Wednesday, 12 March 2014

WoMoz festival @ IIET

We believe Open Source needs more women!

WoMoz means Women & Mozilla
Mozilla kerala conducted a WoMoz festival on 4th march 2014 at Indira Gandhi Instutute of Engineering & Technology, Kothamangalam,,Ernakulam, Kerala.
The aim of this festival was to promote women's visibility & involvement in open source communities. In fact, we believe that the Internet, FLOSS projects and computing must remain open and participatory. This also means accessible in the same way to all - women and men alike.

The main highlight of this festival is that IIET is a women's college, so here we got 180+ active WoMoz !! And this is my first WoMoz event & I got a lucky chance to coordinate this event.

The event kicked off at forenoon wherein the Mozilla team celebrated along with 180+ active students. The day’s events were divided into two parallel sessions, one being Open Talks, and the other a Hands-on Workshop. Our event began with a talk by one of the WoMoz. Vaishakhi gave an introduction about Mozilla & its mission.
 The workshop was mainly aimed to provide the participants awareness on recent Web Technologies around them. Binoy Balu(Mozillian) from CUSAT took classes on HTML 5, CSS3 & Web APIs. The participants were excited to learn new things. There were also workshops on the advantages & technologies behind Firefox OS which was handled by Varghese. Then Siraj Muneer gave an introductory session on "Fundamentals of developing app in firefox OS", which covered in detail various aspects of developing applications for the OS and the simulator and its available features. Then Kumaresan introduced himself and explained in detail about Webmaker project,IRC & Etherpad with live demonstration of the websites.

The seminar was focused on women's visibility and involvement in Free/Open Source and Mozilla, and to increase the number of women contributors. The talks covered security & Privacy issues women face on internet & some measures to make them more secure.First session in the seminar was handled by Joyal John Peter(Mozillian) from SJCET in which he gave a talk on "Women in Internet", which covered topics like how women can get involved in internet, FLOSS projects & Computing. He discussed about the privacy issues faced mainly by women and how it can be solved. He gave live demonstrations of some websites which is run by women.

In the afternoon session we had our first talk by Abid Aboobaker. Various aspects and advantages of Drupal Development were covered by him, along with talks on Internet privacy. Binoy, another Mozillian introduced the usage of git to the budding developers. Abishek from Wikipedia Community detailed them how to contribute to the world’s biggest and open encyclopedia, its ethics and etiquettes. Some of the students edited Wikipedia.

The event was concluded by eye catching demonstration on robotics using open source technologies; Open Robotics was performed by Binoy Balu, a student from CUSAT. The veil was finally drawn on the event by some really productive remarks by the participants.

"When asked to the 180+ cheerful girls that ‘How many of you want to start your own firm?’. Sadly, there were no hands that went up! And I continued asking, then ‘What you are going to do after your graduation, the answers was different - Good House Wife, Good Job, Teacher, NOTHING etc.". But at the end of the program, I repeated asking them the same question, the answer was hopeful, a few hands are up and they said "If this much technologies and possibilities are around us, why can't we!" - Abid Aboobaker shared his experience with us.

We are united by the common goal of promoting women's visibility and involvement in open source communities. By all accounts, it was a success!

Team behind this great event..