Monday, July 25, 2011

Mozilla Seeks Program Manager for Open Web Innovation Incubator

Ok, I'm a little biased - full disclosure: I work for Mozilla.  But even if I didn't I suspect I'd be impressed with the amount of amazing innovation and hustle that Mozilla's community puts out towards making the open web more accessible to everyone.  Recent projects like Popcorn and Butter are changing the way we work with video on the web. Hackasaurus is reaching out to kids, getting them to move beyond consuming the web (read-only mode) to being able to build and design their own web experience (read/write).  Addons SDK, Open Web Apps, Browser ID, the list goes on and on and I'd better stop now or I'll lose you before getting to the good stuff.

Mozilla may be a huge brand but we're actually a relatively small group of people doing this work all around the world.  Which is why we now have WebFWD, a program to help innovators of the open web get a chance to hook in to the resources of Mozilla (space, mentors, public reach, food and housing, and more) to help bring their products to the world.  With this rolling program of projects Mozilla can be a driving force in getting more open web to the people who need them.

Right now we need a visionary and hard working Program Manager to become the leader of this movement.  I'm attaching the posting below, get in touch with p at mozilla dot com with your resume for consideration.

/// WebFWD - Program Manager

Mozilla, the organization behind the Firefox Web browser, is looking for 
an all-star to join our new accelerator/incubator program WebFWD 
( which aims to do for the open Web what organizations 
such as Y Combinator, TechStars and Seedcamp have done for startups.

As the Program Manager of WebFWD you are charged with leading the 
overall program - from designing and managing the curriculum, supporting 
the selected teams locally as well as globally, working with our 
ever-growing list of mentors and partners to organizing events.

If you're passionate about the Web, want to help people build amazing 
products and are willing to roll-up your sleeves, then this position is 
for you.

Primary responsibilities:
* Design and manage the curriculum for both the Fellow program as well 
as the Bootcamp
* Work with and support teams in the program (both locally and remote)
* Work with our mentors and partners
* Coordinate community and press outreach on a worldwide basis
* Create and run events (locally and remote)

* Excellent written and verbal communication skills
* Experience with organizing and running events
* Experience working with startups, entrepreneurs, venture capital and 
incubators / accelerators a huge plus
* Proven ability to work independently and in cross-functional teams
* Familiarity with Web technologies
* Passionate about helping people and solving problems
* Enjoys learning and teaching others
* Works effectively in a fast-paced, start-up environment
* 3-5 years of relevant job experience
* BA/BS, or equivalent experience

Monday, July 18, 2011

Try results to the bug(s) of your choice upon completion

The TrySyntax helper and TryChooser wiki docs have both been updated to reflect the new option when pushing to try where you can now ask to have your complete summary of results (and a link to the tbpl page for your revision) posted as a comment to the bug on completion.  Here's a live example to check out:
Sample comment in a bug when using --post-to-bugzilla in your syntax.

Now you have more control over how you get your try results and how noisy a try push is.

Please send comments and issues to the bug tracking this work.  Thanks for trying it out!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A quick morning rant about "gender" and data collection

This morning I read that Google+ is going to make your name and "gender" required to be public if you want to participate.  This bothers me for several reasons:

Web sites and forms notoriously say "gender" when they mean "sex" and only put M/F or Male/Female as options. When this type of choice is required but called "gender" it erases many people who do not feel that those options cover their gender since that is actually something way more mutable than your assigned sex at birth.  Solutions: Call it "sex" which is really what those two categories are or don't make something that is not in fact binary into a required choice of two options.

Google are so proud of being all scientific and data driven and I'm frustrated that they would not take the opportunity on their new potentially game-changing social platform to re-vamp data collection. Don't they have the processing power to allow people to put in whatever they like as "gender" and let the power of the search sort things out in the end?  If a small number of people want to put "jedi" or "dog" let those people find each other!  Who cares if there are some people who don't feel like Male/Female defines them?  Why Google? Why do you want to act like two boxes can cover the breadth of human experience as it relates to gender in this world?  Why can't you innovate on the small things as well as the big things that affect human interactions?

I'd really like to see a shift in how we collect data where there is more trust that the user knows who and what they are and that they want to share this information at their comfort level and that those on the other side, let's call them advertisers (cause isn't that what it all comes down to?), be the ones to deal with the outliers and uniqueness of human experience instead of trying to bash everyone into a two-party system.

Sidenote: When I have collected data recently for PyStar and allowed the gender field to be a text box I have found that the expected percentage (98%) of people entered "typical" information like woman, girl, female and that those who needed to express a different response appreciated the ability to do so by entering something else.  Leaving this field to user input choice did not result in a messy, chaotic list of random words or unidentifiable descriptors.  I fear not that most people will suddenly start to be something else when given more autonomy on forms.