How I got involved with Mozilla
This is a response to David Boswell’s post.
Back in 1998, I was already a member of the W3C CSS Working Group (on behalf of EDF, Électricité de France) and Peter Linss, my current co-chair in the same Group, was an employee of Netscape. Peter wanted to hire me at Netscape but it was unsuccessful at that time because of a hire freeze... Two years later, I had left EDF to become the CTO of Amazon France and later Halogen and Netscape employee (and good friend) Pierre Saslawsky pinged me during a CSS WG meeting (was it in May in Sophia or August in Oslo...) and asked me if I was available. I answered positively. Back in Mountain View, he made a referral about me and Netscape's HR called me a few weeks later. Netscape paid me a trip to Mountain View for an interview. But because I said multiple teams looked interesting to me (if I recall correctly: Layout, Editor, Mail and IM), I ended up spending 3 whole days in interviews with all these teams. Layout because I loved it, Editor because I had a lot of experience about that, Mail because I implemented one of the very first MIME-compliant Mail User Agents, and IM because I found it really interesting. Met Vidur, Waldemar, Beppe, Scott, Jst, and many others. My interview with Beth Epperson (aka Beppe) went really well; she was managing the editor team and told me later she left the room telling everyone "I want him, period"
The last day, the CTO Clayton Lewis told me the interviews were positive. He asked me then "Do you want to relocate to the Bay Area or stay in Paris?". I replied "Stay in Paris if possible". He answered "Well, I usually prefer having my teams around me but if we cannot do it, who can do it... So let's do that: six months in Paris in Netscape offices and if working remotely with us does not work, you relocate to MV". I accepted with true joy.
I started working for Netscape the 1st of november 2000, starting with... a CSS WG meeting hosted by Pierre Saslawsky in San Francisco. I will always remember the "Too close to call" messages during election night, spent at Pierre's place. Arrived in MV right after the meeting. Welcomed by Carrie Friedberg to learn a Netscape 6 barbecue party was on its way Got my lizard badge (a pride you can't imagine!), my computer, my cubicle in less than an hour and spent the whole month in building 21, learning a lot, really a lot from Joe Francis, Kin Blas, Akkana Peck, Beth, Michael Judge, Charles Manske and few others. I left building 21 the first day with a load of new mostly black t-shirts, a Netscape 6 jacket and an enormous smile on my face.
I fixed my first bug after a few days only. Something in the Style Engine IIRC. Then lots of bugs in the editor and a few in the Style Engine. Kin Blas vouched for me for CVS write access. And I flew back to Paris at the end of november to work from Netscape offices until 02-aug-2003, after the final 15-jul-2003 layoffs. Formally left the Netscape payroll 02-nov-2003 but launched Disruptive Innovations 13-oct-2003 and we're still here 8 years later, still working full time on Mozilla and Web Standards. Yay !