Eyes Above The Waves

Robert O'Callahan. Christian. Repatriate Kiwi. Hacker.

Wednesday 15 May 2013


Last week I was in California. It was my first time in the Mozilla SF office --- lovely view of the Bay from the roof. I always enjoy the free snacks and I'm always glad we don't have them in Auckland. I spent quality time with some of the people I know and love at Mozilla, and that's always exciting.

On Wednesday and Thursday I was at Half Moon Bay doing LEAD training. It was fun, but thinking about "soft skills" for two days straight is quite draining for me; my social skills are learned, not innate.

This cohort is different from previous cohorts --- most members are relatively new to Mozilla; of our cohort, Vlad and I have been at Mozilla the longest, by far. This gives me the honor and duty of representing the Mozilla old guard. I feel the power of the narrative that has me in the "crusty old engineer, harping about the old days and resisting change" role ... and I do my best to reject it :-).

One of the results of LEAD so far is that I perceive my relationships with other Mozilla staff to be warmer and stronger than they perceive them, on average. I suspect this may be related to the difficulty of maintaining deep relationships with remote employees I see a few times a year at best. I'm still trying to figure that out.

Plane movies:

  • Gangster Squad: Genre flick. OK.
  • Zero Dark Thirty: Pretty good. Not exactly entertaining, but interesting.
  • Live And Let Die: Some kind of cross between a Bond movie, a blaxploitation flick, and the Dukes Of Hazzard. Odd.
  • The Town: Genre flick. Slightly better than average.
  • I, Anna: Sort of noir-ish psychological thriller. OK.
  • Les Miserable: The movie of the musical. Pretty good. I need to read the book sometime.

Interestingly, Air New Zealand lets you see what movies they're showing on their routes. This Web interface is a pretty faithful mockup of the actual in-seat interface (which is pretty bad ... it would be great to be able to see more than one movie title at a time).

On Friday I leave for Taiwan for a week at the Mozilla office, a "Web rendering" work week. This should be even more fun than last week.


Rob, it was a pleasure to meet you at LEAD. The training was a bit draining for me, too -- lots to absorb. I was really glad to hear your thoughts on standards work and our engineering processes, though I definitely wouldn't characterize your stance as "crusty old engineer"! :)
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The days are at their longest and it's time to get out and enjoy them. Because California has so many great summer events - and things that are just better at night. Such a nice post.