“I Am Mozilla Web QA” – meet Justin Potts

Justin PottsWhat do you do at Mozilla?

I am a core contributor for the Web QA team. According to the Mozilla wiki, this means that I “have made major contributions to support the mission through their contributions of time and skill. They give Mozilla reach in terms of scope, geography and influence far beyond what could be achieved through directly staffing an organization.” I work on everything, from automation to manual testing, and this summer will be spending my time on switching our test framework from Selenium to Marionette.

Any fun side projects that you’re working on?

Just recently, I launched my first web development project called “Terml.io.” Terml.io provides high quality flashcard-style definitions for sets of terms that users can paste or type in. Users may also go back and review them at any time. I came up with this idea while studying for my AP US History exam, realizing that instead of looking for 90 terms, I could write a Selenium script to do them all for me. While Terml.io uses other tools rather than Selenium, I think it’s a really great tool for students to use.

How did you get started in testing?

I got started in testing after moving from the documentation team with MDN, looking for something more technical and coding based. I reached out to Matt Brandt, wanting to contribute to a project written in Python. He and I grew closer and he was my mentor for the entire summer of 2014. Matt, along with the rest of the Web QA team taught me everything I know regarding testing and automation.

How and when did you get involved with Mozilla?

I got involved with Mozilla around March 2013 in documentation through my Dad, who worked for an open source company. I asked him how I could start doing things in the real world and he suggested Mozilla, so I did some quick Googling and ended up on the contribute wiki for documentation. I started with editorial reviews of articles, hoping to learn some things about coding through absorption. While that wasn’t as effective as I thought it’d be, I continued to take online courses in programming, as well as learn some more things from my dad and was able to transition to QA.

What’s coming up that you’re excited about?

I am most looking forward to the Whistler Work Week in British Columbia. I attended the work week in Portland in December 2014, and it is an experience that I will never forget. I met so many great new people, talked with members of my team face to face, saw some amazing keynote speakers, and learned so much. I am looking forward to seeing how I can grow as a Mozillian, and grow my knowledge of development and QA with the rest of my team, and can’t wait for that week to come!

Which question do you wish you’d been asked?

“What is the most inspiring thing you’ve ever read?” I would respond with this quote from Steve Jobs’ 2005 Commencement Address to graduates at Stanford: “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

What’s your favorite city?

My favorite city is by far San Francisco. A few years ago, my Dad and I planned a trip to San Francisco to watch the America’s Cup Sailing Race. While we were there, we stopped by the Googleplex, the Apple HQ, Stanford, UC Berkeley, and both Mozilla offices (Mountain View and San Francisco). Although most of those places are a drive away from San Francisco, I loved the vibe of the city walking around, and the overall atmosphere of the city. The weather is absolutely amazing, and it would be my dream to live there. My second favorite city would be Austin, Texas, given that it is a short drive from where I live, and the techy-entrepreneurial spirit surrounding it.

Anything else you’d like us to know about you?

I am the biggest Apple Fanboy that you’ll ever meet. Although I’ve never waited in line for an Apple product release (we can blame school), I watch every keynote speech live from my iPhone during lunch.

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“I Am Mozilla Web QA” – meet Justin Potts

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