Ideas for screencasts & video introductions?

Evangelism, Mozilla, Work 8 Comments

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Johnathan Nightingale and Rob Campbell recently put together fantastically useful screencast introductions to Bugzilla (Johnath) and Firebug (Rob). The response to these has been phenomenal, so I’ve been gathering suggestions for other screencasts we could put together to help people learn about our tools, code, culture, community, and so on.

So far, people have suggested the following:

  • Lifecycle of a Bug – introduction to the stages involved in fixing a bug from start to end
  • Building Firefox – introduction to getting the Firefox source code and compiling it, while going over the basics of hg
  • Test Frameworks – introduction to the different test frameworks we use, and how to write a basic test in each of them
  • Drinking from the Firehose – how to stay on top of the news, difference between “stream of development and ideas” and “announcments”, how to understand things like what the next milestone is
  • Bugzilla for Developers: Getting your patch into the product – how to nom for review; how to determine if you need to nom for approval, blocking, etc.; writing tests; checkin wrangling; watching the tree.
  • Gaining Traction – how to publish that wicked cool idea you have; how to rally people around it to see if there’s interest; moving from idea to implementation
  • How to navigate the code using MXR/DXR
  • How to use and contribute to MDC
  • Writing your first automated test
  • How to do your own screencasts/videos
  • Mozilla Developer Tools & Workflow
  • How to optimize edit/compile/test loops
  • Presentation tips & tricks

What other screencasts or video introductions do you think would be useful for learning Mozilla and getting involved with the project and community?

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8 Responses to “Ideas for screencasts & video introductions?”

  1. Atul Says:
    March 18th, 2010 at 11:53 am

    A video introduction to IRC would be nice!

    More importantly though, I think that these tutorials need to (somehow!) be really, really easy to find. Linking to Johnath’s video from the front page of, or possibly even embedding it right there, could help a lot of folks find it. Maybe even consider linking to it from the header or footer of every page.

    Just yesterday Dan Mosedale introduced me to David Humphrey’s tutorials at I had no idea such awesome tutorials already existed!

    In a lot of ways, screencasts on these things Humphrey has written about wouldn’t necessarily be better–more effective than a screencast, I’m guessing, would just be making more people aware of these tutorials, linking to them from touchpoints where people who don’t already know about them will encounter them.

  2. Benoit (:benwa) Says:
    March 18th, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    As a new members to the community I found that there is a lot of well documented information to get new developers up to speed. The challenging part is putting the pieces together to understand how everything fits together. This is something that can feel fairly obvious to people that have been contributing for a long period of time but was something I struggled with during the first month. The current documentation is more in the format of a reference then a “read through” for beginners.

    This leads me to my suggestion. I was considering making a screencast targeted at new community members. The screencast would show a brief overview of bugzilla, irc, building and providing the links to the existing articles for the advance topics. Perhaps even going over the simulated process of re solving a [good first bug] tagged bug and the review process.

    I was planning on working on this once I got my work load under control but feel free to steal the idea.

  3. dria Says:
    March 18th, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    @Benoit — that’s a great suggestion. It would be fantastic if you could actually do the screencast since you have a fresh perspective on it and could probably do a better job than a lot of old veteran contributors. If there’s anything I can do to help you with it, let me know.

  4. dria Says:
    March 18th, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    @Atul — awesome idea…I’ll try to figure out how we can better expose some of the content that we already have.

  5. Dan Mosedale Says:
    March 18th, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    I’m really excited about having organized, maintained collateral about how to get involved with and be effective in the Mozilla community, whatever the medium. Go Deb!

  6. Learning Mozilla resources? :: Says:
    March 23rd, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    [...] week, I asked for suggestions about possible screencast/video introductions we should produce to help people learn about Mozilla, our tools, our methods, and how to get [...]

  7. Learning Mozilla Syllabus « Benoit Girard's Blog Says:
    March 24th, 2010 at 12:55 am

    [...] a few times the idea of creating resources aimed specify at new members. Dria’s recent blog (1) posts (2) asking for screencasts and resources aimed at learning mozilla caught my [...]

  8. Benoit (:benwa) Says:
    March 24th, 2010 at 12:59 am

    @Dria – I had to wait for your follow up blog post to catch my attention again, apparently wordpress does not send email notifications on replies. I would love to do the screencast. I have created a blog post asking what topics people would like me to cover.

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