Thank you letter to Brendan Eich

Brendan,

I can’t imagine what kind of hell you’ve been going through the last week with all the public backlash. This decision you’ve made, I can only suspect, must be one of the hardest things you’ve ever had to do.

Whatever your reasons, I wanted to say from the bottom of my heart, that your work at Netscape and Mozilla over the past two decades have been direct influences and motivators of my love for programming, and my career. You’ve literally been a hero of mine since I was a teenager.

I started programming in 1995, just a little bit before you shipped the first version of Javascript. Around the time that Netscape 2.0 beta was first released, I was turned on to your creation, and it literally was like a calling for me. I was only 13, and your vision of tearing down walls to content creation spoke to me. Within days of having Netscape 2.0 beta, I was digging into Javascript and loving it.

Later, when Netscape was open sourced, and Mozilla was formed, your work introduced me to the open source movement. That same year I started writing my first open source project — a crappy little perl based MP3 player for HPUX and AIX :) . I also installed my first version of RedHat linux, and started going deeper down the rabbit hole…

Since then, my life’s work has been centered around creating great open source software. When I finally got a chance to meet you and work for you (however far removed) in 2012, it was like a dream come true.

I know that we’ve only had a handful of direct conversations, but despite that, I want to thank you personally for all that you’ve done in the name of breaking down barriers. You’ve had a tremendous impact on my life.

I’m of course saddened by your decision to step down, but knowing how tenacious you are, I can only imagine that your next step will be something seriously awesome. Whatever you end up doing next, I would love to know about it :)

Keep fighting the good fight, and thanks again
- Marshall

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Comments

  1. Very well written, Marshall. I too am saddened to see him step down but feeling very hopeful that when he finds his next calling, it will be magnificent. I’ve not yet gotten to meet Brendan yet, but given the similar influence he has had over my life and career, I look forward to that day.

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