I’ve been at Mozilla for 5.558 years (or 2001 days but who keeps count?).
Over that time I’ve seen my role within Mozilla change from a network engineer on a team of three to helping orchestrate a team of 38. While my role and job title has surely changed, I don’t think my job actually has. In fact, I can sum up my entire job description with the following:
To empower the Community to promote the Mozilla Mission.
So great, that’s my job, summed up in one line. What does that actually mean? How do I go about doing that? And what is the Community?
First, the easy one. In the Mozilla world, people are everything*. The Mozilla Community is you. It’s me. It’s everyone who contributes to the Mozilla project, whether paid staff or volunteer contributors. Es todo el mundo.
Second, I’m going to back up a bit. Anyone who knows me knows I’ve been spending time with Engagement and talking more and more about Community, so much so that I’ve started using it as a proper noun. How did I get there?
Back in late Spring, I took a now pivotal trip to Buenos Aires. People close to me are probably tired of hearing me say it, but I came back from that trip with an affinity for gelato and espresso. And Community.
Then I took a trip to Paris (and yes, lost my passport). I spent a little time there learning more about the Mozilla Community.
Then it hit me. I’m IT, an Ops guy. I am also Engagement. We all are.
A couple weeks ago Mozilla had nearly all 600 employess onsite for a company All Hands. One particular keynote hit me and focused a lot of my thoughts and feelings into a singular point. I took notes. A lot of notes.
- We will never have enough employees to compete
- We need to create on ramps to create & participate
- You do not need to be an employee to participate
- Make others stronger, build better aspects of Mozilla
- Be fierce. No one will build into the Internet the kinds of things we want to build
In less than 60 minutes, I saw 2012 as a chance to pivot IT and came up with this simple idea to guide 2012:
How does IT put Community first?
So back to that question, how do I “empower the Mozilla Community”?
There’s the obvious and then the three things that will define 2012 for me.
- I orchestrate a group of nearly 40 folks who manage Mozilla’s IT Infrastructure and Operations. These are the folks who are largely behind the scenes running all the computers that support all the websites.
- Community IT. My collective teams manage an dizzying array of technology. We support a company that was nearly 40 strong when I started and is nearly 600 today. We have all these tools at our disposal. Do you know about them? How do I make these same set of tools available for you to use? Teach me what other tools you need. Help me help you leverage the resources and skills we have to empower the Community and push Mozilla’s mission forward.
- Community Sysadmins. IT is generally closed. Mozilla is not. There’s a incredible disconnect there. How do we leverage the expertise of the Community in running some of the busiest websites in the world?
- Air Mozilla. How do we reinvigorate Air Mozilla such that it becomes a focal point for the Mozilla Community? A place to show case open source video and technologies? A place for the Mozilla Community share content?
Over the next several weeks you’ll see a couple more blog posts talking more about those and how you can get involved. I’m going need your help, afterall.
My own personal goals by the end of 2012 are:
- to have 5-10 volunteer Community Sysadmins actively helping run Mozilla’s network and servers.
- to have a vibrant Community IT group…
- to have a premiere source for open source video technology, a site where the Mozilla Community can find, share and create video content
And, quite frankly, I’ll be even more excited if those are thriving on their own, independent of me.
This feels like the most ambitious set of projects I’ve ever tried to start. We might stumble, we might fall. I suspect, however, we’ll succeed because of the strength of Mozilla’s Community.
To be crystal clear, and to quote Mitchell, I am utterly committed.
ps. For those Excel folks, ROUND(YEARFRAC(DATEVALUE("3/15/2006"),TODAY()),3) & DAYS360(DATEVALUE("3/15/2006"),TODAY())