Whistler Work Week 2015

Last week was Mozilla’s first work week of 2015 in Whistler, BC. It was my first visit to Whistler having joined Mozilla shortly after their last summit there in 2010, and it was everything I needed it to be. Despite currently feeling jetlagged, I have been recharged and I have renewed enthusiasm for the mission and I’m even more than a little excited about Firefox OS again! I’d like to share a few of my highlights from last week…

  • S’mores – The dinner on Wednesday evening was followed by a street party, where I had my first S’more. It was awesome!
  • Firefox OS – Refreshing honesty over past mistakes and a coherant vision for the future has actually made me enthusiastic about this project again. I’m no longer working directly on Firefox OS, but I’ve signed up for the dogfoxfooding program and I’m excited about making a difference again.
  • LEGO – I got to build a LEGO duck, and we heard from David Robertson about the lessons LEGO learned from near bankruptcy.
  • Milkshake – A Firefox Q&A was made infinitely better by taking a spontaneous walk to Cow’s for milkshakes and ice cream with my new team!
  • Running – I got to run with #running friends old and new on Tuesday morning around Lost Lake. Then on Thursday morning I headed back and took on the trails with Matt. These were my first runs since my marathon, and running through the beautiful scenary was exactly what I needed to get me back into it.
  • Istanbul – After dinner on Tuesday night, Stephen and I sat down with Bob to play the board game Istanbul.
  • Hacking – It’s always hard to get actual code written during these team events, but I’m pleased to say we thought through some challenging problems, and actually even managed to land some code.
  • Hike – On Friday morning I joined Justin and Matt on a short hike up Whistler mountain. We didn’t have long before breakfast, but it was great to spend more time with these guys.
  • Whistler Mountain – The final party was at the top of Whistler Mountain, which was just breathtaking. I can’t possibly do the experience justice – so I’m not even going to try.

Thank you Whistler for putting up with a thousand Mozillians, and thank you Mozilla for organising such a perfect week. We’re going to keep rocking the free web!

Rock ‘n’ Roll Liverpool Marathon 2015

On Sunday I completed my first ever marathon, and I did it in under 4 hours! It’s only just sinking in what an achievement that is! When I signed up for it last year I predicted a finish time of under 5 hours, but after following a sub 4 training program I started feeling that I could actually do it.

I don’t have any other marathon experience to compare it to, but it was an incredible event. I’d like to thank everybody that helped to organise or came out to support the runners – even those saying we were nearly there before we hit the halfway point, or saying we were halfway at the 18 mile marker! There were times the support really helped – In particular those last 4 windy miles along the river. A special thanks go to my family and friends that cheered me at the start, at the 10 mile marker, and at the end. Also, thanks to my family for putting up with all those long runs during my training.

Inevitably I’ve already been asked about my next marathon, but I’m going to allow myself to recover before I give it too much thought. I have already entered the ballot for next year’s London marathon though, so who knows…

Joining Web QA

Dylan with origami foxI’m excited to announce that as of last week I am officially on Mozilla’s Web QA team! Despite working closely with the team since I started at Mozilla over four years ago, I’ve always reported to another team. Originally I had a hybrid role, where I reported to the Director of QA and assisted with automation of both Web and Desktop products. Later, we formed the QA Automation Services team, which existed to provide automation services to any QA team. This was mostly absorbed into the A-Team, which shares a lot of the same goals but is not just focused on QA. During my time with the A-Team a lot of my work started to shift towards Firefox OS, so it made sense during a organisational shift towards vertical stacks for me to officially join the Firefox OS automation team.

Many times since I started at Mozilla I’ve felt that I had more to offer the Web QA team, and I’ve always been a keen contributor to the team. I can’t say it was an easy decision to move away from Firefox OS, as it’s a terrifically exciting project, but the thought of joining Web QA just had me bursting with enthusiasm! In a time where there’s been a number of departures, I’m pleased to say that I feel like I’m coming home. Look out web – you’re about to get even more automated!

Last week Stephen Donner interviewed me on being a Mozilla Web QA contributor. You can read the blog post over on the Web QA blog.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Stephen Donner, Matt Evans, Clint Talbert, Jonathan Griffin, and James Lal for their support and leadership. I’ve made so many great friendships at Mozilla, and with our Whistler work week just around the corner I’m so looking forward to catching up with many of them in person!