As you might have heard, Firefox 4 celebrations have been echoing across the globe since the release, with organized parties in various countries, including: the UK, France, Spain, Brazil, Indonesia, India, and many more. Last week, I had the opportunity to attend the one in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I’ve been with Mozilla for over three years now, but this was the first time I was able to meet some of our active contributors and members of the open source community in their home country. In short, it was absolutely amazing, a little overwhelming, and totally inspiring.
The Firefox party was held on Wednesday night at Ultra bar in downtown, with over 150 people in attendance. Equipped with t-shirts, stickers, buttons, free beer tickets, and more… we opened the doors at 8 PM, and soon after, the place was packed and buzzing with Firefox fans. Matthew (who was traveling with me) and I walked around and talked to as many people as possible, including a few members of the local press. The reactions to us being there were quite humbling… simply because people seemed so excited to see us. But the truth is that we felt so very lucky to even be there, and just as excited to meet everyone. After a short presentation, a raffle and trivia session with prizes… we closed the night with a delicious Firefox cake – which Santiago so gracefully consumed.
The group picture above features our amazing contributors who planned the party. See any familiar faces? From left to right, they are: Guillermo Movia - who leads l10n and engagement, Marcelo Poli – also on l10n, Santiago Hollmann – who leads engagement and is known for his Firefox Murga dance on the streets of Argentina, Hernan Rodriguez Colmeriro – leads Add-ons development and is joining us in Mountain View as an Intern this summer (he has promised to bring mate), Felipe Lerena – engagement, Sergio Andres Rondan – engagement, and Gabriela Montagu who is not in this picture but contributes to localization. As an added note, the paisley Dino shirt that everyone is wearing was actually designed by one of our design community members, Tracie Andrews. It was a big hit.
While in Argentina, we attended a few other events: a Hackers meetup on Thursday, and a small Designers meetup that Guillermo helped me organize on Friday evening… where I talked about our design community and how we’re applying the concept of open source and community collaboration to our design process. Definitely a topic that I’d like to expand on more in the near future.
Of course, the 4 hour shift in time allowed me to stay on top of work while sprinkling in some touristy excursions in between. In my limited free time, I managed to explore nearby neighborhoods including colorful Caminito in La Boca (a personal favorite), Palermo, San Telmo, Centro, and Recoleta. I fell in love with the local crafts and street markets, indulged in the arts, the cafes, the music, the tango (of course), empanadas, and gorged on as much gelato as humanly possible. But the highlight of the trip was definitely spending time with our active contributors, working together side by side and getting to know each other better. Their passion and energy was so incredibly contagious, and a pure boost of inspiration that I brought back with me.
Cranking away in my own corner day-in and day out, it’s easy to lose sight of the bigger picture at times and the broader community that we’re all a part of. It was great to break away from my routine and step into a slightly different world… however brief, it was an experience I’ll never forget. One that helped deepen my relationships within the community and better understand Firefox (what it looks and feels like) in a different context. I hope we have more opportunities to do things like this.
Huge thanks again to Guillermo, Santiago, Felipe, Hernan (and others) who helped organize the party and various meetups throughout the week – and especially for their friendship and hospitality. Thank you so much. It was great meeting you all in beautiful Buenos Aires, and hope to see you again…soon!