All Hands/Austin/electives

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Electives in Austin


Electives are blocks of time during our All Hands for programming open to any attendee to lead or attend. Here's when they'll happen in Austin (also noted in the main schedule):

Wednesday, December 13

  • 1:00pm - 2:30pm
  • 2:45pm - 5:30pm

Thursday, December 14

  • 1:00pm - 2:30pm: Research Lightning Talks
  • 3:00pm - 5:00pm: Firefox Lightning Talks

What's the goal?

In short, cross-pollination.

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.

The last time we had Electives (in Hawaii), 96% of all folks who attended an elective said they'd recommend it to a peer. Some color commentary:

  • “It was useful to share information on things that work, things that don't work, and the science to back these assertions up."
  • "I learned about resources I wasn't aware of. The panel framed security issues in a way that was really helpful towards figuring out how I should be dealing with passwords, sensitive data, and security practices."
  • "Electives seem to be the best idea for the All Hands, ever."
  • "Awesome to hear we are doing real experiments. I want to help."
  • "I now have a better understanding of Mozilla financials and how we can contribute to increasing revenue and reducing expenses."
  • "This kind of tech exchange should be 80% of the work week."

How it works

  1. Propose your elective idea here by Friday Oct 13.
  2. Vote for your top submissions Mon Oct 23 - Fri Oct 27 (helps us assign rooms better)
  3. Schedule which electives you plan to attend after we post the final list November 6.

Submitted Sessions for Voting

The final list of electives is now posted in Sched.

Please see this page for all the sessions that were submitted for voting.

Program Timeline

  • Mon October 2 Announcement of two-week window for Electives submissions.
  • Fri October 13 Last day for submissions.
  • Mon October 16 - Fri Oct 20 Internal Comms matches with capacity, works with session owners to consolidate overlapping/similar submissions as appropriate
  • Mon October 23 Voting begins on full list of submissions (we'll provide a link to descriptions) to gauge attendance
  • Friday October 27 Voting closes
  • Week of October 30 Internal Comms analyzes voting results, assigns spaces
  • Week of Mon November 6 Final sessions posted on SCHED
  • Mon November 13 - All Hands Presenters get coaching, prepare and promote their sessions.

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 categories aligning with our 2017 strategy:

  • Grow Firefox & From Firefox topics will include product-related content such as user-centered design; user acquisition and retention; metrics & data; teamwork & collaboration; communication
  • Grow New Areas topics will address earlier stage and exploratory work such as Internet of Things; Artificial Intelligence; virtual, augmented and mixed reality; blockchain
  • Grow Mozilla topics will our Issues Agenda including Internet Health and community initiatives
  • People Development & Support. This track is for sessions that don't fit nicely into the ones above. Examples: interview training; how to use Confluence; learn how/why to use a business canvas.

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

Coordinate with others. Sometimes folks submit topics so similar we reach out later to see if they'll collaborate. Get in front of the game and see who else may fit with your topic before you submit.

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.

Coaching sessions. We'll invite the final presenters to two online coaching sessions, as follows:

  • Monday, November 13 @ 4pm PT
  • Wednesday, November 15 @ 8am PT