Growing in a Comm-you-nity.

Growing in a Comm-you-nity.

Cross posted on my Medium Space.

Writing this post Maker Fest, Ahmedabad 2018, after getting a lot(seriously, a lot!) of questions like, “Why Open Source?”, “Why do it, if they don’t pay you?”, “You’re just a college student and so am I, how are you representing Mozilla and I’m just visiting?”

The fate of a community depends on how the leaders of the community shape it, and take it forward. This is a vague statement to which many would nod and say, “It is how it is. We go the way they take it forward”. I beg to differ!

First of all, there are no leaders in a community, there are guides, is what I feel. The experienced ones. I’m talking about the ones who don’t make the rules. I’m talking about the ones who can see themselves in every newbie out there. They can guide a newbie, acting as mentors to explore their limits. That’s the beauty of a community, even when there’s no mentor to guide you through it, you pave your way and develop the skills. Many could relate to this, and many are still puzzled and asking questions like, “Where to start?”

A community like Mozilla’s can make a big difference to your lives, we have a lot of examples in the community itself, and I’ve met a few of them and observed some things. The one thing common in a newly appointed Rep and Vineel Reddy Pindi Sir(Founder & Community Architect  — Mozilla India) is that they never gave up on what they believe in and as long as they will continue to do so, they will reach where they want to. I can simply state that because both of these people aren’t here for the positions they are in, it’s for the responsibilities they have and what they want to take on. Moreover, they realize what a big deal a community is, they realize how important it is, to take people forward but they can do as much as they can for as long as they can.

 

Mozilla Team at the MakerFest 2018, Ahmedabad.

The complete team at MakerFest 2018 was there because of the contributions they have made, because these people you see in the picture have been a part of the community for some time and are willing to do more. Personal rewards are to be kept aside, because whatever you learn in a community is priceless. With the exposure it offers by talking with like-minded people of the industry you are about to be a part of, after your college. You learn and move forward at a pace you are comfortable with.

It is for one to realize that participation is the key, and an Open Source Community helps us to do so, without any fee, without any restrictions or rules, it enables you. It enables you to a point where you can literally go anywhere, it is, on you. You might even be doing it for swags, for recognition, do it! I personally don’t encourage such attitude, but participate for the resources you’ve been provided so gloriously by the people who have felt the need for the resources you have now, in their learning days. This is the time for you to participate, to go on a limb and do everything you want to, because now you can.

You have the power to connect, and build yourself to an extent where you cannot imagine. Join in, and do as much as you can, now.

 

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Gujarat’s First Maker Party!

Gujarat’s First Maker Party!

The Baroda Trio i.e., Dhaval, Miten and Me had been planning this since a long time but we just couldn’t find enough time from our schedules to pull this off since an event like this takes about a month at least to perfectly execute. Although, if you’ve read my previous blogs you’d know how I always say that we three have been planning this and that and yes, we always do but we can’t just pull it off really easily.

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A couple of months before the event there were discussions about the venues and the website and the swags and the budget, etc. I couldn’t participate and I was busy somewhere and I checked my phone and it said 300-something Telegram messages. I thought, what now? Is it about the re-structure? Or test pilot? But no, it was Gujarat’s first maker party and I was excited cause we’d been planning this since a long time and now it’s finally happening. We all participated and put in our suggestions and the day went on until we got our final venue.

 

I went off for a vacation to Delhi and Himachal, and I was out for a pretty long time. You can enjoy some moments from my trips too. 😀

When I came back(Major network issues feat. BSNL), I can only see messages of this is done and that is to be completed and stuff. I was done pretty fast and I cannot take any of the credit for the work they’d done cause the team worked really well and fast. I didn’t know how the days passed but what we thought, they did it.

Since they were far off ahead in their preps, I couldn’t participate and help and me entering to help now would’ve made no sense so I let it be and watched the build a Maker Party Gujarat website which is so cool! I had stuff and events of my own to handle so I moved on to that and promised to try and be there during the events.

 

The day had finally arrived, I tweeted(@pransh15) how I was excited for the Maker Party and even posted it on Snapchat(@pransh15). I took a BRTS and reached the Chandkheda GTU Campus in an hour only to find thousand of students clogging the gate and then and there I realized what i was told when i was sitting with two Mozilla Reps about 8-10 months ago, Rahul Talreja had said, “It has the potential to change the face of the coming generation if done right.” and he was right! I asked Dhaval after entering, how many people? He said 4500! I was shell-shocked! Whoa!

The events had started already and we all volunteers were in different workshops making sure that the proceedings were going fine and they were. The students seemed to enjoy every workshop whether it was WebCompact, Python, MozVR, Material Design. We didn’t have one single complaint from the students.

I couldn’t be there the next day as I had to be somewhere else and Mansi made sure that she made me feel guilty about not being there. Well, she succeeded in doing that!

 

Here are some Twitter posts from that day, enjoy!

 

If you’ve made it till here, you have a lot of patience!

Anyway, from this event I realized that we can make a big big difference with more such workshops because some people just need just one day to turn around their lives and that can happen for these students and even if one of them succeeds in his/her life, we win.

Signing off, Praanshu Khanna! 🙂

#TeachTheKids @ Varnama

#TeachTheKids @ Varnama

DESCRIPTION:

#TeachTheKids is an initiative which aims at educating school kids about the basics of Computers, Internet and other similar stuff, in a fun and interactive way. This is also mainly concentrated on small schools with fewer facilities. The scope of this could be extended by forming Webmaker School Clubs.

DATE & TIME:

March 21, 2016 – 9am to 12pm

VENUE:

Shree Seva Samaj Sharda Mandir, Varnama, Vadodara

ATTENDEES: 100-150 Students

PERSONAL NOTE

My family has been donating clothes, toys, etc. to kids on festivals since I was a kid and it’s a joy to watch them have those and the smile on their faces when they get it so it has been my goal on a personal level to contribute to the ones in need however I can because I know what not having the right resources mean. We’ve been brought up with a silver spoon if we compare ourselves to these poor kids who don’t have much options but to study in the same Government school where they have only one computer in the whole school, that too in the Principal’s office. This has been a motive for me, to contribute to this part of the society so that even if they mightn’t become great CEOs or anything, at least they won’t be left behind.

PREPARATIONS

So, we had been urging Miten to talk to the Principal of the school who apparently is his neighbor and could give us dates so that we could further process that to our college and get permission and plan things ahead and only a week ago we had decided that we’re going to do this, finally!

Me, Dhaval and Miten were so excited and were preparing all the content and watching videos on how to teach kids while entertaining them because it won’t be as easy to educate them then it is to adults because they have the prerequisites and these kids don’t. We prepared some content which had a few Presentations, a few Word Files and a few images to show them what we couldn’t bring or wasn’t available.

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We selected our team on the basis of enthusiasm shown by the new recruits and their interaction level,  on how open they are so that they could freely interact with the kids without hesitation. The Final Team was:

  1. Miten Kashiyani
  2. Pranshu Khanna
  3. Dhaval Joshi
  4. Aarti Tahiliani
  5. Shruti Chaturvedi
  6. Maitri Bhavsar
  7. Dharmesh Solanki
  8. Tatvagna Shah
  9. Ripunjay Patel

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We decided our final team by Friday and explained the content to them. We decided to take the students in groups because we planned classes for standards 6th to 9th and it wouldn’t be possible to teach them all at once because the school didn’t have such a big hall/auditorium which could fit these many students and we also wanted to make sure that every student gets attention and learns. So, the groups were:

6th and 7th: Miten, Aarti and Ripunjay

8th: Pranshu, Shruti and Dharmesh

9th: Dhaval, Maitri and Tatvagna

THE TEACHING DAY

The day had finally come! Me, Dhaval and the three girls met at the Bus Depot at around 8:15am and went on to hire an auto to take us to the village where we reached there by 8:40am. Meanwhile, we could spot our fellow Mozillians riding towards the destination. We reached and went straight to the Principal’s office to personally meet him and to discuss the agenda for the day, which was:

  1. Introduction to Computers
  2. Parts of a Computer
  3. What is Internet?
  4. Operating System
  5. Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint

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The Principal went on to give instructions to the teachers while we discussed how we were going to manage the use of the Computer as there was only one and we had to make sure that they learn the basic computer and then could see the difference between a computer and laptop. He then called us outside where we saw all the students sitting in a particular order around where the seats were set. We were then asked to get seated as the Principal addressed the students the value of computers in future and asked them to learn well as they didn’t have the resources and the staff to teach what we were there to teach them. We then gave our introductions to the students in Gujarati/Hindi as it was a Gujarati Medium School and they didn’t understand much of English. The students were interactive and seemed pretty excited to learn something new.

 

We then distributed the students according to their classes and even the teams went on to their classes. We were in charge of the 8th standard, so we headed towards the 8th standard class to teach them some new things.

We started off with the basics of Computer, the ALU, CU, RAM, ROM, etc. and then went on to the parts of the computer and how the input and output devices work. We had a computer to point it out to them, so it was really helpful and then we moved on to, What is Internet? More than half of the class knew what is internet due to the smartphone culture. The students interacted well and were very keen to learn. The group I led had Shruti and Dharmesh in it, two excellent volunteers who were able to reach out to them when needed and even explained them bit by bit everything they needed to learn. Since I’m not too fluent in speaking Gujarati, they corrected me when I was wrong and were extremely helpful.

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After letting them know about the World Wide Web, we explained them how web addresses works and how do we connect to it. After that, we covered Operating Systems, since they need to know about working environments in order to be a smart consumer later on. The understanding of a topic such Operating systems enabled us to explain them about Files, Folders, Applications and Browsers. That was what we taught them in a nutshell.

After the completion of the discussed Agenda, we asked them a few questions and gave out swags and chocolates to the ones who answered. A girl who stood out of the crowd was, Parthvi who was extremely intelligent and knew half of it beforehand and we urged her to study harder so that she could chase her dreams someday, it’s inspiring really!

We wrapped up the event with a picture with the Principal and the school staff, and clicked a few selfies with the team which was followed by a Group Lunch in a Food Court nearby.

It’s funny how sometimes we forget the importance of education, only when you see someone who doesn’t have the resources you realize how good you had it. It was a successful event and an inspiring one. The team enjoyed, the kids enjoyed and the teachers were happy to see their students participate.

Doing Good Is a Part Of Our Code.

Signing off, Pranshu Khanna! 🙂

MozMeet @ BITS Edu Campus

MozMeet @ BITS Edu Campus

Description:

MozMeet is an event where FSAs and Reps come together and interact with each other to share information, or to make announcements, etc.

Venue:

BITS Edu Campus

Attendees: Less than 50

Here it goes..

So, we had planned the MozMeet since the inauguration of the BITFox Club so that we could brief the new recruits about the FSA Program and many other things but we initiated the event after the Internet of Things event. We expected not more than 50 participants and about 40 were present which is a big deal considering that it was an OFF day at college.

The event was to start at 2pm and we had time till 5pm. Me, Dhaval and Miten were going to speak on various topics and we decided that the agenda of the day would be:

  1. About Mozilla
  2. FSA Program
  3. Contribution Areas
  4. Workshop Experience

So, Miten being the club leader started speaking About Mozilla. He talked about how Mozilla is a non-profit organization and it is made of volunteers like us who contribute to make the world a better place. We showed them videos of people who were Mozillians, and how it works and the hierarchy.

Then we 3 came together and spoke about the rest of the topics, starting from the Workshop Experience so that we would let them our know our first-hand experience and get them excited about how we worked with some of the best people and what experience and knowledge we gained.

We then moved on to the Contribution Areas with all the knowledge we gained from the reps we’ve met since we joined the program to get them a step ahead and so that they could start contributing early. We explained all of the contribution areas and urged them to start ASAP, and if they’re not free there is no pressure, start late, but do contribute!

After they got to know about the contribution areas, they were enrolled into the FSA Program and were given links to do so. The ones who weren’t were finally recruited, and there were already some who had attended the inauguration and enrolled before the event.

It was great to interact with these students and here is the Feedback given by a few of them.

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They were excited, and asked us to involve them in more and more activities so that they could learn more, so.. Onto the next one!

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Web Of Things and Firefox OS @ Footprintsx6

 

Hey Friends,

This blog post is about my recent event Footprints x6 at Maharaja Sayaji Rao University, Baroda’s Techfest. Workshop was held on 2 days on 20th and 21st Feburary, along with this we had live booth by Mozilla India (Gujarat Community) for all 3 days where we explained attendees about Internet Privacy and FSA Program. The Fest had participation of more than 20,000 students from state of Gujarat and all nearby places.

About Footprints

Being one of the third largest and most known technical fest of country, they have also been winners of GUINNESS RECORD and LIMCA RECORD in past years. The event from Footprints’ side was handled by Mayank Solanki who also enjoyed Mozilla’s presence at their college and were pretty satisfied with the reviews. The techfest is always under spotlight considering the amount of attendees and the guest list they have.

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The Grand Entrance.

 

Day 1

The day kicked off with my roomates getting jealous that I wouldn’t have to go to college and would go to the techfest to do some amazing stuff for Mozilla. The three volunteers coordinated and reached the venue at 9 so that we could roam around and explore the area so that we would be more comfortable showing the Mozilla team around because we were from the same city or could know where to go or whom to contact if we needed something. Altogether, we had a lot of fun and even clicked a few pictures!

 

 

At around 10am Rahul Talreja and Dipesh Monga reached the venue and we greeted them and introduced ourselves. After that we briefed them about the crowd and events, they took a moment to look around and we started setting up camp.  The Booth was live by 12pm, and we had the crowd’s attention right away with those Mozilla and Firefox banners.

 

The Booth was set up with banners and swags with people flooding in asking about the FSA program, “What is it?” “You’re from Mozilla?” and we explained them everything and started recruiting FSAs on the spot. Miten and I were explaining and Dhaval was busy sorting the workshop kits with Dipesh. While we were explaining, Rahul had another privacy class going on for the ones who had enrolled with us already after listening to what Miten and I had to say.

After a while we were pretty hungry and had lunch which was provided by the Footprints team. It was long conversation among the guys while eating as we talked about how and what we can do to contribute more, Mozilla Leadership Summit, College clubs, etc.

After the lunch we went back to the booth answered many questions and recruited many more FSAs. By evening, we were tired and we packed our stuff because all of the events were almost over and while we were packing, a Footprints’ coordinator shows up and asks us to come with them for the Chris Korn’s “The Illusionist”. We packed our stuff, kept it at the guest house and went to the event as asked.

 

Then we got back to the guest house to prepare for next day’s workshop. First we reassembled the kit and checked the material. After all the preparation, the Footprints team came to the guest house and invited us for dinner and we went over to the New Alka Restaurant in Fatehgunj and had a great time with them.

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Day 2

A new day! We reached the venue where the workshop was to be conducted and saw the Auditorium full with all the 38 teams seated in place with 3 members in each team. When we  reached, we saw Rahul already speaking with Ram Dayal and Dipesh Monga setting up his demo Arduino with Vishnu Teja. Drishti Pandya too helped us handling the crowd who constantly needed help, over 130 students had questions every time an instruction was passed out by the team. The event started witfh a brief introduction by all of us and about Firefox, Mozilla and Firefox OS. We then handed out all the kits and explained its components.

After that Ram and Dipesh came and they gave a little introduction to Internet of things (IoT) and its future scope and also explained about the new track we’re onto “Connected Devices”. After that we had an exam of Digital Communication so we left and came back after exam in the evening. On day 1 of workshop most of all the participants were ready with the robo and it was working as well. It was good to see happy faces when students really made it with Arduino, Ultrasonic Sensor, L293D driver IC and motors.

After that Rahul introduced about Web Privacy with live examples of LightBeam that really surprised the students. Then Dipesh took over the mic to talk about the ‘Raspberry Pi’, and advanced micro-controller, and described its working and specifications. Dipesh gave a demo of Firefox OS on the Raspberry Pi! And also demonstrated about how can they get experience of Firefox OS even they have no phones, and that is just by using WebIDE in Firefox Browser named FoxHood. We summed up the workshop by giving them details about the Ambassador program and how it is connected to the community in Gujarat and how can they contribute to make this web a better place. The students were really into it and wanted to join the program. We gave them our contact numbers and social handles so that they could contact us local volunteers if they had any queries.

That’s how we ended the workshop on a great note, giving out certificates and Swags. The students were completely satisfied with every speaker, the kit and the volunteers too.

Proud Moment

The proud moment of being in Mozilla community and the power and value of open source we all again experienced, when Mr. Throop took his phone out for having a snap with us. And we had a word with him about Mozilla and its open source and he was truly impressed and told us that I also do use ‘Firefox’ Browser and I love it.

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With Mr. Henry Throop(Senior Research Scientist(PSI), New Horizon Mission NASA)

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Sponsors Banner

Mozilla Team

  • Ram Dayal
  • Rahul Talreja
  • Dipesh Monga
  • Miten Kashiyani
  • Vishnu Theja
  • Pranshu Khanna
  • Dhaval Joshi
  • Drashti Pandaya

 

Flickr : https://flic.kr/s/aHskuUXeiJ
Reps : https://reps.mozilla.org/e/wot-footprintsx6/
Fest Website: www.msufp.in

BITFox Club Launch

BITFox Club Launch

Hey Guys!

This is just my second post and I’m gonna write about my first event as a Firefox Student Ambassador here. It was the inaugural event of our college’s club, The BITFox Club!

 

It was an amazing experience, organizing and managing the event and watching how enthusiastic the audience was!

Our guests were Mozilla Reps, Siddhartha Rao and Ankit Mehta.

The event kick-started with a pinch of our very own Indian traditions as we lit a lamp for Goddess Saraswati who is known to be the God of Knowledge, and proceeded with her blessings. The Principal of the college had a few beautiful words to say who were followed by our very own MozReps Ankit Mehta, Siddhartha Rao and the BITFox Club Leader Miten Kashiyani.

 

After this, the session started with an introduction of Mozilla and a lot of fun. The hosts of the event were fun enough to keep each and every student glued to their seats and encouraged enough to hear answers of almost every question. They distributed swag like anything, they had to! Some answers were spot on and brilliant. They knew so much about the Mozilla products and were already a part of the Open Source Society like Mozilla is. The hosts of the day appreciated their knowledge with giving out even more swag!

Piracy is an issue in today’s world and the hosts specially took time out and let us take a look at the Privacy Month, and their agenda!

 

After a while, they called it a lunch break as the students were really hungry but even after that they rushed onto them to know what’s next and had so many queries. Both Siddhatha and Ankit were flooded with students asking them questions and they cleared them all as the students left the Auditorium eager and encouraged to attend the second half of the session.

The second half of the session opened with happy and hungry faces, hungry for knowledge. The real deal was here, how could they contribute? Students had their eyes wide open, ears all stood up because they want to do. They heard everything about being a Mozillian in the first half and they were thrilled to hear about it and they had set their target, to be one of them.

They listened through it, all of it. The Reps gave us insights about everything we can do to contribute and it was simple. If you’re technically skilled, contribute and if you’re not, you can still contribute! Ankit and Siddhartha guided them with every Hows, Whats and Whos they had. They covered the following topics:

Technical-Non Technical, everybody can contribute? They all were excited and asked what next? There it was! BITFox Club, in their own college and that’s why it had opened, to contribute because we are here to make a difference and we are stronger if we are together!