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Thunderbird Software Engineer Full-time

Published at 2018-11-14 - Viewed: 2403 times - Thunderbird Project - Mozilla Foundation (Worldwide/Remote)

Thunderbird Software Engineer

About Thunderbird

Thunderbird is an 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 the project was handed over to the community.

The Thunderbird project is lead by the Thunderbird Council, a group of volunteers from the community who has a strong interest in moving Thunderbird forward. With the help of the Mozilla Foundation, Thunderbird employs about a handful of staff, and is now hiring additional developers to support the volunteer community in making Thunderbird shine.

You will join the team that is leading Thunderbird into a bright future. We are working on increasing the use of web technologies and decreasing dependencies on the internals of the Mozilla platform, to ensure independence and easier maintenance.

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

We need your help to improve and maintain Thunderbird. Moving Thunderbird forward includes replacing/rewriting components to be based primarily on web technologies, reducing the reliance on Mozilla-internal interfaces. It also includes boosting the user experience of the product.

Maintenance involves fixing bugs and regressions, as well as addressing technical debt and enhancing performance. Most tasks have a component of both maintenance and improvement, and any new component needs careful integration with the existing system.

We have compiled a high level list of tasks here – the work assigned to you will include a subset of these items. Let us know in your cover letter where you believe you can make most impact and how.

You will work with community volunteers and other employees around the globe to advance the Thunderbird product and mission of open and secure communications.

This is a remote, hourly 6-month contract with a possibility to extend. Hours will be up to 40 per week.

Your Professional Profile

Since we are looking to fill a few positions, we are interested to hear from both junior and senior candidates who can offer the following:

  • Familiarity with open source development.
  • Solid knowledge and experience developing a large software system.
  • Strong knowledge of JavaScript, HTML and CSS, as well as at least some basic C++ skills.
  • Good debugging skills.
  • Ideally exposure to the Mozilla platform as a voluntary contributor or add-on author with knowledge of XPCOM, XUL, etc.
  • Experience using distributed version control systems (preferably Mercurial).
  • Experience developing software cross-platform applications is a plus.
  • Ability to work with a geographically distributed team and community.
  • A degree in Computer Science would be lovely; real-world experience is essential.

You should 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.

We expect you to have excellent communication skills and coordinate your work over email, IRC, and Bugzilla as well as video conferencing.

Next Steps

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

A cover letter is essential to your application, as we want to know how you’d envision your contributions to the team. 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.

You will be hired as an independent contractor through the Upwork service as a client to the Mozilla Foundation. The Thunderbird Project is separate from the Mozilla Foundation, but the Foundation acts as the project’s fiscal and legal home.

By applying for 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 is an equal opportunity employer. Mozilla and the Thunderbird Project value diversity and do not discriminate based on race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.

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