After 8 incredible years at Mozilla, the time has come for me to discover new ideas, meet new people, and explore more of what’s out there. There’s no other organization or community quite like Mozilla, and I feel honored and lucky to have called it home for so long. I can’t overstate how much Mozillians have taught and shaped me personally and professionally, and I’m so grateful for our time together.
I’m ready for something new and ambitious, and will be spending some extended time building, learning, and reflecting. In other words, I’m taking a sabbatical to focus on:
- Building cool stuff. It’s been too long since I’ve spent time building and shipping a personal project, and I’ve got some new ideas I’m itching to play with. I’m excited to stretch some creative muscles and see where they take me.
- Learning new skills. In recent years, my passion for travel has led to a strong interest in learning new languages and becoming a better photographer. I’m looking forward to spending time learning Spanish, photography, and other skills — maybe I’ll even become a Wilderness First Responder!
- Reflection. Tomorrow I turn 27. It’s a good time to stop and think about the bigger picture – what matters to me, what I truly enjoy doing, and plans for the future.
I’m pretty darn excited.
I’m happy to share that I’ve recently changed roles at Mozilla, joining the Labs team to help some of the cool experimental projects there reach their potential. Since its first experiment in 2006 with the Chromatabs extension for Firefox, so many great ideas have come out of Labs over the years, and I’m excited to be a part of the next generation of them.
When I first began contributing to Mozilla as a volunteer add-on reviewer, I had no idea I was joining a community I’d call home for so long. Working on AMO and the Firefox Add-ons ecosystem the past 6.5 years has been an amazing experience that I’ll never forget. Leading the add-ons team/product the past couple years and helping lay the foundation of the Firefox Marketplace more recently has been a unique experience in which I’ve met many great people, learned a ton, and had lots of fun.
I’m looking forward to what’s sure to be a very exciting year for Mozilla and the web.
Having lived in Louisiana my whole life, I never got a chance to see real snow until this summer at the Firefox Summit in Canada. That’s why it was so unexpected for my routine 6-7 hour trip from Baton Rouge to San Jose to turn into a 20 hour ordeal because of snow delays in Houston.
I can’t bear to type out all of the details, but I was supposed to arrive in San Jose at 8:12pm on Wednesday and instead arrived in San Francisco at 6:30am on Thursday, after which I immediately had to attend Add-on-Con without sleeping.
A breakdown of the trip:
- Hours waiting in airport: 6.5
- Hours waiting in airplane on ground: 6.5
- Hours actually flying: 4.75
- Hours of sleep on the plane: 2
And to top it off, the same snow that made my trip miserable on Wednesday brought fun and joy to everyone back home in Baton Rouge.
I’ll be in Mountain View next week to attend Add-on-Con, a conference all about add-ons with Mozilla, Microsoft, Google, and of course add-on developers. It will be a great chance to talk with developers firsthand and take in some interesting sessions.
From Mozilla, Mark Finkle will be giving a presentation on leveraging third party APIs to create mashups with add-ons. Having Mark in attendance is great for both myself and add-on developers: I get to send all technical questions to Mark, and add-on developers don’t get incorrect technical answers from me! It’s a win-win.
Mike Shaver will be taking part in a panel on the future of the web browser, along with representatives from Microsoft and Google to wrap up the sessions. As former Director of Ecosystem Development (loosely translated: “add-ons”), Mike has a long history of working with add-on developers and improving extension support in Firefox. Plus, he’s kinda funny.
On the business track, Brian King will be exploring the state of the Mozilla Add-ons universe. You can read more details in Rey Bango’s post on the Add-ons blog.
Additionally, Mozilla will be hosting an add-ons open house the night before, so if you’re interested, you can find the details on the wiki. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend the open house as my flight gets in later.
I’m also very happy to announce that I’ve accepted a full-time position with Mozilla after graduation in a few weeks, and will be moving to the San Francisco Bay Area very soon. It’s been a great 2-3 years being immersed in add-ons at Mozilla and I’m very excited for what’s coming in 2009.
As you may (not) know, I live in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, home to swamps, pet alligators, Mardi Gras, cannibalization, Britney Spears, oil companies, and the rest of the world’s evil. And last week, the temporary home of a horrible guest, Hurricane Gustav. The media pretty much stopped reporting on it as soon as it hit (admittedly, there are more important things, like Sarah Palin), but half of Louisiana had no power for days. Baton Rouge was devastated and other areas of the state won’t get power for 4-6 weeks.
If you’ve ever been to Louisiana during the summer (or anytime, really), you know that it is extremely hot and humid and that when the power and air conditioning goes out, older people and others have a lot of trouble breathing. Fortunately I’m not one of them, and I got my power back 2 days ago, 8 days after the storm. Most traffic lights in town are still out and traffic is a nightmare, although the parish curfew ended this morning.
After a few days of being without power and getting very behind in work projects, I headed to Mountain View for a few days to be productive. Things are slowly getting back to normal. Classes started again on Monday because we can’t miss anymore — we’re already having to go on a few Saturdays to make up last week.
I gave a presentation on Web Analytics this morning. When I told the class that I’d be talking about Web Analytics, before I even mentioned Mozilla, someone immediately raised their hand and asked if I know the “analytics pioneer” Ken Kovash. I lied and said no, because frankly I’m tired of everyone asking me to get his autograph, strands of hair, chewing gum, etc. for them. You’ll have to wait in line like everyone else.