Thank you, Mozilla

I originally sent this as an all-company email. Below is an edited version.

After 9 fantastic years I’ve decided to move on from Mozilla. Here are some reflections about what makes Mozilla such a special place to work at.

My first commit was a simple right to left localization fix on -- wow, I couldn't believe I was shipping a web app used in 40 languages! It has been an honor to make such a powerful impact in so many people’s lives all over the world. Thanks to Mozilla for inviting me to be a part of their unique and crucial mission. Since then I've had the chance to work on many different projects and technologies, most recently in UI engineering.

Working in the open has been fascinating to me, especially as I—like so many others—arrived at Mozilla having already interacted with my teammates through the open source community. I’ve had the honor to foster, mentor, and team up with some incredible contributors over the years. Thanks to everyone who works hard on maintaining Mozilla’s openness.

At an all-hands one year I met a volunteer localizer who told me Firefox OS (now KaiOS) was the first phone ever to be localized in Kurdish, his native tongue. How incredible is it that Mozilla became home to an entire ethnic group without a homeland? And not because we intended to; we just opened the door.

It’s not fair to talk about the benefits of working in the open without acknowledging the male privilege that allowed me to feel safe there. However, I am optimistic for the future of safe spaces for all — tech is finally at a reckoning about its diversity challenge.

I am extremely proud that Mozilla is a leader in this initiative and am proud to have been an Outreachy mentor. Outreachy is one of the most important initiatives for open source culture. As you know, this work is far from done but we are on the right path. Thanks to everyone at Mozilla who is so passionate about making tech accessible to more people.

At the 2013 all-hands in Belgium I had an odd opportunity to DJ an unofficial after party alongside my good friend Lowdjo. The rumors are true: Mitchell Baker can dance! Thank you for always dancing with us, Mitchell. I’ve seen 3 CEOs come and go but Mitchell's enduring yet evolving vision for Mozilla always inspired me.

When I look back at all the big things Mozilla has done over the last decade I am reminded of something Brendan Eich once presented when I was one of 400 employees: an experimental language called Rust that will prepare Firefox for the future. Wow, what a crazy bet that totally paid off. Rust is the main reason Firefox is currently safer and (in some cases) faster than the competition.

I've had so much fun at Mozilla! Thanks to everyone on my team, past and present, and all the great managers I’ve worked with. We’ve accomplished great things. I love collaborating with others and it’s been a joy to do so even when spread across time zones and cultures. As the only member of my current team living on American soil, I’ve been humbled by so many different perspectives. This is the spirit of Mozilla that I will carry with me to each and every future job. Remote collaboration is not only possible, Mozilla knows how to do it very well.

There is a small, growing company here in Chicago that needs my help to build up their infrastructure and mentor their team. It’s both daunting and exciting (I have, like, opinions, man). I'm eager to write more about this but it deserves its own forthcoming post. UPDATE: I'll be connecting people to jobs.