Where I've Been (at Work)

In March 2017 I joined Mozilla and proceeded to have a busy four years…

I can’t possibly reflect on it all but I:

  • helped build a team that launched a mobile companion app to Firefox for password management (Lockbox then Lockwise)
  • coached and transitioned two lead engineers to become full-time people managers
  • was promoted to Senior Engineering Manager
  • visited San Francisco, Austin, Orlando, Whistler, and Berlin for our semi-annual “All Hands” meetings
  • co-led an experimental project to sell professional services to companies
  • took over the in-browser Developer Tools product and engineering teams
  • grew my portfolio to include our Internationalization and Accessibility engineering teams
  • had to said goodbye to great team members after two rounds of layoffs and re-structuring

And we had two babies! (I took parental leave in October 2017 and December 2020)

As the direct manager of over 50 different people in my tenure I spent a lot of time focusing on people. One team member could be solid and stable one day and then tragedy hits them the next. Without our people we’re nothing.

And as a leader responsible for a variety of different product and business areas I needed to make sure our plans were clear, especially with things changing around us so quickly. Everyone pulling in the same direction, for the same reasons, was important for driving results.

I also wanted to make sure our processess effectively supported the things we wanted to do: everything from weekly routines to quality control and decision making should be no more and no less than what was required.

This is now one of my core frameworks for my own prioritization and time management: People. Plan. Process. Where am I most needed, where is my time being spent, is it the correct balance?

Of course the pandemic brought a lot of interesting challenges…

  1. working remotely: which luckily both Mozilla and I were already very equipped and used-to
  2. childcare: Rachel and I juggled taking meetings while our two-year old was home with us
  3. the economy: so much uncertainty impacted us all in so many different ways

I wasn’t successful at everything. And I know I let some people down at times. But overall feedback from my colleagues was extremely positive. I heard that I helpfully created space for product managers in an engineering-led organzation. I took care of people with empathy while maintaining accountability. I knew enough of the engineering to be helpful (I say: dangerous) but trusted people to act and lead with autonomy.

After some reflection, mostly while feeding and playing with my kids during parental leave in early 2021, I realized I had drifted away from the technology…


In May 2021 I was presented an awesome opportunity to help lead the bigger-but-growing, established-yet-dynamic mobile engineering team at Smartsheet. I had a lot of fun taking what I knew and quickly re-applying it:

  • jumping into an old product and helping the team make new and big things happen (Mobile Offline Forms)
  • building a hiring plan, then sourcing and recruiting new engineers to the team
  • changing the organization and structure to support existing relationships, unlock new team abilities
  • helping the team “shift left” and evolve our testing and release practices
  • promoting and coaching senior engineering talent
  • managing and negotiating key vendor relationships
  • learning more about effective big company practices (communication, decision making, culture setting)

I really enjoy, respect and appreciate everyone on the team. It’s a solid group of engineers doing hard work and with so much more fun to come.

I saw myself leading mobile engineering people and projects for years to come. But in the fall of 2022 I was introduced to a CEO of a startup… I’ll share more on that later.