MDN/Get involved/Event Guidelines

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Events for MDN are aimed at bringing in new contributors or encouraging existing contributors to make worthwhile contributions to MDN.

When deciding to host an MDN event, please make sure you have gone through the different event formats and all of the requirements before making an event request.

Event formats

We have four event formats for public MDN events:

  • MDN Awareness
  • Documentation sprints
  • Localization sprints
  • Code sprints

How to organize an MDN event?

To organize an event for MDN, get in touch with Janet Swisher. Ensure you meet the requirements.

Regional contacts for events

If you are from any of the following regions, please ping the respective people instead.

Event Requirements

We have a set of requirements that need to be met for any MDN event. The requirements are broken down into three sections:

  • Must have: These are the bare necessities without which a MDN event cannot be organized.
  • Good to have: On top of the "must have" requirements, these are additional requirements which can make the event more successful.
  • May have: On top of the "must have" requirements", these set of requirements will ensure that the event is a blast!

Each requirement set is in turn broken down to venue requirements and Mozilla organizers' requirements. Along with these, there are event format specific requirements which apply in addition to the generic requirements.

Must have

Venue requirements

  • Tables and chairs for everybody
  • Enough electricity for all laptops
  • Good, stable internet connectivity (can be wifi or wired), with dedicated internet speed of at least:
    • Code sprints: 512kbps per participant
    • Doc sprints: 256 kbps per participant
    • Localization sprints: 256 kbps per participant
  • If the event includes food or drinks, the venue must have a space where food and drinks are allowed. (Does not have to be the same room where work is done.)

Mozilla organizers' requirements

  • Make sure participants know to bring their own laptop
  • Extension cords and power strips to provide one plug for each laptop (e.g., for 60 people, 10 power strips of 6 plugs each, and places to plug power strip into mains)
  • Power convertors for people outside the country.
  • Use pre-registration to control number of participants. Use reminders to help make sure people who registered actually show up.
  • Anyone who has to travel must have a place to stay.
  • Speakers should be trained enough, or be prior contributors to MDN.
  • All MDN events organized should be coordinated with responsible task-forces in respective regions, wherever it exists.
  • Know about age requirements in your area. (In London, it is not legal to keep children in public buildings after 6pm.)

Awareness event specific requirements

  • Projector/Screen for computer display.

Docs sprint specific requirements

  • Participants should have newer browsers. Keep latest stable version of Firefox handy for Windows, Linux and OSX on a portable drive.

Localization sprint specific requirements

  • Ensure attendees have localization tools (to type in the native language) installed in their machine/in lab computers.

Code sprint specific requirements

  • Source code of Kuma as a git repo, vagrant box image, virtualbox installers for Windows, OSX and Linux, preferably, on multiple portable medias or shared on a local machine through LAN.
  • Make vagrant-based installation procedure as the de-facto installation method for Kuma.

Good to have

Venue requirements

  • Good to organize in some college computer lab so that computers, power, sitting arrangement & internet all can be easily ensured. But in that case it needs to be ensured to manage access for those who aren't college students.
  • Need to pre-install all necessary tools/software in lab computers.
  • Space to break out into small groups
  • Access for people with physical limitations. Plan how you will accommodate people with disabilities if your venue is not accessible.
  • Whiteboard with markers.

Mozilla organizers' requirements

  • Printable leaflet for getting started with MDN (how to create account, login, basic tasks), based on MDN getting started pages
  • Make guide/screencast on how to create account, login, basic task etc. and pre-share before the event, so attendees get a heads-up. We can also get more time for the event day.
  • Swag! (Try to print them locally)
  • Depending on the size and length of the event, provide coffee, water, or other drinks (non-alcoholic). This is culture specific.
  • Depending on the length of the event, provide meals. Pizzas for overnight events. Prevents participants from going out and returning 15 minutes after the starting time.

May have

  • Speakers from core MDN team, if it is a major event in a promising new location. But arrangements for that have to be done at least 45 days before-hand.
  • Ways to participate remotely - via Vidyo, Hangouts streaming.
  • Audio/Video recording.
  • Prizes for best contribution
  • Dashboard to show progress (see, for example, , Trello)

Best practices

The ideas below are not requirements for holding an event, but have been helpful for other event organizers in the past.

  • Advertise your event:
    • At least a month in advance with regular reminders
    • Through social media as well as offline means
    • Be active and relentless, the more the better
  • The day of the event, make it visible and make sure attendees will have no difficulty to find the place and join the party.
  • Provide a way to contact the organizers.
  • Possibly schedule the event in connection to a bigger event, such as a conference, especially if the conference has hack days or workshop days. Publicize in advance so that people traveling to the conference know to allow extra days.
  • If you have shortage of swags, give it only to people who end up contributing. Give out swag at the END of the event.
  • If the event is not at an organization that can provide space (e.g., college or university), look for meeting space at: libraries, co-working spaces, friendly tech companies, schools, churches, bars; wherever you have contacts. Be sure that infrastructure requirements can be met.
  • Define skill requirements for participants. People won't always meet them, but at least you will set expectations.
    • [Awareness] None
    • [doc sprint] Fluency in English; some familarity with Web development
    • [code sprint] Familiarity with HTML/CSS/JavaScript/Python development
    • [localization] some familarity with Web development. Good grasp of local language.
  • Good durations for event formats:
    • Code sprint: ~3 to 24 hours (preferably overnight); possibly have a shorter session for environment installs, the evening before the main sprint.
    • Doc sprint: ~2 to 6 hours (x multiple days)
    • Localization sprint: same as Doc sprint
    • Introduction/Awareness: ~15 minutes to ~2 hours.
  • Add a hard stop for people joining the event. If someone shows up late, they can't join. It's too much of a distraction for everybody else.
  • Plan potential tasks for people to work on, in case they don't have ideas of their own.
    • [doc sprints] editorial reviews, tagging, clean-up
    • [localization] prioritized list of pages to translate
    • [code sprints] prioritized list of bugs or features

Planning and running the event

There are lots of guides to planning and running hackathons and similar events, so we don't need to repeat that information here. Here are some guides that we think are helpful and relevant.