The weekend was here and undoubtedly this was going to be the Firefox OS Apps Expo. With tickets sold out, the turnout as expected was really impressive. Techies/Students from various learning institutions, KEMU, MKU, TUM, KU and the very host themselves JKUAT Mombasa came in droves to attend the Expo. The expo hosted a panel of business people from Mombasa’s various reputable businesses; Coastal Image Technologies, Branding Concepts, Zevan Limited and Crablinks Interactive to engage with students & tech enthusiasts and share knowledge whilst reviewing some of the excellent applications from these students who had been working on building apps for the Firefox OS. Continue reading …
Saturday afternoon and the turnout was great .The Mozilla meeting began with a bang, and off course, a slice of the Debonair pizza. Who could resist? Truth be told, the pizza incentive was a good start to the Month of September but in as much as it was on the table, so was the agenda of the day.
For those who missed out on the meeting, the list looked like this:
• Web Maker Training updates and NairoBits
• JamLab Progress
• Marker party
• Kisumu Community Development Updates
• Brainstorm on new ideas
• FSA Program
The Inside scope
NairoBits agreed to partner with MozillaKE on the Web maker training program that seeks to widen our reach in the community. With a vast community presence rivaling our own, it was seen as a step up idea and a good avenue to introduce the community to Web Maker tools. Previous Meet ups saw us discuss the importance of collaborating with the surrounding community. Talk about killing two birds with one stone.
The Jam Lab idea is still in progress as Alex sent out an email expressing our desire to partner with them concerning Mozilla web development tools. In order to fully dive in the spirit of collaboration, we discussed the need to come up with content useful for the web maker training exercise .Additionally, we had to identify contributors willing to volunteer fully and take on Mozilla Program that involve organizing of events and trainings. Follow up events will be necessary upon the completion of each planned event.
In regard to the Maseno Web maker party to be hosted by our very own Newton, a budding FSA, MozillaKe contributors in Nairobi offered to provide support on the upcoming event. Mozilla contributors who agreed to attend included Steve, Kev, Maryanne, Eugene and Vicky Alex made an important point about the growth of MozillaKe stating that each individual has the capacity to make direct contribution to the community.
Steve gave us an update on Mozilla Localization Project providing submission rights to any Mozilla contributor interested in being part of the admin. In order to prevent delayed development of this particular project, that any contributor with submission rights can push the code for scrutiny by all members.
On a lighter Note
As a random act of kindness, members attending the meet-up gave support to a young boy in need of medical assistance. In conclusion, “We must remember that one determined person can make a significant difference and that a small group of determined people can change the course of history” Sonia Johnson
In keeping up with Maker Party 2014 series slogan “Teach Learn & Make”, Mozilla Mombasa proudly brings to you the Firefox OS Apps Expo that is to be held on Saturday, 27th September 2014 at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology Mombasa Campus from 8.00AM to 1.00PM. With the unveiling of Firefox Keon mobile phone last year by Mozilla, it has raised a need for Apps on the Marketplace, functionality driven apps that could run on the Firefox OS and also help users of the phone with their day to day activities. So over the past 1 month +, we have had a few people who have been working on applications that revolve around doing just that, and we would love to see the great work they have been doing!
The attendants would get the chance to showcase their apps for the first time to Business people from reputable companies from Mombasa, IT professionals, students and fellow Mozillians and pitch their app and also talk about how they intend to monetize their app. The event will also involve a panel discussion on commercialization of mobile apps. This is also a chance for them to get together with other developers, open web advocates and people passionate about mobile to talk about how Firefox OS, HTML5, JS, contributes to the open web and how we can keep the web free, share best practices and much more. It doesn’t matter if you are an experienced coder or just want to learn more on building apps and more, everyone is welcome.
All apps presented will be reviewed by a professional team of judges and voting will be based on business panelists reviews, judge’s reviews and public reviews. The best application will win a great prize.
All attendants will go home with some goodies courtesy of Mozilla and of course, besides the learning part, we shall have fun too!
Registration is FREE!
Hashtags for the event: #firefoxOSApps #FirefoxOSAppsExpo #mozillamombasa #makerparty
Let us take advantage of great such great opportunities
See you on 27th!
A Saturday afternoon and again it’s time to catch up as Mozilla Kenya community. We all gathered at the Steers along Muindi Mbingu. The members who arrived early had a chit chat as we awaited the rest of the members to get there.
The Agenda for the meeting was as follows:
- Community members to catch up
- Web Maker party
- Recruitment of new Mozillians
- Developers engagement-(Nairobi devs school)
- Web Maker for high school (proposed by Simeon)
- Running sessions for MozCamp Tunisia https://wiki.mozilla.org/MozCamps_2014#Grow_Tunisia
- Using Pursuitery (formerly HOMAGO) to run online sessions (Geekouts) & follow-up challenges
- Brainstorm on new ideas
The members noted that we do not need to have a big web maker event, one can teach the web anywhere and to anyone including the children on holiday within the estates where we reside. Meanwhile Newton Mawira who is a Firefox student ambassador with the help of the Mozilla Kenya community members will hold a Webmaker event in October at Maseno University.
On recruitment of new Mozillians, it was proposed that we focus on the students in the university and ensure the existing Mozillians mentor the recruited Mozillians to ensure they understand the core values and vision of Mozilla and ways in which they can contribute.
The members who are involved in different project gave feedback and progress of the various project:
- L10N-Steve Wanjau. There are Firefox OS bugs which need to be fixed. Some of the members who have tried to fix the bugs were not successful. Steve clarified that while translating, we ensure that the strings don’t have spaces at the end, as this will fail validation. Members decided to have monthly meet ups to translate new strings. Steve was tasked to host a geekout on Pursuitery to do some translations
- On Vicky and Cliff who had been tasked on talking to Nairobi devs school regarding partnering with them so that we can hold events and help teach the web. Vicky informed the members that he is yet to get feedback however he was going to follow up on it.
- Alex was also tasked to follow up with Simeon who had suggested that we have web maker events for high school students.
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.