I’ve been in Release Management for 1.8 years now and in that time we’ve grown from one overworked Release Manager to a team of 4 where we can start to split out responsibilities, cover more ground on a particular channel, and also…breathe a bit. With some of the team moving focus over to Firefox OS, we’ve opened up a great opportunity for a Mozillian to help Release Management drive Firefox Desktop & Mobile releases.
We’re looking for someone committed to learning the deepest, darkest secrets of release management who has a few hours a week consistently available to work with us by helping gather early feedback on our Nightly channel (aka mozilla-central or ‘trunk’). This very fabulous volunteer would get mentoring on tools, process, and build up awareness of risk needed for shipping software to 400 million users, starting at the earliest stage in development. On our Nightly/trunk channel there can be over 3000 changes in the 6 week development cycle and you’d be the primary person calling out potentially critical issues so they are less likely to cause pain to the user-facing release channels with larger audiences.
A long time back, in a post about developing community IT positions, mrz recalled a post where I stated that to have successful integration of community volunteers with paid staff in an organization there has to be time dedicated to working with that community member that is included in an employees hours so that the experience can be positive for both parties. It can’t just be “off the side of the desk” for the employee because that creates the risk of burnt out which can lead to communication irregularities with the volunteer and make them feel unneeded. For this community release manager position I will be able to put my time where my mouth is and dedicate hours in my week to actively shape and guide this community Release Manager in order to ensure they get the skills needed while we get the quality improvements in our product.
So here goes with an “official” call for help, come get in on the excitement with us.
- Are familiar and interested in distributed development tools (version control, bug tracker) typically used in an open source project of size (remember when I said 400 million users? Ya, it’s not a small code base)
- Want to learn (or already know) how to identify critical issues in a pool of bugs filed against a code base that branches every 6 weeks
- Have worked in open source, or are extremely enthusiastic about learning how to do things in the open with a very diverse, global community of passionate contributors
- Can demonstrate facility with public communications (do you blog, tweet, have a presence online with an audience?)
- Will be part of the team that drives what goes in to final Firefox releases
- Learn to coordinate across functional teams (security, support, engineering, quality assurance, marketing, localization)
- Have an opportunity to develop tools & work with us to improve existing release processes and build your portfolio/resume
- Mentor and guide your learning in how to ship a massive, open source software project under a brand that’s comparable to major for-profit technology companies (read: we’re competitive but we’re doing it for different end goals)
- Teach you how to triage bugs and work with engineers to uncover issues and develop your intuition and decision making skills when weighing security/stability concerns with what’s best for our users
- On-site time with Mozillians outside of Summits & work weeks – access to engineers, project managers, and other functional teams – get real world experience in how to work cross-functionally
- Invitations to local work weeks where you can learn how to take leadership on ways to improve pre-release quality and stability that improve our Firefox Desktop/Mobile releases
- provide references, t-shirts, and sometimes cupcakes
I’ll be posting this around and looking to chat with people either in person (if you’re in the Bay Area) or over vidyo. The best part is you can be anywhere in the world – we’ll figure out how to work with your schedule to ensure you get the guidance and mentoring you’re looking for.
Look forward to hearing from you! Let’s roll up our sleeves and make Firefox even better for our users!