In early December, I attended Mozlando, Mozilla’s biannual conference for its most dedicated Mozillians. I was so honored to be a part of the event. Because it is an all-expense paid for trip with a limited number of spots, Mozilla has to be selective about choosing their most dedicated team members to come. And I, a total, newbie, got to attend. Here are the top five best things I experienced at the conference.
#1: Meeting 1100 new people
There were over 1100 attendants from all around the world at Mozlando, all there for a general purpose: to work with Mozilla products and engage in Mozilla’s activism. I met people from Vienna, Spain, Germany, Poland, Paris, India, and Brazil, just to name a few corners of the globe.
#2 Being with a small team that embraced me
Ok, I didn’t meet all 1100 people. That would have been overwhelming and not entirely possible. But I did spend most of my time with the SUMO team, the approximately ten most active people behind Mozilla Support. It was scary as this team had been communicating with each other online for months and even years. How would they approach the new girl? With a warm welcome and lots of encouragement. That’s how. One London based member was particularly helpful and encouraging, giving me fantastic life advice and swapping stories about his home city. By the end of the week, I felt a part of a Mozilla family, not just a team.
#3 Getting to know the company culture
I admit that I didn’t know a whole lot about Mozilla before I came. My mentor told me to use the experience to soak up the company culture and find out what Mozilla is all about. That’s exactly what I did. Mozilla isn’t like most tech companies. While a portion of their work is devoted to products like Firefox, a huge part of their mission is activism on the web with privacy, net neutrality, gender equality, and more. They don’t just create Open Source products. They also create a better web.
#4 Having fun
I spent a lot of time in Epcot, a Disney park devoted to celebrating countries around the world. On my first night at the parks, I had dinner with several teams in a Moroccan restaurant. I also explored the different country-based pavilions like France, the UK, and Germany. One night Mozilla held an amazing party with dinner from each of the different cultural pavilions. One station had Indian food while another had Mexican. On stage, Chinese acrobats and Irish step dancers performed.
Mozlando was an incredible experience that I wouldn’t give up for anything.