All Hands/2016 Hawaii/electives

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Electives in Hawaii


Electives are blocks of time during our All Hands dedicated to programming that any attendee can lead and/or attend:

Wednesday, December 7

  • 3:00pm - 4:00pm
  • 4:15pm - 5:15pm

Thursday, December 8

  • 3:00pm - 4:00pm
  • 4:15pm - 5:15pm

For Hawaii, we have 13 spaces available that range in sizes (40-800 ppl). This will allow us to support between 25 and 50 total electives, depending on estimated attendance and duration per elective.

What's the goal?

As a distributed organization it can be tough to get a handle on what’s happening, or know how to help out. Electives provide a unique opportunity for teams and individuals to share projects, best practices and other skills and knowledge beyond their own teams. This feedback from the London electives sums up the benefits:

  • “It was great to see what other teams are working on and how we can get involved.”
  • “A good chance to interact with contributors outside your team and learn something new.”
  • “Allowing people to see things out of their normal work pattern is great.”
  • “As a newcomer to Mozilla I found the electives were great context for big-picture understanding, and great exposure to other projects/teams.”
  • “Being able to choose something based on interest rather than necessity was nice.”

How it works

  1. Propose your elective idea here by October 14
  2. Internal Comms will match the # of submissions against our facility capacity and determine if voting is needed.
  3. In the likely event that we get more submissions than space allows, we'll have All Hands attendees vote on their top submissions, and pair the top-voted sessions with space.
  4. We'll announce final sessions by Monday November 14.

BONUS: If you submit your session by October 7, you will be eligible for special presentation / speaker coaching assistance of up to 4 hours.

Program Timeline (Revised)*

  • Fri 9/30 Announcement of Electives, including two-week window for submissions.
  • Fri 10/7 Early Consideration Deadline: those who submit their sessions by Fri 10/7 will receive special review and be eligible for special coaching.
  • Fri 10/14 Submission Deadline
  • Mon Oct 17 - Fri Oct 21 Internal Comms matches with capacity, works with session owners to consolidate overlapping/similar submissions as appropriate
  • Mon Oct 24 Voting begins on full list of submissions to gauge attendance and select final Electives
  • Friday October 28 Voting closes
  • Weeks of Oct 31 + November 7 Internal Comms analyzes voting results to assign spaces
  • Mon Nov 14 Final sessions posted on Hawaii Electives page + SCHED
  • Tues November 16 - December 5 Session owners prepare and promote their sessions.

*We added more time in after the voting phase to help us better understand target audiences of top-voted sessions when we assign times and rooms.

Submission Guidelines

Tracks. To help everyone understand how and where your session fits at Mozilla, we ask folks submitting ideas for electives to ensure they fit in one of the following 3 categories (with examples):

  • People. e.g. interviewing & hiring best practices, public speaking, community best practices
  • Product. e.g. user-facing product and prototype demos and updates, design and UX experiments, approaches to data and experimentation
  • Technology. e.g. web-enabling technologies and infrastructure such as Virtual Reality, WebGL, RUST, Servo.

Be complete in your description. People cannot attend all electives, so be sure to convey why yours is worth attending. Here is a recommended outline to help you include enough information in your session description to draw people in:

  • What will happen during the session
  • What attendees will learn / take away
  • Who should attend e.g. ‘ideal participant’ has X skills, interests, knowledge
  • What track it supports and why

Presentation Tips

Duration. We encourage you to use one hour as we have limited facility space and hope to accommodate as many electives as possible. If you believe your session absolutely requires two hours, we'll assess whether we can slot it.

Focus. Folks will likely take away 1-2 key points or practices from your session; use the time to go deep vs. wide.

Interactivity. Learning by doing is far more effective than learning by listening. This doc has some tips and practical ways for session owners to create a more engaging experience.