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 WeAreDevelopers Conference-2017

I’m just back from an amazing conference in Vienna, Austria and can’t wait to share my experience with you all. I was really glad that my talk proposal on “Building your own Pokemon world in web based vitual reality” got selected for the conference and was really excited as this is going to my first talk at a European conference.

The conference turned out to be really Huge than expected with 3800+ Audience and 400+ specifically for my talk. I was really glad to meet a number of VR experts at the VR booths from many companies working on Innovative VR projects. I even tried out Holo-lens at the Microsoft booth ❤ and made a number of friends in the VR community. I never knew that the VR community is so huge in Europe. I loved the discussions on How the future of VR would be, especially about the negative/evil side, backdrops for VR Technology. I was really surprised when other speakers were using A-frame in their VR demos in the open hall discussions.

I had my talk on Day-1 and it was titled “Building your own Pokemon world in web based Virtual Reality” with a goal to make the audience understand that you don’t need to be a geeky developer to build your own VR experiences. Here goes my presentation link. (Video recording will be updated soon)

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Questions I was asked after my talk:

  • What type of 3D assets can we use in our A-frame Scene
  • Is there any drag and drop toolkit to create VR experiences using A-frame.

Suggestions for the conference

  • All though I was provided with travel instructions to reach the venue, It would have been really helpful if speakers are provided with travel-tips like what travel passes to buy, what are food options available, Weather in Vienna during conference.
  • Providing enough plug points at the Speaker Hub.
  • Creating a group chat or slack channel for speakers which would have helped me to find like minded speakers and prepare for interesting discussions.
  • Decent updates and followups to the speakers( I never received an email of the schedule of my talk or insights/followup after the conference)

It was great to be a part of the conference, Talking and meeting VR enthusiasts, making a lot of like-minded new friends and Having lot of fun with tons of swag.

Glad to be a part of We are developers Conference and Thank you WAD for the invitation, Looking forward to see you next year.

My Journey to Mozlondon

FSA program is beyond the benefits listed in the wiki pages and website. It helps you to explore yourself and Learn a lot about Community participation.It motivates you in every way to be a leader of your community and It helps you to learn about Creative thinking and Critical Thinking. It gives you an opportunity to involve in Real time projects and motivates you every time.

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The Past two years with FSA Program have been so amazing.It helped me to be a person which I always wanted to be.It gave me so many Opportunities, Challenges and amazing initiatives where I can learn and participate.It Introduced me to many amazing people and showed me what openweb should mean to me.

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My First Interaction with Mozilla was in July-2012.As a computer science student i was interested in exploring technologies and attended a session by Mozilla Rep Srikar Ananthula in my college. There was an app of the month contest running on at that time and since I was a web developer I made an app and participated in the contest.I participated twice but never won.In the process of learning,making an app and participating in the contest I came accross many interesting people in the Mozilla India community. This is one incredible community filled with enthusiastic and energetic contributors who always love to help if you want to contribute. That spirit in Mozilla India made me interested in joining the Community and immediately I created my Mozillians Profile. From then on there was no Stop.

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It has been wonderful being a part of Many Campaigns, Initiatives, Organizing Events, Learning, Contributing and Participating.Here goes few happenings in my journey with Mozilla

  • Rep of the Month in January 2015
  • 2 Years of Amazing Journey from a Firefox Student Ambassador to VP of Contributions at Executive Board of FSA Program
  • Mozilla Tech Speaker from pilot run-2
  • Privacy Campaign in January 2016
  • Hive Pop up at Vizag
  • Community India Meetup,Hyderabad in 2014
  • Mozilla Beta Camp, Bangalore in 2014
  • Firefox OS App Days in Indore(Needs a mention cz My first talk outside my state B-|)
  • Speaker at Womaniya-2015, Warangal
  • Organized Women in Technology being a part of ETF(Event Taskforce)-Mozilla India to encourage Women Participation in the Community
  • Organized Womoz App Sprint in Hyderabad to Empower Mozilla Hyderabad women community.
  • Mozilla Presence Organizer at Maker Fest 2016(Largest Maker Festival in India)
  • Participated in Maker Fest 2015 as Mozilla India Representative
  • Gave two talks about Webmaker Project and Webmaker tools at FOSSASIA-2015(First talk outside India \o/)
  • Managed FoxYeah Campaign in India as a part of ETF Team.
  • Organized 20+ Webmaker events at Schools, Colleges, Maker Spaces and Community Spaces.
  • Launched 15+ Firefox Clubs in Various Colleges in Hyderabad
  • Organizer and Speaker at 20+ Overnight Hackathons around India Including VIT University App Days, BITS Hyderabad Firefox OS Hackathon, IOT Hackathon at JNTU University
  • Co-organizer of Firefox OS Stall at International Gadget Rush, Hyderabad
  • Participated in Whistler Workweek and Orlando Workweek being a part of #FSADreamTeam
  • Pariticipated in Leadership Summit at Singapore as a Participation Cohort
  • Co-organizer of Firefox 10 bus in India
  • Participated in Mozilla Taskforce Meetup 2015 representing Event Taskforce team and FSA Taskforce.
  • Gave about 80+ Talks at various Educational Institutions, Community Spaces, Maker Spaces, Industrial Organizations and few Conferences.

And Yes, I still microblog everything here even if I don’t get enough time to blog everything.

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It has been an incredible journey with Mozilla for 2+ long years and this June I will be attending Mozilla workweek at London #Mozlondon to plan the future of Mozilla on Campuses along with Campus Campaign team, Mozilla Foundation, my FSA Team and many other super fantastic people.

My Organizational Goals are

  • To help Participation team in Shaping the future of Mozilla on Campuses.
  • To help the Campus Campaign team in creating a Successful, full stretch Impactful Campaign in campuses.
  • To discuss with Connected devices team about how the volunteers with different domains of Knowledge can contribute to Connected devices project.
  • To discuss with Tech speakers team in setting the goals and vision in launching Local Tech Speaker volunteer groups.

 

My personal goals before heading to Mozlondon are

  • To learn and explore the design thinking approaches which the participation team generally follows in solving many major critical issues.
  • To learn about Creating Impactful initiatives with Communities and maintaining the sustainability in communities.
  • To learn about various parameters that empower communities and How to Ignite the spark in the inception of Community.

Mozlondon is 10 days away and I m so excited about the Experiences I’m going to have at workweek.

Thank you for reading this.