The Job AMA Thread! - current AMA@ChickieD through 11/16 at 11:30 PM PST



I thought it was more of a fashion accessory, but given what he does, perhaps an instrument as well.

And, if you are wondering, no, he’s not the kind of guy you think, “He could totally pull that off.”


I’m not sure there is anyone who could totally pull that off, except maybe in parodies.


I had a coworker when I was in high school who had to shave half of his hair off because he lost a bet. He was so good looking, he actually pulled it off. This guy is, well, not the kind of guy where you think, him in bubblewrap:

giphy-downsized (25)


Perhaps, but, if “hot in bubblewrap” has become a performance criterion, the performance has already slipped over into parody.


Some people can pull off anything. Also, this image is always appropriate to post.


What’s the deal with Javascript and Fash and why should I be happy they’re going the way of programs on tape cassette?


Flash is dead. As a binary plugin full of security holes that is constantly being patched you should be happy.

JavaScript isn’t going away in the slightest though. Check out WebAsm and BinaryAST.

Beyond that, I don’t understand your question!


That was just putting you at ease for the next one;

Software, and tech in general, has taken on a pretty bad reputation in recent years. Some of this nasty reputation include;

  1. Having a large percentage of MRA scum.
  2. Thinking Ayn Rand and South Park are moral and philosophical guiding lights for some fucking reason.
  3. “Scientific” racism and evopsych woo-peddlers.
  4. Ceaseless Sea Lioning.
  5. Being the online backbone of the self-named “Alt Right” movement.
  6. Uber in general.

And I don’t just mean that manifesto guy from Google.

Do you feel any of this is reputation deserved or is the field being badly tarnished by a very loud and very active minority of assholes?


I’m not sure that tech as a whole has taken embraced that kind of crap. Most of the tech folks that I’ve known well over 20+ years have been relatively progressive. Microsoft, ironically, was probably the most blue place I’d worked until Mozilla.

I do think that there is a significant libertarian male douchebag component in silicon valley specifically but it is unevenly distributed.

I also think a lot of tech folks come from pretty privileged backgrounds, never having seen much hardship, and the industry is overwhelmingly white and male, which, as we’ve seen, becomes self reinforcing. I do think that it is also important to remember that a lot of these people you encounter online are in their 20s and are not even fully human yet.

Short version: problems are real but I also think the media conflates parts of California with the industry as a whole and also loves to fan controversy. That side, my wife is in tech and she has lots of opinions on entitled male bullshit she’s seen, though in more than one career and industry.


Your thoughts on AGILE?


Are you agile, enso?

(Edited to eliminate unintentional creepiness for intentional creepiness)


Is travel a part of the job? It seems like the perfect job for sitting naked in front of the computer at home.


No, my wife and I decided to of to New York City for the week because we hadn’t gone anywhere this year.

I actually work 100% from home these days as my team is in three countries and four time zones. I also have a pretty bad back injury that makes me not like sitting in offices daily.


I’ve actually never used it. Microsoft was traditional waterfall when I was there and Mozilla was when I joined and kind of still is. We have groups that have done it but I’m old and skeptical of it. Waterfall built the industry and put men on the moon!


How would you describe the implications of a security problem in Firefox vs in web application code or other underlying systems like the servers? We hear about sites like equifax being breached, but what happens when the browser itself is hit?


I had a follow along question to my stickied question (about the soft skill that is most important). I do a lot of OSS development in an academic setting. And my skill that I think is most important that isn’t the skill I get paid for is knowing when to walk away for a bit. Part of the reason that works it I have little supervision, and a variety of tasks in a day - escape is easy. How does that work at Mozilla? Do you feel like Mozilla encourages its developers to avoid burnout and practice self-care well?


You run malware or join someone’s botnet. A browser exploit that is bad enough means that a site on the net sends you code that your computer then runs. If it is bad enough, on windows you’ll run it with admin privileges and it will do whatever it wants locally. So, steal your local data on your computer, leave resident software on your computer to monitor your use, leave resident software that talks to command and control software as you become part of a botnet spamming people with email or mining Bitcoin… This is the same as what would happen with Chrome, Edge, or Safari compromises as well. Nothing special in that regard.


Mozilla isn’t any better or worse than anywhere else from what I’ve seen. Paid development staff there do not have practices that are dramatically different than other software shops. The main thing is that all of our code is written in public and available and we encourage community to contribute code, code reviews, etc. as well. Most of the folks are there for the mission outlined in the manifesto so attitudes are different but we use the same practices as everyone else. I’ve seen people get burned out but there wasn’t anything special about how it happened versus other places. Sometimes our problems are slightly different because we do everything in public but that’s about it.

Of course, I’m a manager, not a developer. Before I was a PM and an engineering manager, I was long term security focused QA. I’ve never been a Dev (and am not a great coder).


Recommendations for keeping secure when you have a zillion sites to login to.


1password or a literal notebook of passwords that never leaves your home or pocket. I can’t recommend LastPass anymore. 1password has an extension that interfaces with their software that runs in popular browsers too.

Always always always use a unique password for EVERY site. No reuse. Make sure it is at least 12 (preferably 16 or 20) characters including non-letters, numbers, mixed case.