Web Literacy at Nanaware Night School

For the first time, I was conducting a Web Literacy campaign at night school. So, it was totally a new experience for me right from the inception of the idea. From past 2-3 years, few V.J.T.I. students of B.Tech and M.Tech were actively participating in activities of various night schools including “Nanaware”. Their contribution was in terms of giving lectures, conducting competitions and helping schools organize annual functions. This year, they had planned two new activities in their schedule, first was the science day and other was the Web Literacy Drive. Being a volunteer this year, I was suggested to conduct one.

In the previous week, I had visited the school twice to familiarize with the students. I came to know about the ethics and discipline that a night school usually follows. The school comprised of children of very tender age without any adult student.

Challenges in front of me: As a Mozilla Rep, I was used to deliver talks to students, developers, entrepreneurs and professionals, but I was going to face children for the first time. Also, I was told not to have any preconceptions about their innate knowledge. Hence, I had to start right from “What is Computer” and reach till “How to use Internet effectively”. Secondly, it was a Marathi medium school. Hence, not only that I had to speak in Marathi, but also prepare slides in the same.

Fortunately, I managed to prepare well and with the help of other volunteers, the infrastructural requirements like projector were arranged very smoothly. I started with the talk mentioning that it will be an interactive session and hence, I will keep on asking questions. Students were extremely enthusiastic and I felt synergy propagating towards me. All of them actively participated in every kind of discussion. I really admire their ability to listen without a pinch of boredom.

I started with “What is Computer” and migrated through hardware and software devices including different types of computers. Then explained bit about the i/o and processing. After that, I briefed about how computers are useful in modern world. The next section was about Internet. I started from basics to general working. I focused more on how Internet is a boon to the society and how one should use it properly. Also, I made students aware of the negative side of Internet, how people become victim to frauds and how children get addicted. Lastly, I ended my session with few tips on “Do’s and Don’ts” while using Internet for social networking.

Next activity was to introduce “MS powerpoint” to kids. I explained few operations which students demonstrated on laptop under the supervision of volunteers. They were very excited as they got to handle the computer and at the same time got some productive learning.

I loved interacting with kids as it helped me discovering a child within me. I became one amongst those while conducting the activities. It gave me more confidence which would help me in my further presentations. Also, one thing I discovered that there are hardly any tutorials or presentations available regarding computer basics and web in our local languages. Hence, we must come forward and take initiative individually to develop those. I will upload the slides, not only on this topic, but develop on other tech topics as well. Overall, the event was an amazing experience for me. Thanks to “Friends of Nanaware” for the initiative and overall support. I would write the blog post on the main event soon.

 

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SFD Mumbai (Event Announcement)

Software Freedom Day (SFD) is an annual worldwide celebration of Free Software. SFD is a public education effort with the aim of increasing awareness of Free Software and its virtues, and encouraging its use.

Open Source Communities from Mumbai have been actively involved in SFD since its formation in the city. Every year, SFD, Mumbai tries its level best to gain a new momentum by exploring new heights in terms of collaboration with communities, participation from developers, students and employees. The communities have always something new to offer every year.

SFD 2014 Mumbai had been very successful and it had been a privilege for me and Akshat Kedia to be a part of this event.

This year, SFD is back with involvement of many reputed communities including

  1. Mozilla
  2. Google Developers Group
  3. WordPress
  4. Anool Open Hardware
  5. Google Business Group
  6. Drupal Mumbai
  7. Digital Freedom Foundation
  8. Duck Duck Go Community

The event is going to be held on September 19,2015. Do visit the official event page and Mozilla reps event page for further details

Introducing FOSS to Undergraduates !

I received a call from an entrepreneur and a very good friend of mine named Rahul Kanojia, who invented Diplomads, a startup aimed to provide training to undergraduates about the upcoming and trending technologies. He invited me to give a talk on Open Source Technologies to the students of Thakur College of Engineering and Technology. It was another opportunity for me to get involved in advocacy and promote Mozilla and Open Source concept to students. We came upon a feasible schedule July 29, 2015 and timings: 9.30-1.30 IST.

On the specified day, I reached well before time inorder to interact with the professors. The department allotted a good amount of their time from lectures for the event, rather than making students wait after the college. Also, they were planning to start Open Source Community in their college. So, it was necessary to give a brief idea to the students regarding what is Open Source. After a good discussion with the professors and H.O.D., we headed for the breakfast and till then, all the students got assembled in the seminar hall.

The event started with an interaction with the students by Rahul. Then he introduced me and handed over the control to begin my talk. The students were super active, their response was amazing and that was giving continuously giving me an additional energy every time to proceed with the talk.

The topics I touched upon were:

  1. Objective of the event
  2. Introduction to FOSS
  3. Benefits to Student Contributors
  4. Introduction to Linux
  5. Linux Vs Windows
  6. Mozilla and its story
  7. Contribution Arenas (Brief intro to MDN, Bugzilla)
  8. Intro to FxOS
  9. Intro to Open Source Database Technologies

I did not want the session to be theoretically boring and hence included few videos in it. Students enjoyed the learning through videos as well. Also Rahul made internet connectivity available and hence I could make students visit MDN, Bugzilla, Transifex, etc.

The event consisted of two sessions, one for Third Year and another for Second Year Graduates. I made sure that my exhaustion after first session is not reflected in the second one. Also, I need to reframe the talks even though the content was same. It was because, the newly First Year passed out students were unaware of the concepts like OS, Database, etc. Hence I had to explain them from the very much basics. After my talk Rahul showed a demo of how a database could be created in MYSQL. He gave a motivational talk suggesting student to be apt with their communication skills and participate in Technical Paper Presentations. There was a logo quiz held and students were exuberant thoughout the session.

The event came to an end when professors and students thanked me for utilizing my time for the event. They handed me a thank you letter appreciating my efforts. I personally enjoyed the interaction with the students. I could feel their interest when many of them waited after the event for some doubts. I would like to thank Rahul for giving me another opportunity to interact with the fresh new talent. Looking forward to work with him for many such sessions.

MOZILLA CODEBASE BOOTCAMP

First Event by Mozilla Mumbai in 2015

                        As a Mozilla presence organizer, I feel very proud to state that 2015 began with a huge pomp for Mozilla Mumbai with the very successful Codebase Bootcamp held on Jan 11. The inception was set in by Rigved Rakshit (who is working with Directiplex as Linux System Administrator) and it propagated to Mozilla Mumbai community through Akshat Kedia. I immediately undertook the responsibility of organizing the event so as to gain altogether a new experience. We started planning the budget, food, registration and shortlisting procedure. Talks was not a problem as we had been through the codebase since beginning, hence a separate preparation was not required.

I created an event page on the Mozilla Reps portal. I posted the link on my college and school groups. One or two days later, I was amazed to see my mailbox flooding with requests to participate. That eagerness boosted us to quickly create a registration form and allow people to register. We decided to order food from Merwan’s , Joey’s and localbanya. Dealing with all the three was very hectic experience and I had to visit each of the place after my college in the evening. A week before the event proved to be very hectic managing with all three. So, finally, I placed the orders and kept a periodic follow up with all of them to ensure confirmation.

On the day of the event, I reached the venue by 8.30 am. Few participants were already there. I interacted with them with a curiosity to know their background. Meanwhile Akshat and Rigved arrived. The consignment from localbanya was received and those juices and snickers were served to the participants. The event started with an introduction from participants side which included their domain and awareness about Mozilla. Akshat quickly introduced the various steps of codebase right from selecting appropriate OS till getting the working copy of the source code locally. Then the participants were told to demonstrate on their systems. We distributed the mercurial bundle and suggested them to carry out the future steps. This took a considerable amount of time. We were roaming throughout the hall to solve the doubts. Few participants were lucky enough to achieve ‘unbundling’ perfectly without any errors. Few had built the code already. In rest of the cases, build time varied from 30 minutes to 2 hours depending on the system configuration.

Meanwhile, Joey’s Pizzas were delivered and we suggested participants to proceed for lunch. Post lunch, all of us resumed our work. Participants scanned the bugsahoy page while waiting to get the build completed. Many of them called us to help finalizing their first bug. I told them to drop a comment, specifying your interest, and get in touch with the mentor on IRC. Few participants were fortunate enough to get ‘Replace ABC with XYZ’ kinds of bugs. Next step was creating a patch which included all the mercurial queue operations. We made sure all are comfortable with ‘hg’ commands.

By 3.30 pm, I and Akshat went to Merwans to get the previously ordered snacks. Participants staying far away left the venue by 4-4.30 with a promise that they would continue their contribution to Mozilla. Finally the bootcamp was called off by 6.45 pm. We had a group pic before leaving. Many thanked me, Akshat and Rigved for organizing the camp that helped them getting started with codebase. I could see satisfaction and confidence on their faces which was the motto of bootcamp.

We had around 7-8 patches uploaded on different bugs. It was only due to the difference in time zones that mentor couldn’t review the patch immediately, otherwise we would have got those many bugs Resolved-fixed. So, i consider this camp as a successful one. I would like to thank Akshat and Rigved for helping enormously in realizing the concept of bootcamp. Also, a vote of thanks to Manish, Abhishek, Purvesh and Augustine for attending the event and helping participants. Hence, Mozilla Mumbai took a succesful start in 2015.

Introduction to Mozilla @ V.J.T.I.

New contributors for Mozilla and a new opportunity for V.J.T.I. students

            One month before, I had dreamt of introducing Mozilla to V.J.T.I. students. Since this college is considered as one of the best in Mumbai, my aim was to give those students an excellent opportunity to improve their profile. But things weren’t working as expected. I discussed with teachers, but couldn’t come upon a date to conduct the event. So, I approached Prof. Varshapriya, who is assistant professor and head of Computer Society of India (C.S.I.) – V.J.T.I. community. It was due to her immense efforts that the event was converted from dream to reality. I owe her a lot of gratitude. A vote of thanks to Dr. G. P. Bhole, Head of Department of Computer Engineeing at V.J.T.I., for encouraging the concept of seminar and giving necessary permissions and approvals.

Within a day, the publicity was done, the seminar hall was booked and all the technical arrangements were made. Many of my M.Tech colleagues came forward to help me out with setting up the projector, mike and inviting audience. I really owe you all a lot. I had bitter experiences in friendship few months back. But you all made me realize that there are friends in true sense who actually care for others and contribute for their progress. All the students from M.Tech first year (from all three specializations), many students from B.Tech and also many from M.Tech Second Year made their presence with equal enthusiasm. My joy knew no bounds when few professors graced the event with their presence.

So, at 3.00 pm, I started the event. I began my talk with following topics:

  1. My introduction
  2. What is open source and FOSS? Story behind it
  3. Benefits of contributing to Open Source
  4. What is Mozilla.
  5. Contribution Areas (Supporting both developers and non Dev)
  6. Overview of localization projects
  7. Overview of Documentation
  8. Overview of Bugzilla contribution
  9. What is Firefox OS. Benefits from developer side as well as consumer side.
  10. Motivation to contribute to Mozilla.
  11. Thank you note giving my contact details.

At the end of the event, Prof. Varshapriya gave a note of thanks to all the attendees, speaker(me) for making the event a grand success. Even I thanked the audience for devoting their precious time for the event.

I received a good applause from all the students and teachers with numerous positive feedbacks. Almost all the attendees came personally to meet me after the event. My whatsapp, facebook messages were flooding with the appreciation by students. The happiness of getting my dream fulfilled and that too with huge success could not be described by mere words.

Here I have posted few amongst the many feedbacks,

Harshita Kotiyan

Hey, Seminar was really wonderful and information. Great work. I should actually thank you for organizing this as I was completely unaware of Mozilla and Open source. Really informative. Looking forward to work on it. Will let you know if any help needed.

Akash Agrawal

@amod… today’s session was just superb!!! experienced a very new flavor of technology with mozilla today.. will surely contriute to Mozilla

Ajit Junghare

Nice one, Amod. Don’t thank us. We should thank you for such a good seminar.

Smruti Phadke

Great work Amod. Thanks and congrats

Varsha

Awesome work Amod.

Sarang Pathak

I agree with Ajit. Really useful event !

Vikram Jadhav

Amazing seminar. Thanks. I will try my level best to contribute.

Tanvi Shah

Good going Amod.

Chetan Ghodasara

Nice work. Keep it up.

Charusheela Patil

Keep it up. Nice work. I have spread the awareness amongst my friends and they are interested as well. They would contact you soon.

And this did happen. One of her friend contacted me the same day and actually asked me many avenues of contribution and expressed her interest to do the same.

Hence, I feel the first stage of the mission is accomplished. Even today, when I visit labs, canteen, I see many students approaching me expressing their desire to contribute. My next responsibility is to help them getting started with various domains of Mozilla. Hoping that this event would garner many newcomers to achieve a different recognition in their life making their career more prosperous.