Monday, June 25, 2012

My First Month at Mozilla

I've been working as an intern for almost a month now (3 1/2 weeks is close enough) and finally decided to get around to writing a blog post about my experiences so far. To start, Mozilla is an amazing place to work; the "we're about the open web" is not just a tag-line, it's a core principle of the entire organization.

My first week was pretty hectic. There's a phrase at Mozilla called the "Mozilla Firehose" that refers to the massive amounts of information you will take in during your first week(s) at the company. It's entirely true, although not unmanageable because there are great people to help at each step. Once I got beyond the account-setup, email-checking, bug-filing, question-asking first few days, I was able to get a good head start on what I'll be working on for the next six months.

My position at Mozilla is on the Security Assurance team as a web application security intern. Essentially, my team and I are responsible for maintaining the security of all of Mozilla's web properties as well as the investigation of security bugs and performing of security reviews for new products. It has been a very interesting position because I am exposed to new security issues each day and rarely do the same thing twice (which is great because I get bored easily). So far I have investigated XSS bugs reported by the community in a number of Mozilla's web pages, analyzed more advanced attacks such as remote code execution, observed Mozilla's web bounty program in action (they pay member's of the community for responsible disclosure of bugs), and performed a security review of an internal project known as Datazilla. I hope to continue investigating security issues as well as take on a number of additional projects.

The environment at Mozilla has been awesome. There is food around every corner (literally) and the workplace is casual and very centered around team-working. Although a number of the employees on my team work remotely, it is not difficult to use IRC or email to communicate. I have also had the opportunity to travel to Mozilla's San Francisco office which has one of the best views of any office I've ever been in. It overlooks the bay directly next to the Bay Bridge.

Although I'm only a few weeks into my internship at Mozilla, I've already been exposed to a number of great learning opportunities. I've also seen how Mozilla operates as an organization and the true commitment of the organization's members to an open web, not bound by proprietary technologies. I am looking forward to a great Summer and Fall before returning to RIT in the Winter.