Interview: Brandon Burton

Brandon Burton of Mozilla will be speaking on Simple Patterns for Scaling Websites: Some lessons learned at Mozilla with Chris Turra on Friday, Feb. 22, at 4:30 p.m. in the La Jolla room. Here is a Q-and-A from a member of the SCALE Publicity Team:

Q: Could you please introduce yourself and tell us a little about your background?

A: I am a Web Operations Engineer at Mozilla with a passion for unix, python, webops, devops, and a self-described lolcat enthusiast.

I've been involved in Linux and open source since about 1998, when I discovered the Enlightenment window manager (, IRC, and that people got paid to run Linux servers. This pretty much set the course for my career.  I've been working in IT since high school and got into web operations specifically in 2008 when I started working for a managed hosting company in Los Angeles,

It was around this same time that I started to get heavily involved in the sysadmin and operations community, through , blogging, and conversations on Twitter. As the DevOps community began and evolved over the last few years I got involved with that as well.

I joined Mozilla about a year ago and have been able to get more involved in the community by giving talks at various conferences and the LA DevOps meetup that I help organize as well as representing Mozilla IT in the greater Ops community. Being part of Mozilla IT and getting to be the "face" of it" at times has been an amazing experience.

Q: Without tipping your hand on the actual talk you're giving (unless you want to), can you give us an idea of what we might expect?

A: Absolutely. Chris Turra ( and I will be presenting on the simple patters for scaling and lessons learned as Mozilla has scaled our websites from thousands to hundreds of millions of users and what we've got planned to continue scaling as we grow our user base on the desktop, the Android mobile ecosystem, and our own FirefoxOS phone platform, and share some ideas on how these can be applied to your infrastructure too.

Q: Is this your first visit to SCALE? If so, what are your expectations? If not, can you give us your impressions of the event?

A: I've been attending SCALE since 2008 and the DevOps Day LA event since it got started and I've always really enjoyed it.  The DevOps Day event is a great opportunity for the LA Ops community to hang out, learn, and share and SCALE as a whole is an amazing time getting to see what's going on in the open source community and potentially hang out with some of your favorite open source developers.

Q: Is there anything else you'd like to add?

A: I'd just like to mention a couple Ops community things I am involved with that I'd love for more people to know about. First is, which is a weekly Google hangout that Jordan Sissel ( run where we discuss various operations topics, tools, career growth, etc, and the hangouts are archived to Youtube. It's best described as a "weekly conference hallway track meets a devops meetup" and I'd love to see more people join in and bring new topics for discussion.

The second is, which is an effort started by Etsy's Operations team to create an open source curriculum for systems administration and operations, with an end goal of seeing it turned into an actual university certified curriculum. Mozilla IT is working on some ways to also get involved with this as we see it is the best way to help bring up the next generation of sysadmins and operations folks.

Finally, if you find anyone wants to know more about these topics or what I'm up to, they should follow me on

Q: Thank you for taking part in this brief SCALE 11X interview.

A: Thank you for the opportunity to speak at and be a part of SCALE 11X.

[Interview by Hannah Anderson, SCALE Publicity Team]