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Thunderbird Software Engineer Freelance

Published at 2018-01-19 - Viewed: 3225 times - Thunderbird Project - Mozilla Foundation (Worldwide/Remote)

Thunderbird Software Engineer

About Thunderbird
Thunderbird is a email client depended on daily by 25 million people on three platforms: Windows, Mac and Linux (and other *nix). It was developed under the Mozilla Corporation until 2014 when development was handed over to the community. The Mozilla Foundation is now the fiscal home of Thunderbird. The Thunderbird Council, who lead the community effort, has begun hiring contractors through Mozilla in support of this venture and to guarantee that all vital services are provided in a reliable fashion.

You will join the team that is leading Thunderbird into a bright future. As a software engineer you will be maintaining and improving the existing Gecko-based Thunderbird but also pave the way for its transition to being based on web technologies.

The Thunderbird team works openly using public bug trackers and repositories, providing you with a premier chance to show your work to the world.

About the Contract
The Thunderbird project is looking to hire software engineers to help maintain Thunderbird. You’ll be expected to work with community volunteers, the Thunderbird Council, and other employees to maintain and improve the Thunderbird product.

This is a remote, hourly 6-month contract. Hours will be up to 40 a week. You will be expected to have excellent written communication skills and coordinate your work over email, IRC, and Bugzilla.

As a software engineer for Thunderbird you will

  • Fix bugs and regressions and address technical debt.
  • In collaboration with Thunderbird’s Engineering Steering Committee, replace/rewrite modules to prepare Thunderbird for the transition to a new platform.
  • Maintain and improve Thunderbird to ensure that both nightly builds and releases are always possible.
  • Follow improvements made by Mozilla engineers for the Firefox platform process and implement those for Thunderbird.
  • Be a self-starter. In a large code-base it’s inevitable that you conduct your own research, investigation and debugging, although others in the project will of course share their knowledge.
  • Work with both volunteers and employees across the world to fix issues.
  • Collaborate with QA, Security, Localization, and Release Engineering for coordinated code releases.

Your Previous Experience
Since we are looking to fill one or more positions, we are interested to hear from junior and senior candidates who can offer the following:

  • Solid knowledge and experience developing a large software system (7+ million lines of code).
  • Solid knowledge of C++ as well as JavaScript, HTML and CSS.
  • Ideally exposure to the Mozilla platform as a voluntary contributor or add-on author with knowledge of XPCOM, XUL, etc.
  • Some experience using distributed version control systems (preferably Mercurial, Git would be acceptable).
  • Some prior exposure to Python and build systems (preferably make) would be beneficial.
  • Experience developing software cross-platform applications is a plus.
  • B.S. in Computer Science would be lovely, but real-world experience is preferred.

Next Steps
If this position sounds like a good fit for you, please send us your resume with a cover letter to

A cover letter is essential to your application, as it shows us how you envision Thunderbird’s technical future. Tell us about why you’re passionate about Thunderbird and this position. Also include samples of your work as a programmer, either directly or a link. If you contribute to any open source software, or maintain a blog we’d love to hear about it.

Please note that while the Thunderbird project is a group of individuals separate from the Mozilla Foundation that works to further the Thunderbird email client, the Mozilla Foundation is the Project’s fiscal home. The Thunderbird Council, separate from Mozilla, manages the Project and will direct the software engineer’s work.

The successful applicant will be hired as freelancer (independent contractor) through the Mozilla Foundation’s third-party service Upwork. By applying to this job, you are agreeing to have your applications reviewed by Thunderbird contractors and volunteers who are a part of the hiring committee as well as by staff members of the Mozilla Foundation.

Mozilla values diversity. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.

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