Bye Mozilla, Hello Buoyant
Today is my last day as a Mozilla employee.
It hurts to say that. I love Mozilla.1
I loved waking up to work knowing that I was working for you. For everyone’s internet. Truly, even if you feel Firefox is inferior to your preferred browser, you must admit that an internet ruled by profit-driven businesses is not a dream of anyone. What Mozilla does, by working to provide an alternative browser choice, is allow a non-profit organization to have a voice. Without Firefox, the group of people that make up Mozilla would just be yelling at the closed doors of “tech giants”.
I got to work on some amazing technology, and with superb humans. The concept of Persona is exactly the kind of thing that Mozilla’s voice can push for: a way to fix passwords, while curbing identity providers from tracking your every action. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get enough adoption before we realized that Firefox needed more help. Firefox was hurting, and without Firefox, well, our voice doesn’t mean much. I dream that we can attack that problem again someday.
Taking our Identity team off Persona, we boosted Firefox Sync from a nerd toy into something that all Firefox users could benefit from. This actually quite important, something that can often times be forgotten even inside the organization. With Sync benefiting from Firefox Accounts, users gain a whole lot more value from installing Firefox on multiple devices. Firefox’s Awesomebar is still far better at finding things than Chrome does, and in my own experience, it’s only gotten better since it can remember links I open on my phone or tablet.
The superb humans really are superb. Yes, they’re intelligent. But that’s the boring part. Many people are. They stand out, instead, because of their empathy, their optimism, their voice, their loyalty. My team members are loyal to each other, because each of us is loyal to the mission: a free, open internet where the user is in command. We all wanted each other to succeed, because that always meant wins for you, the user.
And yet, it’s time for me start the next step in my journey. I still wish Mozilla the very best. You should definitely be using Firefox. And I hope I’ll bump into my friends plenty of times more in the future.
Starting Monday, I’ll be working for Buoyant.
Buoyant is working on tools that help big websites scale. One such tool is linkerd, described as a service mesh. This tool is to help websites that are receiving godzillions of requests, and so needs to be fast and use little memory. Also, it’s 2017, and so releasing a new tool that has CVEs about memory unsafety every couple months isn’t really acceptable, when we have alternatives. So, Rust!
It turns out, we’re a great fit! I’ll be continuing to work on HTTP pieces in Rust. In fact, this means I’ll now be working in Rust full-time, so hopefully pieces should be built faster. I’ll be working in open source still, so hey, perhaps you will still benefit!
This is a really sad day for me, but I’m also super excited for next week!3
I’ve been at Mozilla for over 6 years! It’s like I’m leaving part of my family, part of how I identify myself in the world. Not many places really grip you personally like Mozilla does. ↩︎
I really tried to get into the nodejs community a few years ago, but eventually ran into enough cases of elitism that I gave up. Thankfully, the Rust community is fantastic any way I can measure. ↩︎
Worst. Roller coaster. Ever. ↩︎