25th work anniversary

25 January 1999 was my first day at W3C. I was 23 years old when I started. I’ve now spent more than half my life at that. I regret nothing because I find the work I do really interesting, important, meaningful; and I don’t tire of it because I feel like there’s renewal every now and then. I’ve held many positions, worn many hats, learned a lot of things and I work with incredibly smart and dedicated people. This has been and is very rewarding.

Young white woman with long brown hair sitting at an office desk with a large cathode ray tube monitor, computer, papers, and a window with blinds in the background.
Coralie at her desk. Photo of February 1999. Resolution of 640x480px, because: early digital cameras!

I selected a highlight for each year (in many cases it was hard to choose just one, so I didn’t) for a retrospective:

  • 1999: Meeting in Toronto; my first transatlantic flight
  • 2000: Organized the first W3C TPAC in Europe: TPAC 2001, Mandelieu
  • 2001: Started to code my personal website (koalie.net)
  • 2002: Training in management
  • 2003: Elected staff representative (per French Labour law)
  • 2004: Was asked to consider joining the W3C Comm Team
  • 2005: Joined the Comm Team (half-time); became staff contact of the W3C Advisory Board (a role I held for 12 years)
  • 2006: Moved to Boston to work 9 months at MIT as a “Visiting Scholar”
  • 2007: Handed off the management of the W3C Europe team’s travels, budgets and policies
  • 2008: Joined the Comm Team full-time; organized my last big meeting: TPAC 2008 + Team Day, in Mandelieu
  • 2009: Learn to edit the W3C website
  • 2010: Put W3C on social media, and Tim Berners-Lee on Twitter
  • 2011: Interviewed for a job elsewhere but failed after round 3
  • 2012: Co-wrote the first draft of the W3C code of ethics and professional conduct
  • 2013: Training in product management; First presentation in front of W3C Members (on how incubated work moves to the standardization track)
  • 2014: Spearheaded “Webizen”, a first attempt to open W3C Membership to individuals; Re-elected Staff Representative
  • 2015: Became Head of the W3C Comm Team
  • 2016: Survived year one of the Encrypted Media Extensions public relations nightmare
  • 2017: Stopped being the AB Team contact; Survived year two of EME PR nightmare
  • 2018: Management of the W3C “diversity fund” to financially help people who are from under-represented communities attend TPAC; Re-elected Staff Representative
  • 2019: Go-to-Market strategy for W3C’s legal entity; Narrative strategy for fundraising in the future
  • 2020: W3C Website redesign project (RFP, selection, contributions, leading)
  • 2021: The “Ralph’s office zoom background” prank; W3C Website redesign (continued)
  • 2022: Re-elected Staff Representative; Website public content re-write; second attempt to open W3C Membership to individuals; proposed W3C internal re-organization; burn-out
  • 2023: W3C Website launch; got COVID for the first time; Humane Technology Design certification; e(X)filtration of the W3C Twitter account and moved it full-time to Mastodon (an instance we operate ourselves)

It is as likely as anything else that I will finish my career at the Web Consortium. I wouldn’t mind!