Firefox 4 Launch Party, Cluj-Napoca, Romania – May 3rd, 2011


Last week the Mozilla QA team, specifically Juan Becerra, Tony Chung, Henrik Skupin, David Burns and I, went on a European road trip.  One of the main purposes of the trip was for us to get out there and talk to folks about Mozilla and Firefox 4 from the perspective of what we do in the QA world. The trip was a double European city tour with the first stop being Cluj, Romania and the remainder of the trip spent in London where Mozilla hosted a meetup of local software test professionals. Dave Hunt, a local U.K. based Mozillian and all-star test automation engineer, helped setup this very successful London event. He also wrote a great blog post on the meetup.

But this post is about all the happenings in Cluj Romania. I’m sure some folks are wondering why the Mozilla QA team decided to go to Romania and be part of the fantastic Firefox 4 Launch Party in Cluj. Well, it certainly wasn’t arbitrary. During this last year we have been working closely with an outsourced QA team that have been very helpful to us with the testing and release of Firefox 4. Therefore, I thought it was high time we meet them in person. The QA team is from the Romanian company Softvision  based in Cluj who we work through via a local U.S. company called Waverley Software. The folks from Softvision were co-sponsors and took care of all the local details for the Cluj launch party. They blogged, tweeted and posted the event on just about every web site in Romania. They scheduled the venue at a very nice hotel and quickly had 100 registered attendees. I worked with Mary Colvig, Alexandria Aranoff and Romanian community member Alina Mierlus to ensure that they got all the Mozilla party goods and swag that they needed. Before we left, I was confident that things were well taken care of. However, I nor anyone of the Mozilla QA Team had actually been to Romania, so it was somewhat unknown just what were getting into.

Cluj Romania is a beautiful European city with a laid-back feel. However, it is also quite vibrant since it is the university hub of Romania with lots of students strolling about the streets. The hospitality of our Softvision partners was warm and welcoming. We arrived late Saturday night.  After breakfast on Sunday, several members of the Softvision team gave us a walking tour of the city ending with a great meal at an authentic Romanian restaurant. We spent Monday and Tuesday in engaging and productive meetings exploring better ways to work together. The launch party was set to start at 5:30p Tuesday eve. We arrived early, and I was quite impressed with the fantastic setup in the Golden Tulip event room.  All the Firefox party goods were laid out; there was a great buffet of tasty treats and a table with wine and Romanian beer for all to enjoy. Everything was ready for a great launch party. But, of course, there were some last minute A/V cliches where my laptop wouldn’t connect to the wifi or the event audio system. But again, thanks to our hosts, all was fixed and I was able to give a short presentation that included the Firefox branding video (most awesome Mozilla video ever.) I also sort of cheated a bit in the presentation to keep it short. Since Johnathan Nightingale the director of Firefox Engineering is the undisputed master at presenting Firefox 4 in all it’s glory in under 3 minutes, why not show his video too. The presentation went well and I believe it got the crowd excited about Firefox 4. There were a number of questions after the presentation, and this was followed by demos and one-on-one discussions with the QA Team. This went on for a couple of hours with lots of interesting conversations and  crowds gathered around laptops and mobile devices looking at the various features demonstrated by the team.

Of course, we couldn’t have a Firefox 4 launch party without a cake and the one at this party was absolutely fantastic. The cake was flanked by two roman candles, and it was certainly a highlight of the party. And oh-my-god it was some of the tastiest cake ever. After the cake we had a raffle for  three really cool Firefox back packs. The event went on well past nine and the party then continued at some other undisclosed locations :-) .

This was my first Firefox launch party, and it will be hard to top. It was a just a fantastic evening and special thanks go to Diana Parau and Nicoleta Iudean of Softvision who out did themselves in arranging and setting up the event. I also want to thank our host Ady Beleanu who took care of us from start to finish. I still haven’t decided if he is a more skilled driver or project manager. He is amazing at both! The party was well photographed and links to the pics are listed below. I really had no idea what to expect before arriving in Romania. However, in every sense, our trip to Cluj was a great success and I certainly left with a feeling that the Romanian Mozilla Community spirit is alive, well and growing. Viva Firefox 4!

Matt Evans
Mozilla QA Director

Ady Beleanu Pics
Henrik Skupin Pics
Matt Evans Pics