Learning from Anup’s MozFest Experience


(Image Courtesy: wiki.mozilla.org)

My journey in Mozilla has been quite awesome and interesting till now. I’ve come to learn a lot of things, met like-minded people, shared ideas with them, gave talks which helped a lot in improving upon my skills as an organizer, leader, speaker, programmer and what not! and I hope it was beneficial to the community as well. This week I also got my name in Mozilla about:credits, and that’s just because of continuous support from the local community and guidance of Anup, Ajay and Bhuvnesh.

Anup, our community mentor, got a chance to attend MozFest 2015. Last Saturday, he took an online session on vidyo, where he enlightened us about his learning in MozFest. He told us about various session he attended and his participation in the program.

This post is about my thoughts and learning through Anup’s online session about Leaders, Leadership and participation in the community.

Though I’ve been a Tech SIG Lead in my local community (MozPacers), but I think Leaders are not different from other community members. I believe everyone is a leader, and it is the participation of the community members which acts as a pillar to the community. Not a single person could be a leader and not a single person depicts leadership qualities that take a community too far.

In every community, I believe only participation by different members helps in progressing and accomplishing any task. Anup is very right when he says “Participation is the core of any program”. Everyone is a leader in the community and everyone makes decision which certainly affects every other member of the community. It is the power of these decisions collaboratively, which every community member make, that develop the whole community and lead it to the right direction.

Mentors are always there to guide the community members; but the distributed leadership where every member puts up his/her ideas reflects what truly leadership is. It is just about coming-forward and presenting one’s views. When this distributed leadership through participation is collaborated, and everyone devotes something, learn from others; the whole group benefits and move forward together. This is what reflects the true meaning of participation and leadership.

In my local community too, I’ve learned quite a lot from my fellow Mozillians. We’ve collaborated on various stuff, whether it is Peer-to-Peer learning session, developing on projects for the community or just lending a helping hand in almost any task. It is this binding power (Participation) of team members which I’ve witnessed, has helped in growing up the community where people learn and are equally motivated to lead.

So, just to summarize my learning from Anup’s session:

Leadership is not a single trait that a single person possess, it is the collaborative effort of the whole group, where they participate, learn and grow together.

I joined MozPacers when it was really in it’s initial phase. Met Ajay, Anup and Bhuvnesh who told me that a website is to be needed for MozPacers, and that’s how we made the initial wireframe in the first meet itself and my contributions started. If you want to know about my journey, then please read: My Journey to being a Mozillian.

What makes me an effective contributor?

  • Helped in revamping MozPacers, Mozilla Delhi Community.
  • Got vouched and also got my name listed in Mozilla about:credits
  • Spoke at Mozilla Dev Sprints on Git, git-flow etc.
  • Got to Jaipur Stumbling Trip to contribute to Mozilla Stumbler
  • Won Mozilla Stumbler v1.0 Delhi NCR with more than 50,000 reports submitted till that time.
  • Still contributing to Stumbler. Also reported issues on official repo.
  • Selected as Contributor of the Month (July 2015)
  • Presently Technical SIG Lead of mozpacers
  • Represented MozPacers at AngelHack where we developed FirefoxOS app NGO Man to help NGOs in efficiently managing their resources.
  • Contributed to MozPacers website (http://www.mozpacers.org) , slackbot and mass e-mail sender & other few projects.
  • Enlightened people about Contribution pathways and brought my friends in the community to contribute in Mozilla’s mission.
  • As SIG Lead, I mentor new comers in the community and learn myself.
  • Got many of my friends including Nikhil, Vikram, Manraj, Akansh and others in getting started with contributions and being involved with MozPacers, and now they are now core-contributors of the community. Nikhil is now Tech SIG Lead.
  • Believes is FOSS’s “Giving back to the community”.
  • Managing github organization of MozPacers; reviewing code and guidelines.
  • Created online infrastructure and set-up for MozPacers community. Setting up domain, official e-mails, website, bots etc.
  • Managing various communication channels of MozPacers viz Slack, trello etc.
  • Received another vouch from Ajay.

How MozPacers is an effective community?

  • Contributed more than 19 lac (19,00,000) reports in Mozilla Stumbler.
  • Have shown up as the Most Active community in Northern India
  • Have volunteers from Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana, Faridabad and other cities/states in Northern India.
  • Proven Track record of events like Mozilla MozCoffee taking place at least once every month. Along with other events like Dev Sprints, hackathons etc.
  • People are given chance to speak about their contributions and teach other people.
  • Diversity both in terms of geography and gender.
  • Strengthening the WoMoz.
  • On-going projects like Community Manager to help the other communities.
  • Lending a helping hand and collaborating with other communities.
  • A proper process to help newbies in getting-involved and providing 1 on 1 mentoring sessions to them.
  • More people joining in every month.
  • MozCofee have more than 30+ people and in some events we get 50-60+ people as well.
  • We have strength of 30+ Core-Contributors of the community.
  • A proper organization structure involved to help in better tracking of contributors and giving them shoulder tap when needed.

Now Anup would also take another session on his learning in specific programs he attended at MozFest. He would tell about the IceBerg Model and other things which I’m really looking forward to learn about.

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