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to 2013 and beyond…

Old content alert!

Thanks very much for visiting my blog. Always happy to have people read my stuff but just thought I should point out this post is years old. If it's about technical stuff there is a possibility that it is no longer relevant, if it's a bug report/fix I'm hoping that it should now have been fixed.

Of course if this is what you're looking for and it does work then great, just don't say I didn't warn you...

If this blog is anything to go by all I ended up doing in 2012 was kill off a website, LOOK for a new member of the Mozilla Foundation WebDev team and rage tweet to near comedic levels. Thankfully that doesn’t paint the entire picture but it’s not like anyone really knows this as instead I decide to talk about my beer consumption and how angry I am at various things; I want 2013 to be better. If I have a couple of goals for this year (not calling it a resolution as I strongly believe they’re made to be broken) it’s to try and focus my communications on the more positive things I’m up to and trying to get back to doing the things that I’m passionate about in webdev – code quality, accessibility, structure and maintainability (a lot of things that unfortunately suffered last year due to my many horrendous deadlines).

To put this in perspective last year’s positive achievements include:

  • launching and then supporting 8 new websites,
  • upgrading ‘Team Ross’ into ‘Team WebDev’ by bringing Andrew Hayward into the Mozilla Foundation,
  • helping in a number of events being run inside and outside of @MozLdn (our lovely office in Leicester Square).

And you thought all I did was drink and swear.

MozFest – an amazing event (with a blimp) that I was largely silent about (original photo by paul_clark)

So how am I going to manage these things?

Work load

Last year I certainly did too much, it got to about November and I was gone, dead on my feet and running on fumes. 8 websites aren’t too much work if they’re equally dispersed through-out the year, but when you get to the point when you’re being asked to launch a number of these sites in the same week (some the same day) that’s something you can’t continue doing for long. One of the initial changes that has been made in 2013 was to remove ‘Team WebDev’ and bring it into the greater Mozilla Foundation engineering team. This means that I’m no longer a team lead and I don’t manage anyone but hopefully should have the positive of meaning that I’ll no longer have to do the majority of my work on my own. We’ve got a fairly big team now in the Foundation and some very clever people are part of it so this sounds like nothing but progress.

sourceThis is Erin Kissane talking to someone at MozFest, probably about a website I made with her and a bunch of other cool people called source.mozillaopennews. I’m glad someone said something about it because I didn’t (original photo by mozillaeu)

External contributions

I look on with envy at the work that the Mozilla community get up to on Firefox, FirefoxOS and our larger website projects. I’m hoping this year that we manage to get webmaker tapping into that community too. We’re already moving our stuff around to make things easier to find and easier to work on (more details coming soon) and we’re hoping to learn from our own popcorn dev team to see how they managed it. This is probably what I’m most looking forward to as I’m also hoping that this kicks off a greater level of process around code-review, code-quality and standards.


As I found last year people aren’t going to be able to contribute and be interested in what I’m doing unless I talk about it. Obviously the blog is a big part of this – and already I’ve hit the 50% mark in equaling my post total from last year but I’m trying to also be picky with the conferences I go to. I’m still at my most comfortable when in a pub with a pint talking about our Mozilla projects so I’m aiming to go to things with a lot of interested, or potentially interested folk with the skills we’re looking for that can help us out, or can show us how to be better.

I’ve got a pretty good schedule of events lined up so far, so if you want to chat about what we’re up to please come and say hello.

And finally…

Let this be my stick in the sand while 2013 is still really getting going. I hope at the end of the year I can say that I’ve met my years work goal of:

“Trying to focus more on quality opposed to just getting shit done – quality of code, experience, accessibility and the ability for potential contributors to pick up and run/contribute to what we’re doing”

If it looks like I’m not getting there please kick me.