GarageScript in Partnership with Mozila Indonesia Community Launches Its First Free Coding Course in Indonesia

garage-script-01

GARAGESCRIPT sounds new to us in Indonesia. I, too, was unfamiliar with this startup until I came to their course at Mozilla Community Space in Jakarta, sat down and talked to two of young men from the startup to get to know more. It is simply put a nonprofit startup from San Jose, California, which opens free courses to anyone wanting to learn coding. There is no requirement that one should be a computer science graduate or master some basic knowledge. Even if you have no idea what coding really is but as long as you have the motivation to learn, you are welcome in the course because it starts from the most fundamental materials.

The startup began operating in 2 years ago. “It all started from our founder, Song Zheng, who wanted to teach his girlfriend (now his wife) Yoojin how to code,” Alvin told me in one brief interview along with his colleague, Jeffry. Song realized he could do more than just helping his beloved person. He could help more people out there to learn coding skills. The high unemployment rate in the US where he lives also partially motivated him to found GarageScript. Alvin mentioned that Song only wants to see more people smile after they can bring happiness to people they love at home by getting better-paid jobs.

Jakarta was in fact not in their plan. They planned to build networks in Malaysia. But a twist of fate led them to Indonesia. “There seemed to be a bureaucracy problem. A friend offered us to start here and then we shifted our focus on Jakarta,” Alvin said. Now they also have organically grown a community in Lippo Karawaci, Tangerang, where they hold regular daily meetups.

In GarageScript, students are free to learn at their own pace without having to be under pressure. Some people are fast learners but the rest are slower. For super fast learners, GarageScript provides a 3-month bootcamp which is set to be a key milestone as a new engineer. As the bootcamp ends, it means they are expected to keep learning and honing and updating their skills as the progress of technology is so rapid these days.

They give free coding courses at public libraries with the peer-to-peer approach. And because they want the course to be accessible for anyone, they thought weekends are the best time. “We volunteer teaching JavaScript at Santa Clara Northside Branch Library every Saturday for two hours,” he explained.

As the tech world needs more and more engineers, GarageScript seems to be willing to help people who need more lucrative jobs to try shifting to the tech job market. And being a software engineer is one of the prerequisites to earn more.

Instead of only about getting more and more from the free course, these students who have mastered the materials, they are encouraged to teach what they have learned to other people.

Though GarageScript is a startup, it grew initially as a community. You can see its community spirit implanted in their culture when Jeffrey told me that in the meetups, every member is asked to take turns to lead the meetup every week. And this proves their attitude towards their work. It is more about growing together, instead of competing against each other.

“We plan to open regular courses at Mozilla Indonesia Community Space on working days. We started with projects which can be achieved by our students and once they are competent enough, they can be asked to contribute to next projects,” Alvin added.

No lesson taught here goes wasted as they learn by doing (read: building projects). Results of their hard work will be used to help others learn the same way.

“Now our goal is to build a sustainable community in Jakarta so our efforts will continue here. And once they are skillful enough, they can teach others,”  Jeffry quipped.

As they can’t stay forever here, they want to make sure the seed of community is planted in the proper nursery room. And he seems to have found an apt place. (*/)

 

L10n Contributor’s Story at Jakarta Firefox Rocket Sprint 2018

Skills are valuable only if shared with others for good purposes.

Firefox Rocket is one of Mozilla’s success stories in Indonesia. That said, Mozilla Foundation keeps on pouring attention to Internet users in the large country thanks to its quite significant number.

In addition, Internet users in Indonesia are heterogeneous. Cultures and languages are very diverse, which is why it is not enough to launch products in English and Indonesian. Mozilla understands well that many Indonesians prefer browsing the web in their mother tongues which in many cases are indigenous languages. Unfortunately, there are not many supports available for these languages in Indonesia.

This weekend, Mozilla Indonesia Community hosted 2018 Jakarta Rocket Sprint. Located at Mozilla Community Space Jakarta, the event which aimed to generate the Javanese and Sundanese version of Firefox Rocket browser took place from Saturday morning to Sunday afternoon (11-12 August 2018). Four volunteers joined the Sundanese localization team while  five others did the Javanese localization team. Mozilla Representative Fauzan Alfi led the Sundanese (basa Sunda) team and Rizki Kelimutu the Javanese (basa Jawa) one.

Acting as the event organizer, Fauzan said on the first day of sprint the volunteers were invited to localize all strings in Firefox Rocket browser. Next, the volunteers and both team leaders were agreed upon which suggestions to use and upload onto Pontoon.

The processes took a while as localization not only translated from one language into another but also capture subtle meaning and cultural context which are at times complicated and difficult to express in another language. Here the volunteers referred to the available sources of Javanese and Sundanese localization sources such as web reference, online and print dictionaries.

“On top of that, we also review volunteer contribution results on the second day,” told Fauzan who were joined by Delphine Lebedel (Mozilla Localization/ L10n Project Manager) and Mo Peiying (L10n Program Manager). The two also gave the volunteers some hints and directions so that localization outputs qualified and are compliant with Mozilla Foundation’s guidance.

On the second day, the contribution results already went live on Firefox Rocket for the testing purpose. At this stage, the volunteers were allowed to examine what was presented on screen and spot any bugs or strings that they felt bizarre or ambiguous in meaning.

Because Localization Sprint 2018 also aimed at building the proper foundation for contribution of Mozilla Indonesia Community volunteers in the future, there needs to be a style guide that they agree upon and see as a reference.  The guidance was written at the same time by both teams. It will also be of great help in the event of new strings to add or minor changes.

The next form of support for Firefox Rocket users in Javanese and Sundanese is SuMo (Support Mozilla) articles. “Because Firefox Rocket has its Javanese and Sundanese version, there needs to be support pages in these two languages,” Rizki explained in his brief presentation.

Now that Firefox Rocket is localized for Javanese and Sundanese Internet users, we expect more people are accomodated. This is in accordance with Mozilla Manifesto which strives for one open, inclusive web for everyone on the planet regardless of languages they speak.

Are you curious about Firefox Rocket? Try to download it by clicking this link.  (Also published on Mozilla Indonesia blog)