The following guidelines are offered with a view to making the interaction between students and the Mozilla community as seamless as possible. These are not hard rules, but general recommendations.
- Don't be afraid to pick a project that includes technologies you don't already know. It is normal to not know everything when you start, and to learn on the fly.
- At the same time, pick things within reach for your ability and experience level. You'll be happier working just above your current level, but not so far that you're constantly exceeding your limit with the project and community.
- It's good to ask questions, but not all questions are appropriate in all places. When in doubt, start with those involved in #education on irc, the education mailing list, etc. We can either answer your question, or help you connect with the right people to help you.
- Working in the open is the way to do open source. This means creating a blog, getting added to our Mozilla Education Blog Planet, working in the wiki, putting patches in bugs, etc.
- Working in the open can take some getting used to, especially when you feel like everything is new. Don't be afraid to expose your weaknesses or say you don't know something. You will not encounter negative feedback for such honesty.
- Expect that your work will be critiqued and often rejected. This is normal, and it happens to even the most seasoned contributors. The reasons are technical, not personal, and they are usually something you can fix. Having to do half-a-dozen versions of a patch before getting it accepted is not uncommon, and in no way an embarrassment. Working in a collaborative open source project the size of Mozilla means making compromises, adjusting to meet other people's needs, and improving what you thought was good until it's great.
- When you pick a project, speak to someone in Mozilla Education in order to let them know. This way you can get the bug assigned to you, we can remove it from the list, and make sure you are connected to the right people.
- Use various communication tools to do your work:
- Your blog - keep a regular record of what you're doing, things you're learning, difficulties you have and solutions you come to, and releases you make. People will read your blog.
- Bugzilla - this is for technical discussions related to your work. You can ask questions here about your project, post your work (i.e, patches), get reviews, etc. This is not the place for general discussions
- Wiki - this wiki is a good place to put documents or work that doesn't belong in bugzilla or your blog (e.g., notes you've taken). You are encouraged to put such work under your user space, e.g., User:SomeUser/ProjectNotes.
- #education - this is the best place to go when you're not sure where to go. You are free to ask technical questions, questions about Mozilla processes ("How do I make a patch and get it reviewed?"), etc.
- When you are done with your project, or need to abandon it for some reason, please let us know so that we can retire it or return it to the pool of potential projects.