During the work week in Portland and in various meetings before the New Year’s, the QA team came up with some goals in mind that we wanted to achieve throughout 2015. I want to touch on one of those goals in this post – engagement of new community members.
To start off, look at the name of Mozilla’s marketing department. Their name isn’t “marketing,” it’s “engagement.” And I think that really embodies Mozilla’s core ideals as a community driven organization. I came to Mozilla for that reason. I started off and day one, I felt like I could be involved in the mailing list discussions, contribute to something important, and feel like the team actually cared about the work I was doing. I had my own goals, and they supported me through them.* The fact that someone with little to no experience could essentially “walk in” and become part of a team is still inspiring to me today.
After looking over our 2015 goals for the team, I decided I wanted to do more than just facilitate interaction and help out new contributors in the channel. I wanted to actually get people involved. I brainstormed ways I could do this, and came up with an idea. I had taken Computer Science my freshman and sophomore years and decided that it would be a great way to introduce this idea of contributing.
I emailed my teacher, Mrs. Moranza, and asked her if that would be alright and she went along with it. I showed up a few months after with a presentation prepared (you can find the link at the bottom). I spoke in front of two classes and urged them to find an organization to contribute to, even if it wasn’t Mozilla. I just wanted them to get involved.
Tl;dr: I believe the goal of getting young people involved in this type of atmosphere is the greatest goal there is. I believe that experience will pay off in the long run, and the ability to be in such a professional environment at such a young age is truly extraordinary. I encourage everyone to go out and just talk with people about getting involved.
Here’s the link to my presentation: http://bit.ly/1ElGkcS
*Ultimately, reviewing hundreds of pieces of documentation is harder than you think when you’re 14 years old. Also, shout out to Eric Shepherd and Janet Swisher.