Mozilla Kerala Regional Sprint 2018 was organized by the Mozilla Kerala community at Kerala Technology Innovation Zone (KTIZ), Kinfra Hi-Tech Park, Kalamassery, Kochi on July 14-15, 2018. Around 80+ participants, 30+ volunteers and 5 speakers attended the event to make it a successful event.
The event was originally planned to be part of the Mozilla Global Sprint that was organized by Mozilla on May 11-12, 2018 where volunteers from all over the world came together to hack for the good of the web. Due to various different reasons, the event was postponed multiple times.The organization team never gave up on the event and was determined to host the event even if it was late. We had the ever-supportive Kerala Startup Mission who backed us to organize the event. They arranged for necessary permissions and other facilities at the venue.
The delay and postponement of the event multiple times brought us around 400+ registrations and we had short-list them to around 100 since that was the maximum capacity of the venue. Of the 100+ participants that we invited, around 80 of them turned up at the event. We were happy that it was a good mixture of all genders. Our hackathons are generally dominated by the male gender, but this event proved it otherwise. We had women hackers hacking away throughout the event. Our participation also saw a diversity in terms of geography as well. We had participation from all parts of the state.
July 13, 2018 | Pre-event Day
hustle up, meetup, set-up, get up
The best part of any event is always the day before the actual event. That’s the day when the event organizers and volunteers hustle in together to get the venue and the event ready for the actual event. We were supposed to meet in the evening around 06:00 PM, but most of the core team and some volunteers were already at the venue in the morning itself.
When everyone were finally together in the evening, Siddharth gave a brief overview and structure of the event schedule for the next 2 days and tasked each one with tasks to do. When all the materials to set up the venue had arrived, we started decorating the venue according to plan.
Everyone was working away checking and re-checking their checklists to make sure everything was ready and on-track. Everyone was excited about the event and the next day. The best part of the community is always the joy of volunteering, sharing everything and the bond in between the members.
We had decided to divide the crowd in to 10 teams of 5-8 people on each team and give them 1 topic to hack on. We also selected a few mentors (from our pool of volunteers) that were familiar with the topic and were capable of mentoring the participants. We had a briefing and discussion session with the leaders and the mentors to streamline on how the process should go.
July 14, 2018 | Flag-off
The day was finally here. The regional sprint was going to go on for the next 36 hours with around 100 enthusiastic hackers hacking on a wide variety of topics. Registration started at 07:30 AM. Breakfast was ready and served. Participants met each other and networked with each other. At 09:30 AM, Yadev, our young and budding designer, welcomed everyone to the sprint. He gave a brief introduction about Mozilla and the activities of Mozilla Kerala as a community. Navneet took the mic and spun off a fun-filled ice-breaker session. His energy spread a spirit of enthusiasm and positivity among the participants.
Shortly, Jancy Jose, Co-founder & Managing Director of Strava Technologies Pvt. Ltd., a cyber security startup based in Trivandrum – the capital city of Kerala, stopped by to talk about Cyber Security. The talk opened the eyes of many participants about the need of security in their online lives.
Soon after that, Jason Thomas, Data Operations – Mozilla Operations Engineering talked about his journey with mozilla. He gave the participants a new way to look at the world.
We had a short break for tea after which we split off with our sprint teams to hack on our topics for the sprint. Everyone was soon engaged soon with the respective projects. They were enthusiastic about hacking their problem statement and coming up with a good solution.
Vipin George, a cyber forensic expert joined us to talk about privacy and the need for better security. He provided tips on how we could ensure our privacy and better security online. This also gave the participants a new pathway to travel during the sprint.
July 15, 2018 | Farewell
Wrap-up, wind-up, pitch
Our enthusiastic hackers hacked on throughout the night. We had some games to cool off stress and just let off sleep. There were others who just couldn’t take their hands off their laptops. They were so excited to reach their goal to solve the problem that they were working on.
We still had some time left on the hack-clock. We had a few people taking power-naps. Others who just couldn’t hold their sleep off till the end and had given up. Most of the hackers were still going strong.
We hacked away till 02:00 PM, after which we had lunch. It was time for the pitches! All the teams came forward with amazing set of projects that they had hacked together during the hackathon. While most teams had great results, some teams couldn’t complete their projects, even though had demos ready. They were determined to continue their projects and see it through to the end.
Pack-up, Clicks & Goodbyes
After the pitching session, everyone packed up and gathered around for the closing “farewell” session. Sarad Joe gave the Vote of Thanks to officially conclude the event. We hustled together for the group photo. It was feedback time, contact-sharing and good-byes after that.
By around 05:00 PM, it was just the organizers and the volunteers that were left. We were sitting around discussing the past 48 or so hours, retrospecting on what went well and what went wrong; looking at the feedback, how to fix the issues we encountered and how to organize a better event the next time around.
The event was a gathering of amazing people. Each person present there was special and were not just ordinary people, everyone was unique and special in their own way. There were fun-filled moments, memorable stories and never-ending laughs throughout the whole event.