Microsoft’s official Windows YouTube Channel has posted a video introducing the team behind the new Edge browser for Windows 10. Through this video, we get a glimpse of the attitudes and mindsets of the various talented developers on working Microsoft’s behalf in this highly competitive segment of OS and ecosystem development.
It must be stressed first and foremost how monumental their task is of reinvigorating the stagnate Internet Explorer brand while keeping up with industry competition. Internet Explorer has built a bad reputation over the years in the minds of the masses. Now these developers have been tasked with completely turning that around in an extremely short timeframe.
Partner Software Engineer Lead Rico Mariani indicates that the entire Edge browser was built virtually from scratch, in just over a year. For those who don’t know, developing a competent browser is an impossibly difficult task. There’s a reason why there are only five major browsers: it takes teams with massive pools of funding and expertise to pull it off. The Edge team not only had to fork the original Internet Explorer DLL (comprised of about 3 million lines of code), they also had to build an entirely new engine.
I’m on the WebGL working group, so I work every couple weeks I talk to folks at Google, and Firefox, and Apple, and we submit conformance tests…” – Rafael Cintron, Principal Software Engineer
To complicate matters further, developing a competent browser is no longer a unilateral task like it was back in the days of Internet Explorer 6. Part of why Internet Explorer developed its loathsome reputation was that it developed to its own tune: disobeyed standards, failed to implement modern features, and ignored the cries of the consumers. Such an approach is unacceptable today. Browsers must be interoperable and conform to a comprehensive set of standards. They must also be easy to use, which requires listening to feedback from consumers. This change of attitude is readily emphasized throughout the video.
That they could develop such a browser ready to be consumed by the populace in so short a time speaks volumes to the team’s skill. How could they achieve such a feat? I reckon it starts with the attitude.
Software Engineer II Sarita Gupta says it best herself: the Edge team doesn’t just treat browser performance not just as a competition or a game, but as a “war”. She states emphatically that the Edge team wants Edge to be the undisputed #1 web browser. This champion attitude drives them to go far above and beyond expectations.
It’s not just warlike attitudes they possess either. The members have fun doing their jobs and actively engage working with their fellow teammates. The Edge team is a very pleasant place to work for both junior and senior developers alike. Senior developers are empowered to take ownership and responsibility for various feature developments. Junior developers have every opportunity to move up the ranks, ask for help, and improve their skills. Every team member gets to interact with experts daily and are working to improve their skills all the time. Put simply, being on the Edge team is empowering.
I feel it’s worth mentioning that they are not just a group of uncompromising cyborg developers; they are also a team of people.
“Every day I come to work I know I get to influence the lives of millions of people, not many people can say that.” – Rafael Cintron, Principal Software Engineer
At the end of the day, there is no better feeling than going to work with a job that empowers you, a team that you have fun with, developing a product that will affect the lives of millions of people around the world.