Andy McKay

Oct 25, 2015

Five years at Mozilla


Today marks five years at Mozilla. On such days people normally write blog posts about the things they've accomplished. I want to take a slightly different tack. Recently I was asked in an interview, by a prospective hire:

"Where will you be in five years time, will you still be at Mozilla?"

It was quite an interesting question for an interviewee to ask, and I had to think about it for moment. My answer was this...

"Honestly, I don't know, maybe. In my career I've changed jobs every two years, this is the longest I've worked anywhere - I normally get bored."

I then listed why I've been at Mozilla five years:

  • A mission: that I can believe in, the Mozilla mission. Sure, it's got rough days when things don't make sense, but overall the idea is a good one and I'd like to help out.

  • Awesome people: everyday I interact with new and great people. Seriously. Just recently I started working with Kev Needham and Dave Camp a lot. What do you know, they've been great. There are very, very few people at Mozilla who haven't been absolutely great... and if they aren't, they don't stick around.

  • Enough freedom: to spend some time going off and doing something I want to do without asking for permission.

  • Interesting problems: a reasonably wide variety of interesting problems that I enjoy solving. Coupled with above, the only thing stopping you fixing something is yourself. To borrow a quote from Facebook: "Nothing at Mozilla is someone else's problem".

  • Career growth: I've moved from being the new developer to taking on more responsibility, to moving into management and then moving up management.

  • Career challenge: I've moved way outside my comfort zone into working on Add-ons and on Firefox itself. A good challenge, something interesting and something new.

  • No dread: I don't dread coming in on Monday like I have on other jobs. I enjoy it, I have optimism about all the great things we can accomplish that week.

From a career point of view, those are pretty good. Will I still be at Mozilla in five years? We'll see, if the next five years are as good as the last five years.