Christian Heilmann

So what is the job I am going to?

Thursday, October 28th, 2010 at 11:18 am

Luke Skywalker hanging from the Bespin weathervaneOK it is time to end the cruelty of the cliff-hanger.

As mentioned yesterday, today I shall reveal the identity of my new employer. I left clues – videos of people with Dinosaurs and some CSS geekery:


So yes, this is it, to say it with (mock) YQL:

insert into mozilla (employee) values (
select chris from yahoo where color=”red”

From the first of December 2010 onwards my job title will be “Principal Developer Evangelist” at Mozilla. The job contract came from Denmark but as far as I know I don’t have to start eating pork.

My new employer - Mozilla

Principal Developer Evangelist – what will I do?

The job is more or less the same as I have in Yahoo right now, with a few differences:

  • The main topics are the open web and HTML5 - we want to move the amazing Mozilla Developer Centre to become the “Switzerland of HTML5” which means reporting on all the cool HTML5 stuff that happens and showing people how you can apply them cross-browser. Microsoft, Apple and Google all do a great job evangelizing HTML5 but a lot of it is product centric without fallbacks for “the other browsers”. We want to change that.
  • Instead of being the only one doing it the job already comes with two open headcounts to fill to fight the good fight with me.
  • My office shall be my flat – I will finally use it!
  • I will work closely with the Mozilla Drumbeat people to also drive the adoption of open web technologies in schools and universities.

Why Mozilla?

People already asked me why I would go to Mozilla and then vented their frustration about Firefox. Well, when I talked at Fronteers this year I concentrated on the great things about our jobs in my talk and explained that happiness and excitement is the main factor that makes you successful and get up in the morning with a “fuck yes, I want to do something cool” attitude rather than “here’s to my paycheck, I hope my boss is late, too”. Whilst I wasn’t unhappy at Yahoo I felt redundant (as explained yesterday) and Mozilla made me feel incredibly excited:

  • I always was a Mozilla fanboy – heck, I even preferred Netscape and worked with Firebird, Phoenix, even Kmeleon before switching to Firefox as my main browser. More importantly I love the open attitude of Mozilla. Read the Mozilla manifesto and check what I have done in the last years and you see how this meshes completely. This web has to constantly become better and only open discussion and collaborative efforts will make that happen.
  • I went through a few other interviews (no, I won’t mention names) and felt unhappy during the interview. A lot of companies try to make you uncomfortable or intimidate you during an interview. I find this pathetic. The interview in Mozilla was 5 hours of the best brainstorming I had done in a while. We bounced ideas off another and people came into the meeting room in between interviews as they were excited to see me there and asked me for a quick comment on a new idea of theirs. It was pure creativity.
  • People walked around with dogs in the office – you can’t argue that that is not awesome
  • I knew most of the people who interviewed me and had worked with them before – it is a great sign to see people you like and trust ending all up in one spot
  • Sections of the office are called “Ten Forward” and “Holodeck”- c’mon, do tell me you don’t want to work there!
  • Firefox4 is friggin exciting and I am looking forward to working with Paul Rouget in Paris from time to time to build great demos

Settling in

So, I am right now handing over my responsibilities, ordered my hardware from Mozilla and look forward to the Christening of Mozilla – as I am Chris, I work directly for Chris Beard (who is clean shaven) and with Chris Blizzard. I am so looking forward to the confusion that will happen on conference calls because of this name clash. I am excited as heck!

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