Moving on After College

I finished the last paper of my college career half an hour ago, and I’m totally done now. The fact that I’m really graduating and moving on hasn’t hit me until now, and its turning out to be a bit more of an emotional time than I expected. I’ve been at Macalester College for a long time, and it seems to me that I’m nothing like the kid who started here four years ago. Luckily, the change has been an overwhelmingly positive one I think. Macalester is an amazing place, and I’m incredibly grateful that through a combination of choice and coincidence I ended up here.

The huge amount of time and effort that has been devoted to school over the past four years will now be devoted to Mozilla. It’s sort of crazy to think about the fact that the majority of most of my days will be spent working on Firefox, Thunderbird, etc.. I can’t imagine anything else I’d rather do, but simply being so committed to one thing in particular is a little scary. All my life up until now has been an exploration of my options, and to have made a definitive choice by signing a contract with Mozilla Foundation, at least for the next few years probably, is an odd experience. I will only live the next few years of my life once, and commiting such a huge part of them to Mozilla is a dauntingly large decision, easy as it was to make. Its time for me to do less dreaming about the possibilities for the next few years and focus on getting something done. Thank God I will be doing something I believe in so much on so many different levels.

I found out a few days ago that I will need to move to Mountain View, CA, at least for the next few months, to work on Firefox 1.1. I wasn’t planning on making the move so soon, if ever, and honestly it has some very problematic consequences for me. However, I entirely understand the reasons for it, and furthermore, I cannot argue with an opportunity to participate so intimately with what I view as one of the top 3 or so most important things to happen in the world of computing since I started observing it a decade ago. Firefox 1.1 is that important in my opinion, and I look forward to putting everything I’ve got into it.

I’m not going to say much about why Firefox 1.1 is so important because that would make this post way too long, and if you’re reading my blog you probably already have some idea why already. What I do want to do though, is remind everyone how critical yet easy it is to help promote Firefox. Install it on all of your friends and relatives’ computers. Bring it up in conversation. If you’re in college, try to get it installed in your college’s computer labs. Write about it in your blog. Put Firefox buttons on your website. Email a web site admin and ask him or her to support Firefox. Whatever. Part of what is so great about this revolution is how easy it is to participate in meaningful ways as part of a massive and collectively powerful group of people throughout the world. It doesn’t take plane tickets to some march in DC or hours spent writing letters to your congressional representatives to do something that matters. So please try to do something, no matter how small it is. There is a very real possibility that Microsoft will almost single-handedly decide upon the future of the internet as most people know it, and the consequences of that will not be pretty in terms of your privacy, your security, your rights to content and information, your bank account, and most importantly, your ability to communicate effectively in the ways that you see fit.

9 thoughts on “Moving on After College

  1. Josh,
    Congats On Your Firefix Decision!
    I Only Recently Found Out About Firefox (2 Mo Ago)
    And Have Been Glued To Its Ever Changing Nature Ever Since! Extensions..Themes..Security..Peace of Mind!
    Fantastic Packages…FF & TB
    I Especially Love Thunderbird…
    Once Again, Good Luck In Your Decision
    It Can Only Bring FF & TB To New Heights!
    rmm

  2. I dig Firefox, and I do some promoting for it, but I won’t go all out until the Mac version is as good as the Windows version. I mean really, it doesn’t even have favicons in the bookmark bar.

  3. I did pretty much the same thing 3 years ago (3 years and a month in fact!) when I moved from Europe to the Bay Area to work for Netscape.

    Scary yet thrilling!

  4. Congrats, Josh, on finishing!

    I look forward to your hammering away on all the horribly broken things in Gfx:Mac and on the big platform issues, but I hope you get the chance to take at least a short breather in between 🙂

  5. I think lots of people get this feeling when they graduate … you really have to narrow your options. Some of us who can’t cope with narrowing their options just yet go on to graduate school instead :-). But — speaking as someone who also recently took the plunge into full-time Mozilla work, and who probably shares most of your sentiments — I’m sure you won’t regret your decision. Even if it all ends in tears, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you fought the good fight and had a lot of fun along the way.

  6. Hi Josh,

    Yes, you have a good reason to be apprehensive about the step after college. Yes, it is extremely different in the working world. Even internships were just a testing of the water. However, you will learn to enjoy your greater freedom in your life, at least for everything outside your contract 🙂

    While I think it truly sucks that you have to move, I look forward to welcoming you to the bay area.

  7. Josh, you are a very awesome person and I know that everything will work out fine for you! You are a great friend and I’m so happy that you get to work on something that is so important to you. If you stay longer in Mountain View than just the summer, I’ll take a trip out there and say hello. … oh and we need to go to Black Sea before you leave Mpls!

    .holly

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