One month as a Firefox OS Technical Evangelist

Creative Commons: http://j.mp/1bhHNmc

Creative Commons: http://j.mp/1bhHNmc

Time flies; I thought I started at Mozilla last week, but it’s already been one month that I join the amazing evangelists team. I really enjoy what I’m doing as I can’t remember one day that I wasn’t surprised when it was time for lunch or dinner.

After four weeks, I have a better idea of the role, the team, and the company that I had when I wrote my first week post. You would be surprises of the amount of things I learn about all these, but also about myself. Even if it’s been only three years that I switched from a Developer role to an Evangelist one, I have an approach that I didn’t have when I join Microsoft: I think you call this, experience. I always approach my tasks with three concepts in mind: impact, scale, and visibility (thanks to Ryan Storgaard, and Thomas Lewis). I’ll do another post just on this topic as I think it would help others with their job. Specific to my role at Mozilla, and to Mozilla itself, there are many things I realized (it’s inevitable that I’ll compare with my previous role, but by no mean, it’s to lower Microsoft as the role was fantastic):

  • The company is structured, but more laid back: that means less reporting, fewer meetings, less complicated processes… For someone like me, who needs freedom to be successful, and who don’t like meetings, it’s fabulous;
  • As the company is all about being open, I have access to all informations I need to do my job: no surprise, no secret, and all data available. As a Technical Evangelist, you need this to be able to help developers, and give them the right information;
  • Work-life balance is not a concept; it’s part of the job. The more I’m getting old, the more I tend to want time to relax with friends, and family. My job is a passion, but I still have a life outside of it. It’s cleat at Mozilla that we try to avoid getting burned, even during specific crazy time, and I enjoy the respect of my time (not everything is always urgent);
  • Everybody loves Mozilla. It’s probably not true, but it’s still a big difference from my previous role. Even if I was the right guy to go in the trenches (I was responsible to talk to non-Microsoft developers, about Microsoft – not always easy, but a challenge I liked), it’s refreshing to talk to people who like the company you work with;
  • It’s more technical, and I’m like a fish in water. I’m a developer who used his social skills to be an Evangelist, but I always missed coding.  I don’t want to get back to a developer role as I like being an Evangelist so much, but I didn’t have a lot of chances, and time to do this in my previous role. Now, I need to build an application (part of my goals). I also need to do my code demo, and prepare my materials for conferences or workshops, as it’s not the job of another Evangelists team (at Microsoft, mostly everything was done by Corp) or the product team;
  • It’s all about Web, Web, and Web. It’s funny because 12 years ago, I didn’t want to build for the Web: real men were doing standalone applications! Many years before, I changed my mind, and I like web technology so much;
  • There are exciting bonuses for this role. As Mozilla is all about Open Source, my role is about sharing as much information that I can, and publishing my code of places like GitHub. I like to go to conferences (a role without that aspect wouldn’t be a good one for me), and to travel, so since our team covers the world, I’ll have interesting travels outside of Canada really soon: Krakow in Poland, and Brussels in Belgium are coming.

There are probably many more elements I figured out, but those are the ones that really have an impact on the job. It’ll sound cheesy, but after one month, I can say that I really like my job, my team, and the company. The move was not easy, but I don’t regret it as I feel this role has been even more built specifically for me. Let’s do another post after the fateful three months: like in any other jobs I had, I’m in a probation for the first three months, and I used to say that if you reach that time frame, and still happy with what you do, there are a lot of chances that it’s a job for you (the magic of the beginning is kind of done at that point, so it’s all the truth in your face). If you have any questions about my role, Mozilla or Firefox OS, please let me know.

P.S.: The animal in the picture is a red panda, also call Firefox.

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