In My Life
Thursday, September 1, 2011 7:00:00 AM
It is with a heavy heart that I announce that with the release of Opera Dragonfly 1.1 I am leaving Opera Software.
It has been almost six years since I joined Opera, and a lot has changed. We were implementing Web Forms 2 back then, which went on to become everyone's favourite buzz word – HTML5. CSS3 has gone from strength to strength, and even IE supports SVG now. Perhaps the most remarkable thing during the six years I was here was the rise of Opera, from the browser everyone liked to make fun of for having no users, to the most used mobile browser on the planet. Not bad when you consider our main rivals are some of the biggest companies in the world with huge marketing and advertising budget. Opera Mini is the most popular browser in Asia and Africa, and is well on the way to becoming the largest in South America as well. No one comes close to the success of Opera Mini in the developing world. There is a lot of satisfaction in playing a part in enabling people to get online for the first time, and increasing their access to much needed information and communication.
I like to think I've played my part in Opera’s success over the years. During that time I’ve dealt with and help fix many compatibility issues with the biggest sites on the web. Without these sites working we would not have a usable browser. Through this work I founded the Developer Relations team which is now 12 person’s strong, and have helped shape Opera Dragonfly as Product Manager from almost the beginning of the project. Since then, there seems to have been an explosion in the number of Dev Rel people at different browsers, and a hive of activity on developer tools, including Mozilla taking their work in house. I’ve also done my share of web standards evangelism including a stint as a author on the most popular CSS3 site: CSS3.info, before it was sold to new owners, and a member of the W3C SVG Interest Group.
Opera has also given me a lot over the years, including giving me a platform to build my career and the willingness to drop me in at the deep end to see if I would sink or swim. Its not every company that would allow a young and relatively inexperienced person to help shape two teams and a key project. The best gift it could give is the amazing work atmosphere and some of the smartest and friendliest colleagues you could ever hope to meet. Being able to learn from them has certainly made me more knowledgeable and better at my job. I’d certainly recommend Opera to anyone that is just starting out and is willing to put the hard graft in to fulfill their potential.
For me though, it is time to move on. Opera Dragonfly is now mature and the Dev Rel team has many experts that know the web inside out. I’m passing the Dragonfly reigns over to Patrick, whom I’m sure will do a fantastic job taking it from strength to strength. It is now time for the next stage in my career, and an exciting opportunity came my way to which I just couldn’t say no . So now I'm saying farewell to Opera, farewell to Norway, and heading across the big pond (work permit permitting) to sunny California. I thought I’d be moving to Motorola, but since I agreed to join this happened. So maybe it is Motorola, maybe it is Google, or maybe I'm joining a Moogle. Who knows! It is sure to be exciting times whichever way it turns out. I’m not at liberty to say what I will be working on, but it has me chomping at the bit to get started. Until then I have a few days to relax in England and take stock of the situation. After all this work and traveling the globe I'm in need of it.
If you’re in the Bay Area I'll be hanging out soon enough, although I still need to decide which area to live. Thank you for the support over the years, and maybe I will see you soon.