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Becoming involved as a Mozilla community member

Mozilla is large and complex, in terms of technologies, source code, and processes. Some people find us and make their own way. However, there are many more people who who could be valuable contributors if only they had someone to get them started and support them as they learned their way.

Students and academics represent a huge population of skilled and potential contributors. Helping them is a great way to grow our community. At the same time, having new people engage with our systems is a way for us to find out what is hard, what is broken, and what can be improved.

Finally, becoming involved with education is an important way to spread Mozilla's open, collaborative approach to the web and information into educational institutions, influencing tomorrow's industry leaders. Mozilla can learn a lot from educational institutions, and has the chance to teach them just as much.

  • join #education and answer questions.
  • introduce people to others in the community who might be working on things related to their projects. Part of feeling involved is feeling connected.
  • read the Mozilla Education Planet and become aware of who is doing what and leave comments so that people know they aren't working in isolation.
  • get your blog added to the Mozilla Education Planet, and write about your work, show people how to do things, talk about projects people could take on.
  • help triage bugs using the student-project bugzilla keyword, so that students and academics can find potential projects.
  • Be supportive in student-project bugs by CC'ing yourself, providing helpful feedback, redirecting others who aren't being helpful, etc. Bugzilla has a tremendous number of unspoken conventions and processes that students need help navigating.
  • Read the Guidelines for Mozilla contributors.

Above all, encourage students and help inspire them to not give up when they hit a wall. Students who haven't worked on something as large and complex as Mozilla before often feel that everyone else understands what is going on, and that they are simply not cut out for this work.