it was a Firefox OS app-building session led by Sayak and Kaustav. Sayak gave a detailed introduction about Firefox OS and Kaustav carefully tutored the participants to build some apps in a very simple and easy way.
Now that the Indian technical crowd is partially aware of the new mobile operating system in market, their enthusiasm to learn more and get more details about it makes our Firefox OS sessions a great hit always. We get fired with a lot of interested questions.
Though we didn't have too many swags this time, we tried giving away the little things we had, to the crowd, in the best possible manner. The deserving participants did depart with some Mozilla stuff which they could proudly show off to their fellow mates later ;)

Take aways from this event:
1) MDN is highly Internet dependent. We need to find ways to make sure not to trust on the event venue's internet facilities and  the organizer's promises. Need some kind of backup plan from our end.
2) Need to think if we could implement a simple username-password authentication method for MDN instead of depending on Persona. 
In the absence of stable Internet, Persona keeps us from getting even user-profiles created.

Other blogposts of this event:

If you like the blog, you may also want to checkout Priyanka's website