Tag Archives: JavaScript

The High Cost of a Bad Hire at Mozilla

Questionable HR comes with a high cost

Should the personal beliefs of a CEO don one issue determine if they are qualified to run a company or not.  Based on the recent series of events at Mozilla, the answer seems to be a resounding yes.

Brendan Eich speaking on "browser wars: d...

 HR problems took down the entire management structure at Mozilla in the last 30 days.

I missed a lot of the first furor over the Brendan Eich situation at Mozilla.

According to CNET:


Eich had built a strong following as co-founder of Mozilla, a savvy fighter for the Web, inventor of JavaScript, and leader of the Firefox and Firefox OS projects. His promotion to Mozilla chief executive officer from chief technology officer last week was a rare techie triumph over the usual business-school demographic.

Much of that credit evaporated as he struggled to reconcile his 2008 contribution of $1,000 to Proposition 8, a California measure against gay marriage, with Mozilla’s explicit culture of inclusiveness. That inclusiveness is central to the world-spanning organization’s breadth, and Eich told CNET in an interview that it protected his own views, too.

But his argument didn’t persuade critics, and Mozilla management — accustomed to taking the moral high ground — had to defend itself from boycotts and outrage.

Eich tried to lay these concerns to rest, addressing them in a blog post on his personal site in which he sets forth his views and commitment on Inclusiveness at Mozilla.

 ….I ask for your ongoing help to make Mozilla a place of equality and welcome for all. Here are my commitments, and here’s what you can expect:

  • Active commitment to equality in everything we do, from employment to events to community-building.
  • Working with LGBT communities and allies, to listen and learn what does and doesn’t make Mozilla supportive and welcoming.
  • My ongoing commitment to our Community Participation Guidelines, our inclusive health benefits, our anti-discrimination policies, and the spirit that underlies all of these.
  • My personal commitment to work on new initiatives to reach out to those who feel excluded or who have been marginalized in ways that makes their contributing to Mozilla and to open source difficult. More on this last item below.

Despite these efforts, the Mozilla CEO ultimately decided to resign due to the on-going controversy concerning his contribution to a group supporting California’s anti-gay Proposition 8.  This followed the resignations of three Mozilla board members who had previously stepped down over Eich’s appointment.  That’s a significant amount of fallout for any organization, but especially significant for a business like Mozilla, a non-profit competing against huge competitors like Microsoft and Google.

HR problems brought down the Board and the CEO.  Organizational values, succession planning, background checks, talent selection, fit to hire and even something as basic as a background check all played a part in this drama.

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, the three departing directors resigned over the Eich hiring , believing that the company needed to hire someone with different qualifications, specifically someone more experienced in mobile. It’s likely that Mozilla’s approach in selecting the next CEO will look significantly different.


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This is not a monkey job…I love finding sexy job ad text

Image representing Expensify as depicted in Cr...
Image via CrunchBase

Expensify is looking for some good people

This is a job posting from Expensify.  I found it by clicking on a banner ad off of some page I was reading from I forget where. 

The banner caught my eye with some language like “want to work at a cool start-up?”   

My immediate mental answer was “Duh! who doesn’t want to work for a cool startup?”, even though a lot of people I know really wouldn’t want to.  I clicked through and found this sexy job ad description:  (My favorite parts are highlighted in purple or whatever color this is!)

Who We Need: Engineers, Entrepreneurs, Skill-set Contortionists

We’re not looking to stick cogs in a big machine, we need people who can do pretty much everything and immediately learn how to do the rest. Before even thinking about the skills, we’re looking for you to be:

  • An incredibly hard worker, even when it’s not so fun.There is a ton of work to do, and a lot of it downright sucks. After all – we do the sucky work so our customers won’t need to. We need you to buck up and grind through random tasks, server logs, user emails, source code, and bug reports, without complaint or supervision, and come back asking for more.

  • A cool person to be with. Not a crazy party animal, just someone we can trust, rely upon, hang out with, bounce ideas off of, and generally interact with in a positive way, both personally and professionally. In fact, this is one of the most stringent requirements we have: would you be fun to hang out with day and night on some remote, exotic beach? This isn’t a rhetorical question, either: every year we take the company overseas for a month (on your own dime, sorry) and work incredibly hard while having a ton of fun. We’ve done Thailand, Mexico, India, Turkey, and the Philippines. Where do you want to go next?
  • Super talented, in a general way. We’re going to throw a ton of work at you of every possible sort, and you need that magic skill of being able to figure it out even if you have no idea where to start. Everyone helps with tech support, schmoozing at swank parties, hosting events, coming up with new and ever-more-ridiculous marketing stunts, etc. And if you code, you’ll code everything: you might do mobile one day, front-end design, back-end optimization, low-level debugging, the works. This is not a monkey job – you’re going to be a full participant in the process, and you need to bring your own unique blend of skills to the table.
  • Even more talented in a programming way. You can instantly visualize solutions to problems big and small. Your code is always clean, well commented, has good nomenclature and indentation. You can switch on a dime between C++, PHP, Bash, Cron, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, Dwoo, SQL — not because you know them all, but because you’re the sort of person who can just pick it up and figure it out. If you’re this sort of person, you’ll know what we mean. If not, then this position isn’t for you.

Basically, we’re looking for people who want to do amazing things with their careers, and who are searching for a way to get started or take the next incredible step. Does this sound like you? If so, read on…

This is the How to apply page for Expensify:

How To Apply

Applying is easy, but it takes time. See, while we know you’re awesome, it’s actually really hard and time consuming to find you in the midst of literally hundreds of other applications we get from everyone else. So this is where we’re going to ask our first favor: can you make it really easy and obvious how great you are, so we don’t accidentally overlook you? There are probably many ways to do that. But the easiest way is to help us out by answering the following questions:

Note: Be verbose! There are no time or word limits; tell us your story in as much detail as you can. Provide links, photos, videos — whatever you’ve got. Before sending, ask yourself: “Knowing nothing else but what’s said here, would I hire this guy/gal?” If not, rewrite it. This is your time to shine; make the most of it!

  1. What’s the URL of your website? If you don’t have one, why not?
  2. What’s your coding history? When did you start, and what have you done between then and now?
  3. What do you want to do with the rest of your life, and how is Expensify a step toward your long-term goals?
  4. Please forward this application to three people you think we should hire, cc’ing jobs@expensify.com. (Don’t worry, we’re eager to hire you and them. Indeed, good people have good friends: solid referrals here increase the odds we’ll hire you.)
  5. How did you hear about us? A job posting? Chalk on a sidewalk? From a friend? Let us know where you saw this opening.

That’s it. Email answers to the above to jobs@expensify.com. If you make an honest attempt to answer all the questions, we’ll make an honest attempt to reply in a timely fashion. We can’t wait to hear from you soon!

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