This week-end, Mozilla held a Bug Squashing Party. Five workshops were available for two days to enable first time contributors to enter a codebase that may seems frightful at first.
- add functionalities to GFX with Nical
- improve the SMS/MMS applicatino in FireFox OS with Julien
- find (and report) bugs with Johan
- learn about Firefox OS with Dietrich
Having skillful peoples guide you in such a dauting task is invaluable and while the ROI for Mozilla is clear, for the particitpants, the real value may lie elsewhere than in the code: it's the newness.
Being dropped in a new (big) codebase (and often toolchain) is a multi-level journey as there is a lot to integrate in a short time in order to be productive. It forces you to revise how good you thought you were and how to really improve at what you do, e.g. I had the opportunity to refresh my use of ctags with emacs and learn a lot about c++.
If you have a week-end to kill, this kind of event is a must-do.