MozCamp 2012 has been an awesome experience for me as a new Rep! I was focused on my session the days precedent the event, not having a clue that I was actually going to discover a world you could hardly imagine if you have never been to a MozCamp event! A world of values, friendship and fun that is dedicated to one thing: making the web a world for all; I would say, “making the world a web for everyone”!
Talking about values, the first evidence of the strength of being a Mozilian was when I arrived at Charles De Gaulle airport. No it was not just yet another fashionable T-shirt that I saw, but a bunch of French Mozillians proudly wearing their Firefox T-shirts, seemingly ready to fly to a Mozilla event. I did not hesitate. I went straight to meet them. “Hey, you going to Warsaw too for MozCamp?”. Everybody burst out laughing. One minute later, looked as though they’ve known me ever since. At that very moment, I felt Warsaw was going to be like anything I ever experienced.The trip was so brief I did not hear the plane reverse thrust, I was at baggage claim the minute later and soon at the Mariott hotel. I had just one thing in mind when we were waiting at the hotel lobby: finding my buddy right away! Yes David Tenser is the only words that were on my lips, David Tenser. Did you hear me? I said David Tenser.
After leaving my tiny luggage in my room at the 32nd floor of Mariott, I read my tweets again to be sure David was arriving later that evening. He should have been there by that time, but you never know what time can do to your plans. “Anyway, he will tweet again as soon as he’s in the hotel”, I thought.
Then, the big party at the Champions’ Bar started. I was worried my phone could not connect to wifi since we were not in the hotel lobby any longer. But if wifi fails, people will connect to each other and that would be much more reliable than wifi. I even ended up inventing a new tech word like I have always done for my language Fulah, that is HUFI (“human fidelity“). So when your wifi fails, try hufi, cause that worked for me! Before I realized David had spotted me, we had a huge HUFI hug and had a big laugh for the fun of finding each other early in the evening while others are digging the floor to find their buddies!
David was just like how I like people: funny, cool, and so easygoing and you could easily guess he was not being nice for the occasion. David was very proud to be taller that me, one of the tallest men around! But I was fatter, so we’re quits! Another burst of laughter! Then another! But the most amazing thing about David is that we were both born on November 28th! By the way, I would like to ask a few questions to the person who made the Mission Partner list…
The party went on, people meeting and having a chat here and there. I met so many cool people and had real fun. But I was really moved to realize that the lady who was celebrating her birthday that night was Rosana! I have been quite in touch with her on SUMO and she is so nice, patient and helpful. It is just amazing when you meet people who were “just” an email address the night before! That night, I went to bed without waiting for the end of the party, which I was told, went on until early dawn.
On Saturday morning, I took the tramway with a few Mozillians after having a chatty breakfast at the Mariott. We arrived at the venue when Tristian Nitot was on satge. I met Tristan at Paris CDG airport but before that, he wrote an awesome post on Mozilla blog commending the Fulah team for making the “difference for people who use Fulah on a daily basis”. Then he tweeted the post to me, to my surprise! Tristan, I have another two words to say to you: encore merci!
Then more people from Mozilla went on stage to stress the values that guide us all in this mission but also the challenges that are waiting for every Mozillian in the next coming years. So, “be the change you want to see in the world” was the ultimate message that every speaker was striving to get across.
Then the sessions started early that afternoon. As I stated on my mission page on Mozilla wiki, I am going to focus on Firefox and B2G sessions since I am working on localization after all. Very interested in Firefox OS as I represent a language that is spoken natively in twenty countries across West Africa. There is nothing like the web when you want to communicate with people living as far apart as Senegal and Chad! And the web in that part of the world is mobile and mobile it will be in the future. So, I was not going to miss any B2G session especially those about localization. And indeed, it was inspiring and useful to talk and listen to all those wonderful people who have brilliantly outlined all aspects of Firefox and Firefox OS that I needed to get more familiar with. Now I know I am ready to tackle localization of Firefox OS as soon as the go ahead email hits my in-box!
My session, I almost forgot about it. Remember how focused I was just days before the event, reviewing every single line of my presentation and tweaking the theme to fit into the overall graphic requirements. Yes, I am always more interested in listening to others than actually being listened to. And being on the spotlight for a half an hour was not going to be a piece of cake. And it wasn’t all the more so I had the honor to be in front of such great people as Chris Hoffman, Axel Hecht, Jeff Beatty, Rosana Ardila, my mentor Amir Aharoni and many more who kindly attended my session during which many sat on the floor! Was real proud to have you there but also scared not to be up to the challenge! But I was talking about something I am really comfortable with: localization! Everything went well and I got a lot of positive feedback afterwards and long after the MozCamp event.
If I had to say what really impressed me in Warsaw, I would no doubt mention the spirit of togetherness and positive vision about the future of the web. But there was also something “in the air” you could not name; something that made you feel that the world is coming together to meet tomorrow’s challenges, but also those we are facing at this very moment. I wonder if I can call it that “human fidelity” I talked about earlier in my report. Yes, it was HUFi. Yes I think so…
Now, just log in to the HUFI network and make the world a better web. Amen!