Friday, November 21, 2014

Next Steps

Six years ago I started in Mozilla community as a Student Ambassador. From day 1 I fell in love with Mozilla and decided to spread this love to anyone and everyone. I made 'building a community' my only mission.

From hosting coffee shop meetups to a hundred member community meetup, from booth sessions to hosting some of the biggest hackathons, speaking at conferences to spending time 1-1 with community each day. Keeping the conversation flowing in all available channels. 3.00 AM phone calls are normal. It has been a experience, enjoyed every part of it.

Past couple of months have been intense from scaling the level of engagement across the growing community. Helping with Firefox OS launch to various campaigns.

Reading Chris's post gave some clarity on my present status, he said "I feel the first signs of burnout and I think it is very important to not let a fast and seemingly glamourous lifestyle on the road as an official spokesperson get in the way of finding peace and tranquility." 

"This is why I am taking a break from Mozilla. I am going on a sabbatical for a while and be a spectator watching the rewards of all the work we put in the last years."

After community India being successful in Firefox OS launch to celebrating Firefox 10th anniversary, to be a driving force in Webmaker Maker Party, things are going awesome.

From a handful of community to 100+ strong active community and hundreds of thousands of supporters, engaging, teaching and spreading the word of Open Web to millions, we have come far. With the solid structure of task forces, having distributed focus on project areas, transparent communication channels, both regional and local and most importantly having things grow from grass-root level, community India perfectly reflects 'many voices, one mozilla'. We at community India have set the bar high on what a group of passionate people can do.

I think it is perfect time for me to take a break. I am stepping down from my volunteer responsibilities in Pan-India level. I'll remain as a individual contributor with a focus on other areas at Mozilla, "and be a spectator watching the rewards of all the work we put in the last years."

I'm happy and proud with the community direction. Thanks to each and everyone of you amazing people for your support and trust without which we could not have come this far. And NO, I'm not leaving Mozilla. I'll just take a break from pan-India community responsibilities, I'm positive with the amazing team we have, things will continue to move further. I'll be active locally and focus on other areas with-in Mozilla(you may hear soon more on this). While I take the break, I'll be in a 'advisory role' (less execution, more on strategy/vision). I'll be available for the community for any kind of support, but this would be case by case and you may not expect full involvement from me for the time being. You will see me at events and meetups, come say hello.

Let Go. Onward..

Saturday, April 12, 2014

What is Mozilla for a contributor?

Reading about the current happenings at Mozilla headquarters, I ask myself, "do this matter to me as a contributor to the Mozilla project sitting on the other side of the world?". Below are more questions that came to my mind and what I think about it:

"what is Mozilla for me"
To me, Mozilla is a community, a movement, where a group of people who are together to support the mission. To take this mission forward there are products/projects like Firefox, Webmaker and other. As a project, Mozilla has made big impact in building a better web for all. For a movement of this scale to run, there is a need of people who can work on full time on it, that is where I see the company/staff as part of the community. The staff, the company are there to support the community, the mission and not the other way around.

"why I contribute"  

As a community member living 8500 miles away from where the Mozilla headquarters is based, and the rest of the community spread across the world, the only reason for contributing to the project is because of the community and its mission. This is the most diverse global community that I got to be part of. There are probably several number of things to agree and disagree among us(the community members) outside of the Mozilla cause, but that is not why we are in the community.

"who should be my leader"
As a community member, I look for a leader who understands the cause, who can lead the community forward and help build things to achieve the Open Web. Someone who can fight against issues like NSA where they are making a mockery of citizens privacy and security. What that leader does outside of the community is none of my business. I believe the Mozilla community has lost one such leader - Brendan Eich, who has co-founded Mozilla and worked hard(16 years) to build the mission.

'Many Voices, One Mozilla'
At Mozilla, our goal is to reach Million Mozillians. If we want to reach this goal, we should not lose focus of who we are.  If there is anyone that we should listen to, it is our community and our users/ share holders. For Mozilla to be relevant for next 100 years and do good, it should be about the community and its mission.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

An encounter with Mahatma Gandhi during Mozilla Summit 2013

As a contributor for the Mozilla project, I was invited to participate at Mozilla Summit that happened in California recently. There is a LOT to get excited and share about Mozilla Summit. You can find many experiences shared on the Web, to share a few, you may read it from here, here, here, here and here. In this post I will share a short personal anecdote that happened with me during the summit.

My cousin brother, Goutham got into a flight to US at the same time I got into a flight to back home in 2010. Knowing that I will be in Bay area that weekend, Goutham came all the way from LA to meet me. We had a quick chat on Friday night, he invited me to a party that he and his friends were hosting at San Francisco on Saturday.

While most of the community members went to Great America after dinner, I took a short nap and then went to San Francisco around 11.00 PM, one of Goutham's friend came to pickup. The party was at Ferry building with Bay Bridge as the backdrop, it was quite a view. We had good fun till late AM. The car was parked on the other side of the road, while we were walking past the Ferry plaza, there I saw the statue of Mahatma Gandhi.

Gandhi Statue at San Francisco Ferry Terminal

Photo courtesy: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ashish_tibrewal/2444451003/ 

Staring at the statue, thinking of the kind of impact he had made on the world, it was a short moment of introspection. 'Will I be able to make an impact?'  

Next day, it was a grand closure of the fantastic summit. At this time something amazing was announced - Mozilla is building a monument in front of the Mozilla San Francisco office and it will be filled with names of all the contributors of the project.

https://blog.mozilla.org/community/2013/11/26/the-monument-to-mozillians-is-coming-to-san-francisco/
Proposed Monument to Mozillians outside Mozilla's San Francisco office
To me, this tells the impact a community has made and the individuals as part of a community. In this fast paced world, how often do we get to improve peoples lives through little contributions? how often do we get to make an positive impact through our work, big or small? This monument is a representation of a movement.

"A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history." - Mahatma Gandhi



UPDATE:
In-front of the yet to be unveiled monument..

https://twitter.com/vineelreddy/status/413759825794056192