Retrospection - My first year at Mozilla

Posted on July 4, 2012

About a year and a half ago, Priya Patel reached out to me and offered me a position as a contractor. I eventually accepted and started work on July 6th 2011 under Benjamin Smedberg.

I put my heart and soul into it, and a couple months later I was offered a full time position. I started working as an employee under Robert Strong as my manager.

Early concerns:

I was initially offered a position as a contractor for a 3 month term and no guarantee of anything past that. I was coming from a salaried position with benefits, and since I had twin 2 year old boys, this scared the !#$#!% out of me. I knew the personal growth opportunities at Mozilla exceed those at my current position though, so I decided to take a chance.


I’m happy to say that when looking back, I’m glad I took the risk, and consider it to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I’ve had an amazing year.

Mozilla’s values and principles are aligned with my own. They allow me to be open about what I work on. Hundreds of millions of people get to see my work, and I feel like I am not constrained in any way.

The people I work with are awesome, each in their own way, and I have an implicit trust in each of their abilities. QA, support, other developers, project managers, product managers… they’ve all taught me so much over the past year.

What I’ve completed over the past year:

Over the past year, not including any of the completed Windows 8 Metro work, I’ve pushed over 215 patches across over 170 resolved/fixed bugs.

I’ve also filed 200 bugs that need to be, or have been done.

I’m a module peer for Firefox, Toolkit, ImageLib, and Widget|Win32. I’ve done a ton of reviews and mentored several bugs. I’m also a member of the coding stewards group.

Here’s a list of some of the larger things I’ve completed over the past year:

  • A ton of Windows 8 Metro work
    • Initial ground work along with Jim Mathies
    • Graphics code integration
    • Metro file picker
    • Metro contracts
    • Dozens of other tasks
  • Updater work:
  • Startup performance tasks under the Snappy project.
  • Dozens of platform integration tasks to better integrate with Windows
  • Jump list icons generated from favicons
  • ImageLib work:
    • BMP encoder
    • ICO encoder
    • Adding Vista style PNG ICO support.
    • Refactoring of ICO decoder to use the BMP decoder inside of it removing the duplicated code.
    • Adding hundreds of reftests
  • Adding a dozen different telemetry histograms
  • Firefox enhancements
  • Lots of crash fixes, memory leak fixes, and intermittent failure fixes
  • The Mozilla development cheatsheet
  • Windows 8 Lightning talk

Where I’d like to go from here:

As part of the coding stewards program, I’m starting work on a project to bring videos for code contributors. The plan is to have short 5-10 minute videos that each cover a single topic. This would be similar to Khan Academy videos in the 1 video per concept way, but will be more like a tutorial and will be focused on contributing to Mozilla.

In my past job I managed a team of developers and I expressed interest in doing this at Mozilla.

Lastly I want to continue doing what I’m already doing, I love making a difference and getting things done.

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