Bruce Lawson's personal site

Leaving Opera

After Opera’s consumer products (browsers and Opera Max) were taken over by a Chinese consortium on 4 November, Opera and I are parting ways by mutual agreement. I’m no longer a representative or spokesman for Opera products, or the Opera brand.

In my eight and a half years at Opera, I’ve done well over 150 conference talks, visited the USA numerous times; Norway dozens of times; Netherlands seven times; Spain and France four times; Poland, Germany, Romania and Russia three times; India three times (once for nearly a month, once for three days!); Indonesia, Italy, Denmark twice; Japan, Australia, Bulgaria, Sweden, Israel and South Africa.

Opera gave me the freedom to experiment with HTML5, and co-author a book with Remy Sharp; to play around and agitate for responsive images (now in all browsers!); to mentor my friend Lu Yu to become a speaker; to donate speaker fees to an NGO to buy computers for a Cambodian village school, and to sponsor conference diversity tickets so our industry can maybe become less of a white male club.

I’m hugely grateful to those who hired me and managed me for allowing and encouraging this freedom: thank you, Live Leer, Jan Standal, Andreas Bovens, Karin Greve-Isdahl.

I’m proud of the products I worked on, and hope they’ll be stewarded well in the future. I’m proud that Andreas Bovens and I got Progressive Web Apps into Opera for Android. I’m proud of the work I’ve done educating Western developers about the rest of the world. It’s been a joy to meet and work with many, many great people in Opera (shout out to Devrel and PR/ Marketing!), friends in other browsers, and across the industry. Thank you to all of you.

I wish all my ex-colleagues those who are also leaving, and those who are staying every success. I’ll be cheering you on.

Yesterday was my last working day. And now, as it’s the first week after my 50th birthday, I’m taking a short break to get over a mild flare-up of my Multiple Sclerosis, and to think about what comes next. Top of the list is training to be a buddhist monk while teaching poor/refugee children in South East Asia, or reprising my 1990s life on a beach earning money playing guitar and reading tarot cards. But those won’t pay my kids through university.

I most enjoy being a public face of an organisation that aims however modestly to increase the sum of human happiness via the Web and tech. If you have a job opening that you think would be suitable, and you’d like to rent a Bruce of your own, please get in touch (bruce @ this domain). I’ll still be avidly keeping up with the web industry, and conference talk invitations are still encouraged.


Addendum 8 May 2017. I’m now working for Wix.

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Buy "Calling For The Moon", my debut album of songs I wrote while living in Thailand, India, Turkey. (Only £2, on Bandcamp.)

40 Responses to “ Leaving Opera ”

Comment by Anselm Hannemann

A decision I can certainly understand. Wish you all the best over the next weeks. I’m sure there’ll be some great jobs in sight for you, and hopefully I see you soon at some conf again. 🙂

Comment by Kiran Dhillon

It was a pleasure working, traveling, presenting with you Bruce. ‘Tis the end of an era at Opera but not for mobile web.

Comment by Daniel Davis

Sorry to hear that Bruce, and the timing. What remains of Opera will miss you and the rest of the DevRel folks. Come to think of it, so do I! Best of luck for a continued bright career.

Comment by Mark Boas

Good luck Bruce! I have certainly appreciated your contribution to the web. Hope it continues and I’ll keep a bottle of highest quality grappa on standby for the next time you visit Italy!

Comment by Simon V.

Thank you so much Bruce. I learned a lot from you, and may times you made my day. I wish you all the best for the future!

Comment by Chris Taylor

All the very best, Bruce. Thanks for all you’ve done for the web, and I hope you can continue to make mischief in the industry (and bad jokes) for many years to come.

Comment by Luca Salvini

Thank you for everything you’ve done to the web, Bruce.
Enjoy your days off, have a fantastic birthday and prepare to enjoy your next adventure.
Hope I’ll have a chance to meet you soon at some event.

Comment by Martin Splitt

Thank you so much for all your work, Bruce!

You inspired me in many ways and were never settling with what we had, but reminding me who we’re doing this for.

I hope you’ll keep helping us making the web a better place for all mankind and you’ll find an amazing challenge that brings you joy and fulfillment, whatever it may be!

Again, thank you and all the best.

Comment by Prisca

that’s big news… wishing you all the very best for what comes next 🙂
Hope you’ll end up in a great team again and keep spreading your wisdom 🙂


Comment by Frode Hernes

Sad to see you leave, and I have really appreciated working with you!

Good luck and all the best!


Comment by Jonas

All good things (must) come to an end.

Bruce, thank you for all the years in which you have shared your knowledge and experience with us. I have always enjoyed your reading lists and occasional rants. So, for the time being, you will remain in my feed list.

Happy Birthday from Germany.

Comment by Craig Buckler

Opera won’t seem the same, cuddly company without you, Bruce. Best of luck for the future. Hope you’ll still be speaking at a few conferences. Alternatively, there’s always your mankini modelling career?!

Comment by Alex Danilo

As they say, when one door closes, another opens – you’ll be missed by many with your amazing personality, but wherever you end up I know you’ll continue to be a star!

Comment by Philip Jägenstedt

I already knew that you love the web platform, synergy and leverage, but not that you’re an aspiring meditator and utilitarian. I hope to continue to see you around, if you’re in Sweden don’t forget to let me know!

Comment by Sanad Kathuria

All the very best, Bruce. It was lovely meeting you and great getting to work with you during your time in India. Do stay in touch 🙂

Comment by Patrick H. Lauke

…maybe also worth mentioning the semi-purge of Opera DevRel (and other parts of Opera development) a few years ago. some of us weren’t AS brilliant, but still…

Comment by Constantine


Presto, Dragonfly, DevRel… Less and less of old Opera is left.

Good luck in your future endeavors Bru e! Thank you for your work !

Comment by Joris von Loghausen

It always was a great pleasure to hear you talk on and around the stage, and I wish you nothing but the best in your future endeavors.
Sure hope to see you and the other former members of Devrel around.

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