Interview: Chris Turra

Chris Turra is a web operations engineer at Mozilla who is a passionate technologist and open source enthusiast. He joins Brandon Burton in giving the presentation "Simple Patterns for Scaling Websites: Some lessons learned at Mozilla" on Friday, Feb. 22, at 4:30 p.m. in the LaJolla room. The SCALE Team caught up with Chris to ask a few questions about his presentation.

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

A: I work in Web Operations as Mozilla and am passionate about technology and open source.

In my first year of university I was introduced to Linux (Debian) and haven't turned back. I was drawn to Linux and ultimately open source because of the community and frankly, I was a starving student so didn't mind the price either *see free as in speech.

At the same time I was starting my professional career in a large financial organization where I ended up co-authoring the global "Linux distribution and hardening guide." After a couple years I moved from a systems role into their application security group where I spent a couple years hacking on Internet banking applications.

After growing a bit tired of the big company politics I decided to jump ship for the "start up world." Initially I worked at Sxip Identity, then joined Ping Identity through a product acquisition. During my time in these companies, I was responsible for building and maintaining their hosted Identity services, which provided Single Sign-On middleware for clients authenticating to browser based applications (such as and Google Apps).

About a year ago I joined Mozilla and work with a group of extremely talented folks focused on building self-service platforms to enable our development group to have a greater velocity. More on that in the talk that Brandon and I will be giving

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: Brandon Burton ( and I will be giving a talk about how Mozilla scales web applications and a number of lessons we have learned along the way. For the resourceful readers out there - I am sure you could dig up some more details about out presentation if you're creative

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: This is actually my first year attending SCALE. I had been meaning to make the trip (from Vancouver, Canada) before, but it never worked out. I don't have any specific expectations, but am looking forward to meeting other folks in the community.

[SCALE Team interview by Larry Cafiero]