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From Zero to Hero – A Mozilla Journey Lukas Blakk
First Year Seneca BSD Student <ul><li>Minimal coding experience – self taught HTML </li></ul><ul><li>Returning student wit...
Meet your Future <ul><li>In 2006 some Mikes and one other guy give a talk @ Seneca before FF2 release </li></ul><ul><li>De...
Beating around the bush <ul><li>Club Moz speaks to my 3 rd  semester classroom, encouraging us to come and play with Mozil...
Attempt #1 <ul><li>Go to the Club Moz meeting </li></ul><ul><li>See an extension in action </li></ul><ul><li>This is inter...
Attempt #2 <ul><li>Classmate who did Mozilla internship tells me about QA </li></ul><ul><li>Get a Litmus account </li></ul...
Attempt #3 <ul><li>Sumo LiveChat Support </li></ul><ul><li>Get a Spark account </li></ul><ul><li>Volunteer for LiveChat su...
Attempt #4 <ul><li>Finally 3 rd  year rolls around and DPS909 is an option  ( DPS909 is the promised land for Mozilla invo...
Quotable Quotes <ul><li>“ Pick something you don’t already know how to do” </li></ul><ul><li>- Dave Humphrey </li></ul>
Add Source Server to the Symbol Server <ul><li>There ’s so little I know how to do, how to choose? </li></ul><ul><li>Sourc...
Going Deep <ul><li>Source Server has practically no documentation </li></ul><ul><li>Google doesn ’t turn up any success st...
There ’s a light <ul><li>Ted is an excellent mentor </li></ul><ul><li>Trial and Error works eventually </li></ul><ul><li>B...
DPS911 – Source Server 1.0 <ul><li>Second term is all about taking it to the finish line </li></ul><ul><li>Lots of cleanin...
Mozilla Internship – the Short Version <ul><li>At first I ’m to work with QA </li></ul><ul><li>Then Build </li></ul><ul><l...
Start Slow <ul><li>Getting access to the Build machines is not to be taken lightly </li></ul><ul><li>Everyone brings down ...
Then someone hands you the baton <ul><li>Robcee (my mentor) moves on to Firebug </li></ul><ul><li>Now I ’ve got responsibi...
Summer’s Over <ul><li>As well as becoming versed in Build setup and buildslave environments: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>All...
Continuing Work as Contractor <ul><li>There will be one unified buildslave pool that all Build and Unittest builds will ru...
[email_address] Thank You
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Zero to Hero - A Mozilla Journey

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This presentation was done at the 2008 FSOSS at Toronto's Seneca College where I graduated with a degree in Software Development. In these slides I describe my journey from student to open source contributor to future Mozilla employee.

Published in: Technology, News & Politics
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Zero to Hero - A Mozilla Journey

  1. 1. From Zero to Hero – A Mozilla Journey Lukas Blakk
  2. 2. First Year Seneca BSD Student <ul><li>Minimal coding experience – self taught HTML </li></ul><ul><li>Returning student with life experience – 10 years of art and road trips combined with odd jobs </li></ul><ul><li>Coming from the arts and activism communities – lots of experience with group process and collective work </li></ul><ul><li>No awareness about open source </li></ul>
  3. 3. Meet your Future <ul><li>In 2006 some Mikes and one other guy give a talk @ Seneca before FF2 release </li></ul><ul><li>Developing for the open web looks like fun </li></ul><ul><li>Sounds like anyone can join in (small # employees, big community) </li></ul><ul><li>Impressive passionate community-driven model </li></ul>
  4. 4. Beating around the bush <ul><li>Club Moz speaks to my 3 rd semester classroom, encouraging us to come and play with Mozilla code </li></ul><ul><li>Terrible presentation, but still… </li></ul><ul><li>This community looks like fun, how can I get involved? </li></ul>
  5. 5. Attempt #1 <ul><li>Go to the Club Moz meeting </li></ul><ul><li>See an extension in action </li></ul><ul><li>This is interesting, but not the right fit </li></ul><ul><li>Do a local build and help with a CSS doc project, but eventually interest wanes – no real hook-in with the Mozilla community </li></ul><ul><li>Attempt #1 = FAIL </li></ul>
  6. 6. Attempt #2 <ul><li>Classmate who did Mozilla internship tells me about QA </li></ul><ul><li>Get a Litmus account </li></ul><ul><li>Do test days and bug days </li></ul><ul><li>Learn a bit about filing bugs, searching bugzilla, meet a few Mozilla employees on IRC </li></ul><ul><li>Testing is tedious and interest wanes </li></ul><ul><li>Attempt #2 = FAIL </li></ul>
  7. 7. Attempt #3 <ul><li>Sumo LiveChat Support </li></ul><ul><li>Get a Spark account </li></ul><ul><li>Volunteer for LiveChat support while I should be doing homework </li></ul><ul><li>There are good moments when you actually help someone, but it ’s a stressful burst of time and often I can’t help </li></ul><ul><li>Attempt #3 = FAIL </li></ul>
  8. 8. Attempt #4 <ul><li>Finally 3 rd year rolls around and DPS909 is an option ( DPS909 is the promised land for Mozilla involvement – it’s a course all about Mozilla dev) </li></ul><ul><li>Lots of labs on building extensions, making patches, working on a real Mozilla project </li></ul><ul><li>I get a bug of my very own: Bug 395310: Mozilla needs a source and symbol server </li></ul><ul><li>Attempt #4 = COMPLETE SUCCESS </li></ul>
  9. 9. Quotable Quotes <ul><li>“ Pick something you don’t already know how to do” </li></ul><ul><li>- Dave Humphrey </li></ul>
  10. 10. Add Source Server to the Symbol Server <ul><li>There ’s so little I know how to do, how to choose? </li></ul><ul><li>Source Server stands out – I ’m told this will help a lot of developers </li></ul><ul><li>Mentor is Ted Mielczarek </li></ul><ul><li>Project tracking in wiki </li></ul>
  11. 11. Going Deep <ul><li>Source Server has practically no documentation </li></ul><ul><li>Google doesn ’t turn up any success stories </li></ul><ul><li>It all depends on Microsoft binaries </li></ul><ul><li>I ’m in way over my head </li></ul>
  12. 12. There ’s a light <ul><li>Ted is an excellent mentor </li></ul><ul><li>Trial and Error works eventually </li></ul><ul><li>By the end of the term, there was a hack working locally </li></ul><ul><li>0.3 release = success </li></ul>
  13. 13. DPS911 – Source Server 1.0 <ul><li>Second term is all about taking it to the finish line </li></ul><ul><li>Lots of cleaning up, fine-tuning </li></ul><ul><li>Learned how to work with Python </li></ul><ul><li>Committed my first patch </li></ul><ul><li>Got offered an internship with Mozilla for the summer </li></ul>
  14. 14. Mozilla Internship – the Short Version <ul><li>At first I ’m to work with QA </li></ul><ul><li>Then Build </li></ul><ul><li>Then UnitTest, as part of Build </li></ul><ul><li>Then it ’s not clear </li></ul><ul><li>What will I be doing this summer? </li></ul>
  15. 15. Start Slow <ul><li>Getting access to the Build machines is not to be taken lightly </li></ul><ul><li>Everyone brings down the system once, right? </li></ul><ul><li>Learn Buildbot, VMs, setting up Build environment </li></ul><ul><li>Automating setup, making the build machines consistent and identical </li></ul><ul><li>Learning more Linux, and in ways that are memorable </li></ul>
  16. 16. Then someone hands you the baton <ul><li>Robcee (my mentor) moves on to Firebug </li></ul><ul><li>Now I ’ve got responsibility for UnitTest </li></ul><ul><li>This is the deep end </li></ul><ul><li>Answering questions, being assigned bugs, learning who does what – in double time </li></ul><ul><li>Meanwhile, I ’ve got buildslaves to herd… </li></ul>
  17. 17. Summer’s Over <ul><li>As well as becoming versed in Build setup and buildslave environments: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>All the Unittest machines have been switched from the QA network to the Build network </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Lots of streamlining, mothballing of old machines, UnitTest and Build are now all on the same masters (down from 10 masters to 2) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>80% of the work is done towards future consolidation of UnitTests on Build ’s Buildbot master </li></ul></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Continuing Work as Contractor <ul><li>There will be one unified buildslave pool that all Build and Unittest builds will run on </li></ul><ul><li>UnitTests should be able to be run on packaged builds so we may run them repeatedly on a particular build if needed </li></ul><ul><li>Working towards making it simple and quick to start up a new branch </li></ul><ul><li>Contracting this year while finishing my degree, starting full time with the Release Engineering Team in May 2009 </li></ul>
  19. 19. [email_address] Thank You

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