Mozilla Mombasa held this event with an aim of introducing fellow tech enthusiasts to Mozilla Appmaker; a free, open source app authoring tool that lets you drag and drop individual components to build and share custom mobile apps right into your web browser. The event was held in the spacious on the 6th floor the JKUAT Mombasa Campus. Participants started coming in early minutes before the event and settled. Continue reading …
So with the date set and people registering for the event, Mash-up the web was finally here! Despite experiencing some slight rains in the wake of the event this didn’t deter attendees from showing up to the event with some like Gilbert showing up at the exact time 8:00am sharp. It was very commendable and we hope this spirals down to the community members, punctuality is the soul of business. The venue was really outdone, kudos to the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture & Technology (JKUAT) fraternity for providing the space, facilities and for their valuable support of course without which this event would not have been possible.
The event had a great turn out with an attendance of about forty members. We kicked off with Alifiyah briefing the members about the Mozilla events that are under Maker Party 2014 and which are currently being run worldwide, and Mombasa having the privilege to host 5 among the 2098 events running is indeed in itself an achievement, and a recognition that there is potential here within Mombasa. It’s also a sign of the great efforts being put out by the Mozilla Mombasa Leads into organizing these events here. She also provided an overview of Maker Party and the what’s and why’s and briefly highlighted the Mozilla Webmaker project.
Next we had Murad Swaleh, Owner at Crablinks Interactive and a credited web designer who has designed websites for companies around Mombasa and whose previous works are quite evident. He was undoubtedly the one fit to take us through using the Mozilla Thimble; a tool that makes it incredibly simple for anyone to create and share their own web pages and other projects in minutes. First off he started with a brief open discussion when it came to building a website, what steps to follow when one is told to build a website. This was really an eye opener for upcoming web developers. Attendees also had the chance to create a web page(s) using Mozilla thimble some of the samples can be found here.
We also had one of the leads Said Fuad educating the attendees on Popcorn maker. He had a video which he had first worked on, so as to show how the attendees how to go about it. Remixing web video, audio and images into cool mash-ups that you can embed on other websites. This had most attendees creating awesome videos with the popcorn maker here is a sample of one of the videos. Check out samples of the videos.
Ruth Kaveke: https://kaveke.makes.org/popcorn/2700
Opportuna Marura: https://ops.makes.org/popcorn/26zs
With the 3hrs of intense hacking guys were famished and lunch was indeed well taken care of. A word to describe that lunch, tantalizing!
After lunch just Alifiyah took over by having an interactive discussion on the concept of Digital/Web Literacy and its importance in today’s life. Defining it as a map of the skills and competencies people need to read, write and participate effectively on the web. Attendees were divided into groups and given a trivia into fitting where each tool goes where on the web literacy map. This was also an interactive session since the groups got the chance to support the answers they gave by pitching it to others. Shown below is the Web literacy map
In conclusion Swaleh Abubakar, Owner at Crablinks Interactive and Lecturer at JKUAT Mombasa had a heart to heart talk with participants. He encouraged them to actively engage with the community and also focus on one niche. It is important for one to focus on what you are good at and work on bettering yourself. Many thanks to them all!
Generally the event was a success and with App-Maker just hours away we encourage you on to take up the opportunity of getting involved with Maker Party 2014. Many thanks to the Mozillians and the Community members (Magambo Gatobu, Bryan Opiyo, Harris Mwashalo, Fauzia Ismail and Ruth Kaveke) who have contributed so far.
1 event down 4 more to go, see you in the next event.
Teach Learn & Make. This undoubtedly describes the series of events that Mozilla Mombasa is about to roll out in the coming weeks in Partnership with Mozilla, we will be spearheading this series of events under Mozilla’s Global Campaign dubbed Maker Party 2014.
Maker Party is Mozilla’s global campaign to teach the web through thousands of community-run events around the world, it unites educators, organizations and enthusiastic web users with hands-on learning and making.
Mozilla Mombasa is holding not one, not two, but 5 series of events under this campaign and we would like to invite you all to these events, so mark these dates on your calendar as you get prepared to be indulged in a knowledge frenzy of activities. To start off here is a gist of the first two events that are proudly facilitated by the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture & Technology Mombasa Campus, located at the heart of the coastal city of Mombasa in the stylish Mombasa Trade Centre (formerly Ambalal building) along Nkrumah road.
Let’s Meet, Make and Mash-up the Web
Being the first Webmaker Party in 2014 in Mombasa this will definitely set precedent for future Webmaker Parties. This event is targeted to University Students and Web Professionals who will come under one roof to learn, play, and remix the Webmaker tools. We shall also be introducing the concept of Digital/Web Literacy and its importance in today’s life. We will also get to brainstorm on ways in which these concepts can be applied in various sectors of the industry especially the Education Industry. Lastly, we will have a brainstorming session on Internet, Web & Security.
Wednesday, 6th August 2014 from 8.00AM to 2.30PM
Venue: JKUAT Mombasa, 6th Floor, Room 601
Hashtags for this event: #TeachTheWeb #makerparty #mozillamombasa
Building for the future with Appmaker
This event is aimed at introducing Mozilla App Maker; App Maker is a free, open source app authoring tool that lets you drag and drop individual components to build and share custom mobile apps right in your web browser. Thereafter encourage participants to develop a prototype application using Appmaker. Through this, participants will be led through some of the best practices of Mobile Apps Development and UI/UX Design.
Friday, 8th August 2014 from 9.00AM to 3.00PM -
Venue: JKUAT Mombasa, 6th Floor, Room 601
Hashtags for this event: #appmaker #mobileapps #mozillamombasa #makerparty
Remember a miss is as good as a mile, so help spread the word and invite a friend to attend. We hope to see you all there.
This Month is off to a great start with the Mozcoffee that took place on the 5th of July at Steers prior to the anticipated MozFestEA happening in Uganda. As expected ,Mozilla Kenya came together to discuss their contribution to this amazing event. Of course, being the First Mozcoffee in weeks ,we had a variety of issues to address . However, the purpose of the meet was to focus on the two most important agendas of the day: The Maker party and the MozFestEA2014
First Things First
Since the aim of the Maker party is to teach the web around the Kenyan community, our first task was to identify our type of audience .This, we concluded will include any interested persons ,schools and organizations. Given the different audiences we anticipate in the program ,we sought out different ways to reach them. One major idea was to partner with organizations in and around Nairobi such as Nairobi Dev School and NairoBits. As seen in previous endeavors ,forming partnerships with organizations that share the same goal can make any program stronger and better known in the community. Creating online activities to target online audience will ensure the online community participates in the Maker Party. This will require use of online platforms such as HOMAGO; where we will create an online teaching network.
Who takes what
The Planning process for the maker party involved delegation of activities to different MozReps
- Organizing Online activities (HOMAGO) – Hezzi
- Partnership with Nairobi Dev School – Ash
- Partnership with NAIROBITS – Cliff & Vicky
- Mozilla Blogger – Brie
Regarding the most anticipated event in East Africa, the Mozilla Kenya community expressed its enthusiasm to help out with some of the Mozilla Reps taking notable sessions during the three day event. The Mozilla Kenya community in Uganda will be represented by Ash, Vicky Cliff, Boss, Steve and Brie. As such ,different reps were required to choose a topic to talk about. The sessions in the program include:
- Firefox OS Marketplace – Vicky
- Firefox OS Development -Vicky
- BUGZILLA – Alex
- Introduction to Gaming - Ash
- WebMaker – Cliff
- MVC Vs Traditional Coding Methods – Hezzi, Boss
- Q&A – Alex
- Army of Awesome – Steve
- L10n – Steve
It was noted there was a lack of initiative to follow through with planned Mozilla events. This being the key factor in ensuring successful participation, it was decided that frequent Mozcoffee meet ups will be held once a month to keep track of the Mozilla events and contribution. Additionally, a team was set up to discuss better ways to revive the community spirit by coming up with a better approach to organizing Mozilla events. Subsequently, Mozilla Kenya will be required to recruit new enthusiasts to its cause. This task was assigned to Brie
Overall, the meet up was successful with all major issues being addressed fully. My only hope is that the next meeting will have more members showing up …..we could use more great minds
This year’s Mozilla Festival is probably one of the best events I’ve ever attended as a Mozillian and as Rep. Maybe I feel this way because I’ve really been yawning to attend Mozfest since the first one was held three years ago in Barcelona. Also being the biggest Webmaker event under Mozilla, me being part of it was just a dream come true, no doubt about that. I’d had of stories from the previous Mozfests and I’d really feel sorry for myself that I hadn’t attended and taken part in the past events. In 2012 we came close to having one of us (Mozilla Kenya) attend the 2nd Mozilla Festival but he couldn’t due to visa denial at the British embassy.
Well preparing for this year’s event wasn’t all that smooth for us here in Kenya. And as usual visa processing is the hardest thing ever for a rep, especially when you are planning to attend an event hosted in a first world country and you are applying for your visa from any of the developing nations, trust me, it isn’t a nice experience, not even for one second !
Two of us (Hezron and I) were invited through the Mozilla Reps program to attend this year’s event but like I said, Visa… visa… issues! Hezron was not lucky enough to attend the event as his visa was denied and to my surprise, they couldn’t trace the credibility of his invitation letter despite the fact that my invitation letter was similar to his, let alone both of them having been signed by Michelle Thorne!
But then at least I was lucky to get the chance to attend this year’s event (I’m pausing to smile, just to reminisce on how happy I was when I saw the visa stamp on my passport). I remember I’d actually lost hope when Hezron’s was denied and I even went to collect my passport just a few hour before the embassy closed for the day only get such the big surprise! But I learned quite a lot from this experience with one of the strictest embassies, the British embassy!
My flight was scheduled on the same date I collected my visa and I had to rush back home, throw everything that I needed into my bag and start my journey to the airport which is a bit far from where I live with my family. I landed in Heathrow the next morning after 8 hours in the air, not so tiring but quite a long one as well. I was lucky enough to meet two other reps from India (Sayak and Soumya) who had attended the last Mozfest and so I had nothing to worry about getting lost when connecting the trains to the Hotel, yay!
I spent most of day one just walking around London with fellow Reps, that’s after checking into our rooms. The opening session would be that evening when we would all gather for dinner with all the other reps, most of whom were still on their way coming. We strolled around taking photos and catching up with on what each one of us had been up to in their home countries and obviously Mozilla Summit which was held two weeks ago dominated most of our stories. After around four hours walk around London, we went back to the hotel to rest a bit and prepare for dinner later on.
The dinner that night was full of excitement. Meeting people whom you met probably two years back and now here you are together again, nothing feels sweeter than this. I was way too excited myself and I made sure I spoke to each and every Rep who made it and even other Mozillians whom we’ve talked before and even those whom we haven’t met before. This is usually my most favorite parts of any Mozilla events, meeting new faces and hearing from different people, how things are wherever they come from, what they do as Mozillians and even what they do as individuals aside from contributing to Mozilla, I get to learn a lot from people during such moments. Day one ended with briefings on what the program was going to be like for the next day and what to expect for the rest of the days at Mozfest 2013.
Day two started quite early with breakfast at 8am and then we’d proceed to Ravensbourne college by 9am. This was definitely going to be quite a busy day as we were to use it to lay foundation for the coming two days of the festival. So it all begun with introductions on what to expect from there henceforth. Keynotes from the main hosts and organizers followed. We also got to hear from the space wranglers and session hosts just as a buildup and for us to know where each and every session was going to be conducted.
What followed next was setting-up for session hosts. Where everyone who had volunteered to host a session was introduced to their hacking area and they’d setup their space in wait for the next two days. I was involved in two booths myself, the Students Ambassadors stand and the Mozilla Reps corner as well! With the intros done, we all moved downstairs, where we had the showcase stands. We had a lot of amazing makes from different makers from all over the world. The most memorable one for me was the a creation by Mozilla Japan which was able to transmit the same vibration effect one feels on a plastic can when marbles are shaken in it on a different can connected to the former with a string! This was just off the hook, amazing indeed! There were lots of amazing makes of course, lots of them!
The second day at Mozfest was a big day! It was the first open day for the public to participate. And I can bet everyone looked forward to it. I couldn’t help wait to take part on the maker party and learn from it. We spent the better part of day two attending different sessions up and down the college premises. All of them interesting and tantalizing where you’d wish to attend some sessions but unable because their timings collided with others which were more interesting. But yes, great sessions they all were!
And finally the maker party was here that afternoon. The room was completely electrified with the numerous activities going on in every corner. Everyone seemed to smile from ear to ear enjoying the fun moments. I never expected such a big maker party, completely off the hook. And the number of volunteers who’d come from all over the world just to share their knowledge with everyone was just amazing. I’m literally smiling while writing about the maker party. I wonder how much time was used in planning for it. Thumbs up for Chris and his Hive team! Couldn’t be any better if you ask me; I still stand amazed a month later!
Day three at Mozfest wasn’t as action packed compared to day two. I spent most of it attending sessions revolving around Webmaking, for the better part of the day. That afternoon we ganged up with a few more Reps and wen to tour the famous London Bridge and the Tower Bridge as well.
I must say that I learnt so much from Mozfest, first as a rep and even more importantly as a Webmaker! I’m sure our Webmaking initiatives here in Kenya as a community will now be better from now on. I’ve gained quite a lot from other webmakers and creators from different countries and I feel so inspired!
I’m proud to be a Mozillian!
More than 2 years on and there never siezes to be something new for me in Mozilla.. there’s always a new experience for me to live and remember, a new challenge to face or a new thing to learn altogether. In my 2 years as a Mozilla Rep one thing seems to be recurring, community building. No matter how many ways I decide to contribute and projects I decide to zero in and focus on one thing always comes out in the end.. the urge and self drive to expand the reach of Mozilla within and around my local community and region and support current contributors wherever possible.
Recently I became a Mozilla Reps mentor and finally got to take up mentoring on a more official capacity than what I was doing locally. There’s no better way for a new mentor to start learning than for that mentor to be exposed to all other mentors at the same time and get to share their experiences with him. I got to attend this year’s ReMo Camp which was held in Madrid, Spain at the Madrid Hub from 30th August to 1st September 2013. In case you don’t know what ReMo Camp is, it’s an annual event that brings together the entire leadership of the Mozilla Reps programme in one place to crunch all the boring numbers and look for ways to crunch less numbers Just kidding, it is an awesome 2-day experience that brings together the entire Mozilla leadership to review the current status of the programme, evaluate the past year and plan for the next year. Sounds like a AGM but it’s definitely far from that… perhaps photos can best explain what it is;
C’mon!!! Relax, it’s definitely not a fake superhero convention or a costume party for superhero wannabe’s.
Well, this may be close but it’s not really that either
It’s more like..
..intensive warm up activities and brainstorming sessions
And as the days progress towards the end..
But on a serious note..
All major Mozilla events I’ve attended tend to be intense and involve all participants and this wasn’t any different. The level of involvement each attendee is granted is high and allows for collection of concrete and practical feedback from the participants. We had intense discussions touching on several areas concerning ReMo such as tools and how to increase our productivity and make some tasks easier, Webmakers and Reps, resource sharing, Firefox Student Amabassadors (FSA’s) and how ReMo can work with FSA’s, increasing the visibility of reps across Mozilla and outside, recognition and many more.
And just to illustrate how ReMo camp needs to be held more often, within an hour or two we also managed to setup the Mozilla WebDev SIG which will be focusing on getting contributors to help with development of our Mozilla sites, the reps portal for starters and more later on. Without such collaborative and inclusive meetups we wouldn’t be able to come up with and do the amazing things we did there. A big thumbs up to the entire ReMo camp organizing team and all attendees who hacked and executed the agenda as well.
There are good things to come this year and the years to come for ReMo thanks to ReMo camp and the awesome ReMo leadership that I got a chance to share 2 wonderful and memorable days of my life with and I’m proud to be a part of ReMo and the Mozilla Reps Mentors.
It was in mid January when I laid my hands on the first Unagis in Kenya ( Firefox OS developer phones ). The phones were delivered by Didem the lead of Mozilla WFD program and a friend I made when I attended my first MozCamp in singapore Asia. Didem was on a mission to attend Nairobi Apps Day a mega event that we staged in the capital city of Kenya attracting a attendance of about one hundred and fifty web developer.
After the very successful event I was one of the lucky reps that were allowed to take the phones with us, there other one was Bosire, both of us having shown the interest to test the device, develop apps and hack the OS. This got me so inspired thatI dived right away into developing apps for the Firefox marketplace. I am glad to report that I was the first Kenya and perhaps African to submit an app the Firefox marketplace. The app passed all the requirements and it was listed on the marketplace.
The app I build was a news reader for the just concluded general elections that were held in Kenya in the month of june. The app works well both on Firefox OS and Android devices. The app is called Kenya Elections and it can be found here https://marketplace.firefox.com/app/kenya-election?src=search
I have had a number for sessions where I show developers how to package their open web apps for the Firefox market place. The sessions are mostly intaractive and we offen end up with a few prototype apps. In the near future I believe more Kenyans will be able to post apps into the firefox market place.
Many locals have had a chance to interact with the Firefox OS device when the attend events organized by the local Mozilla community and they give very positive feedback though the OS is quite unfinished. I will soon together with other reps receive the Keon which is the current developer phone Firefox OS for testing. I will be able to share my other device with someone else from the local community and I believe the same goes for Bosire who is the holder of the other Unagi. I will be able to share a review of the Keon once I have it and also showcase it in events.
The much awaited Reps Training in Athens finally came and we all focussed on making sure everything we (Hezron, Alex and I (Cliff)) needed was in place a head of our visit to the Greek embassy for our visas and after a week of waiting for the embassy to process our travel visas, two of us, Hezron and I were lucky to be granted our visas, Alex had a tough luck getting his, the Greek embassy siting new rules by EU blocking foreign students without employment from travelling to any of the schengen countries, that was really tough for him as he’d put in a lot of effort and time in arranging for our travel.
The D-day was finally here, the 1st of March, we were all set for our trip to Athens that early morning. And after 5 hours on board a turkish airliner, we arrived at Istanbul around midday on transit to Atina (Athens) and while here at the airport in Istanbul we met San James and Lawrence from Uganda whom we were coincedentally to take the same flight with them to Athens. Our flight from Istanbul to Athenstook approximately 2hrs or less… And we finally arrived at the Atina International Airport, the chilly breeze, the mountainous view from a far, everything quite different and interesting.
Here again we met a couple of Mozillians waiting for us and it was here that we finally met Michelle Thorne, that was really great for us! We the took the train to ‘Monastiraki’, where our hotel was located, quite far from the airport, say a 45 minutes ride.
On our first day in Athens we didn’t do much, just meeting fellow Mozillians who had already arrived and those who were still arriving. We checked in our hotel room and rested after the long day of travelling. We then met 4 hours later for our first dinner, with almost all the Reps attending the training having arrived.
On our 2nd day after breakfast, we all gathered at the Monastiraki Square for briefings on the day’s schedule. We went to ‘Technopolis’ where we would be working from for the rest of training period. Hive Athens were also to host a training session at the same venue the following day and it was such an awesome learning experience seeing how youths were organized and helping in setting up the hackspace making sure everything would workout as they should. I was also amazed by the number of volunteering youths had come to assist Hive Athens in planning for the event.
We spent a better part of the 2nd day at the Technopolis mainly farmiliarising with the venue for most the activities we’d engage in. Meeting fellow Reps whom we’d not met since their arrival as some of us arrived a bit late the previous night from their various countries. We also had a chance to visit the main whole where we’d have the Reps training sessions hosted, such a beautiful venue with a lot of history behind it, dating back to the 1920s, maybe even beyond that!
The Hive Athens hackathon event was quite a remarkable one. One thing that really amazed me was the level of organization shown by the organizers. I got a chance of speeking to one of the volunteer planners for event and he told me that the key to having such a big number of volunteers willing to help in hosting such events is to first let them own the event, doing it out of the usual and making it less formal and ensuring it’s full of fun. And true to this, the event commenced with some sort of a randomn volley ball, where everyone played from anywhere so long as the ball didn’t touch the ground and people would really cheer if someone bent over backwards just to save the ball from touching the ground. This was really fun if you ask me. I remember at times I’d be carried away when the game became more interesting and I’d find myself watching as the youths played from my camera and you’d think that I was taking a lot of photos, well that’s how fun it was. That was really an awesome ice breaker for a hackathon like this, a great way kickstart!
I also noticed how smoothly the whole event was run. Want to know why? Well, it’s pretty simple. Every table had something different to teach or let me make it sound more webmaker like, each table had a different hactivity and well equiped with enough facilitators who were there to ensure everyone read from the same page and that no one was left behind in the learning process. Having enough facilitators was key to this event.
That following week was the most important bit for the Reps training, the Hive event was a good eye opener on how to hold a successfull webmaker event. The training session kicked off with us identifying the common problems we experience when we host local events in our various countries and wrote them on sticky notepads. We later on grouped similar problems and it was amazing how we all experienced similar problems while hosting events but maybe just on different levels. After all these we all gathered to discuss the possible solutions to some of the problems we do face while hosting events. Quite an interesting session hosted by Gardner and Michelle Thorne.
Also worth remembering was practical Reps event we hosted at the British Council. The main aim for this was to put into action all that we’d learnt in the past few days. This seemed like a big challenge for us, teachings kids and teenagers from a totally different culture. The whole session was fucussed on the popcorn maker. And contrary to fears of having a hard time with the teenegers, we all enjoyed teaching the kids how to remix videos using the popcorn maker tool. This was practically the last important session we had in Athens.
Sunday the 19th May 2013, the Mozilla Kenya community Localizers gathered at Naked pizza in Westlands to continue with the journey of ensuring the mozilla products including their favourite browser is available in swahili language; a language that is widely used in East Africa region.This would enable the people in the region to access technology in the language they understand best,preserve the swahili language and also improve customer acceptance and usage of the products.
Everyone had arrived by 1.30 P.M 15 people who availed themselves for the localization were all set with their laptops ready to start. After introductions and catching up a bit as we placed orders for pizza, Steve being the lead of the event guided us on how to translate and gave us additional materials to assist us in the translation.We had to reming ourselves of our goals which inluded;
- Shipping A Swahili Firefox Version in 2013
- Having translations of Mozilla websites
- Shipping a Swahili version of the Firefox OS
- Having a swahili version of the manifest
Having all this in mind,we all started on the days activity and we set a goal of translating 1000 words within 4 hours. We need to encourage each other so as to meet a target and therefore decided the one who gathered majority translations gets the TShirt.
All you could here is people discussing the new words they are learning and trying to consult for any new words they came across. For the words we were not able to translate we had to write them down so that we could research further and consult so as to give the best translation for the words.
The Pizzas arrived and this did not deter us with the translation, people took bites of pizza as we continued with the days agenda of ensuring the dream of having Mozilla products in Swahili language being realized.
By the end of the event which was around 5.30 P.M we had made over 300 translations. Fabian Kithusi had the most translated words hence getting the Tshirt. It was an interesting and successful event which made us to to talk on the way forward so as to reach our goals on the localization. Ever localizer was to continue translating and we decided to check on the number of translations one will have by the time we will have our next meeting.
The aim of the event Nairobits Class 2013 webmakers that happened on 23rd of April at Nairobits school of Digital Design was to introduce the students to Firefox OS platform and Open Web Apps development. The students are currently learning web development so it was easy to lure them into mobile apps development using web technologies that they know and on the process of mastering them. By the fact that the students do not need to learn any other new programing language other than what they already know they were very willing to venture into the business of developing web apps.
To start of the event I introduce Firefox OS, the technologies used and needed for app development, the opportunities that it presents and how web developers can tap into them. We had a chance of discussing a few APIs that have been expossed by Firefox OS to the developers and explored the possibility of developing apps that target the local market.
In the third hour of the event we were ready to dive in to code, so I showed the students how to set up their development environment, demonstrated web developer tools provided by Firefox and the Firefox OS simulator. Now it was for me to launch my Aptana Studio and start putting together a simple app for illustration purpose. In about an hour and a half we had a simple web app up and running.
Through the highly interactive session the students had a chance of learning what they need to be able come up with working web apps that can be deployed on the Firefox OS market place.