Finding my Calling

Five or so years ago, I began an incredible journey. My professor at the time, David Humphrey, introduced me to the concept of open source software and the Mozilla Project, and I dove right in. Thanks to my explorations in open source software development (and to David!), I had the good fortune of getting involved in a FOSS research team at the Centre for Development of Open Technology (CDOT). Through this co-op placement, and a one year contract with CDOT after graduation, I helped develop two amazing open source projects: popcorn.js and Popcorn Maker.

Through this work, I got to collaborate with The Mozilla Foundation, a non-profit with a mission to keep the web open. When my time at CDOT was nearing it's end, I reached out to the powers that be at the foundation to see if I could make their mission my career... And they said yes!

Thus began three years of hard work, learning, successes, failures, imposter syndrome and most importantly, making an impact in people's lives. This time involved me doing a considerable amount of client side (early on) and server side (last two years) application development. I enjoyed the latter, didn't care so much for the former (but I have improved my skills in that area!). Despite enjoying my work, I've always felt like I wanted more, but I wasn't sure what it was.

During the last few weeks, my role in the foundation has shifted to Operations Engineer (role name not final). This role shift will have me working with a much wider group of people inside and outside the organization to build, deploy, monitor and maintain our applications, services and networks. I will work to improve our development and deployment tools, and be tasked with sharing the knowledge of these processes and tools with our team and collaborators.

Had I been approached with this position a year ago, I don't think I'd have been ready to say yes, but I'm currently at a point in my life and career where I want to push myself to become a better engineer. From the beginning of my time at Mozilla, I've worked closely with my predecessors in ops, JP Schneider and Jon Buckley. They're both incredibly intelligent and resourceful people, and much of my knowledge was gained through constant IRC pings, impromptu white boarding sessions and coffee break chats. It was through these interactions I've built up a familiarity with our systems here at the foundation, giving me confidence in my ability to serve in this capacity to the highest degree.

I'm excited to continue being a MoFo, to evolve my skills and to share my knowledge, all while helping protect the worlds largest public resource. This is my calling, and it's something I'm extremely humbled and proud to be a part of.

Here's to another five years of learning, challenges, successes, failures, and most importantly, sharing reactions using animated GIFs!