On volunteer and internship opportunities at Mozilla

29 December, 2014 § 2 Comments

About a month ago on a flight from Seattle to New York I met a lady who said that her son was studying computer science. I told her about the work that is being done at Mozilla and how we have a lot of opportunities for people who want to contribute to one of the world’s largest open source software projects.

Today I got an email from her son asking about internship opportunities. Her son is just getting started in computer science and has yet to take his introductory courses in CS. There are many people that are in his position and I believe that they can still contribute to Mozilla and gain valuable experience for their future. Below is my response to him:

Hi ____,

Thanks for the email. It was a pleasure to meet your mother on the flight.

Internships at Mozilla require a solid CS basis and will probably be too challenging to undertake before completing your introductory courses. However, that doesn’t mean that there is nothing that you can do at this point. With a basic understanding of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, there are probably a number of bugs that you could fix today within Firefox.

I would recommend that you spend time this summer, either the whole summer or a period within, as a volunteer contributor to Mozilla. Many of our interns and full-time employees contributed to Mozilla or other open source software projects before joining Mozilla. There are two major benefits for doing so: familiarity with the project and what type of work people do; and practicing the skills necessary to succeed during an internship or full-time role.

I understand that volunteering can present its own time and financial challenges as it is unpaid, but one of the benefits of volunteering is that the work can be done at your own pace and on your own schedule.

You can take a look at the following bugs if you would like to see what the type of work may look like:

As you contribute, more responsibilities will be given to you and you’ll feel confident working on larger tasks.

Let me know if you are interested, and I will find some bugs that are available for you to fix.


That offer at the end of the email is not something that people can only get by bumping in to me while traveling. If you are reading this blog post and you would like to learn how you can contribute to Mozilla, please join the #introduction channel on irc.mozilla.org and ask how you can get started. Be patient however, it may take a couple hours to get a response from someone due to timezones and busy schedules.

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§ 2 Responses to On volunteer and internship opportunities at Mozilla

  • A. I. Sajib says:

    Sadly, all I’m good for is writing. Not writing code or anything like that, but just pure writing (journalism, blogging, etc). I started a blog at moz-mag.com thinking that I would contribute to Mozilla in a way that I do best (or am passionate at). But lately I’m not sure if I’m making an impact. 😦 Any advice for me?

    Thanks for your response.

  • Jeremy says:

    Thanks for the post. I tried to contribute to Mozilla several times, and each time I gave up.
    I fixed one bug which was basically adding two lines to have more strings to localize. It took several days, even weeks to be able to have some answers.
    I am not here to judge, I just really like the ‘contribute to mozilla’ philosophy. It is just REALLY HARD for beginners.
    Even if you can really work on small scope projects (kudos to whatcanidoformozilla.org), it is still extremely hard to be able to setup dev envs without trouble, find people to answer your questions, make your way through bugzilla, get to know people on irc, and finally have your pull request reviewed.
    Anything I (we, new contributors) should change to make this experience successful and a bit less frustrating?

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