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.

Speaking at Fossasia-2017

Last weekend I got an opportunity to speak about Web based virtual reality at Fossasia-2017, one of the asia’s largest open source conference. My first talk at a conference outside India was also at Fossasia-2015 where I spoke about Webmaker tools and How individuals can become web makers from being just web users.

Fossasia-17 was organized at science center, Singapore and it was one of the amazing conference with diversified participants from different countries, backgrounds, domains, age groups etc.

I spoke about “Creating your Pokemon world in Web based Virtual Reality”. You can find the recording here. This is my first talk about WebVR and it was pretty exciting for me that my first talk about WebVR is at an International Conference. You can find my talk slides here.

We had a busy booth with 100’s of diversified people visiting us everyday and sharing their thoughts about what they loved about WebVR and how could they use this technology in their domain and make things happen. When someone asks me about what they could do with WebVR then I would say ‘Sky is the limit’. A chemistry professor visited our booth and gave us a usecase of how he could use WebVR to teach his students about 3D projection of chemical compounds, which I never thought of.

Science center was similar to Science museum in Hyderabad except with advanced equipment and a lot more interesting projects. I loved being their and experiencing most of them especially the VR experience room where you could fly over a city and ride a 4D roller coaster with VR headsets.

I’m so happy that I got an opportunity to met Incredible people, Vanessa and Chris from the AR/VR community in Singapore.

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and Yeah this is our team of Mozilla Tech Speakers who participated in Fossasia.

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and This is whole of Fossasia volunteers, speakers, workshop wranglers.

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What I learnt?

  • Carry as many name cards as you can when you go for a conference
  • Make a QR code board which redirects the participants to the link of the demo you are showing at the booth ( WebVR in this case )
  • Prepare a lot more content than you are actually supposed to deliver. You never know when your 25min talk will change to a 1 hr workshop.
  • Talk to Dietrich whenever you find him, You will learn a lot
  • Check the hotel Checkin/Checkout timings and book accordingly

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And Yeah! It was a lot of fun being at Fossasia. B-)

Thanks for reading.

 

Privacy Month-January 2016

As a part of Data Privacy day this January, Mozilla India Launched Privacy campaign this January with the Mission to educate the Internet  users about the Importance of User Privacy on internet and How they should protect themselves from all privacy threats.

Volunteers around the world joined together to be a part of this campaign. Mozilla Reps, FSA’s and Firefox lovers participated in this campaign to educate people about Privacy, Security, Digital footprint, How Mozilla values user privacy and protects the Internet users with Firefox browser features such as Tracking protection, Lightbeam, Forgot button etc. It has been an incredible month with many offline and online events going around the world and the most beautiful part of this campaign is that this is all initiated by volunteers and even the complete campaign is run by volunteers.

We had the Largest Privacy booth with 30000+ Spectators and 5000+ Attendees visited our Booth at Maker Fest in ahmedabad.I organized it as a part of Event Taskforce team of Mozilla India. Kudos to the team Trishul, Ashish, Prathamesh, Ankit Mehtha, Mehul Patel, Sanjay Gowri and Aman Sehgal representing Mozilla India at the Event.

Here goes few blog links and videos:

Online campaign started before January reaching out to as many people as I can. I created a meme for publicity about privacy month. Haha!

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The First offline campaign in Hyderabad started with a Train the Trainer session (TTT) to educate the mentors about Privacy month and discussing about the ideas to reach out to people.And I think this is the first offline event in the privacy month as well.We made a plan about how to reach out to people with our creative ideas. DSC_0051

we later thought that online platform is an incredible platform to reach out to internet users about privacy over internet.This is what we did by the end of the day. We got these printed and clicked pictures and tweeted them,posted on Facebook and we had a good outreach more than what we expected.

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Here are few links of the offline events happened in Hyderabad

And thats how Privacy Month ended teaching the internet users to protect themselves from tracking and teaching them how important their privacy is for themselves. Here are few statistics about the Privacy Campaign.

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Excited about Campus Campaign now. \o/

Thanks,
Santosh.