AMU at PyCon India 2017 - Where MozAMU idea was pitched
During PyCon India 2017, folks from Aligarh Muslim University visited for their first time in PyCon. Rahul Jha, who has been a GSoC 2017 student for Coala came with some of his friends. Sanyam and I were the core organizers and looking into the Open Spaces when we met Rahul and team. Rahul, being an Open Source contributor already needed help building a community in his own college. For this we all went to a separate room for an Open Spaces on How to nurture foss communities in colleges and Sanyam took the charge of sharing his experiences and trying to find out what troubles folks were facing in order to build the community. It went on for like a couple of hours and AMU folks showed interest in hosting Sanyam for a session on Open Source Contribution. After pitching this idea Rahul and team started doing meetups in their college to share about Git, Linux and more which are essentials in order for someone to begin with their contributions.
Planning MozAMU and Trip to Aligarh
Months after when AMU folks were successfully doing meetups on Open Source technologies Sanyam being a Mozilla Representative decided to free one of his weekends (24th February 2018) in order to give a session on How do I start contributing to Open Source? and showcase various ways one can contribute to Mozilla and other Open Source projects. I got roped in for a mini session on building addons using Web Extensions API and contributing to Firefox afterward. Shivam Singhal, who is another of Sanyam's mentee planned to help me out during my session by solving problems that may arise on a participants system while live demo. Since none of us had been to Aligarh before, we took help from Omair Khan an ex-AMU student currently pursuring his bachelor's from Jamia Millia Islamia University, Delhi, and an open source enthusiast.
Sanyam Khurana in pro-speaker mode
This is the first time I've witnessed Sanyam giving a talk on Open Source although he has been doing this for a couple of years now in colleges and other Mozilla events. He began with an interactive session with the audience in order to get a sense of what problems they were facing and which technology is widely used by them. He skipped his own introduction after everyone was finished for a specific reason for the end of the session and began explaining Why you should contribute to FOSS with the help of slides he curated. After a while when most of the participants came to a conclusion the reasons became more clear for everyone. This is where the session got interesting. By this time everyone has understood the importance of FOSS and how it can affect their career also.
My first talk for Mozilla on Web Extension or Browser Extension
I've been very active in Open Source Communities for the past couple of years now and have given several talks and workshops since I started. It's always better to write a blog or give a talk on the technology which one is working on in order to make the concept more clear. I recently started learning how web extension works and contributing to AMO. So, given this opportunity, I started working on slides for the session. From my experience, I wanted to focus more towards the lifecycle of addons as they are installed and run on the browser. I used the first extension tutorial provided by MDN and spread the contents so that to make everyone understand what each of its elements were doing. As the addon began to take shape in the live demo I instantly took the chance of interacting with participants and converging their thoughts on its lifecycle. Sanyam and Shivam helped me along the way to sort out the problems individuals were having and at the end of it all we asked everyone to make something creative out of the API.
Concluding with How do I start contributing to Open Source?
After a while when everyone was comfortable with the concept of FOSS, Sanyam took the last session on How do I start contributing to Open Source?. Finally, he spoke more about himself revealing that he's just like everyone else and a part of the community. He then elaborated on all the basics knowledge one needs and etiquette one should maintain while communicating online with other contributors. Most of the beginners get overwhelmed by the huge codebase and the first step seems hard to them in this case. Sanyam then explained what are the ways one can begin with reading code and collaboration. He then showcased OpenHatch Training Missions which can help beginners kickstart working with version control system. Open Hatch projects which folks can use to find issues to work on. He then showed how one can contribute to Mozilla by using the well know What can I do for Mozilla? website and Bugs Ahoy. The session concluded with one last picture and networking session.
Lunch and Goodbyes
After the enriching and exhausting day of sessions, the core volunteer team headed to grab few bites to eat. There we shared our previous experiences and discussed personal projects. AMU folks have created an amazing community for themselves and thrive with every interaction they make during such sessions. I would like to give a shoutout again to the amazing people of AMU and I hope we would see each other again for future collaborations. From MozAMU I got to be a part of yet another enthusiastic bunch and I thank everyone at AMU for that.