Moziversary #4

Today is my fourth Moziversary 🎂 I have been working at Mozilla as a full-time employee for 4 years. I blogged two times before: in 2020 and 2021. What happened in 2019? I. Don’t. Know.

I was hired as a Senior Web Developer on addons.mozilla.org (AMO). I am now a Staff Software Engineer in the Firefox WebExtensions team. I officially joined this team in January. Since then, I became a peer of the Add-ons Manager and WebExtensions modules.

Farewell AMO!

As mentioned above, I moved to another team after many years in the AMO team. If I had to summarize my time in this team, I would probably say: “I did my part”.

Earlier this year, I transferred ownership of more than 10 projects that I either created or took over to my former (AMO) colleagues 😬 I was maintaining these projects in addition to the bulk of my work, which has been extremely diverse. As far as I can remember, I…

  • worked on countless user-facing features on AMO, quickly becoming the top committer on addons-frontend (for what it’s worth)
  • contributed many improvements to the AMO backend (Django/Python). For example, I drastically improved the reliability of the Git extraction system that we use for signed add-ons
  • developed a set of anti-malware scanning and code search tools that have been “a game changer to secure the add-ons ecosystem for Firefox”
  • introduced AWS Lambda to our infrastructure for some (micro) services
  • created prototypes, e.g., I wrote a CLI tool leveraging SpiderMonkey to dynamically analyze browser extension behaviors
  • almost integrated Stripe with AMO 🙃
  • shipped entire features spanning many components end-to-end like the AMO Statistics (AMO frontend + backend, BigQuery/ETL with Airflow, and some patches in Firefox)
  • created various dev/QA tools

Last but not least, I started and developed a collaboration with Mozilla’s Data Science team on a Machine Learning (security-oriented) project. This has been one of my best contributions to Mozilla to date.

What did I do over the last 12 months?

I built the “new” AMO blog. I played with Eleventy for the first time and wrote some PHP to tweak the WordPress backend for our needs. I also “hijacked” our addons-frontend project a bit to reuse some logic and components for the “enhanced add-on cards” used on the blog (screenshot below).

The AMO blog with an add-on card for the “OneTab” extension. The “Add to Firefox” button is dynamic like the install buttons on the main AMO website.

Next, I co-specified and implemented a Firefox feature to detect search hijacking at scale. After that, I started to work on some of the new Manifest V3 APIs in Firefox and eventually joined the WebExtensions team full-time.

I also…

This period has been complicated, though. The manager who hired me and helped me grow as an engineer left last year 😭 Some other folks I used to work with are no longer at Mozilla either. That got me thinking about my career and my recent choices. I firmly believe that moving to the WebExtensions team was the right call. Yet, most of the key people who could have helped me grow further are gone. Building trustful relationships takes time and so does having opportunities to demonstrate capabilities.

Sure, I still have plenty of things to learn in my current role but I hardly see what the next milestone will be in my career at the moment. That being said, I love what I am doing at Mozilla and my team is fabulous ❤️

Thank you to everyone in the Add-ons team as well as to all the folks I had the pleasure to work with so far!

Feel free to fork and edit this post if you find a typo, thank you so much! This post is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0) license.

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