The organizers and partners of Startup Weekend Madagascar want to change the situation. After Antananarivo and Mahajanga, it is now the turn of Fianarantsoa Province to host the Startup Weekend. This will take place in the premises of the University of Fianarantsoa itself.
« Challenge yourself by bringing innovation to Fianarantsoa »! This is the slogan of the organizers for this first edition. Startup Weekend Fianarantsoa took place from Friday 25 May to Sunday 27 May 2018 in e-Atiala Andrainjato. A first edition in the Province, which was dedicated in particular to the promotion of budding entrepreneurs in the city of Fianarantsoa.
For this year, the themes will be more open, according to the information. From IT to the environment, agriculture, livestock and ICT, all types of projects will be welcome at Startup Weekend Fianarantsoa. For Startup Weekend Madagascar, the aim is to give a chance to all types of projects and to allow innovation in all fields.
« Open Days », an event about ICTs and the promotion of free software involving Hi-Tech stakeholders was held in the auditorium of the Alliance Francaise of Toamasina.
Open Days is a yearly event that happens in Toamasina. It is organized by JADE and this year, Mozilla Madagascar participated by hosting 3 talks during the event. This year, we talked about Virtual Reality, Rust and Privacy.
A week of training on the « Dev Boot Camp » was offered to enthusiasts from 16 to 23 November 2018, followed by a lively weekend of sharing, conferences, demos, distribution and exchange on 24 and 25 November.
On the evening of November 23rd, the Mozillians set off for Toamasina for their presentation session scheduled for Saturday, November 24th at 2:30 pm. It was a few minutes later that Mozilla’s team spoke to the participants.
The presentations lasted almost 2 hours, followed by a question and answer session. The topics we discussed were: Online Privacy, Rust and WebVR.
The first topic presented by Mariot and Mihaja was about Online Privacy. Since most of the participants were CS students or students that were already familiar with the Web, it was not a difficult task. But one thing that most of the audience were surprised by was the trackers. They knew about their existence but didn’t know at which extinct they were following and stalking them.
The first part of the session was a simulation of a normal browsing experience (shopping, social media…). During that part, we asked the participants what do they do the most on the web. We also asked what kind of data about do they share willingly. The second part was showing them what data about them has been shared without their knowledge or consent. We showed the companies that had access to their data and what do they do with it. The third part was to teach them how to limit the data that they share willingly and how to protect their privacy online.
We noted during that session that many people were surprised by the amount of data that companies had on them. We are proud of ourselves because we feel that this session helped a lot of people and many pledged to educate their family and friends about these.
The next session was about Rust and it was presented by Felixie and Mariot. This was a little more difficult because Rust is still a relatively new technology. But we think we still managed to pull it up 🙂
The session was aimed at people who already had some programming background. There wasn’t an extensive training on the language itself, but we presented what makes the language different and what are the features. We were happy because there were a lot of questions asked and the participants were really interested.
We were advised to present a more in-depth session next year, during the Boot-camp. We found that idea a really good one so we are already preparing that.
The last session that we presented was about Augmented Reality with A-Frame. Christino was is charge of that one because he has a lot of experience about it.
The goal was to make the participants aware of the new advancements in WebVR and how to use them. The easiest tech in that domain is A-Frame. So we did an introduction to A-Frame and did some demos. Then, the participants were taught the basic principles of it with a step by step tutorial.
This session was very successful because it was such a new thing for them and A-Frame was so easy to learn! It was great 🙂
The sessions and presentations went all smoothly and we fulfilled our wishes for that event. But there were also some things that we could have done better. Here’s some of them.
Make sure to have all the intels before filing a budget request bug
Made all the reservations way in advance
Write the blog post as soon as the event finishes
I filed the bug request by copying an old bug (because the event was the same). This was a bad idea because the context and the sessions were not the same. I should have just filed a brand new bug request.
For the reservations, we should have made them wayyy in advance. By not doing so, we got stuck with less choices when traveling or getting an hotel. Especially since there were a lot of tourists in the city at that time.
This blog post comes a long time after the event. This was caused by a lot of procrastination from my part. This is problem that I partly solved by setting goals for each task that I should do in a day. I also rustused a technique that I just learned: The Pomodoro Technique
On April 23rd, 2016 we did our very first MozTalk in Mahajanga 🙂 The event was organized at the IUGM School, University of Mahajanga.
It was such a new experience of all of us as it was the first time that we organized an event in the city of Mahajanga. Our goal was to recruit community members in this city and extend the Mozilla reach to the north of Madagascar. For this MozTalk, we had four speakers: Franckis (who had the idea for the event), Tino (our very own genius), Alberto (the organization master) and myself. I talked about Mozilla, its missions and the contribution opportunities. Franckis explained all about Privacy and online life. Tino teached about the Web and how can you participate in it. You can download the event slide here
It was an amazing experience but I must admit we had some issues with the organizations 🙁 First, we leaned too much on the school board who gave us the opportunity for this event. Thus, we couldn’t do anything when they decided to change the date at the last moment. And second, we were too optimistic about our predictions. Since we planned to hold the event on a school day, we were expecting more than 150 students attending. But we only got 32 because because the day changed…
But overall, we recruited many many new Community members in this school and we hope that they would become great contributors!
Tino distributed some forms to the attendees after the event to learn what interested them. We learned that advocacy and tech speaking where their top choices so we are going to orient them that way.
We also learned that a factor that prevents them to contribute to Mozilla was the language. A lot of Mozilla docs are in English and many students have problems with that language.
So to wrap up, the event was great in the way that we recruited more contributors but next time, we will have to work on our organization skills.
I’d like to thank our speakers: Tino, Franckis and Alberto who were the true heroes of this event! And also the IUGM school that gave us this amazing opportunity to share the Mozilla missions.