Did you have “expand my technical knowledge” as one of your New Year’s resolutions a few months ago? How’s that going?
How about setting aside a day, or just a few hours, once a month, to teach yourself about a topic related to Web development, and share what you’ve learned with others? Wouldn’t it be fun to do that alongside a bunch other people, either virtually, or maybe in person?
Monthly MDN sprints
Based on discussions among the core MDN community, we’re upping the frequency of MDN doc sprints from “roughly once a quarter” to once per month. To keep them from getting too routine, we’re going to focus on a couple of different topics each month. One will be the topic of the following month’s DevDerby contest; the other will be something related to Firefox OS or open web apps. But since Firefox OS and open web apps are built with open Web technologies, that’s a pretty wide range to pick from. And of course, no one’s going to stop you from working on a different relevant topic of your choice.
As background, a doc sprint is a short period when a group of people come together (virtually or actually, or some combination) to collaborate on writing documentation. If “writing documentation” sounds boring, think of it as a “learning and sharing” sprint. And if you’re not a “words” person, writing example code is a great way to contribute. You’ve probably experienced how much someone can learn from a good code example.
We’ve set dates and some topics for the next three sprints (see below). The first one is just a week away, to squeeze it into March, before Easter weekend.
- March 22-23: getUserMedia, offline storage
- April 26-28: Web Workers, Web device APIs (specific ones TBD)
- May 31-June 1: Topics TBD
These dates are all in the MDN Community Calendar.
How to join a sprint
Sprints run for two or three days, but you can join for whatever part of that you are able to.
- Take a look at the wiki page for the sprint you’re joining, for specific details.
- During the sprint, hop into the #devmo channel on irc.mozilla.org, and introduce yourself. There will be other sprinters in the channel, unless they’re all asleep.
- Login to MDN and get started.
That’s it for participating virtually. In some cases, there will be in-person meet-ups. For example, for the April sprint, there will be a meet-up in the Mozilla Space in Vancouver, British Columbia. (Watch for further details!) Or you can organize a local sprint meet-up of your own, like Fred Bourgeon did in Montréal in February. This could be as simple as tweeting an invitation to meet up at a local coffee shop. Check out our (draft) Doc sprint planning guide if you’re interested.
Meet-up or not, please join us for one or more of the upcoming sprints. It’s a great opportunity to give something back to the Web development community, while expanding your own understanding at the same time.
About Janet Swisher
Janet is the Community Lead and Project Manager for MDN Web Docs. She joined Mozilla in 2010, and has been involved in open source software since 2004 and in technical communication since the 20th century. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and a standard poodle.