The development environment at Mozilla is fairly complex. As a new Mozilla developer, it can be tricky just learning where to land code changes, and figuring out if your changes landed ok and worked as you hoped! If you think back to your first day contributing code changes at Mozilla – is there anything you wish was explained to you on the first day, which would have helped you get up to speed quicker and made your life easier?
Until recently we’ve been relying on MDC, some scattered wiki docs, and lots of word-of-mouth – seasoned veterans mentoring newcomers until the newcomers can, in turn, mentor other newcomers. But this is tough to scale as more and more people start contributing. Also, as we modify, streamline and scale up RelEng infrastructure, we occasionally see veterans teach newcomers how things *used* to be, not how things are *now* !
We did a trial run of this during the AllHands, with some pre-existing Mozilla developers, and tweaked it a bit based on comments. Once we’ve been through a few iterations, we’ll put together a video clip but for now, you’ll have to imagine my voice doing the talkover voice. Now its time to find some real newcomers and see if it makes sense… so, what do you think?
update: we’ve done this brownbag a few times now since the AllHands, and each time, we tweak it further based on comments and questions asked. There might still be further changes, but at this point, it was worthwhile updating the PDF in this blogpost. joduinn 15feb2010, again 14jun2010 and again 17dec2010.