Back in 2004, I couldn’t get the tiny IE team interested in fixing caching bugs that were causing my team’s website to break in bizarre and unpredictable ways. I figured I’d hop over there, fix some bugs, and move along. I quickly realized that I was hopelessly in love with browsers in general and security in particular. The hours were long, the problems were immense, but it was easy to make a big difference.
After eight years on the IE team, mostly working in Security, I felt like I’d crafted my dream job. I got to work with smart people every day, and help protect the browsing public from some very bad guys. It was very difficult to leave, but Telerik offered me a different dream job—building my side-project, Fiddler, on a full-time basis.
I spent three years here, doing important work on Fiddler to help take it from a side-project to a professional-caliber tool with the features and polish that users expect. And I’ve had a blast.
I’ve missed working on browsers. And on security. While Fiddler has kept me close to that scene, it wasn’t quite close enough. As one of my old leads on the IE team once observed: “No matter what you add to Fiddler, your work on a browser used by almost a billion people will always have a greater impact.”
In the midst of this nostalgic longing, a former colleague posted the following tweet:
Casual conversations were had. Then more serious conversations. Then interviews. And more interviews.
Philip Su, a brilliant guy whose tech talk inspired me to apply at Microsoft once said: “The team you want to join is the one that’s hard to get into.”
Every single person I talked to was smarter than I am. It was crazy-intimidating. And inspiring.
For my first few years on IE, there was ample speculation that Google would release a browser, presumably some slick skinning of Firefox with all the Google services bolted on. Then Chrome shipped and it was so much more interesting. So many things were done “right” from day 1, and the pace of evolution was amazing. And it wasn’t just the technical guts– I was astonished to see things like the Chrome comic book, which explained things like process isolation and integrity levels in a way that mere mortals could understand. Chrome continued to evolve and grow to take on its role as a platform; ChromeOS now powers a third of the machines in my house. The Chrome team is driving the security of the web as a whole.
I want users to win. To achieve that, I want the web to win, and I want to make life harder for the bad guys every day.
I’m thrilled, excited, honored, and more than a little intimidated to be joining the Chrome Security team on January 4th 2016.
Let the firehose-drinking begin!