Hi, I’m Al Billings and this is my blog on the shiny, new blog.mozilla.com site. I acted quickly and have a coveted two letter moniker.
I’m just starting on the Mozilla QA team in the next week (I actually don’t start for most of a week). A few people here and there might know my name from previous work. I worked on Internet Explorer at Microsoft starting in IE4 and 5, taking some time off for other projects, and then continuing in IE6sp2 and IE7. I ran the public Internet Explorer blog at http://blogs.msdn.com/ie for about a year and a half and also the aborted and much lamented public bug database that was put away after I left the company…
A bit over a year ago, I decided that I was tired of working at Microsoft and living in my birth city of Seattle so I upped and quit, moving to the Bay Area with my wife. I found a job working at MobiTV doing QA for PCTV, which is television on personal computers extending the products that MobiTV offers for cell phones. This project was (and is) browser based and I spent much of the last year doing primary QA work in Firefox. Much of the PCTV project was done using open source development tools and using Linux as a primary piece of our infrastructure. Recently, members of the Mozilla team and I began talking and they convinced me to see the light and to come work on projects here.
Most of my geek time over the last 20 years has been spent on the Internet, especially the web once it was created. I’ve been on the Internet since 1989, back when we had to hack into the modem dial-in pools at my local university. I’m an ex-moderator of a couple of Usenet newsgroups (soc.religion.gnosis and soc.religion.shamanism) Since the mid-90’s, I’ve had a bunch of domains of my own on the net for various projects of mine, mostly spiritual stuff, and I’ve moderated a number of e-mail lists over the years as well. Before I worked at Microsoft, I was a webmaster at Spry, a Seattle-area startup that put out Internet in a Box, one of the first Windows Internet software suites with its own version of Mosaic.
I’ve been blogging for over five years with my primary blog currently being at arcanology.com. I have a podcast that I’ve begun doing recently called, “Ex Templo: Out of the Temple” that is over at extemplo.org that focuses on some of my non-tech interests.
I have a Bachelor’s degree in Cultural Anthropology from the early 1990’s and I’m currently finishing my Master’s degree at a California State University school. Much of what most people qualify as “free time” is currently being spent on writing my thesis, which is currently about half done at the 70 page mark.
Needless to say, I have a fairly diverse background and I’m really looking forward to working with the members of the Mozilla community on making the best software for the web.