Today is my last day as a Mozilla employee, though I will always stay a Mozillian. Mozilla is the premier open source project and touching a small part of it has been both inspiring and humbling. Meeting all the smart and talented people I “knew” from reading Planet still blows my mind.

Leaving is very bittersweet for me. We accomplished so much in 2011 and 2012 looks to have even more on tap. Hunkering down and shipping Firefox 4, going through a transition like the new release process, shipping a mobile product, and questioning years of assumptions while figuring it out as we went along was exhilarating. No one (including many Mozillians) thought we could ship Firefox 5 a quarter after Firefox 4. Well guess what, we did. And then we shipped Firefox 6, 7, 8, and 9–all on time. Sure, there were hiccups. Transitions are hard. We laid the foundation for the future and 2012 is the year we take it to the next level.

During my interview, Mike Beltzner (@beltzner) asked me if I identified as a community member. I told him that I lurked around on Planet and Bugzilla, so not really. He looked me in the eye and told me he viewed lurkers as a valuable part of the community, making me feel like a member of the Mozilla family from day one. If you are a lurker, please take note. Of course, now that I know where I can effectively contribute I don’t intend to stop…so look for me in bugs and participating in email threads about the correct shade of orange for the Firefox button (kidding!).

I want to publicly thank Johnathan Nightingale (@johnath), Senior Director of Firefox Engineering, for his guidance and advice. He has been both an amazing manager and mentor from day one. His analytical ability, managerial prowess, and technical chops have been inspiring and I hope you get a chance to experience them as I have.

Any release management work / questions should be directed towards Alex Keybl (@alexkeybl). Alex joined us this year from Apple (where he drove features for Mac OS X Lion) and has already made a large impact at Mozilla. I’m sorry that I am leaving but I know Firefox releases will go smoothly in his capable hands.

They say you are supposed to end posts like this with a quote for added effect. I think this quote accurately captures my feelings about moving on from Mozilla:

I’m so excited. I’m so excited. I’m so…scared. – Jessie Spano

Keep up the amazing work and thank you for the past couple of years.

Christian Legnitto – soon to be ex-Firefox Release Manager

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