« Kevin Ngo

Nabbing an Internship at Mozilla

9 Nov 2011

Only two weeks ago, I was at Beaver Barcamp talking to a recruiter about applying for an internship at open source giant, Mozilla. I figured I had a bit of a chance of getting accepted so what the hell, I went for it. I quickly whipped up a resume on the spot, said I was interested in web development and security, had a chat, and then I went on my merry way.

If I were to go into web development, I had to learn some Javascript so I spent the weekend working on the OSULUG website, revamping it with some jQuery. I then sent in my resume again via email and got was shortly scheduled an interview the following day. The interview was in a few days so I decided to crack out on some web development material, namely Javascript and web security and scalability. I went into Mozilla mode and diverted a good portion of my attention away from school.

I had my first phone screen with web-dev at Mozilla working on SUMO. The interview itself went largely well, except I was at work at the time and couldn’t really find a quiet spot. I initially sat in front of an elevator on a high floor, but got kicked out by a receptionist. I talked about my projects and asked about their workflow which was somewhat familiar (branch, review, stage, deploy). He was really nice and thankfully asked questions that I could answer. Soon after the interview, I found out I got made it through and had two more scheduled for the next week…on the same day.

This gave me time to tend to my DDoSed Webserver and get my website set back up again. I spent a large part of the weekend rebuilding my website using Wok rather than Django as I had no need for a nonstatic website and didn’t have time to roll my own CMS.

My second interview was on a Monday noon with another web-dev who manages SuMo. I wasn’t quite awake all the way, got a bit nervous during the call, and was talking a bit fast throwing in some “uhm”s a bit too often. At least this time, I was in a nice quiet spot in my aparmtent, though it may have been too quiet. After a bit I slowed myself down and answered questions about web scalability and security. After the interview I headed out to work.

My last interview was several hours later with the director of web development (who actually used to work at OSU). I got home to my apartment, but there wasn’t a private place to hold a phone conversation…so I had the bright idea to do it in my car in the parking lot. So I sat in my car around the time of the interview. I sat there for about fifteen minutes staring at my phone until the call came. This time the conversation was less of an interview and more of a chat. I told him what kind of projects I would be interested in (more frontend stuff since I suck at that) and learned what the internship would be like. By this time, I was told my chances were looking good as they received a lot of applications and only talked to a few and that they would take several.

The following day while checking my email as I normally do every few seconds, I received an offer from Mozilla! I gave fridgei a high-five and obviously accepted. I would then start the process of dropping out of MECOP. What a relief, I was not excited to work in Windows, .NET frameworks or QAing home security lock software.

Today, I received a call from the recruiters who had been helping getting my availability and scheduling my interviews, about the internship.

I’m pretty excited. I’ll be surrounded by intelligent people, the work I will do there would make my current work look trivial, I get to work on a large-scale open source project, and of course the place is a stone’s throw from the bay. Until then, I’m going to try to get a lot better at web development, specifically Javascript so I adapt in smoothly . Can’t wait, and throughout the whole interview process everyone was really nice. Thanks to everyone I talked to and Mozilla!