pmuellr is Patrick Mueller

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

new job: WebKit

Well, it's nearly Spring, which means, for me, a new job. Right? Seems that way, looking back over the last few years. I've had some difficulty carving out some space for myself in the groups I worked with, what with the great talent already working there. Many chefs in the kitchen and all that.

For this new job, I'm on my own, at least within IBM. I'm now IBM's "WebKit Center of Competency" person. Officially, what I put on my Moo cards and in the corporate directory was "WebKit Stuff".

What does that mean? Not sure yet. But apparently WebKit is interesting enough now, that my bosses thought someone should focus on it full time. I guess I kinda helped out there, having sent various notes over the years, to my new bosses, that said things like "Why aren't we doing anything with WebKit?!?" My new bosses are Dave Boloker, and his boss is Rod Smith. I've moved over from Rational to the Emerging Technologies group.

There is some ongoing work in Emerging Technologies that is very much browser-centric, and so I'm going to be hearing this week what they're up to, and to see what I can do to help. Beyond that, my assumption is that in the future we'll have more folks needing to integrate with WebKit in various ways, so I'll start laying some groundwork for IBMers to help make that a little easier.

Beyond that, I'm particularly interested in focusing on JavaScript, and making JavaScript developers' lives better. My secret dream is to make the browser a better Smalltalk than Smalltalk. You gotta have a dream.

I was ecstatic to hear that my management expects me to be contributing code back to WebKit. One thing I haven't done in IBM is any open source contribution. There's clearly no better way to learn a code base than to have to tinker with it, and then submit that to public shaming.

So all in all, this is really shaping up to be a great job for me; subject matter that deeply interests me, the open source angle, and of course the fact that it's a scary huge mound of mainly C++ code that I'm completely unfamiliar with. What more could you ask for?

I'm definitely a little bummed that I won't have a chance to work with Dave Johnson, who will be starting a job with Rational at IBM at the end of the month. It's a small world though - I think Dave will be sitting next to me, and will be taking a spot on the Rational CTO team, which is the team I just left.

I'll also be a little bummed if something were to happen to one of my new Emerging Technology teammates, Sam Ruby.