I’m excited to announce that for the next couple of months I will be working with Mozilla on Firefox developer desktop efficiency!

Why is this important

Developer velocity = product velocity = company velocity = mission velocity

Mozilla is an engineering company. Its interface to—and impact on—the world is through its primary product, the Firefox web browser. Firefox is of course created, maintained, and improved by Mozilla’s developers (both employees and community members). Thus, when one increases Firefox developer efficiency and velocity the velocity of the Firefox product increases. Because Firefox is Mozilla’s primary product, an increase in Firefox product velocity transitively increases the velocity of the company and the mission overall.

What I will be doing

For the first deliverable I’m going to come up with a comprehensive two year plan for increasing Firefox developer efficiency and velocity by best leveraging existing resources for the highest impact. Think of things like “this tool or workflow should be improved” rather than “we need to hire a team of 40 people to do X”. This work will largely be building on the foundation and vision of Mozilla’s “Engineering Workflow” team in addition to my past professional experience.

The work I am doing will be broken into three phases: definition, analysis, and prototype. This is currently in the definition phase, so I will mostly be gathering information about what Mozilla currently does, what it has tried in the past, and what the rest of the industry is doing.

What I will NOT be doing

Mozilla as a project, product, and company is massive. To prevent scope creep and have targeted impact, the following–while important–are out of scope for the current project:

  • Developer efficiency and velocity related to Mozilla products that are not Firefox.
  • Technical solutions deployed in production.
  • The development velocity and efficiency of outside contributors.
  • Firefox product code abstractions or improvements.

Who am I?

I am passionate about developer tooling, efficiency, engineering team organization, and company culture. I feel like I have been training my whole life to work on this at Mozilla:

  • I have been a Mozillian since the Firefox 1.0 days.
  • I managed Firefox releases and the Mozilla Release management team for a couple years.
  • I created Mozilla Pulse (the infrastructure tool, not the experimental add-on).
  • I managed release and development tools teams at Facebook.
  • I have contributed to Firefox as a community member.
  • I have advised over 40 companies on developer tools, release processes, structuring engineering orgs, and developer efficiency.
  • I enjoy writing code in Rust.

Feedback wanted

I would love to hear any thoughts or opinions on the current state of developing for desktop Firefox, any pain-points or solutions you have, or companies/open source projects that have particularly efficient development processes and tooling.

I’m not sure I have my Mozilla email set up correctly, so until then feel free to cc me on bugs in Bugzilla, Slack or IRC (@LegNeato), ping me on Twitter (@LegNeato), or email my personal email.

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