The Mozilla Paris office has officially opened its doors! (en)

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A huge thanks to Matt Brubeck and to FredB for the translation!

… Yes, I know, that happened a month ago. But in the meantime, as you’ll see in the following blog posts, we have all been quite busy. This report is just the first of a long series. Because this June at Mozilla, and in Paris especially, was absolutely crazy!

The month opened with fanfare for a well-attended event: the inauguration of Mozilla’s new Paris office.

And what an office! Judge for yourself:

Yes, the gold leaf is impressive and might seem a departure from the spirit of Free Software. But this is not how I see things! To me, the gilded ornamentation and the immense new space signify the important Mozilla places on its employees, and above all on its community. Because this is not just an office: it is a community space. Mozilla has in fact dedicated a large part of the office space to the community. The ballroom (the most beautiful room, no less!) is designed to welcome all who wish to organize events around Mozilla and its mission, and additionally any volunteers who want to come and work hand-in-hand with employees contributing to the Mozilla project.

Thus, the week of the inauguration began with a Firefox OS Hackathon.

  • Sunday: the hackathon

Firefox OS, as you surely know, is one of the most inspiring projects in recent years. And the fantastic thing for the French and francophone community is that an entire team is based in the Paris office: the team working on Gaia, the frontend of Firefox OS.

And this team pays attention to its community, as they showed during this latest hackathon, which demonstrated the endless possibilities of Firefox OS.

Since the web is the platform, Firefox OS offers huge opportunities for all web developers. Now anyone who wants to can create their own application and list it on the marketplace. What do you need? Some creativity, some ingenuity, and knowing your audience!
So the office opened its doors on Sunday at 9 AM. (I won’t deny that it was challenging for most to wake up this early, especially on a Sunday!). The event started with three presentations, which aimed at answering as many questions as possible and making attendees comfortable with the tools:

- Anthony Ricaud, who belongs to the Gaia team, introduced how an app works on the technical side. In other words, what are the prerequisites before you get started developing one.

- Jérémie Patonnier, valued contributer and documentation specialist, showed where all the information about Firefox OS, the documentation, and tutorials can be found.

- Finally, Antoine (aka GeekShadow) showed us how to publish an app on the marketplace.

Regarding this, I would like to sincerely thank Jérémie and Antoine for their availibility. We were short of presenters in the office for the marketplace conference, and Antoine being the excellent contributor he is, offered to come all the way from Saint-Nazaire. His presentation was flawless. Not really suprising given that Antoine knows his stuff since he already published applucations. Based on this experience, he stayed the whole day and shared with the hackathon attendees. Same thing about Jérémie, becoming more and more unavoidable in the community: he doesn’t keep count on contributed hours and always comes up with the best advice. His thorough knowledge about documentation is worth a lot to us.

But Anthony, Antoine, and Jérémie weren’t the only ones to be here for the event. Ben Francis (Gaia Developer living in England), Vivien (Gaia Tech Lead), Yoric (Mr. Mozilla Education in the Paris Office), David Scravaglieri (Firefox OS manager in Europe), Adrian, Mat’, Nical, Padenot, and Pascal were all there to help the attendees. Dressed as the Smurfs (due to their blue Firefox OS tee-shirt), they spent their day answering the questions of some 50 developers.

The success of this hackathon is most certainly due to their availability. In the end, no less than 24 applications were created! And in a limited period of time (roughly 7 hours) with, let’s be honest, big Wi-Fi issues (which was the negative point of this day).
24 applications and 6 winners elected by our brilliant jury consisting of David Scravaglieri, Vivien Nicolas, Jérémie Patonnier (both a talented developer and a design expert), Adrian Gaudebert (our resident game specialist), plus Brad Fuellenbach and Mathew Caldwell from Mozilla HR. No less! They voted upon three criteria: originality, responsiveness, and design.

This hackathon of course was only the first of a series of events about Mozilla products. Do not hesitate to tell us which product you would like to be covered!

I would like to thank all the attendees for their seriousness (we could have heard a pin drop), but also for their joy and their talent. I would like to thank our Smurfs for the time they spent, showing how great our community is, especially Yoric, who gave a lot in this event by contacting schools and students.
Finally, a big thank you to the organisers: Amié Tyrrel and Kimber who helped from the USA. Thank you Shannon Clayton and Clara Carle, our Parisian office hosts and good fairies. You will soon figure out that they kept on rocking the following days.
  • Tuesday: the Community
The hackathon was just an introduction to an entire week, dedicated to the opening of this highly-anticipated office. Why a week? Simply because even so large a space could not accomodate more than a hundred or so people at a time. And Mozilla has many more friends than that!

So it was decided to split the inauguration parties in order to welcome as many people as possible. And to meet everyone’s expectations. I had the fortune ot partipate in all of the parties and thus offer you a little summary (now that the effects of the champagne I drank each night have evaporated).

Tuesday’s soiree was the one closest to my own heart: one dedicated to the Community. Amié created an Eventbrite page, and opened it to everyone who wanted to contribute, and of course those who already do. They are many!

So we were like one big family that Tuesday. A beautiful family, joined by the bonds of Free Software and love for Mozilla. A familly welcomed of course by Tristan Nitot (who else?) who in a speech recounted the path that Mozilla Paris has traveled, starting in his garage and ending up in this office today.

For the occasion, Mozilla had berets made for the guests. (« Béret » is also the name of one of the rooms in the new office. It is adjacent to « Marcel, » and farther away are « Baguette, » « Saucisson, » and « Ouh La La. » You see, the employees from the Paris office have their sense of humor!) The beret looked marvelous on our dear Tristan!

For the occasion, and for the entire week, I dressed myself in an outfit worthy of a meringue. Orange, with a blue shawl, and an awesome handbag with a fox’s head. Honestly, what wouldn’t I do for Mozilla?!!

It was in this outfit that I gave my speech on the Community. This Community that I love so, and that makes me feel so great. I’ll put the text of the speech in a blog post to follow, since several people have asked me for it.

And because the Community is curious about the latest news. Because there are always many questions and the employees are often overloaded, they took this opportunity to present the latest projects developed by Mozilla:

- Firefox OS, of course, was presented by David Scravaglieri, who then answered the avalanche of questions with good humor. This gave rise to some flavorful exchanges.

- WebRTC was presented by Jean-Baptiste Piacentino, who gave a little demonstration with the help of Florian Quèze.

- Lastly, Webmaker was given an extremely comprehensive presentation by our brilliant Clochix, a contributor who is enthusiastic about issues of education, and who knows Webmaker like the back of his hand. We thank him again for making himself available and for sporting the beret!

Next? Well, there were toasts offered again and again in honor of Mozilla, ardent conversations, happy faces, hugs. The Community’s pleasure at discovering this space which Mozilla has made available to them. And already some ideas for more Free Software events.

  • Wednesday: Mozilla’s Economic Role

On Wednesday the festivities continued around a new theme. At Tristan’s excellent suggestion, Mozilla invited various participants in Free Software and the internet industry. But also from the schools who are training the future participants in the digital economy.

Why? Because Mozilla was eager to assure them that these tools are at their disposal. That Free Software is not a utopia. That partnerships are possible. That Mozilla will always be there to carry the torch of Free Software and help with its development.

With Firefox OS, Mozilla has started building partnerships with industry giants like Telefónica and Deutsche Telekom. But Mozilla’s DNA remains intact. This was also the message that Tristan Nitot wanted to send to our friends in the Free Software world.

This was a very informative evening, driven by a number of question. And one certainty: Free Software has a bright future ahead.

And don’t forget: Mozilla is hiring!

  • Thursday: VIP party

With such an office, Mozilla wanted to pull out all the stops, and to show that Google and company are not the only important internet players in France. Because Mozilla is here!

Mozilla is still growing in France, hiring new employees, making more resources available to the Community. This evening’s soiree was intended to put that on display.

An evening for which everyone dressed in their Sunday best. And for that alone, beleive me, it was worth it! How lovely to see all these geeks dressed in jackets, suits, and for the bravest, even dress shoes! I was delighted.

Representing Mozilla were, of couse, Tristan Nitot, but also Debbie Cohen and Mitchell Baker! Together they welcomed our special guest: Fleur Pellerin, French Minister for the Digital Economy, who honored us with a speech in which she showed fairly good knowledge of Free Software. But most importantly, by her presence, she demonstrated her recognition of Free Software’s importance. The fact that she was present at this event is a powerful symbol.

Fleur Pellerin was even available for a bit of cake-cutting alongside Mitchell Baker (who also treated us to a speech with her characteristic confidence).

As you can see, this week was packed, not just with champagne and petits fours, but also with chance encounters, budding plans, fruitful discussions, and messages of hope for Mozilla’s future, and for Free Software in general. Personally, I hope that the Community clearly saw that this space is now ours. And that we will be able to do beautiful things there.

I’d like to thank Tristan Nitot for the inception of Mozilla Europe, and for his continuing strong guidance of Mozilla France. He is the one who made this Mozilla Paris space possible by welcoming the first European Mozilla employees into his garage. And believing in it for all these years. And enabling the hiring of new employees. And making himself available to the Community.

Thank you to Pascal, Filip, Cédric, Goofy, Laurent, Benoît, Kazé, Frédéric, Flore, Bobo, and Paul Rouget: they created the francophone community and they continue ot be there for it after all these years.

And big thanks also to the Gaia team in Paris: it is a great pool of talents, and a beacon for the French-speaking Community.

Thanks again to Amié, Kimber, Shannon, and Clara: they worked organizational miracles, and in such a short time!

And finally, thank you to Debbie Cohen and Mitchell: by their presence and their involvement, they once again broadened the field of possibilities.

So the office has now officially opened its doors. We wish it a long and happy life!

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À propos de claristamozilla

Je m’appelle Clarista (enfin, c’est mon pseudo, vous l’aurez deviné), je suis une Madame Michu, copine de geek, et membre de la communauté Mozilla. Je suis Mozilla Reps pour la France, et membre de WoMoz. J’AIME la communauté, et ce qui me motive aujourd’hui c’est d’oeuvrer à tisser des liens entre les Mozilliens de différents pays. Et intégrer plus de M. Et Mme Michu, pour me sentir moins seule, et parce que je compte sur eux pour aider le Logiciel Libre à conquérir le monde :D

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  1. Claire, this is a wonderful account of the week! I am incredibly inspired by your passion for Mozilla, our community, and utterly amazed by all you accomplished to make the Paris Grand Opening a success – it would not have been the same week without you.

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