Do You Love Your Debugger?

Short version: I’m hiring, apply here!

Do you love your debugger? Are you interested in a job making a better Firefox for millions of people? Making Firefox a rock-solid software program involves being a dedicated puzzle-solver. Figuring out what’s causing a crash, hang, or intermittent performance problem is a combination of data gathering, statistics, debugging, code reading, and proactive coding and debugging features.

Familiarity or even love of debugging is an important part of the job. The set of information in a crash minidump is limited, and frequently the stack trace is garbled. Understanding calling conventions and memory layout of compiled code is an important skill! Being able to read disassembly is essential. Familiarity with debugging across multiple platforms (Windows/Mac/Linux/Android) is going to be important.

The Mozilla crash and telemetry data is a treasure trove of information just waiting for analysis. The servers have some important builtin features for classification and querying, but the stability team frequently needs to slice the data in new ways. Familiarity with data processing using python, SQL, hbase, and elasticsearch is helpful.

Many of our stability issues are caused by third-party software (more than half of our crashes, according to recent statistics). This position will undoubtedly involve working with partners and engineers from other projects and companies to diagnose and fix problems.

Finally, we are always looking for ways to solve entire classes of stability issues. For example, we moved browser plugins into their own process so that even if a plugin crashes, it doesn’t affect the entire browser. We are continuing to reduce the impact of plugin and extension issues by having users opt into these addons. To be effective at these types of projects, an engineer will need to be a productive coder who is comfortable learning new pieces of code quickly, as well as writing in C++ as well as JavaScript.

If you’re interested, apply online, and feel free to contact me directly if you’ve got questions!

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