Getting More Contributors Involved with Mozilla

David Boswell and Mary Colvig
Grow Mozilla

We're all being asked to increase the involvement and impact of the Mozilla community

Strategic goal: "For each functional area, Contributor Steward appointed with all core and active contributors registered on and community growth and health targets published"

Easier said than done...

Mozilla has a good problem to have

Many people want to get involved, but it can be difficult.

"I'm a huge Firefox fan. I'm a 1st year computer science student and I'm looking to dive into the community. I just don't know how."

Message sent from Get Involved pages

Wait A Second...

People just show up and work on what they want to, right?

That's partly a myth (and partly true)

Mozilla has discoverability (and understandability) issues it didn't have before

People's stories about how they got involved usually include help from an existing Mozillian

We need to invest more effort at bringing on new contributors

Learning More

Remember that question from someone wanting to contribute from a few slides back?

Over 2,000 people a month are writing us expressing interest in getting involved

And this is just one channel for new contributors

Are people contributing? Why not? We don't know.

We need to learn more about what's working and what isn't

Enter: Audit

Auditing Contributor Lifecycle with David Eaves to assess the experience of volunteers within the Mozilla sphere. Looking to answer:

How well are we working with volunteers?

Why do people get and stay involved with Mozilla?

Why do they leave?

Audit included a survey of both paid + volunteer staff.

Working with Contributor Engagement

Teams don't have to figure all this out on their own.

The Contributor Engagement team is here to help you successfully bring people into your projects. We offer:

  • Consulting

  • Channels

  • Mentors

  • Tools

  • Advocates


"I need someone to work with me to make contributing to my project easier."

We're here to help you review, evaluate and plan.


"I need a way to reach potential volunteers with my contribution opportunities."

We have web pages, newsletters and more ways to reach people who want to contribute.


"I need experienced contributors to help new contributors learn how to effectively get involved."

We can mobilize active Mozillians who can help mentor new contributors to your project.


"I need a way to track who is doing what for my project."

We're building general contributor infrastructure, like the community directory, that all projects can use.


"I need people to spread the word about my project at events around the world."

We have Reps all over who want to promote Firefox and Mozilla.

Who is on board already?

There are over 50 Stewards for over 20 functional areas

Accessibility David Bolter
Apps Desigan (Dees) Chinniah
Coding Dietrich Ayala, Kyle Huey, Brian Bondy and Josh Matthews
Creative Matej Novak
Developer Documentation Janet Swisher
Engineering Program Management Lawrence Mandel
Grants Geoffrey MacDougall

Who is on board already?

Graphics Benoit Jacob, Benoit Girard
Labs Havi Hoffman and David Ascher
Localization Zbigniew Braniecki (Gandalf)
Market Insights Margaret Schroeder
Mobile Lucas Rocha
People Dave Berz and Amie Tyrrel
Privacy Stacy Martin
Product Marketing             Gregory Jost
Public Relations Shannon Prior

Who is on board already?

Research and B2G Vivien Nicolas
Support Michelle Luna and Michael Verdi
Systems Administration Justin Dow, Matthew Zeier and Corey Shields
Thunderbird Ludovic Hirlimann, Roland Tanglao and Jennifer Zickerman
Tools and Automation Clint Talbert, Lukas Blakk and Henrik Skupin
Quality Assurance Anthony Hughes, Marcia Knous, Juan Becerra and Naoki Hirata

Who is on board already?

User Engagement Chelsea Novak and Jessilyn Davis
User Research Diane Loviglio
UX Alex Limi
Web Development Christie Koehler, Andy McKay, Rob Helmer, Dave Dash, Tim Watts, Les Orchard, Mike Alexis and Luke Crouch
WebFWD Diane Bisgeier

Plus several other people interested in being Stewards for MozSpaces

Find out more at

Functional Areas for New Stewards

There are more functional areas we'd like to get Stewards for, including:









Email dboswell at mozilla dot com if you want to be a Steward

What To Do Next

After picking a Steward for your team:

Step 1: Identify current community and get them in phonebook

Step 2: Evaluate gaps in your staffing and add contributor growth targets to your goals

Step 3: Define and scope contribution opportunities

Step 4: Assess and map contribution paths

Step 5: Establish metrics to measure health and to optimize paths

Steward Case Studies

Some teams have started working through these steps

Here are a few case studies to provide real world examples

Juan from QA

Shannon from Communications

David from Contributor Engagement

Case Study: QA

Goal: Maximize Desktop Firefox

Established need for more Test Day participants and set goal to grow attendance by 10%

Mapped a path and updated available channels (Nightly First Run page and Get Involved page)

This included creating a video about why testing is important and how to do it

Measuring Test Day attendance to have way to check effectiveness of the plan

Case Study: Communications

Goal: Maximize impact of Firefox

Established need for extending reach of our messaging and set goal to get reps in five areas where we don't have PR support.

Mapped a path and created a Communications Special Interest Group

Also created a video about why communications is important and how to get involved

There are already new reps for India and Canada

Case Study: Contributor Engagement

Goal: Grow Mozilla

Established need for someone to run the contributor newsletter

Mapped a path and posted a Newsletter Coordinator volunteer role to various channels

Several people applied and we picked Paul Booker

This has freed up about 5 hours a week for David and Mary

Get In Touch

Next Contribute Group meeting Dec 8 at 10 pacific

Mozillians mailing list

Mozillians IRC channel

Contributor Engagement team email
team-baked-goods at mozilla dot com