The Curtis Report 2014-09-26

So my last report failed to mention something important. There is a lot I do that is not on this report. This only covers note worthy items outside of run the business (RTB) activities. I do a good deal of bug handing, input, triage and routing to get things to the right people, remove bad/invalid or mis tagged items. Answer emails on projects and other items etc. Just general workstuff. Last week had lots of vendor stuff (as noted below) and while kind of RTB it’s usually not this heavy and we had 2 rush ones so I felt they worthy of note.

What I did this week

  • kit herder community stuff
  • [vendor redacted] communications
  • [vendor redacted] review followup
  • [vendor 2 redacted] rush review started
  • Tribe pre-planning for next month
  • [vender redacted] follow ups
  • triage security bugs
  • DerbyCon prep / registration
  • bitcoin vendor prep work
  • SeaSponge mentoring

Meetings Attended

Mon

  • impromptu [vendor redacted] review discussion
  • status meeting for [vendor redacted] security testing
  • Monday meeting

Tue

  • cloud services team (sort of)

Wed

  • impromptu [vendor redacted] standup
  • MWoS SeaSponge Weekly team meeting
  • Cloud Services Show & Tell
  • Mozillians Town Hall – Brand Initiatives (Mozilla + Firefox)
  • Web Bug Triage

Thu

  • security open mic

Fri-Sun

Non Work

  • deal with deer damage to car
Posted in Mozilla, Uncategorized

The Curtisk report: 2014-09-21

People wanna know what I do, so I am going to give this a shot, so each Monday I will make a post about the stuff I did in the previous week.

Idea shamlessly stolen from Eric Shepherd

What I did this week

  • MWoS: SeaSponge Project Proposal (Review)
  • Crusty Bugs data digging
  • Mozillians.org security review (move along)
  • Firefox OS Sec discussion
  • sec triage process massaging
  • Firefox OS Security coordination
  • Vendor site review
    • testing plan for vendor site testing
    • testing coordination with team and vendor
  • CBT Training survey
  • security scan of [redacted]

Meetings attended this week

Mon

  • Weekly Project Meeting
  • Web Bounty Triage

Tue

  • SecAutomation
  • Cloud Services Security Team

Wed

  • MWoS team Project meeting
  • Vendor testing call
  • Web Bug Triage

Thu

  • Security Open Mic
  • Grow Mozilla / Community Building
  • Computer Science Teachers Association (guest speaker)
Posted in Misc, Mozilla, Uncategorized

No Free Lunch

Over the last week or so there has been considerable discussion of the proposed plan to include some advertising in the first-run experience of Firefox for new users (Directory Tiles).  There is still considerable work and ideas to complete by others and in myself as a Program Manager for Security and Privacy.

We’ve accepted advertising in communication media for some time now. Both traditional radio and television are supported by advertising which we readily accept in exchange for content. This of course has been a passive model as without work said advertiser cannot gauge the audience.  This advertising for content model has largely extended to the web with some obvious modifications. The use of various technologies on the web has allowed advertisers to gain far more knowledge and to target advertising to a deemed a willing or desired audience. This tracking and data aggregation is also what gives most users concern over Internet advertising. We don’t really want advertisers knowing things about us that does not have an obvious benefit to us. I believe it’s safe to say that we accept advertising for content within certain confines. I also can’t imagine how much worse the Internet would be if everything  were behind a pay wall. The open, shared, connected, and hackable Internet would be far worse and much less usable. So, the fact is advertising pays for the Internet, or at the least a large part of it. Yes we can use add-ons and scripts to hide ads, and as users that is our choice. If everyone did that all the time I think we could agree the Internet that would result would be far worse for all. As an example see the message that shows up to visitors of Reddit when add blocking extensions are used (or at least used to). There is a trade-off here t0 be made and this is where I think Mozilla has a lot to offer.

Mozilla has what I would call an excellent track record of introducing disruptive technologies for the betterment of humanity. We started with the browser in a time when there was only one browser, a lot of people have forgotten that time. We’ve successfully proven that an open source, community driven project can change the web. We’ve  shown that the web authentication model can be done in a privacy protecting way, hence Persona. I’m quite surprised that people don’t think that we can improve Internet advertising in a way that benefits both parties, both parties being advertisers and users. We’re opening our eyes with add-ons like Lightbeam so users can make informed choices about what they want to share and with whom. There should be a motivation for both myself and the advertiser that is open and available for the sharing of information that leads to mutual benefit.  This is part of building the Internet that the world needs. One where privacy is at the forefront in all things.

Posted in Mozilla

25 Years an Eagle

Reflective Moment:

I was invited to attend the Eagle Scout Court of Honor for a fine young man I’ve had the please of service with on NYLT for 2 years a few weeks past. As part of the ceremony he had his Grandfather, also and Eagle Scout, read the Eagle Scout Charge. What struck me at this particular time where not the words, though they normally do and help to remind me of the expectations when others learn I am an Eagle, but the announcement that the man reading them had been an Eagle Scout for 80 years.

After listening to the charge and reflecting on it’s meaning for me I did some quick math in my head. I achieved the rank of  Eagle Scout in 1989, and thus in 2014 I will have been an Eagle for 25 years.  It’s hard to fathom what my 16 year old mind thought of what the path had ahead for me. At the time I thought I had a career as a military officer, but that path was obviously abandoned.  The skills I gained, however, have remained and been of great benefit as I’ve grown.

The ideas of service and leadership  have carried me forward and  I continue to work on and try to improve. I find that I am most happy when I am helping others, whether that be with my talents or my time. The joy I find in seeing others benefit from those gifts means very much to me and I think it’s what drives me more than anything. Leadership has been the harder item, I’ve often struggled with what makes a good leader and with the skills to make myself an effective one. I find I have to remind myself that leadership and being a leader is not so much a title but action. It’s not an end point but a journey of learning that means stumbling from time to time.

I am grateful for every lesson, every person who’s encouraged me, for every piece of feedback; especially those that were hard to hear. I shall endeavor to continue to improve and make the next 25 years of service and leadership both a lesson for myself and an example for others. To all of you on the path with me, be it a short walk or for the long haul, a hearty thank you.

“We each leave a legacy, purposefully or not, from all that we do.” – me

Posted in Uncategorized

Your Career is a Bonsai

The only person that will manage and grow your career is you. Maintaining and regularly cultivating the documents (resumes, cover letters, etc) is like a  bonsai tree. Spending a bunch of time working on these when you suddenly need them is a great way to lose valuable time and it may cost you an opportunity that you really want. Doing regular small items (trimming) keeps the tree growing and looking good. It’s also a good way to reflect on where you’ve been, what has been achieved and the destination of your hard work.

I have taken on the habit of regularly updating my LinkedIn profile / resume at least 1 time per year. It is much easier to maintain this stuff when it’s fresh in my mind and take it as a small task when information is easy to gather. I’ve found that having to go back more than a year to remember accomplishments as well as changes in role or responsibility, when my title may not change, are much harder to get correct. I can also ask people to give comments and recommendations while things are fresh for them as well.

This year was a bit of a unique experience as it apparently freaked a few people out when I asked for recommendations of my work. I had put in my request that I was not actively looking for new work and this was part of my regular process, as I had several people, including my current manager, ask what was going on. I guess some did not read that part after the form letter bits from LinkedIn. So a possible modification to the process is to give people are more personalize heads up.

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Posted in General, Mozilla

2 Years At Mozilla

Exactly 2 years ago today I started work with Mozilla, and it’s been the best two years of my working life! I’ve been thinking for some time when I might say today, in fact have been agonizing over it a little bit. So many other Mozillians have made beautifully eloquent posts about their experience. Working at Mozilla has meant a great deal to me and it’s really changed the way I think about myself, my coworkers and my life in general. So many people have helped me and encouraged to me and I don’t have the words to thank them all.

When I started working at Mozilla it was a bit of a culture shock. I had just spent four years working for healthcare company coming from that to the open-source world of Mozilla took some getting used to. I initially described it as moving from a closed Stalinist country to classical Athens. Mozilla’s openness really does pervade everything our community is at the core of what we do. The entire concept has been a joy to work on and in the next year I hope to extend it further with a bunch of stuff that we’re working on to reengage security contributors.

A special thanks to all the members of the Security Assurance and Security Engineering teams. Everyone has been supportive, helpful and patient with me; as well as teaching me a great deal and giving me a place to grow. I know the future holds many challenges and achievements for us, I can’t wait to get to work on them. Being a part of this community is more than a job, its a purpose that matters!

Posted in Mozilla, Random

The Essence of Leadership (a response)

Pascal Finette did An interesting blog the other day on “The Essence of Leadership”. It got me thinking about the subject and what I think is the core of the matter:

  1. Lead themselves first, they accept responsibility for their own growth and progress.
  2. Understand that learning is a process for life.
  3. Connections matter, and that genuine communication empowers everyone when it shows respect for other people and viewpoints.
  4. Legacy matters, how we act today sets the stage for the future.
  5. Empowering others is a prime directive for success

To some degree this is about the difference between management and leadership, that’s better left for another post.

Posted in Leadership, Mozilla
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