why facebook?

[I haven't started yet, and what I present here is based on things that are public knowledge, via press or F8 presentations or Facebook's own posts. My impressions are obviously informed by direct conversations, of course.]

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m going to start as an Engineering Director at Facebook some time in November (specific timing is up to the INS). I’m really really excited about it for a number of reasons, even though it means relocating to California. A number of people have asked why I chose to go to Facebook, so I decided to write some of the reasons down.

One reason is that Facebook is probably the most web-influential company in the world on that side of the wire. They’ve consistently invested in the web, from their mobile-client approach, to their APIs, to various tools and whatnot. I have unfinished business with the web myself, and Facebook is a great place for me to continue to have influence over how it evolves.

Another is that the engineering culture at Facebook is simply spectacular. It’s obvious that they’ve invested in it very heavily, from bootcamp and development tools to the testing and deployment model, and it has clearly paid off. It’s going to be a very cool thing to be part of, especially since the world of web-delivered services is so different from the client-side-software one in which I’ve spent the last 6 years.

The third reason is that Facebook’s management team is perhaps the best in all of software right now; Ben Horowitz agrees. (Mozilla operates in such a different way that I wouldn’t really know how to compare, but I’m sure they won’t take offense.) I’m really looking forward to learning a ton working with them (including a very good friend of mine) as well as the other amazing people at FB that I’ve had a chance to meet. In looking around the company while discussing a possible position, I didn’t see anything I didn’t want to work on, or anyone I didn’t want to work with, which was unique in my job-hunting experiences.

And finally, I am by no means an expert on social software and how it can connect people through the web. It’s obvious that personal connections, recommendations, and other shared experiences are going to be central to how the web looks in five, ten, twenty years. I think there’s an enormous opportunity for me to contribute to that, and learn a ton; I think Facebook’s vision of what the web can be is pretty exciting, and will be exciting to help build.

I think Mozilla is a great place, and I would recommend it strongly as a place to work (or a place to volunteer, as I plan to keep doing); it’s unique in the world of software, and changes you forever. I’m thrilled to now go to Facebook, another great place, and see what I can do to change the world again.

such sweet sorrow

One of the hardest decisions I’ve made in my life was the one I made in September to leave my job at Mozilla. And one of the hardest things about that decision was writing the email to my colleagues and friends announcing my decision. Various aspects of timing meant that I announced my resignation during an “all-hands” week — a week-long sync-up for all Mozilla employees — and while it made things much tearier than they might otherwise have been, it was truly wonderful to be able to say goodbye in person to so many of the people I’ve shared the last 6 years with.

This is what I wrote:

People always say that these are terribly hard emails to write, because they are.

When I was 19, I first met Brendan Eich at a conference in NYC. We hit it off (lol nerd-groupie fawning), and it led to me working alongside him at Netscape a year later. The ever-powerful combination of the right time and the right place gave me the opportunity to use my open source experience as part of the founding team for the Mozilla project.

Since that time Mozilla has been a huge part of my life, and a huge part of my career. I’ve decided that it’s time for me to look for another part of my career, and so I’m leaving the Corporation.

I am pretty good at the word thing, but I don’t have any adequate to express how much Mozilla means to me — the project, the people, the changes we’ve made in the world. I love you all, and the things we’ve done together that shouldn’t have been possible.

It’s been wonderful to be surrounded by family here at the all-hands this week. I’m not leaving the family, but I am moving out, so I won’t be around as much as I have been for the past 6 years. Feel free to drop me a line if I can help, or crash on my couch…hmm. You get the idea.

[Some administrivia omitted.] I am leaving with the organization and project in strong, strong hands.

I don’t know what’s next, but you can be sure it will involve the web and trying to make it better. Once that’s in your blood, there’s no getting it out.

Thank you all for many wonderful years; please know that I will always be proud of what we’ve done, and of Mozilla’s incredible, impossible, inevitable successes to come. The vision and courage I’ve seen in this week alone point to a web that won’t know what hit it.

It’s perhaps obvious that I’m tremendously proud of my time at Mozilla, and I feel incredibly fortunate for the opportunities that my work there has provided. Not only did I get to help build great software that changed the web, but I got to do it with brilliant, kind, generous people from all over the world. Looking back at those six years, I wouldn’t want to have to pick out a highlight, so I won’t. I will say that if I had to go back in time, I would definitely do it all over again.

Thanks, Mozilla.