Fleeting thoughts of a wanna-be software tester.

I love quality. I love things that work well, I expect perfection from people, especially if they are providing a service to me. I do not understand when someone cannot do their job. I am a critical and sometimes persimisstic person. I’ve always thought these were my vices, but after reading a certain book by James Bach, I’m starting to reconsider. Apparently these are just the qualities that are needed to be successful in software testing.

I love code, I like the rush I get when I debug (my simple) programs and manage to get them to work.This has got me to really consider a career in Software Testing or Quality Assurance. Continue reading

On Tech Hubs and Learning opportunities

Two new tech hubs have been formed in Zimbabwe. The Hypercube Hub in Harare and the Ski-Hub in Bulawayo. I’m very excited about developments such as these. Why? Because hubs have one goal: To promote innovation and provide a space for co-working.
Innovation, learning, free Internet access and collaboration are words that get me excited. I love love tech and I love people who love tech. I have friends who I only talk to when I want to debate about Linux VS Windows, Firefox VS Chrome etc…not because I like arguing, no, I just like to see people who are as passionate as I am about tech and software.

I believe that the tech hubs will do something that we really need in this country. Expose entrepreneurs and developers to ideas, resources and teaching. Hubs are the perfect places to learn,mentor and co-work.

I would like to take an active part in the teaching/learning process that we’ll be taking place at the hubs. I believe the Webmaker projects could be my contribution to the Hubs, especially the one in my home town Bulawayo.

My plan is to study up(once I get time) and learn how to be a Webmaker Mentor and then train others to do the same. I’ve been in touch with the Hub managers and this is in the pipeline.

Stay tuned for some a lot of Webmaker awesomeness in the coming quarter.

2 years at Mozilla– What a ride

2 Years at Mozilla

I’ve been contributing to Mozilla projects for 2 years now and it’s been a wonderful journey.

It all started sometime in June/July of 2012. I sent an email to one of the Mozilla mailing lists requesting to volunteer and a day or so later, I got a response. I went through an intense hand-holding period for the next two months or so. I learnt more in those two months than I did the entire year I was at college.

I joined the Web Quality Assurance Team as one of the community testers. As the year progressed, I learnt how to test websites, how to use tools such as bugzilla(for reporting bugs)and moztrap (testcase management system). I got a feel of what its like to work in a collaborative environment with fellow contributors that are spread across the globe.

I was honoured to be invited and accepted into the Mozilla Reps program after a few months. If I thought I knew Mozilla, I was wrong, I had a lot more learning to do. The Mozilla Reps program is an initiative that empowers volunteer Mozilla contributors to be official representatives of Mozilla in their region.

Being a Rep meant I had the job of attending and organising Mozilla events. While I’ve not organised a big event, I’ve had the priviledge to work with with awesome and passionate people.I’ve helped recruit contributors into different functional areas such as Localisation and the Students Ambassadors program.

Two translation projects have been started in Zimbabwe, into Shona and Ndebele. There are about 5 contributors working on localisation.

In October 2013, I was invited to attend the Mozilla Summit held in Toronto, Canada. The Summit was a great experience for me as I got to meet a lot of the people I’ve only ever seen online.

While at the Summit, I was voted “Person with the most positive impact” on the summit attendees(about 600) and I was awarded artwork designed by the designer who made the original Mozilla Logo(the dino).

Vuyisile and Firefox receiving award

Me receiving the award

In addition to that I was given the opportunity to visit any Mozilla Office of my choice(all expenses paid). It took me a long time to make up my mind, but I decided to visit the Mozilla Japan space. I’m due to travel in a few weeks and I’m excited(and nervous) about the trip.

A monument was put up outside the Mozilla San Francisco space with names of all past and active contributors to the project and my name is listed there too(wow!)

Sf Monument

Sf Monument

sf-monument

I’ve met a lot of talented, skilled, crazy, fun, awesome and kind people at Mozilla. I’d like to thank everyone who has made my short time at Mozilla an awesome experience. I appreciate all the Mozillians who have helped me get this far.

 

 

 

A big shout out to my fellow Zimbabwean contributors, my ReMo mentor Alex, for answering any and all questions I had(I’m very inquisitive), Rebecca Billings,Stephen Donner and Matt Brandt from the WebQA team for always showing me where I was needed, Schalk Neethling for encouraging me to join the Reps program,Liz Henry(lizzard) for lending me her Fox Ears at the summit(I’ve never seen so many people smile at me like that in one day)

Firefox and Mini fox

Firefox and Mini fox

, Andrew Williamson for buying me lunch after the Summit(that was some good chicken we had ) and members of the Mozilla Hispano community for tolerating my beginners Spanish at the Summit. Thank you to any and all who I didn’t mention here.

I am Vuyisile Ndlovu. I am a Mozillian

The challenge of contributing to Mozilla

The last community meet-up was a success, attendance was higher than expected and everyone was excited to join Mozilla and start contributing.

Discussions involved translating the browser, building a custom B2G phone, working on addons and growing the community. Everyone seemed interested in taking on a particular functional area.

Continue reading

The Summit –part 2

The Summit

The Summit started on Friday and ran for three days.
The goal was to get everyone up to speed with what Mozilla has achieved in the recent years,clarify our identity and where we stand and plan for the future.

To do the above meant going through a lot of talks, sessions and breakouts from volunteers and staff alike.

The Summit experience.

The Summit was great, i got to meet a lot of people from different cultural  and social backgrounds, i even picked up a little Spanish from members of the mozilla hispano community(These guys have lot’s of energy by the way). It was great to meet fellow Mozilla Reps that I had only seen on irc and in mailing lists. Putting a face to someone’s irc nick makes a big difference to the way you view a them, trust me.

I made it my goal to talk to and meet as many people as I could.
I did and little did I know that this actually had an impact on most of them, because I was voted person who had the most positive impact at the summit (How great is that?).

It was unfortunate that I could not get to meet Alex, my reps mentor(he couldn’t make it to the Summit) as I was looking forward to meeting him.

Takeaways
If there is anything I learned, it’s that mozillians are awesome and that they can do anything they put their heads and hearts to.

I thought I was excited before the Summit, but I got more excited after the Summit had come to an end. There was a very positive spirit after the Summit and I can for-see Mozillians doing bigger things in the next three years.

Photo set :

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151913000258713.1073741830.758068712&type=1&l=87dfeb9ddf

The Summit made me more committed to Mozilla and I can’t wait for more good things to come. Thank you Mozilla.

I am Vuyisile. I AM A Mozillian!

The Mozilla Summit — Part one

I have a problem, I know, I never blog about events in time. Its been almost two weeks
since the Mozilla Summit and this post is a brief writeup of my experience in Canada.

The invitation

The Mozilla Summit is/was a meetup of all core contributors to the Mozilla Project. About 2000 peole were invited to three different locations namely Santa Clara, Toronto and Brussels, with each location hosting about 600 Mozillians.

I was ecstatic when I got the email telling me that I had been invited. I really didn’t think I’d make the cut, I mean there are some amazing Mozillians out there who are more experienced and talented than I am. I was happy.

Preparations

After the excitement had worn off(a bit) I started working on getting the travel arrangements sorted. Fortunately for me, Mozilla knows how to take care of one of their own and I was provided with the funds to apply for a Canadian Visa. Mozilla provided all the necessary documents to support my Visa application. I had to travel back and forth to Harare to get the visa sorted and I also got to see my sister and her lovely puppies in Gweru.

The wait

The two weeks following the visa-application submission were not easy for me. I cound’t think straight, I was worried I wouldn’t get the visa and a long list of other negative thoughts flooded my mind. I was very happy when I collected my passport and saw the visa sticker with my picture in it. I had A VISA!.

Getting to the Summit

The travel and event agencies finalised flight and hotel bookings and I was ready to go. I left Zimbabwe on a Wednesday. The first flight I was on was the Bulawayo to Joburg Airport. This was a short but pleasant flight.

I had a 6 hour layover at the O.R Tambo airport and I promise you, I wasn’t even bored in the 6 hours that I was there. There is so much to see in that airport.

View form one of the lounges

The next two flights took me through the UK and then to North America. I had arrived.

After going through customs and immigration, I was met by two very friendly ladies that were part of the Meet and Greet team. They welcomed me to Canada and arranged transport to the Hotel.

I got a chance to ride in a slick Caddilac Escalade on my way to the hotel and the drive gave me a chance to see the many condos and under-construction buildings in Toronto.

After going through the hotel check in and making my way to my room for a shower(after being in and out of planes for 20hours, this made me feel human again), I made my way to the summit lobby area to register.

During registration, everyone got a welcome pack that had neat goodies inside. Included was a water bottle, stickers, t shirts and a sharpie for writing.

 

The Summit had begun.

I will put up another post right now about the Summit experience.

 

A new Homepage for mozillians.org

This post originally appeared here . 

The Mozillians Community directory has a new design for the home page and the style has been updated across the whole site. The code was updated, bugs were filed and fixed and it has gone live. This is a brief summary of the features that are in this release, enjoy:

mozillians.org homepage

Homepage

A redesigned homepage

Public search: A few months ago we rolled out the ability to have public profiles, and now you can search for those profiles without logging into the site. If you haven’t already, now is a good time to edit your profile so it shows up in public search results. This will make it easier for Mozillians as well as your friends and family to see your profile.

Better browsing: Browsing through groups and functional areas is improved, including the option to sort groups in different ways.

Announcements: To better share future changes to mozillians.org, we have added an announcements section on the homepage for logged-in users. When there aren’t any announcements to show, you’ll see some fun facts about Mozillians based on information in the database.

Mozillians: Mozilla Community Directory 2013-08-08 15-27-44

The new logged-in view lets you browse groups more easily and also shows announcements.

A new look

As we were redesigning the homepage, it also made sense to update the styles on the whole site. We worked with the fantastic Brand Engagement team on the visuals and direction. We especially love their Style Guide, which made the styling much easier for us.

Take it for a spin

As with many site redesigns, this is a large release with big changes to our codebase. If you see anything that looks weird, we’d like to make it better. Please file a bug and we’ll look into it.

Mozillians, this site is for you. All 3,500+ Mozilla volunteers and paid staff. We hope you enjoy the new homepage and styles for the site. And we’ve just begun. We’ll be fixing minor UI bugs and giving profiles some attention in a redesign soon.