Mozilla at Grace Hopper Open Source Day

This past October, thanks to Larissa Shapiro, I had the incredible opportunity of teaching Open Source Participation at Grace Hopper Open Source Day.

In recent years, I would say the primary focus of my contribution to Mozilla has been an effort to create educational offerings and experiences with real world value, through open source participation.  And this event proved  that –  not only do people really want learning opportunities like this, but we can make the world a better place, and tech a more diverse environment in the process.

Some highlights in our success on this day:

Mentors

We had a group of incredible mentors – I would have been lost without them.  Special mention to Paula (post main photo) who created virtual machine solution for those who struggled too long with their environments.  Mentorship is absolutely key to an event like this, and the talented people that turned up has me dreaming of a mentorship team for all technical projects..

Project

I chose the teach.mozilla.org website as a contribution project.  Primarily because I had experience with the environment and codebase,  and support from project team members:  Mavis and Hannah who were kind enough to tag specific issues with ‘Grace Hopper’.

I also chose this project because I knew the technology was both easy to pickup, and had real world value in the job market.   Finally, I knew  the ‘Ready, Write, Participate’ message would resonate with a group of learners..learning to Participate :)

Participants

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Our group was brilliant. I worried that some issues with environment  (and we had quite a few) would dampen spirits, or result in people leaving.  The opposite happened.  Our group emerged in the very best way – a community and a team.  When one woman overcame an issue with a node version, she rose to help others reach their own success as well.  Experts in environments and issues emerged to mentor others, and by afternoon I had run out of ‘Grace Hopper’ tasks.

I had to remind at least one person to eat, and another woman in the last 15 minutes of the event, was on her feet trying to fix one last issue before submitting her pull request.  I was proud, and honoured to be part of a group so diverse (including a male mentor), that there was really no majority in the room.  That is an amazing feeling.

Demo

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Our group demoed their work, and it was an zen moment, to see this group describe not only their work overcoming obstacles,  but what they accomplished and why the project mattered.  Hope to be back again next year!

 

 

 

 

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