Firefox Hackathon Zurich April 2016

Posted by in Mozilla, MozillaCH, MozillaParticipation, mozillareps

Last Saturday we’ve held a Firefox Hackathon in Zurich, Switzerland. We’ve had 12 people joining us.


At first I gave an introduction to Firefox and introduced the agenda of the hackathon.

Dev Tools Talk

After my talk we heard an amazing talk from Daniele who came from Italy to attend this hackathon. He talked about the Dev Tools and gave a nice introduction to new features!


Before the hackathon we created a list of “good first bugs” that we could work on. This was a great thing to do, since we could give the list to the attendees and they could pick a bug to work on. Setting up the environment to hack was pretty easy. We’ve used “The Janitor” to hack on Firefox, I’ll write a second blog post introducing you to this amazing tool! We ran into a few problems with it, but at the end we all could hack on Firefox!

We worked on about 13 different bugs, and we finished 10 patches! This is a great achievement, we probably couldn’t have done that if we needed more time to set up a traditional Firefox environment. Here’s the full list:

Thanks to everybody who contributed, great work! Also a big thanks to Julian Descolette, a Dev Tools employee from Switzerland who supported us as a really good mentor. Without him we probably couldn’t have fixed some of the bugs in that time!


At the end of the hackathon we did a round of feedback. In general the feedback was rated pretty well, though we might have some things to improve for the next time.

40% of the attendees had their first interaction with our community at this hackathon! And guess what, 100% of the attendees who filled out the survey would be joining another hackathon in 6 months:

For the next hackathon, we might want to have a talk about the Firefox Architecture in general to give some context to the different modules. Also for the next hackathon we probably will have a fully working Janitor (meaning not alpha status anymore) which will help even more as well.

Lessions learned

  • Janitor will be great for hackathons (though still Alpha, so keep an eye on it)
  • The mix of talk + then directly start hacking works out
  • The participants are happy if they can create a patch in a few minutes to learn the process (Creating Patch, Bugzilla, Review, etc) and I think they are more motivated for future patches

All in all I think this was a great success. Janitor will make every contributor’s life way easier, keep it going! You can find the full album on Flickr (thanks to Daniele for the great pictures!).