Adblock Plus and (a little) more

Changing roles · 2015-06-11 11:28 by Wladimir Palant

I’ve been the CTO of Eyeo since we founded it four years ago to put the Adblock Plus project on a more solid basis. This made sense, after all I created the Adblock Plus project and had been solely responsible for all things technical for five years. However, as the development team has been growing it became obvious that I’m not the best person to do this job. So, as of now I’m just a developer on the team and the new CTO is my colleague Felix Dahlke (fhd). This sounds like a bigger change than it really is, so I’ll try to answer all questions in advance.

Why are you doing this?

A CTO is primarily a manager. You make all kinds of decisions so that other people can work efficiently, developing code typically isn’t part of the job description. While we tried to keep management tasks minimal at Eyeo by distributing responsibility in the team (e.g. via module ownership), I’ve had lots of management tasks and very little development on my agenda lately. Also, the scope of our work has grown enormously over the years and I had to stay at least minimally involved in projects that I personally don’t care about. This isn’t something I’m happy with, and also not something I can keep up for long.

Why now?

Mostly because giving up control is hard. It took time to admit to myself that I’m not capable of doing my job well. Also, a year ago it would have been hard to replace me in this role. By now the expertise of my colleagues has grown significantly and there are only few areas left without a backup for me.

Do you plan to leave the project?

No, I don’t have any such plans. I rather hope to be more involved in the development of the project again, especially in Adblock Plus for Firefox.

Will the project change course now?

I don’t think so. Felix and me have been working together for almost three years and we have the same opinion on most things. And it’s not like we’ll stop discussing decisions all of a sudden.

What will actually change?

In reality, not so much. Felix has been increasingly taking over management tasks from me for a while now, some time ago we’ve even split up the project oversight between the two of us. We are merely changing titles to reflect this development correctly. I’m still going to be the owner of the Core and Adblock Plus for Firefox modules, but I hope to have more time and to do a better job here now. I’m also still overseeing several other modules, merely the Infrastructure module is no longer my responsibility.

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