Automattic Meetup 2013

Automattic is a globally distributed company with over 200 employees, so it’s nice to get together once a year as a company to build great things. This year, we gathered in San Francisco and later migrated down to Santa Cruz. That may sound odd to many of you, so I highly recommend this book. Many of the things we built this week are already live on, some are performance tweaks that you might have already noticed, while others may be announced in the future.

Here are the rest of the photos from the week that didn’t make the cut to be posted on their own in my sfomeetup2013 tag.

Those fire dancing photos sure are amazing, but this video of the fire dancing and this slow-motion clip are even more amazing!

Now that you’ve seen all that, make sure that you apply, and maybe we’ll see you here with us next year!

Photo by Ash Rhodes

Photo by Ash Rhodes

Home Decor by Joen

A very long time ago, prior to us both working at Automattic, Joen Asmussen sent me a gorgeous print of one of his works as a “thank you” for help on an amazing project which unfortunately never saw public release. A few years later, he graciously requested to I add a nostalgic touch to my office with a second. Both sadly sat in tubes for an unjustified amount of time, but the wait is over! Now that we have completed our move, these pieces from Joen were the first to be hung.

Finale #1 is (for lack of a better word) part of an interactive art project that Joen did in May of 2007.


I Want to Believe is, of course, a recreation of the iconic X-Files poster. Just as it once graced the wall of Fox Mulder’s office, it is now the centerpiece of my office.


Folks who cannot figure out the nostalgic reference on sight need not remain in my office.

Happiness Engineers in Santa Fe

Last week, the Happiness Engineers of and Jetpack got together for a week of introductions, learning, and sightseeing in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Automattic is a globally distributed company, including the Happiness Engineers, so it’s nice to get together occasionally and learn from each other in person.

Throughout the trip, I did manage to snap a few photos, and you can see more in my safmeetup2013 tag.

If this looks like fun to you, we’re hiring!


Farewell Weblog Tools Collection

Sadly, this is not an April Fools’ Day joke.

After ten years of providing news on WordPress and other blogging platforms, Weblog Tools Collection is coming to a close. The site won’t be going anywhere, it’s in good hands now, and should at least be archived and accessible to everyone for a very long time.

My history with Weblog Tools Collection is rather surreal. Eight years ago, I wanted to try this “blogging” thing that everyone was talking about. I scoured the net, looking for reviews, message boards, insane rants, anything that would help me decide where to start. I found a post on Weblog Tools Collection (I can’t remember which) and had made up my mind, I would start blogging with WordPress. Now, here I am working for Automattic, quite possibly because I found a post on Weblog Tools Collection eight years ago.

Three years ago, I had just been let go from my job in the middle of a rather rough economic situation in the US. I spent almost an entire year unemployed, and due to my naïveté in accepting a full time job as a contractor, could not collect unemployment insurance. That year was spent applying for any job that I could find and helping out in the WordPress Support Forums. One lucky day, I saw an opening for editor at Weblog Tools Collection, applied for the job, and Mark Ghosh hired me the very same day. It was incredibly surreal to finally have someone care enough to hire me after almost a year of unemployment, especially for the blog that got me started on WordPress. It was like my WordPress career had come full circle.

Through those three years, I published 788 posts on Weblog Tools Collection as pretty much the sole author since I was hired, though there were a few guest posts from time to time. A few months into writing for Weblog Tools Collection, my confidence had been restored, and I dove after the job that I had always wanted. I applied for Automattic’s Happiness Engineer position and got the job.

I continued to write for Weblog Tools Collection alongside my work as a Happiness Engineer. It was too much fun to let go, but now is the time to say goodbye. Eight years ago, Weblog Tools Collection got me started on WordPress. Three years ago, I started writing for Weblog Tools Collection. Now, I am happily employed at Automattic and proud to say that I was with Weblog Tools Collection up to the day it closed.

Where to now? I’m glad you asked. Where to Find WordPress News was the last post published on Weblog Tools Collection before Mark’s farewell post. I’ll also be blogging about WordPress more frequently here, though not as frequently as I did on Weblog Tools Collection.

Mark, if you’re reading this, thanks again for everything! It has been one heck of a surreal and fun ride!