Starting with Mozilla

Today I start work at a new position with the Mozilla Corporation. This has been a long time coming (been interviewing with them for about 1.5 months now) and I’m terribly excited about where this is going to lead. I’m going to be working in Developer Relations; this involves interacting with everyone from Firefox core developers, to extension developers, to general web developers.

In general, the purpose of the position is to make the job of developers easier. This involves listening to what they need and figuring out how to get it done. In actuality, this will include writing tools (such as extensions or JavaScript libraries), writing documentation, and generally evangelizing the Mozilla platform.

There’s a lot of things that excite me about the Mozilla Corporation itself, in addition to their platform.

  • They’re a very agile open source project. Virtually unencumbered by corporate tie-ins (unlike Red Hat or MySQL, for example), they get to work directly with the end users.
  • They’re still (comparatively) young. They only have about 70-80 employees, but about 80 million users. There’s room in there for some explosive growth.
  • They’re the darling of the web development community. They have the opportunity to promote tons of standards, while forging the way for creating some new ones of their own.
  • They have a ton of really cool technology that’s just begging for some more attention. XULRunner is tons of fun – and has fantastic potential. The internal SQLite implementation is begging for some more attention. Much of the XPCOM functionality (Sockets, File I/O) is fantastically useful, just cloaked in confusion and terminology.
  • They actively support web developers; they support popular tools such as the Web Developer Toolbar and Firebug, provide documentation on common web technologies (JavaScript, CSS, HTML) – and they’re looking to increase and improve this. Any company whose marketing technique is to improve web development, and win over users, is awesome in my book.
  • They’re all about JavaScript. They created it, they’re implementing it, they’re building the next version. They’re looking to build all sorts of tools to help JavaScript developers and to make JavaScript-intense sites faster. This is definitely something that I want to be a part of.
  • They want to better facilitate, and support, development with JavaScript libraries. Looking for ways in which the browser (or the tools in the browser) can help to solve common problems. This is very cool and a great step forward. Having significant experience with JavaScript libraries, I’m going to be helping to push this process along.

I’m going to be sorting out exactly what I’ll be up to in the upcoming weeks, but for now I’m content just reading through cool stuff like Mozilla’s SQLite and DOMStorage implementations. A large part of my position is going to be reading through and trying cool stuff (like, say, XULRunner) and writing tutorials/blog posts about what I find. This, alone, is pretty cool – but being able to hack on, and promote, some of the most influential code in the industry really just seals the deal.

In all, I’m quite excited by this new position and am looking forward to my prospects in 2007.

Posted: January 2nd, 2007

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