I, along with Team ALiAS [FOSS club/LUG in our college] organized Mozilla Camp : A full-day event in my college – Amity University on 19th January. This event by Mozillians, has happened ‘successfully’ after almost 3-4 years. (A previous unsuccessful attempt happened. But never mind, its all past memories now..)
On one cold dark rainy day, the geeks from Andromeda attacked the earth with the mighty hands of a coder ………… argh! can’t help being horribly funny everytime.. OK .. shit aside.. yeyy, i finally got time to write about this one.
- A little spotlight on the main activities of the event:
It started off with an interactive session from one of the speakers, Mr. VikasH Agrawal (a fun-loving H for Hitler type of guy. Hey Vikash, i hope you don’t kill me after this!) on why Open Source should be the way of life & what it takes to complete a GSoC successfully. Afterwards, a little chatting on version-control systems & the discussion was then taken over, by Mr. Rishab Arora ( the coder from abroad, and by abroad i mean, from another planet, evident from his handle, being ‘spacetime’ 😛 ) who ended up showing the idiosyncrasies of a developer’s world and also talked about his experiences on GSoC.
An hour-long lunch break was announced, during which i got to interact with a Google developer from Nigeria, Mr. Victor Udoewa (who happened to be in Amity, teaching HTML 5, CSS 3 and a little JS to a group of students, as a part of a pilot project launched by Google itself, to test a classroom-project that it is going to launch sometime later). Also i met a MozRep from Sri Lanka, Mr. Rohana Dasanayaka, who happened to be in Delhi around the time of this event. I asked him about his college days and got to know how he got into the Mozilla community. He is a nice chap to talk to. A very intellectual personality.
[Off-topic] – Rohana told me that in his country, there is a free, government-funded, education system in the government-colleges for those, who qualified a minimum criteria and that education was provided to every child in his country, no matter what the economical background is. This matters a lot, i mean, full funding for a LOT of students, including higher studies in college, provided the amount of corruption that floats in the political system. Unlike in India, there are no major jhuggi-jhonpdiis (temporary houses where the poor reside) and that there are almost no Dalit communities where people eat rats to survive.. sound gruesome, doesn’t it? To you it ‘sounds’, to them, its ‘reality’..
- The Sessions R.e.s.u.m.e.. :
After the lunch break, we went on to the next set of sessions which were then split into a Hackathon – an advanced session on HTML5 & CSS3 and a talk on about:Mozilla and its activities. Two different halls were reserved for the same.
In one hall, Mr. Devesh Batra and Mr. Akshay Katyal gave a hands-on session on “the trending HTML5 & CSS3 with the basics of JQuery and Responsive Web Design”. I didn’t attend this one, so ain’t gonna write anything about it, but yeah, from what i heard, it was a good one. I did a sneak-peak too from time to time. Hmm.. it was good.
In another hall, where i was present most of the time, Mr. Kinshuk Sunil (a fairytale creature, whose figure justifies him as a human .. jokes apart, a chirpy, young & talented game-developer, event-manager, blogger and the chief organizer behind this event.. who also has a facebook page which he updates regularly!) gave a talk on ‘Whats Mozilla Upto?’ and why should we all use Firefox and how shall we contribute to the Mozilla Community. He showed us some inspiring videos (one of them compiled from the MozCamp Asia last year). Also we got to know about Mr. Vineel, who is the chief and maybe the only mentor in India, from the Mozilla Community. While this happened, I was reminded of an unfortunate incident, when i saw the name of Aaron Swartz, who was a 26-year old coder and Internet-rights activist, who recently committed suicide. Read this post for more ).
It was nice to see Kinshuk’s & Vineel’s name in ‘about:credits’ page, since only few from India make it to the list. (search this highlighted text in the URL/Search bar of Firefox). Kinshuk also told us about the incentives of being a MozRep, that being invited to Singapore for MozCamp Asia was his pleasure..
After Kinshuk’s talk, Mr. Rohana was invited on stage to speak about his MozRep experiences.
Later on, during the AMA session, Vikash & Rishab joined the stage to discuss arbitrary stuff, tech and non-tech, with the rest of the crowd. We all enjoyed this session a lot. A free, open-minded discussion took place where we all ‘gave our views’ on various topics like why BrowserID when there is an OpenID, on webRTC, Google Plus Hangouts and the HOD’s of various colleges (wait, what? 😀 )
This was the last session. The MDN Docsprint couldn’t be conducted since time was limited but a little introduction to the same was given by Mr. Vikash. The swag-distribution ceremony followed and then the meetup was over.
- What mattered at the end of the day….
The experience was worth the time we wasted: contacting the authorities, making the arrangements, talking to the heads of departments, facing criticism from the security department, food budget not accounted for, bugging our faculties, promoting the event, handling registrations and calling the speakers. Pheww.. so on the day of the event, nothing went haywire. After all, i can now proudly say that it was much better than the last one and maybe close enough to what a good technical event, for a college, should be like.