The first day feels like a dream. It feels as if it won’t last. You are quickly snapped into reality when you’re offered your first cup of coffee. This is real. It is actually possible for one place to harness all this amount of passion. You feel it all around you, and you’ve just become one more person with a mission.
Mozilla is everything and nothing like you would expect. At Mozilla Toronto, where I am, the office feels intimate. You would swear this is not a 1000-person company. It feels more like a big family. There is a community space where Mozillians from abroad congregate to hack on their Work Weeks. We also use this space to invite the community and share our passion for an open web. Nooks and crannies are everywhere. Places to focus, relax, talk, share, brainstorm, collaborate exist in every direction you set your gaze on. It’s quite amazing. The first days as part of a big family are always overwhelming. Adrenaline pumps through your veins. You are unaware of the mores set in place. You want to meet everybody, but you’re afraid of interrupting. This is not the case at Mozilla. People come to you. You realize that you are surrounded by one of the most intelligent groups of people around; and they are all one poke away.
I’ve been told in the past that Mozilla is a dev-oriented environment. I’m here to dispel that myth. Design is in everything we do. Human betterment is embedded in every goal we have, and every bug we file. At Mozilla Foundation, where my team resides, we have one goal: bringing web literacy to the world. We work together to bring out the best in our global community.
My first day coincided with our new CEO’s first full day. Chris Beard addressed us all in a broadcast. As I heard him speak, I realized he is an individual that isn’t obsessed about the past, but focused on the future. “We answer to the world,” he said. “We innovate for the betterment of the individual, and for the web.” It dawned on me that Mozilla’s values are more than just words on a mission statement. These values are Mozilla’s way of life. The organization was born out of principles of openness and honesty, cultivated by passionate individuals that whole-heartedly believe in an open web. “We’re a pack independently spirited, fiercely unconventional people that think a little bit different,” Chris said to us. After one week of being at Mozilla, I couldn’t agree more. I believe that the roads Mozilla takes are unique: we always have a human-centred goal in the horizon.
It’s a Friday, and I just finished laughing with people from all over the world during our Virtual Happy Hour. In one week I have met colleagues from New York, Victoria, Ohio, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, Greece, Perth, Berlin, and London. I have contributed to 3 open-source projects. I have been in 4 video meetings, and I am still impressed at how calls are never dropped. I have chatted on 7 IRC channels. I have lost 4/5 ping-pong matches (hey, they are very good here). And, I have received a delightfully overwhelming 16 welcome emails from Mozilla colleagues.
The first week at Mozilla is nothing like a dream. It might take some self-convincing, but you realize that this sort of place really does exist; a place that has goals like improving global web literacy. A place that encourages me to share my designs with the world. A place that strives to set things free. It’s now that I fully realize the power and meaning behind Mozilla’s slogan: doing good is really part of our code.