Firefox Add-ons Overnight Hackathon, Hyderabad

Mozilla Hyderabad is known for Overnight and 24 Hr Hackathons, Codesprints, Hacksprints and Devcamps. This time we organized an Incredible overnight Hackathon, First of its kind dedicated to Firefox Add-ons development using WebExtensions as a part of #Mozactivate Campaign. It took me 2 days to come back to my senses after 40hrs of No-sleep weekend to write this blogpost and it is definitely worth it.

Few Highlights about the Hackathon

  • Caitlin Neiman, Community Manager of Add-ons team joined us for a short discussion and Q&A with the participants.
  • Participants built 20+ Add-ons and gave a demo at the end of the Hackathon
  • Redbull sponsored us with free drinks for the Hackathon( I never thought Redbull could help you stay awake all night and feel the energy ) Thanks Redbull and Anurag \o/
  • Expected around 40 people but 100 Developers turned up for the Hackathon.
  • All the participants who converted their ideas into Add-ons were given T-shirts.

We started the event with an Introduction from Vineel about Mozilla and Mozilla Hyderabad, I continued the Hackathon with a talk on Firefox Add-ons, Few statistics about Add-ons eco-system, WebExtensions, Why Add-ons system is broken and How WebExtensions fix it, Firefox 57, Architecture of WebExtensions etc. You can find my presentation here. Then we had a Hangout call with Caitlin Neiman, Community Manager of Add-ons team. She spoke about Firefox and Add-ons, WebExtensions and answered a number of Q&A from the participants. Thank you so much caitlin for taking your time, Joining us and motivating participants in building browser add-ons.

A lot of things Happened during the Hackathon. I gave a demo on the first add-on I built and explained the anatomy of WebExtension using the same add-on. This was thus used as a boilerplate by the participants in getting started and debugging an add-on on firefox browser. We distributed the Add-ons Hacksheets for all the participants which provides the important links to all learning and developing resources along with communication channels.

We had Pizzas for dinner. A refrigerator filled with Redbulls and Coke kept us awake all night.

In the night we played an Interestingly amazing Ice-breaker called “Ducky Fuzz”. You should speak to Madhukar to know more details about it. It was fun and game changer for the night ahead.

At the end of the Hackathon participants gave a demo on what they have built in an overnight. We ended the Hackathon by distributing Add-on themed pendrives(thanks caitlin for sending them over) to the winners and T-shirts for all the participants.

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We were so glad and excited to see the Ideas converted into actual add-ons in an overnight and Over 14 teams gave a demo on 20+ add-ons they build in the Hackathon.

Few things we could Improve next time

  • Wifi connection, we were not prepared to handle 200+ devices.
  • Technical issues, we should upgrade our devices and systems to save time and better handle such huge events. (all our cables, projectors, casting didn’t work at the right time)
  • Feedback system, Already notified the reps team with improvements that are need in our existing system.

Next steps for me

  • Manage learning resources in our firefox-addons repo on github
  • Using the feedback from our event to improve the Mozactivate format
  • Encourage people with continuous contributions by featuring them on newsletters.
  • Asking contributors to apply for ‘Friends of Add-on’ contest.

Thank you so much Vineel for Hosting us at Collab house and Thank you Madhukar, Giridhar, Sai Vishwanath, Akhil and Deepak for helping me with the Hackathon.

This is just a beginning of a lot. Looking forward to grow the Add-ons community in India.

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