Reps/SIGs/Evangelism Reps/Conference participation/OHM2013

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Conference details

OHM: Observe. Hack. Make. A hacking/camping festival in the Netherlands that happens every four years. It is non-commercial, and community-run, though there are some corporate sponsors.

Audience type and size

Attendance was 3500 people, completely sold out. There were developers, hackers, makers, hacktivists, families with kids.

Evening event/party

Other notable presentations

Other open projects attending (if applicable)

Lots of open projects in evidence, due to the nature of the event. There was some controversy about the participation of Fox-IT as a headline sponsor. This led to the creation of a Noisy Square track focused on "citizen-journalism, tools for freedom, censorship, surveillance, open technology, circumvention techniques, organization analyses and politics in general."

Organization rating (1: bad - 10: excellent)

Rating: 5

The organization seemed really disorganized and unresponsive when we were trying to plan our participation, but really came together in executing the actual event.

Overall feel of the event

It's basically a festival with big tents in a field & a campout. It's volunteer organized and driven. It fits with the overall Mozilla mission. It's a good place for networking with passionate people.

The 4 main speaker tents were huge, with smaller tents and workshop areas for additional tracks. Talks covered a a wide mix of topics, from Web Security 101 to encryption to hacker darlings like Wikileaks and bitcoin. There we a lot of maker-projects as well - from making a "spork" to tie-dying t-shirts.

This event helped us…

We went into this event wanting to experiment with the format of webmaker + MDN and so this event was successful for giving us time, place and some people who were willing to participate in our experiment. Basically, we were working on a way for us to work together. It was worth doing the event to get the feedback from the people who did attend.

Was it worth it? Should we participate again?

The event itself is great & a lot of fun - I'd encourage Mozillians to go just to experience the event!

As far as Mozilla company objectives, I think hackathons & general web training aren't quite the right fit for this crowd. Most of the big-tent talks seemed to be well attended, as were hands-on making physical things workshops. The low turnout for the three workshops we did were indicative of the fit not being quite right.

We also met 2-3 people who were really interested in becoming contributors to MDN, so if tat pans out it will definitely make the event worthwhile.

I think if Mozilla participates again it would make the most sense to do talks on security & privacy (possibly Persona). This seems to be more in line with what many of the attendees are interested in & drew the most crowds.


  • Sander Venema presented on Privacy by Design. I'd like to have him do a guest post on Hacks on this topic (how web developers can protect their users' privacy).

Mozilla participation

MDN/WebMaker workshops

MDN and WebMaker had workshops on three of the four days, at roughly the same time each day (14:00 on two days, 13:00 the last day).

The format of the workshops was essentially the same on all three days: see who showed up, and depending on their existing skill levels, show them Web Maker tools, or ways to help with MDN.

Your goals

Use this event as an opportunity to explore collaboration and synergy between MDN and WebMaker by putting on combined workshops.


The first day's workshop was poorly attended (only 4 people), which was a bit discouraging, but not too surprising, given that we were scheduled against a main-stage talk by Thomas Drake and others about government whistleblowing. The second day was better attended (about a dozen people), and the third day was middling (about 6). There were about 3 Mozilla fans who came by during each of the three days.

Materials (eg. slides, presentations, audio clips, photos etc…)

No slides, since these were hands-on workshops.

Audience reactions

See Laura's blog for examples and quotes.

Talks by Stefan Arentz


About ~100 people attended the Firefox OS talk. The Security talk was in a smaller tent, which was completely full .. about 250 people I think.

Audience reactions

Both talks were received pretty well I think.

The Firefox OS talk had some good questions in the QA part at the end. I also talked to many people at the conference who wanted to know more about Firefox OS, or see it in action. (I had brought a phone)

I got a lot of email on the security talk. Even though it was a beginners talk the general response was 'wow i did not know these things' so I am pretty happy with that. It was also a good change to promote CSP and I got a lot of positive response on that specifically.

Materials (eg. slides, presentations, audio clips, photos etc…)