I’m moving to Medium!

WordPress has gotten to be too heavy weight for me. I want more customization for my site, and a better writing experience for posts. That’s why I’ve bought a more professional domain, http://justinpotts.co, which will soon be the site of my new portfolio and resume, and will be using Medium for posts.

For the latest posts (and all the old ones too), please read them here.

I’m moving to Medium!

#Internapalooza 2016

Being in the Bay Area has its advantages. Like, being able to take public transit anywhere. Getting to admire Tesla’s at every corner. Or attending job fairs with 5,000 other interns in the bay.

Internapalooza wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t good either. It was my first job fair, and while they don’t market it as such, it’s a bunch of hot companies in the area that have set up booths and swoon young interns with pounds of t-shirts, sunglasses, flip-flops, stickers, and business cards, for hopeful new-hires next summer.

Continue reading “#Internapalooza 2016”

#Internapalooza 2016

My first month as a Mozilla Intern

Today marks the first month since I started my internship here in Mountain View, California with Mozilla. It’s been exhausting, but it’s been a blast. I’ve met so many great people and worked on a lot of cool projects, and It’s a shame I only have a month (and six days) left.

I’ve done a lot this past month, so I wanted to write a bit about what I’ve been working on and things I’ve learned so far throughout my internship.

One of my projects this summer is to write a Python package that generates a web extension (a better add-on), with customization options such as making it restart-less, giving it a unique identifier, giving it a name, things like that. Axl (Automated eXtension Library) is up and ready to run now, and we’re almost ready to start integrating it into some of our automated add-on tests to help us install add-ons and extensions with specific criteria. Throughout the course of the summer (and beyond), it will continue to evolve, become more robust and stable, and continue to become integrated in more tests across the project.

You can view the source for Axl on GitHub or on PyPi.

My second project is working on automated testing efforts for https://addons.mozilla.org. Soon, we will be launching a new design for Discovery Pane, a page that recommends add-ons to users and suggests ones they may like. Recently, I wrote the first tests that will make sure it continues to work through further updates. This is somewhat difficult in terms of having to use Selenium Webdriver on top of Marionette, having to interact with embedded page content, and soon, the browser chrome as well.

You can view some of the work here and here.

Lastly, I’m working on our QA Dashboard, which allows us to keep track of pull requests, issues, and repository statuses across our team. What started off as this… MozWebQA Dashboard Original…I redesigned into this.

MozWebQA Dashboard NewImprovements are still being made, including the addition of a main overview dashboard with items such as total pull requests, total issues, new views, and an improved label and filter system.

The redesigned dashboard incorporates more of a Mozilla feel to it, with brand colors and fonts, and improved readability across issues and pull requests, as well as new resource links to locations such as our GitHub pages, contribution instructions, and continuous integration statuses.

You can view the dashboard here and view the source here.

In addition to working on some cool projects, I’ve had some cool adventures too. Whether it was hanging out with the other interns and watching the Warriors game, to biking the streets of San Francisco with my best friend, or trekking across Muir Woods, this summer has been a blast so far and I can’t wait to see what the rest of it will be.

I’ll continue to post more updates throughout the summer, every week or two with more detailed information, but hopefully this fills you in with the basics so far.

My first month as a Mozilla Intern

I’m an intern!

For the past three years, I’ve been a contributor at Mozilla, working on everything from documentation, to quality assurance (QA), to development, on projects like Mozillians and Firefox OS (now Connected Devices). I didn’t start out with the goal of being an intern. In fact, when I started I had no intentions other than wanting to do something cool for the web. 

I started working with my mentor, Matt Brandt, on some cool projects with the Web QA team. He showed me what it was like to be a part of an organization as special as Mozilla, and how vital contributors were to the mission. I soon found my own contributor to mentor, and was able to put myself in Matt’s shoes and see the difference I could make as a mentor. The sense of community at Mozilla is overwhelming, and you can truly feel the value they place on involvement. 

At Mozilla, they like to use the word contributor, than volunteer. They want to make people feel as if they’re contributing to something larger than themselves, not just giving away free labor to a software corporation, and as a long-time contributor, I feel like I’ve made a difference, and apparently, they did too. I was invited to attend the first All-Hands Work Week in Portland — a week-long work week to bring all teams and employees at Mozilla together, with a few core contributors. I was honored to be selected as one of these core contributors to attend the next two in Whistler, British Columbia, and Orlando, Florida. And now, as an intern, I’ll be flying to London for this summer’s all-hands.

Throughout all of my blog posts, I’ve probably made it very clear, but I’ll say it again — Never once in a million years would I have imagined myself being able to be a part of something that values their contributors, enough to bring them along and pay for them to come to a conference. Mozilla is truly a special organization, and that’s why I feel so honored to be further integrated into the mission and the organization as an intern. 

This summer, I’ll have one free day of summer after my high school graduation before I depart on a plane to Mountain View, California, the heart of Silicon Valley where companies from Apple to Google to Mozilla call home.

I will be working as part of the Cloud Services Engineering and Operations Team as a Quality and Automation Intern, working on ensuring Firefox’s Addons continue to be the best marketplace compared to other browsers.

Though he’ll probably say something like “You did this yourself,” I want to give a huge shoutout to Matt Brandt, my mentor for the past two years, for guiding me along the way and teaching me everything he knows. I wouldn’t have made it this far without him. 

Also, Dave Hunt, my mentor last summer and official mentor for this summer for helping expand my skill set and teaching me I can do more than I think I can.

Lastly, the Mozwebqa Team, Rebecca Billings, Krupa Raj, Bob Silverberg, Matt Brandt, Dave Hunt, and Stephen Donner for putting up with my questions and always being there.

Along the way, I’ll write more technical posts about what I’m working on, new tools I’m working with, and my experience here.

For the fun stuff, follow me on Instagram, and Twitter, for some (hopefully) beautiful pictures of California and intern activities 🙂

I’m an intern!

My top 25 songs that got me through 2015

I couldn’t think of a better way to recap the year than to share a jammin’ playlist with you guys of some of my favorite songs I listened to in 2015. From Matchbox 20 to Macklemore, I think it’s safe to say I’ve covered quite a bit of ground. Check out my playlist on Apple Music or listen to samples from my playlist below.


Justin’s Top 25 – Apple Music

My top 25 songs that got me through 2015

I tried Firefox OS for a (half) day. Here’s what happened.

I am honored to be part of the Foxfooding program, by Mozilla. This is a program that allows employees and contributors to test drive a Firefox OS device. The catch is that you have to use the device daily. Now, it doesn’t say you have to use it as your primary device with SIM card and the works, but I decided to be adventurous, and given I wanted to work closely with the Firefox OS team next summer, I decided why not.

Continue reading “I tried Firefox OS for a (half) day. Here’s what happened.”

I tried Firefox OS for a (half) day. Here’s what happened.

Pattr – State of Security

As of November 30, 2015, 5:00 PM, all chat rooms on Pattr are encrypted via an SSL certificate.

Our mission: Pattr believes in fostering an open web, with maximum security and privacy for its users. We do this buy building creative tools and platforms for users to engage in untracked conversations, providing intuitive design while never sacrificing usability.

As part of upholding our mission, we asked our users to donate in effort to afford an SSL certificate and they answered. We raised enough to afford the certificate, plus some which will aide in future efforts to support hosting and more features.

An SSL certificate prevents third-parties from “sniffing” data and intercepting it, storing it on their own servers. This makes the transition between our users and Pattr’s servers more secure and reliable.

At this point in time, messages do interact with Pattr’s servers, and we scan for input like /users, or /w, but we do not and never will store messages. You can see this for yourself in the source code.

In the near future, Pattr will feature password protection in rooms, which will allow messages to be encrypted on the client side. This means Pattr would be completely unable to scan input or store messages, even if we wanted to.

For more information on the state of security on Pattr, email justin@pattr.me.

-The Pattr Team



Pattr – State of Security

My transition from Python to JavaScript

Recently, I’ve been very Python focused, from writing automated tests in Python for Mozilla, to writing web applications like Terml.io and Pattr using Flask, a Python web development framework. It’s safe to say I’m no stranger to Python or its development kits. In fact, there’s a plethora of projects I’d like to get started on that would be simple for me to do in Python.

However, I began to think about my skill set as a whole, examining the projects I’ve worked on and the projects that I would like to work on. With various internships opening and opportunities arising around me, I’ve begun to think its time to branch out and strengthen my JavaScript skills. Now, I’m proficient in JavaScript, don’t get me wrong. I’m confident in my abilities to pass a technical interview and do some cool stuff with it, but I’m nowhere near the level I am in Python.

Continue reading “My transition from Python to JavaScript”

My transition from Python to JavaScript

Introducing Pattr 1.0, Truly Instant Private Messaging

In partnership with Alex Meza, he and I are launching a web application, Pattr, a disposable chat room service intent on privacy and security. It’s easy to start a chat, and we never store messages on our servers.

Continue reading “Introducing Pattr 1.0, Truly Instant Private Messaging”

Introducing Pattr 1.0, Truly Instant Private Messaging