Mozilla Study Groups

Getting Started

The first step to organizing a Mozilla Study Group is to set up communication & assemble your team.

Made by the Mozilla Science Lab

Part 1: Getting Set Up

  1. Set up the website. Follow the instructions here to get your website and message board set up; if you have any trouble, don't hesitate to ask the Science Lab for help! Also, let us know you're starting a study group by emailing us, and we'll put you and your website on the Study Group Map.
  2. Adopt a Code of Conduct. Keep the one in '', in the repository you set up above, or write your own - the purpose is to make a statement that everyone is welcome at Study Group, and that all attendees are expected to treat each other with respect.
  3. Make contact with communication channels. You'll need some help getting the word out about your Study Group. Approach the graduate secretaries, community managers, colloquia organizers or other meetup groups at your institution, and ask if they will send announcements about Study Group to their communities on your behalf. One mailing list is good enough to start - but see if you can pull in at least three!
  4. Book your first event. Make it a hacky hour (a causal meetup at a cafe or pub) to invite people to come out and discuss this new Study Group's goals and plans. Instructions for listing an event on your website are in the README in its repo, or you can see them here.

Part 2: Assemble Your Team

  1. Announce your first event.
    • Get an announcement about your new Study Group out on the communication channels you found above. Here's a template to get you started - feel free to remix!
    • One week before your first event, tweet a link to the details daily, at different prominent Twitter users in your field & local region.
    • All communications should have a link to your website, a link to the issue tracker in your repository encouraging people to start conversations there as well as watch that repo, a pointer to your Code of Conduct, and a reminder that beginners are very welcome.
  2. Prep for your event. Since this is a new group, people may need help recognizing each other; a funny hat, a little sign to sit on the table, or some other way to help people recognize the group can help prevent missed connections. Print out a few paper copies of your code of conduct to hand out, and don't underestimate the community building power of baking cookies.
  3. Meet people! At your event, you have a few responsibilities:
    • Get everyone talking to each other. Chatting and mingling is the first step to helping people feel welcome & part of a community.
    • Ask people to share their frustrations with scientific computing. Is it learning to program? Not having anywhere to ask for help? Deciphering data? Get people to tell their stories to one another.
    • Let people know that the point of Study Group is to address those frustrations. First and foremost, Study Group exists to help your community tackle the problems they just shared, by working together.
    • Ask for everyone's help to organize a Study Group. Letting people know that you need their help will encourage a lot of people to step up and help you organize; ask people to propose lessons, volunteer to lead sessions and help spread the word.
    • Collect organizer contacts. Get the emails of everyone who wants to help organize, add them as Collaborators in your repo, and ask everyone to watch that repo to find out about your next event.