Arliss, Site Host: A Global Sprint 2017 Story

Arliss is data and metrics analyst for Mozilla. She’s based in Toronto, in Ontario, Canada.

I was a Site Co-Host in Toronto at the 2017 Global Sprint, along with Abby Cabunoc-Mayes. This was actually my third time hosting, and the event attracted even more people than in 2016, which was great! I look forward to the Global Sprint because it’s a chance to meet new people from outside my organization, people I wouldn’t run into everyday. Every year I learn a ton about what’s new in Toronto’s open source/research/internet scene. There’s so much inspiring work out there!

Our site is at the Community Space at Mozilla’s offices in downtown Toronto. It’s a big room with lots of work space and comfy couches for conversation and hanging out. There are games for when people want a break. The internet connection is fast, and we’re lucky to have a good AV set-up for video conferencing. You can really have a Sprint site anywhere, but it’s especially nice to welcome people here.

Arliss (third from right) has hosted multiple Sprints at the TOR office; this snapshot is from 2016

For the 2017 Sprint I did lots of outreach to local organizations and universities in the area, to be sure people were aware of the event. And just before the event I sent out an email reminder. Morning of the Sprint, we set up the room and put up signage to welcome participants. We had some snacks and coffee available, too.

Co-Host Abby welcoming 2017 Sprinters

When participants arrived, I checked them in so I could track numbers — and see the increase over last year! As a Site Host, I greet everyone. I try to learn a little about about their interests and connect them with other Sprinters and projects that match those interests… Mid-morning we did group introductions, and then most of the day was quiet work time and project conversations. I found some time to contribute to a Sprint project: I gave feedback on a training module. We took a break for lunch together, and gathered in the afternoon for demonstrations (demos) of what people had accomplished that day. We also participated in the All-Sprint Demo video call, where sites around the world shared progress. We also have a tradition where we play a game of “Connect Four” against other sites in the Sprint throughout the day… We set up the game in Toronto and other sites relay their moves over Gitter Chat. It’s a bit of fun, healthy competition!

Many Global Sprinters have come back to our space for other Mozilla events. And I know that a few people who just wandered into the Toronto site without a project in mind have since formed long-term collaborations with other Sprinters… It’s so satisfying to see those relationships and projects grow!

The 2018 Global Sprint is May 10–11! Host a site, lead a project, or pitch in as a participant — learn more!