It was a bright warm day on October 5th, 2015 when I had to organize a “Moz-Session” for freshers of Electronics & Communication Engineering. The primary purpose of the event was to spread awareness about the need of a better web among freshers. This event happened in collaboration with Robotics Society of Integral University.
Disclaimer: This post is going to be a long one. If you’re low on time you may skip to the Recap Section of this post. Also, I would recommend you reading the Major Challenge part.
Being the primary organizer & the sole speaker, I had to plan a lot of things for the event. Although, I have done the same on past occasions, but this time it was special as I have walked into my final year of graduation & I was going to deal with freshers. Yes, the primary audience of this event was first year students.
On the University Firefox Club’s behalf, I widely promoted this event. From classroom announcements & notice boards to Digital Media, I ensured that the event was heard by every student even if he wasn’t the targeted audience. I believe events are a golden opportunity to promote the Club. The event was supposed to be held on 5th October at Seminar Hall, Civil Block of the University.
A couple of days before the event, the venue had to be switched to VLSI Lab, Civil Block of the university because of some technical & academic issues. Also, WiFi wasn’t working in the Seminar Hall. I was left with around 8 working college hours. I had to change my plans & strategy overnight, to ensure the wanted output. I knew, this last venue shift and moreover having an event in Laboratory meant that I now was going to face entirely new different challenges such as getting permission for photography, permission for non-department students to use the departmental laboratories, setting up projector in laboratory and tons. Not only this, having an event in laboratory meant that students wont be able to carry their laptops to switch to Firefox Browsers. The last moment change had put me in some trouble. If it’s one thing I have learned during my college life, it is “Be it a Practical Viva Exam or a challenge, you require confidence to win“. And hence, I remained confident of solving the problems.
Event Day Setup
I began setting up the VLSI Lab for the event & solving the issues. As you can see in the image, the projector screen had to be kept on desks to reach a greater height & be visible from last desks.
I got approval for photography with a limited access. Although, I had to sacrifice the no.of attendees. Mechanical department freshers weren’t able to join the event and hence limiting the attendee count to somewhere between 25-35. Although, as I promised to FSA E-Board, I will hit the 100 attendees count by conducting a similar event for mechanical engineering department students next week. I was able to sort out the rest of the problems except one major problem.
Major Challenge & Best Part
In my University, everyone is provided with a unique login-id & password for accessing University Internet and every user is provided with limited 5GB data. In addition to this, students ID’s have a restricted internet access & the link for downloading Firefox browsers wasn’t going to open with any student’s account anymore.
Meanwhile, after hours of chat with the department concerned faculties, the faculties were now happy switching the lab to Firefox Hindi. Attending the recent Hindi l10n meetup helped me here giving me valuable points to talk about. Now I had the permission to install & set Firefox as default browsers in the Laboratory PC’s. However, getting the link to open still remained a challenge. Setting up a custom WiFi environment wasn’t going to help a the PC’s in laboratory can’t run internet over WiFi. The only solution to this was to login via a teacher’s login ID & download Firefox. However, this was tricky, as a user can login only at one system at any instant. So now I knew, I had to do some arrangement for converting the lab to Firefox Hindi. Now, I had to talk to teachers & get their support with their Login ID’s & passwords for downloading Firefox. It’s never easy to share your data when you’ve only got 5GB of it.
I wonder if it was Mozilla’s mission (or) the love my faculties had for me that made them share their login ID’s & passwords. Whatever the reason be, I am thankful to my teachers & I hope they’ll keep their blessings upon me. I started downloading Firefox browser in PC’s with three login ID’s I was able to get quickly. Not only this, two faculties namely, Shirish Bajpai Sir, Dr. Monauwer Alam Sir themselves downloaded Firefox browsers personally. Monauwer Alam Sir was happy to install Firefox Browser.
I was even invited to install Firefox Hindi Browser in the Computer used by Hon’ble Head of Department, S.H. Saeed Sir. I won’t be able to share certain photographs at the instant due to Photography Restrictions.
I started the event with introductions and welcoming the attendees. Next, I talked about how the world around is changing. The web is a world of opportunities now & I wanted the freshers to realize it. I started talking about the main reasons, this event was being conducted. Also, at this point I told them about importance of Firefox in regional languages & how updating to Windows 10 had played with default browsers.
Meanwhile, a fresher, expressed that she was hungry. Luckily, I was expecting these kinds of things, so I had already arranged for a couple of packet of chips.
Next, I introduced the students to FOSS. The students came up with their understandings & realizations about FOSS. It was swag time for the best answers. It is essential that people especially students do realize that open source produces the best products. Next, I introduced them to Mozilla. I told them about Mozilla had been one of the biggest parts of the FOSS world. I also told them the various reasons why it is important to contribute to the development of FOSS.
I had hidden some questions written on sticky notes underneath the keyboards of the computers. I started this activity. Meanwhile, students were invited to continue downloading Firefox Hindi in laboratories. Students helped us with the same.
I also told them about how can they make Firefox default browser in Windows 10.
I told them about Webmaker & Webmaker Tools. I also had arranged for a session on X-Ray Goggles. The students tried their hands on it. Seeing the students interest & enthusiasm, I also taught them the HTML basics. The students did all this on Firefox Hindi browsers. They had never used a Hindi browser earlier, & hence they were having a few difficulties. I was happy to help them out with the same.
I also told them about various contribution areas in Mozilla. At last. I told them about Firefox OS and Firefox OS development. Hold on a sec ! Did I missed about FSA ? Surprise 😉
We continued this event for around 3:30 PM. Now, I wanted to wind up the event by inviting the students to be a part of the Firefox Club and join the FSA program. I started talking about FSA program & my journey. Surprisingly, I am happy to say that, HoD sir, himself walked into the speaker zone at this instant and asked the students to join the FSA program. I recall, he said that forming a University Firefox Club was a good beginning which shouldn’t be lost after I pass out from my University. He expressed his happiness seeing the session proceedings & impact of FSA’s. He was amazed to see how Mozillians had been doing good & breaking methods for the development of community. He expressed his feelings & memories while seeing the Fx OS Development book.
Last, we invited the students to come up again, and share their experience about the “Moz-Session”. A student said that this was a very different kind of event that he had ever attended. When asked “why & how”, he responded by saying that he was a boring traditional workshop session but was surprised to had a fun event. He added that it never seemed like a workshop but a some kind of party like celebration to him.
I interacted with the students for a couple of students helping them with the questions they had. After a few more minutes we ended the session. Thanks to Nitin & Fareed for assisting in photographing the session.
A Quick Recap
- Downloaded & installed Firefox Browsers in Hindi in 20+. Apart from the 20 count, a few PC’s in the laboratory run on Zorin OS and Firefox Browser wasn’t getting installed on the PC’s.
- University’s VLSI lab now runs on Firefox Hindi Browser.
- Two faculties agreed with Mozilla’s mission & can be using Firefox nowadays. they themselves downloaded Firefox Hindi browsers.
- Firefox Hindi Browser Installed in HoD Sir’s Office.
- Taught the attendees how to make Firefox default browser in Windows 10.
- The last moment venue shift did affect the attendee count. To reach the targeted 100 attendee count, a similar event is being organized separately for Mechanical freshers on the same Firefox Hindi Browser’s Powered PC’s.
- Having an event in laboratory has its own challenges. Further I was very low on resources & helping hands. Hence I couldn’t get all the happy moments captured on a camera.
Important Things & Links:
Fb Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1493658534284774/
Reps Event page: https://reps.mozilla.org/e/moz-session/
Thanks To Umesh Ji for helping me with swags and Tanay Pant for creating the events page at the last moment.
Special thanks to Monauwer Alam Sir, Arshad Sir, Naim R Kidwai Sir, Shirish Bajpai Sir, Syed Hasan Saeed Sir, Prakash Sir & all the other teachers who helped a lot during the event.