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9 Years

·363 words·2 mins

Today I pause to reflect.

9 years ago last Saturday was my first day at Mozilla as an intern. It was also the first time I set foot in Silicon Valley, the first time I set foot in California, even the first time I set foot on the west coast of North America. It was a day of many emotions: anticipation, excitement, fear, and pride.

Taking big risks is not something that comes easy to me. Deciding to hop on a plane and travel to California not knowing what my future held. Deciding only a few months earlier to take a risk with my career and venture in to open source software. Deciding just two years before to risk leaving a stable career in the Canadian military to earn a software development degree at Seneca College. These are things that took a lot of personal courage, and I suspect much courage for my parents as well.

Mozilla has changed a lot since that early Spring day in 2007 but so have I. Through all the things I’ve experienced. The ups and downs. The re-orgs and pivots. The flamewars. The burnout. The one thing that hasn’t changed is the people of Mozilla — they are my rock.

They provided guidance and mentorship when I needed it most. They helped me learn from my mistakes, celebrate my victories, and saved me from burning out on more than one occasion. In short, I would not be here today without them.

Some of my best personal relationships are those I’ve developed at Mozilla. I hold the highest of respect for these people and while many have moved on I still think of them frequently. I strive to be what they were to me: a mentor in work and a mentor in life.

If you’re reading this and we’ve interacted at all in the past, I write this for you. Every experience we’ve shared, every discussion we’ve had, it changes us. This I believe fundamentally.

When people ask me why I work for Mozilla (and why I’ll continue to for the foreseeable future), the answer is simple: the people. To me they are like family, nothing else matters.