AMA: Ryan Watson, IT & Operations Manager, and Kamil Jozwiak, QA Lead at Brave — Dec. 12, 2018

Hello, I’m kjozwiak (Kamil)!

I was born in Poland but only lived there for about two years as my parents wanted to escape communism so they could provide a better life for their kids. We moved to Germany but due to the political hostilities at the time, they decided to move to Spain. We lived there for about four years before moving to Windsor, Ontario, Canada.

Because we weren’t a family with a lot of means when we first moved to Canada, our family didn’t get a computer until pretty late in my life. However, it was just a matter of time until I fell in love with computers and spent most of my childhood in front of one learning as much as I could.

I ended up taking Computer Programming and Computer Networking at school and started my first job as phone support for a popular printer company. After a few weeks, I realized that there was no future at the company and started looking for a better job until I found a QA position for a backup software company. I learned a lot working there as I was doing several different jobs and worked with a distributed team. After about four years, the company ran into financial issues and ended up closing. Because Windsor, Ontario doesn’t really have a lot of tech jobs and remote work wasn’t really a thing at the time, my wife (girlfriend at the time) and myself decided to move to Toronto where there were more opportunities for the both of us in terms of work.

The second QA job was for a company that made cameras for taxi cabs. I was the only QA and was responsible of making sure that the software that extracted videos for authorities when crimes occurred actually worked which was a bit stressful as a failure in the software could lead to someone who committed a horrific crime basically going free. Even though the job was stressful, one of my other responsibilities was traveling the US (our main market) and teaching different police departments on how our software worked and helped them troubleshoot issues that they ran into when using the software.

After about two years, a good friend of mine who worked at Mozilla started telling me about the mission and open source in general. I knew a lot about the browser wars but never really looked at Mozilla as a company. After doing some research, I fell in love with the company and its mission and ended up contributing as much as I could. I started contributing to the Metro project for about three years every day after work. I would create bugs, triage bugs, create milestones, submit patches, basically do anything that I could do to help the company move the mission forward. I ended up getting an interview for a full-time QA position for the Metro project which I ended up getting after six interviews. Because I was pretty good at figuring things out, I was usually assigned security issues where a proof of concept was attached but no other information was given. I would boot up my various VM’s and try to figure out what was happening so I can provide more information to the engineer who was fixing the issue. After about three months at Mozilla, the Metro project was canceled and I was moved to the Security Engineering team. I worked on various things from the Containers project to reproducing issues from Pwn2Own and ensuring that they were actually fixed and verified before releasing hotfixes.

After about four years at Mozilla, a friend told me about a QA opportunity at Brave. I actually started using Brave’s iOS browser when it was initially released and submitted various issues and suggestions. I ended up getting the job and became the QA manager four months later. One of the main reasons I left Mozilla was that Brave offered a lot more things that I could work on. I do everything from release notes, release management, uplift approvals, milestone management, support, reading through specifications and giving PM’s the user perspective, helping PM’s with release schedules etc. We have a small but solid QA team who’s number one priority is listening to users even though some folks think we don’t “listen”. We truly do read as much feedback as we can and take every request/bug report and suggestion seriously.

Hello, I’m w0ts0n (Ryan)!

Born and raised in a small town in West Sussex, England, I hard failed out of high school with a solid F in IT (haha). Nevertheless, I’ve been a computer nerd for as long as I can remember. Open source, running websites and servers has been something I’ve been doing since I was 14 and old enough to beg my Dad to buy domains for me.

I still run a ton of sites, from silly to practical; DownloadMoreRAM.com has been a running joke for over 10 years now, Musclewiki.org became a passion when I got into fitness. I also became friends with pro skater Rodney Mullen by running his website for 13 years.

My professional career came around when I was 17, I started in IT Helpdesk, quickly moving up to IT Support and began training to become a sysadmin. One day my colleague emailed me about a position that was made available at Mozilla. I was (and still am) a huge fan of Mozilla and its mission.

I worked at Mozilla for 7 years, moving from IT Support > Operation > Webops/Devops > Database engineer. During this time I took courses in Linux, operations, and AWS. It was actually during my first year at Mozilla that I met Brendan Eich.

Many years later when Brendan left Mozilla, I asked him to contact me if a suitable DevOps position came up, a few months later Brendan told me they had an opening and asked if I was interested in applying.

I love everything about what Brave is doing and immediately said yes. After making it through the interview process, I got the job. After 4 months running DevOps, the time for growth came. I was asked if I wanted to manage the IT & Operations teams and have done so since. As the IT team, we ensure smooth operations of servers, websites, services and provide technical guidance and infrastructure/CI for developers. One side of my team also does user support, publisher support, IT Support, help center (support.brave.com) and status pages (status.brave.com) to keep our users informed and supported. Helping users is important to me and I hope to drive that side of the organization further as we grow.

I live on an island in the Caribbean, for fun, I enjoy traveling, I go to the beach, workout and stream pubg 🙂

See the full AMA here.

AMA: Alex Wykoff, User Research at Brave — Nov. 28, 2018

Hello, I’m Alex!

Just like Sampson, I was born and raised in a quiet little town, however, my dad was totally into electronics and all things Radioshack so my first computer was a TRS-80 CoCo2. I learned my ABCs from Cookie Monster Letter Cruncher and basic electronics from Rocky’s Boots. While I learned a few simple commands (‘LOADM’ ring any bells?) it wasn’t until much later that I started getting into programming.

My first experience on the Internet was using a terminal and telnet to connect to the University of Michigan and download freeware/shareware games for the ‘family computer’ a Mac SE/30.

Later, I bought a book from BDalton(RIP) which had a list of websites, MUDs, MUSHs, & MOOs (those distinctions mattered!) and using the NCSA Mosaic browser. I even remember stumbling onto Yahoo and making a few submissions to their directory.

My career path is hardly straightforward. After graduating with a CS degree, I taught English in South Korea and studied at Yonsei University’s Korean Language Program. Afterward, I came back to the US, found a job in QA and tinkered with Python and JavaScript for fun. I then felt a need to push into design, so I moved to Austin, Texas and went to the Austin Center for Design. I graduated from their program with a certificate in Interaction Design and Social Entrepreneurship. A few jobs later, I found an opening for Brave as a QA Lead. I took the shot and got in as employee #21. After building out a few important things like the test run generator script, community.brave.com, and bringing on some excellent QA Engineers, I took another shot and landed in User Research which I have been doing for the past year and a half.

In User Research, I traverse time to observe and make sense of user behaviors, feedback, and larger trends. My time is pretty well split between experiments, prototyping, secondary readings (Research) and sensemaking (Synthesis). I also like to pitch in when help is needed spinning up a webpage, testing a new build, or being the Deckard Cain of documents, policies, and internal decisions.

That’s mostly it; I look forward to chatting with you!

See the full AMA here

AMA: Luke Mulks, Director of Business Development at Brave — Nov. 21, 2018

Hello, I’m Luke!

Born and raised in California’s SF Bay Area. I’ve been playing with troubleshooting problems and connections as far back as blowing into the NES cartridge to get the game to work.

I’ve always been into trying a bit of everything. The first computer we had was an old IBM with a woodpecker-era keyboard and 5.25″ floppy drive. Shortly after, we picked up a Motorola Mac Clone, so I’ve never really been one too loyal to one OS over another. Ironically, our family accountant growing up introduced me to the world of warez and cracking, so I was conditioned from an early age to have a bit of a pirate spirit.

My professional career path has followed an interesting progression from aging mediums to leading edge, which has taught an array of hard lessons. I’ve found it’s much more preferable being on the leading edge, as opposed to making the old world maintain.

I spent 6 years working in print publishing and advertising, progressed toward multimedia production, founded a book publishing startup, a media services startup and attempted to get a content network for quilting and crafting enthusiasts off the ground.

When the hard lessons of trying to make startups work with limited cash came crashing down, I landed a job in digital advertising for OAO, where I ended up working my way into being the Director of Ad Products, working with clients such as Google, Comcast, Warner Brothers, World Surf League, Tribune Media, and the NFL. I had an interesting front row seat into the explosion of mobile advertising, and watched the shift toward the current FB/Google duopoly, and spent years working in the shift from direct-sold advertising to programmatic-all-the-things.

Ironically, I’ve always been into privacy and have had a healthy amount of paranoia, which led me to an RFC from Brave for the Brave Payments spec in March of 2016. I saw Brave as leading with an approach that was fundamentally different and necessary to potentially change the game. When I researched further and saw the team and leadership, I reached out and began consulting. I landed at Brave full-time in Dec 2016, worked with the team on the BAT white paper, and am pinching myself daily to make sure that this is all real.

My current role at Brave is as a Director of Business Development. I’ve worked on our partnerships with DuckDuckGo, Qwant, Dow Jones and TownSquare Media, and on some of Brave’s strategic growth. Currently, most of my time and focus is around developing the business around BAT and Brave Ads, overseeing our BAT Community effort, and helping to communicate the value of Brave and BAT to businesses and the mainstream.

See the full AMA here.

AMA: Jonathan Sampson, Senior Developer Relations at Brave — Oct. 31, 2018

Born and raised in a quiet little town, I didn’t get a computer until I was old enough to drive. I managed to persuade my mother to buy a one “for homework,” when all I really wanted to do was play Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II :blush:

Soon after getting a computer and putting in a few hours on the MSN Gaming Zone (RIP), I began to explore the game more closely, learning that I could modify some of its logic. I found that when I open the logic for a gun, there was a bullet.3do reference. Opening the logic for a map, I’d find references to things like door.3do. What happens if I replace ‘bullet’ with ‘table’? This curiosity kicked off my career in programming.

I started web development in the mid-to-late 90s. Geocities was all the rage, and Flash/Shockwave was eating the web. I remember viewing the source for a Star Wars website where I found a reference to movie.swf. At the time, I was so naïve about the Internet that I thought “swf” meant Star Wars File.

After grinding through the industry for about a decade, Stack Overflow was created. I became moderator #004, and spent an inordinate amount of time reading, and responding to questions. This presented an opportunity to work with some jQuery contributors. That position eventually turned into an opportunity to work at Microsoft on the Internet Explorer (soon to be Edge) team.

I began hearing about Brave in 2015 and wound up speaking at a conference in Brazil with Brendan soon thereafter. After learning more about the evolution of digital ads and tracking on the web, and what role Brave Software could play in reforming the industry, I took the first chance I found to join the effort in 2016.

Today I am in Developer Relations, which means I work to help developers in the broader community understand how they can leverage efforts, as well as how they can contribute to the project itself. I try not to limit myself to only developer topics though; I lend a hand wherever and whenever I can be useful.

See the full AMA here.

AMA: Yan Zhu, Brave’s Chief Information Security Officer — Oct. 17, 2018

Hi, I’m Yan,

AKA bcrypt. I like information freedom, infosec, stunt h4cks, cryptography, an internet that respects humans, theoretical physics, and making electronic music. I dislike non-consensual power structures.

I’m the Chief Security Officer at Brave and was a Technology Fellow at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Before that, I dropped out of high school, got my B.S. from MIT in Physics, and started a PhD at Stanford before dropping out of that too.

I am reachable via SMTP at [first name] at [undergrad college] dot edu. My PGP key is in the strong set and available on public keyservers (BDE7 D508 3BB3 5EDC 7A66 BD97 388C E229 FAC7 8CF7). Regardless of whether your email is encrypted, I will probably not reply to it and apologize in advance.

Most of my work is open source on Github.

https://diracdeltas.github.io/blog/about/

See the full AMA here.

AMA: David Temkin, Brave’s Chief Product Officer — Oct. 4, 2018

Hi, I’m David Temkin.

Way back in the late Precambrian era, my father brought home an Apple II+. Since then, I’ve been hooked on computers and software — especially on the parts of computing that touch human beings.

I taught myself how to code (6502 assembly); eventually got a computer science degree from Brown, and not long after that found my way to Silicon Valley. I made the move from the east coast to work at Apple, as an engineer on the software team for its first-ever mobile device — the Newton. It was a very interesting five years. We laughed. We cried. We learned a lot about building a breakthrough product…. and shipping it too soon.

In 1997, when Apple appeared to be on its deathbed (who could have known?!) I left and went to @Home Network, where I had the privilege of getting an up-close-and-personal view of the dot-com boom. At the time, dial-up was the way to get online;  @Home was the company that made consumer broadband a reality. During that time, I also published a satirical magazine with the tagline, “Every day, computers are making people easier to use”. It was a funny tagline, then. It’s not nearly as funny now, as so much of what we were writing about — including ubiquitous surveillance — has become an uncomfortable fact of life.

In 2001 I co-founded Laszlo Systems, a company that pioneered web technology that enabled rich user experiences, including drag-and-drop and interface animation, that are now staples of contemporary development and design. A few years later, we decided to make our software open source. (That’s when I first met Brendan Eich, who was then CTO of Mozilla).

I spent as much time at Laszlo as I did in high school and college combined — a duration which may well be illegal in Silicon Valley. Following Laszlo, worked at Palm as VP of its webOS developer platform, and then as GM/SVP of Mobile and Mail at AOL, and then as CTO of Hightail / YouSendIt. Then, in 2015 I co-founded my second startup a messaging app startup called Cola, and finally joined Brave last fall.

Brave wraps a lot of my interests together in one very intriguing proposition. It takes user experience, developer platforms, open source, and — most interestingly — an entirely new approach to the content economy that challenges the foundations of surveillance capitalism. We’re fighting the good fight with a highly-principled, layered strategy that stands of fighting chance of undoing a currently exploitative, ineffective ecosystem for users, content creators, and advertisers.

See the full AMA here.

AMA: Johnny Ryan, Brave’s Chief Policy & Industry Relations Officer — Sep. 5, 2018

Dr. Johnny Ryan FRHistS is Chief Policy & Industry Relations Officer at Brave and is responsible for policy and privacy matters, as well as relationships with industry partners and regulators.

Before joining Brave, Dr. Ryan was responsible for PageFair’s research and analysis, as well as industry relations.

Previous roles include being Chief Innovation Officer of The Irish Times, Senior Researcher at the Institute of International & European Affairs (IIEA). He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, and a member of the World Economic Forum’s expert network on media, entertainment, and information. Dr. Ryan is the author of two books (“A History of the Internet in the Digital Future” is available on Amazon). His first book was based on his work at the IIEA, and was the most cited source in the European Commission’s impact assessment that decided against pursuing Web censorship across the European Union.

His expert commentary has appeared in The New York Times, The Economist, The Financial Times, Wired, Le Monde, NPR, Advertising Age, FortuneBusiness Week, the BBC, Sky News, and many others. As an O’Reilly Foundation Ph.D. scholar at the University of Cambridge, he studied the spread of militant memes on the Web.

He started his career as a designer and returned to design thinking later as Executive Director of The Innovation Academy at University College Dublin. He was an associate on the emerging digital environment at the Judge Business School of the University of Cambridge.

See the full AMA here.

How to Verify a YouTube Channel with Brave Payments (verified publisher)

Brave Payments is a contribution platform, similar to Patreon, that allows Brave users to donate to their favourite creators and publishers, like you! To learn more about Brave Payments and how it works, click here.

Verifying your YouTube channel so that you can receive BAT contributions from your viewers on Brave is easy and only takes a minute.

Here’s what you’ll need to do:

  • The first thing you need to do is head over to https://publishers.basicattentiontoken.org.
  • Find the text box that says, “New to Brave Payments? Start verification by entering your e-mail,” and click “get started.”
  • Type in your e-mail address and click, “get started.” You should get a pop-up saying that an e-mail is on its way, which you can go ahead and open.
  • Follow the link in the e-mail to log into Brave Payments. You should now arrive at your Brave Payments publisher dashboard.
  • Scroll down to the bottom of the page and select “add channel.” You will now see a popup showing you that you can verify either a website, a YouTube channel or a Twitch channel.

Select “YouTube channel.” Then, simply choose the account that you’d like to sign in with. Once you’re back on your publisher dashboard, scroll to the bottom of the page to your list of verified channels. Your YouTube channel should now appear as “verified”!

On the bottom right-hand side opposite your channel name, you will be able to view your channel’s contribution balance denominated in BAT. Each month, the BAT you’ve earned from user contributions will be deposited into your linked Uphold account.

That’s it! You are all set to start receiving contributions!