Difficult to understand FSA program Need Changes

Dear Participation Team,

For past few days it is really hard to understand what is going in FSA program, not able to answer when a fellow new contributors coming and asking how can we get started after joining FSA program.

I started my contribution as FSA contributor have written some articles in MDN, spent sometimes in AOA, and have developing apps, and become Reps then joined FSA E-board as VP of Tech (till Aug 2015).

Seriously when I started then direction of FSA was to help students learn how to improve their professional skills and also contribute to open source at the same time. Even before Workweek in December we had “App of the month” where atleast 10 new apps we got, students learned something technical. I understand clearly it is not the only way for students to contribute there are lot.

I surely remember in April-May 2015, I had discussed the plan to introduce other contribution areas like QA, MDN, SUMO similar to “App of the Month”, so we get really a good number of student contributors in these areas and they also love to contribute as they learn Industry standard. But may be due to some limitation till now it is not implemented, I am sure it is difficult to bring a good architecture to bring these and maintain it for long time so students love contributing continuously.

When a FSA comes and talks about how to contribute to Privacy, the only thing I was saying is, understand about it then teach people regarding this, then you can also try creating add-ons for browsers which can stop trackers script (like Google analytics script). For the past 1 year only very less students come and ask regarding Privacy, the main reason is because they want to get the digital badge, but before asking this question they asked me how can they start contribute to Code or Finding bugs.
Previously some contributors asked about thimble and Webmaker. But I am sure their First question is not how to participate in Campus Campaign program or contribute to thimble or Webmaker. The first Question is different.

I help contributors around Tamilnadu(India). I encourage people to contribute to more functional areas like Coding,testing, MDN and so on where they are interested. But Sometimes we people find difficult to know all areas and help, but I have seen atleast 5-10 contributors who are helping other people to get started in different areas.

My suggestion is since I came as FSA is to concentrate more on the different functional areas ( Creating Web-extensions (which we have to concentrate very highly), concentrating on fixing patches, Contributing to Testing (QA), SUMO, MDN,design, Social Media and so on). I am not saying to stop about advocacy or any other things. But many students in India at least have faith that when they become FSA they will learn to contribute to open source not just teaching/evangelising . But they in long time start teaching what they learned because of their passion.

There were many things involved like budgets and swags, at beginning people start to get those, but in 6 months maximum they understand those are not very important. I have seen many people contributed without even getting single swag. All they want is to learn and contribute on their passion. Many teams helps contributors by writing a blog post about their contribution, I remember QA (Contributor Spotlight), AMMO (Friends of Mozilla) and so on. These blog posts are light their biggest gift and motivation to contribute.

PS:- I am brining this discussion here to understand well what are the plans for helping FSA’s in future and help them learn and contribute fruitfully to community.


I agree with you Viswaprasath. FSA needs to evolve,

Having FSA and Firefox clubs serving the same purpose of the newly aligned
Mozilla Clubs is a waste of time and resources. Why should two entities
each with their seperate FT staff be serving the same basic mission. It is
a waste of resources.

I think there has to be a distinction between the advocacy and teaching
work and the contribution work.

@Christos you need to see this! I see that this is an important topic.

Just trying to reframe the idea. Aren’t you saying that it is difficult to get new FSAs excited about “privacy”, “encryption”, etc and make them contribute to campus campaign because it is a relatively less interesting topic in our culture?

I feel it is not about interesting topic or not. I am seriously not sure how they are going to improve their professional skills but having knowledge about it is must ( I have to accept that having knowledge about privacy, encryption are important and I teach my friends/family for their safety) and I am not against it also.

But in recent days we have totally shifted our focus towards these, and we are forgetting the areas where many people contributed previously. So after some 2-3 years the FSA who are contributing now will focus on Advocacy, serious it is difficult to come out of place where you are comfortable and teach about them and it will go like chain reaction.

Then for other contribution area only the long time contributors who are present now will be there, but after sometimes they may feel to get retire from Contributions (both here and where they get paid). At that time there wont be many contributors who actively contribute and take it to next level.


Okay, that makes it a bit more clear.

For more context, FSAs do not live in isolation in a college. There are many other organizations and activities like GSA (Google Student Ambassador), IEEE club, etc that compete for student interest. And most often the choice of which club/group to be a part of is made by looking at what the student gets in return for spending their time with a particular group.

Ya I accept that, there are other clubs competing with FSA clubs. But there are also students who loves to join FSA club to learn about the interesting things which he likes (may be coding for CSE guy) and follow the passion and contribute to Global community and source code which will change millions of life. So we have to focus on helping the student growth in different aspects, then automatically students start joining FSA clubs after knowing the real values.

Hi All!!!
I’m in accord with you Viswaprasath,
but I think that all are important, from the advocacy to coding!!!:slight_smile: I’m a Junior RAL of the FSA program and I started to guide my region from march of this year. I’m the first RAL elected and first of me, the FSAs in the past tried to do the best without any coordination (also myself too). Here we want realize all you say and no one said me, till this moment, “Hey you cannot do that!”. All depending by us, by all single FSA (me and you too) and not depends only by the E-board,by the RALs, by the FC Leads or by other… Depend by all us. Here in my region, I want promote all the campaign, talk of about us, of all the communities local and international, of privacy and security and I want to cooperate with the Mozilla Clubs, the our local community, and I want that all FSAs can get in touch with all the modes to contribute in mozilla. I think that the FSA Program is the “anteroom” of all projects, of all community, of all initiative about Mozilla. For me this program is amazing, wonderfull exactly for this. With the FSA program we can get involved to find our way to contribute in mozilla and for that is important because we are the future and we can really change the world but depend by us. How Ral I accepted this challenge e I work to find a way to send a message to the others students for discover the program and, for the FSAs involved, I want to find a way to create a fun opportunity to know mozilla in all aspect (from the campaigns, the events at the code projects). The Swags are important as a matter of image but aren’t necessary because all depending by our motivation!:slight_smile: I want say thanks you because today, with this post I discover new and other aspects from your experience. Thanks You.

See you soon!!!


@heyvp7 can you help me understand what’s stopping these people interested in other areas to contribute directly in them?


Thanks for starting this conversation.

Where I think we should be going with contribution impact and areas…

To my understanding, prior to this February the FSA program was never optimized for any contributions other than marketing Firefox – that includes coding or anything else. Coding or bug triage, for example, were never part of the communication about the program, nor campaigns, nor “official” support structures.

It’s great that was your experience, but the program was never designed to support broad contribution really well.

We have tried to start changing this in the past months of the Take Back the Web campaign. I absolutely believe that students can both have more impact and grow more professionally if there are a variety of supported areas of contribution. This is what I strongly see as the future.

The balance we were going for in this campaign was impact and accessibility. We wanted a sufficiently low barrier for a short 6-week campaign (especially for FSAs), with actions that could tie to impact, and would engage a mix of technical and non-technical people. We didn’t think that “traditional” Mozilla contribution areas had these characteristics. That’s where the focus on privacy/security with actions of behavior change, surveying campuses, and building technology came from.

So I think we’re aligned on the ultimate goal here, but maybe not the selection of actions that were emphasized.

App of the Month?

Regarding the “App of the Month” --> I’m really curious how you see this as superior to the Build Technology pillar of the campaign? Can you help me understand that?

Another question…

My question: What’s changed? What’s stopping people now from broader contribution?

To the question of different structures…

I don’t think this is happening, so let me share my perspective:

  1. Right now the Take Back the Web is just a campaign for various Mozilla programs, including FSA and Reps, to move privacy/security issues on University campuses. Having a behaviour change activity (note that it’s not intended to be ongoing web literacy/education) is important as an individual action as part of a privacy/security focus with an aim to move this issue on campus in a short time.

Increasing web literacy isn’t a purpose of the campaign, and moving the issue of privacy/security specific through behaviour change, advocacy and technical contribution isn’t part of the Mozilla (Web Literacy) Clubs.

  1. Mozilla Clubs are focused on web literacy as a highly focused area. Our current rough vision is that FSAs and whatever they evolve to would have a broad set of contribution areas (as I described above).

  2. I do think there is confusion, we need to clean this up, and that’s a priority. We’re actually building a process right now to have those conversations/lay out some options. I’ll have more to share in the coming couple of weeks.

Thank you @heyvp7 for bringing it up.

Adding to this post,

My thought are, TBTW campaign could have been a part of FSA program campaigns instead of making it a separate track.
Because of CC, Colleges now have multiple clubs like Firefox Club, Mozilla Clubs and now it is Campus Team that becomes very much confusing.

FSA previously shared a common vision of mobilizing the students community with people involving in many areas like webmaker, Privacy & Advocacy, Coding, L10N, SUMO etc.
But now, it has been split up into Mozilla Clubs , Firefox Clubs and CC taking up one idea as focus.
Is there a need for this?
We already had Campaigns that is hosted by the FSA team where an interesting focus area were set like, we had “Firefox for Windows 10” , “Privacy Month”. Why can’t TBTW be a part of it?
We still would have served the purpose.

Restructuring the Existing FSA System is a smart move rather than ignoring it & building a separate new track.

What happens after the campaign?
Will the Campus team members end up involving in FSA program for a sustained long term contribution?
Or CC will bring up new set of focus areas in each phase and involve Contributors much into that?

What is the future of the FSA program? Will CC replace the FSA program?
What will happen to the existing Firefox Clubs?

Expecting response from the Reps council & Participation team regarding this.
Thank you,

Karthic keyan
Regional Ambassador lead-FSA program

@edovio as you said no one is saying “Dont do this”. FSA team has to focus on the functional areas by getting help from E-board. Say not all FSA’s can find path for doing, they at least need the very first step of motivation and mentorship.

I will explain what a student will do here. Lets take a student who joined FSA recently (say him N) and there is old FSA (say him O). If O knows that Advocacy campaign is going on, so N on seeing him will do that, mostly students here will get guidelines or help from senior. O might have not seen any Contributor speaking about other areas, so he knows some focused things like TBTW campaign (which have dedicated website ). So we are projecting TBTW very well and sharing huge resources to it, so students feel it easy to learn about it alone. So they will move in that direction only.

@nukeador My point is expand the FSA E-board which will have dedicated contributors from different areas, and along with them lets us a person in E-board who also sees this campaign. We should have dedicated contributors (if need website and teaching kits) who can help contributors to get started with Functional areas.

If you think all students can directly involve with Functional teams (like QA, MDN, L10N and so on), why not we have left advocacy like this, but we are helping them with Good resources from FSA team. Seriously students need good first time mentorship to do something and good resource to stay for long time, if they started to learn they will find their way. Seriously as of now what we are doing is having Monthly calls each and every month, surely it will give idea about different areas (like QA, connected devices) but to have those interested people engaged we need contributors in FSA team dedicatedly.

Hi @george

Prior to Feb the main aim (after FSA program restarted in 2013-2014) was to bring more app developers for Firefox OS and also as your said marketing about Firefox browser (For desktop, Android), the decision of stopping Firefox OS for mobiles came in December 2015 work week, so from that time having “app of the month” is not going to be helpful. Then in mid of 2015 (before June 2015 workweek) I remember tried to talk with TJ about bring areas like MLS and L10N as data for MLS can be gathered very effectively from Students and also they can do it very easily and obviously L10N project need huge contributors in many language. As you said it was not supported official, but there was a plan to start and support these.

I said “app of the Month” because it was core focus we had in 2013-2015, we had many Firefox OS app days, and tried to bring more web apps to Marketplace. Now What I am saying we need to change it to “Add-ons(Extension) of the Month”.

Nothing is stopping them to finding the ways to contribute, but the FSA program should be designed in such a manner it will help any Student contribute to various functional areas.

My question is why we are not having much effort on other areas where we need contributors, when we are having huge resource for Advocacy campaign.

To contribute in MDN it is not much needed to have technical knowledge. There is a contribution like Editorial Review where contributors can help in Grammar, spelling and so on ( I can say by this means someone can learn both the technical part [at least 1 in 1000 can get interested] and contribute to non-technical part). Writing MDN docs is going to have huge impact as it is helping thousands of people to get started with HTML,CSS,JS at beginner level.

I know a contribute who developed an best app in 2014, and in mid of 2015 he started contributing to Firefox Marketplace community. For App development I can say when he/she learned some API’s for Firefox OS apps, the he/she can easily write WebExtensions (Add-ons ) for Firefox and other browsers.

Each and every students comes and contribute thinking that what he is doing here is going to help in future.

I will also be happy what will be next things after this advocacy campaign, and will be happy to know the plans till Dec 2016.

Thank you

@heyvp7 is for that reason that we have Regional Ambassador Leads in the program. They must motivate and support all the FSAs in their Region in accord with the E-Board Members. :slightly_smiling:


Yes as you said, RAL must motivate. So RAL will be there to motivate and bring contributors alone. I know @karthic is from my region, I have seen him motivated and bring lot of motivation and he is aware of SUMO (L10N) contribution well, but when it comes to Apps or Add-ons he still didn’t learn so another guy comes gives basic resource to get started. Not all contributors know all the areas to teach and whom they should communicate, one will be very strong in one area alone (may be two or three at max) and they can teach and help students to get started.

@heyvp7 Is for that reason we must collaborate with all the mozilla community. We can help each other to find a International way, if locally isn’t possible, to have the resources to know how and to do projects or initiative in other areas. I’m a person not superman, how all us, and for that reason we need to have a community for help each other to improve ourself and the others. We find a way between us for do it all togheter. :slight_smile:

share the same opinion as @karthic and others ,
What is the pure idea and whole purpose of launching CC as separate program instead of not making it part of FSA program ? it is a program where FSAs are directly involved ( not only 50% as CC team says ) . but neither RALS or E-board have no involvment to it .

This campaign is not limited to FSA, quoting George:

@george and @nukeador Thank you for your help on the background of FSA and reps. I really have no experience with these contribution pathways.

It sounds silly but I think one KPI that should also be included for any advocacy campaigns is number of Firefox installs on Android.

The conversation should go like: We need to #TakeBackTheWeb, here is why. The next way to do this: install Firefox for Android.

Every advocacy program should have at least one CTA to install Firefox on a mobile device.

In terms of the evolution of FSA I like this idea of identifying contribution pathways and letting FSA’s work with affiliates on this goal. So instead of dedicated Firefox club we might have computer science clubs, or local organization with FSAs that are also members.

I think this conversation relates to my recent post - Campus Campaign Clarified. Would love to hear your thoughts!