Posted by Priyanka Nag on 7:55 AM
One evening, back in 2012, I unwillingly walked into this coffee show. Little did I know that I would meet my one true love there.
I had just attended my first Mozilla event at college. I was pretty impressed by the Web Maker tool. During a casual conversation with one of the organizers, who also was my college senior, he invited me over to a MozCafe meeting happening that weekend. Well, I am not much of a nerd...well, atleast was not back then. The idea of spending a Sunday evening at a coffee shop, among a bunch of geeks didn't really excite me. Due to the lack of a better Sunday plan, I ended up going down there anyway.
At a regular Coffee Day, you can find different types of people....those who are out on coffee dates, those who are catching up with friends and colleagues, those who are out for official meetings etc. But, that evening I found another group of weirdos....the ones who were super charged up and super enthusiastic about something I wasn't yet able to understand! They were throwing all these jargon and terms around the table which were making absolutely no sense to me - NIMO, L10N, SUMO....I don't know what else! OMG! Are these people complete nuts? What are they so excited about? Why are they doing all these work for a company which doesn't even pay them? I didn't understand much of that evening's conversation for sure but I guess I had caught a little of that enthusiasm virus. What was the deal about this non-profit, open source organization called Mozilla? I started doing some research. My curiosity brought me to the next meeting...this time a virtual one. These members of this weird but not-so-secret cult were planning for some big event called the Mozilla Carnival. Somehow, it so happened, that I was the only female attendee at that meeting. They needed a female speaker to cover something called "WoMoz" at this event. I was hesitant but I agreed. I had sufficient time to do my research and I kind of liked public speaking.
The damage was done! I had already got involved! I started doing my research on WoMoz, joining their IRC channel, following their wiki, joining a lot other Mozilla channels and before I knew...I was one of them! By the time I completed by first Mozilla event as a speaker, I was already addicted to it. This drug had totally captivated me.
Five years since then and I didn't even notice it until I sat back to write this post. When someone asks me, its tough to answer why I stuck around for so long or what do I love most about the Mozilla community. But today, I know the energy that I had felt sitting across the table in that Coffee Day...its called passion! Its not free Tshirts, its not free stickers...the driving force here is very different. Its the ideology of open web, its the basic privacy rights that we are fighting for, its the principle of web literacy for all and most importantly its the PEOPLE that form this community...I am in love with all of these! Every time I feel I have contributed enough and its time to stop, I meet someone new in the community...someone with fresh ideas and energy and I get energized again towards that one next task!