My Next Opportunity

This is the farewell email I sent to my Edge teammates yesterday.


IWebBrowser3::BeforeNavigate()

When I left the Internet Explorer team in 2012 to work on Fiddler full-time, I did so with a measure of heartbreak, absolutely certain that I would never be quite as good at anything else. When I came back to the Edge team in 2018, I looked back with amusement at the naïveté of my earlier melancholy. I had learned a huge amount during my six years away, and I brought new skills and knowledge to bear on the ambitious challenge of replatforming Edge atop Chromium. While it’s still relatively early days, our progress over these last four years has truly been amazing—we’ve adopted tens of millions of lines of code as our own, grown the team, built a batteries-included product superior to the market leader, and started winning share for the first time in years. More importantly, we’ve modernized our team culture: more inclusive, heavily invested in learning, with faster experimentation and more transparent public communication. It’s been an inspiring journey.

In the fifty months since my return, I’ve written 124 blog posts and landed 168 changelists in upstream Chromium (plus one or two downstream :), dwarfing the 94 CLs I landed back when I was a Chrome engineer. I had the honor of leading PMs in both the Pixels and Bytes subteams in Web Platform, presented the Edge Privacy Story, and travelled around the world (Lyon and Fukuoka) for W3C TPAC meetings. I’ve had the opportunity to help many other teams as a member of “Microsoft’s team in Chromium”, and to engage directly with Enterprise customers as they migrated off of IE and onto a modern standards-based web platform. I’ve helped to interview and hire a set of awesome new PMs. Throughout it all, I’ve strived to maximize my impact to benefit the billions of humans who browse the web.

This Friday (July-22-2022) will be the last day of my current tour. I leave things in good hands: Erik is an amazing engineering manager, and I’ll miss racing him to discover the root cause of gnarly networking problems. I’ve spent this second tour doing my very best to write everything down– if anything, I’m but a caching proxy server for my archive of blog posts. I didn’t write an encyclopedic guide on ramping up on browser dev, or an opinionated set of career advice just for fun— I’ve been quietly working to keep my bus factor as low as possible. I encourage everyone to take full advantage of the democratization of knowledge-sharing provided by our internal wikis and public docs site—seize every opportunity to “leave it better than you found it.”

Thank you all for the years of awesome collaborations on building a browser to delight our users.

Next Monday, I’ll be moving over to join some old friends on Microsoft’s Web Protection team, working to help protect users from all manner of internet-borne threats.

I’m not going far; please stay in touch via Twitter, LinkedIn, or good old-fashioned email.

Until next time,

-@ericlaw

Published by ericlaw

Impatient optimist. Dad. Author/speaker. Created Fiddler & SlickRun. PM @ MSFT '01-'12, and '18-, working on Office, IE, Edge, and Web Protection. My words are my own, I do not speak for any other entity.

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