My favorite days of remote working aren’t the days when I get to work by a pool, or even when I get to stay home all day working on my couch in my favorite sweatpants (as a really strong introvert, that’s saying a whole lot there). My absolute favorite days are when I’m on a meetup and I get to see my coworkers in person, these amazing people here.
I posted a ton of pictures of last year’s Grand Meetup here and posted my thoughts here. And just realized that I forgot to post them for the Grand Meetup we had back in October of 2016 (which was around 5 months ago).
Wait, so what is a Grand Meetup?
Automattic is a remote company, which means that all employees work from wherever in the world they are. While we do have several offices or lounges in San Francisco, Maine, and Cape Town, no employees are expected to work out of there. The one time of a year we all get together is for the Grand Meetup (or what we fondly call the “The GM”) where Automattic flies all employees to one location where we all work together for a week.
What is a Trial?
This is the opportunity to work at Automattic, doing the job you’re applying for. It’s fantastic because you have the opportunity to see if you’d actually like the job and gives Automattic the opportunity to see how well you do the job.
It’s a paid Trial, so it really is a win-win situation. You get to try out the position, paid (this isn’t a salary but $25 hour), and see if you both think it’s a good fit.
When I was first hired as Trial Happiness Engineer, I was concerned about the flexibility of live chat.
I imagined a live chat operator being chained to their desk all day. But since this is Automattic the pioneers of remote working, how was this possible? How was it going to work?
Yesterday I had the privilege of speaking at Women who WP, which is this wonderful meet up that gets together some amazing women and we have dinner and talk about WordPress, our stories, and what we’re learning.
One year ago I started my journey as a full-time employee at Automattic. Having the privilege of working on WordPress.com.
I recently found this gem of a video.
Matt Mullenweg was a guest speaker at Joomla’s World Conference in 2013, and his talk was on his story with WordPress.
The story of how I applied to Automattic to become a Happiness Engineer and got hired.
This is the story of how I applied to Automattic to become a Happiness Engineer. I was hired in June of 2015, so this post may not reflect the current hiring process for a Happiness Engineer. One of my favorite things about Automattic is that we are constantly testing new processes to see if there is a better way to do something, and that applies to hiring as well. So don’t be surprised if you have a different experience in the hiring process! 😉
I’m writing this from the new WordPress.com Desktop App, which was publicly released this week… and something I’ve been obsessed with for about a month.
When I started my trial at Automattic back in April… I learned about this really amazing project that was being crafted deep within the heart of Automattic, called Calypso.
I wanted to take a moment and share a really awesome picture from Automattic’s recent Grand Meetup in Park City, Utah….our Company Picture.
I feel like such a proud parent, because over the past few days I’ve been showing everyone this picture and pointing out some of my coworkers.
I think it’s also a bit of a proud moment because I’ve seen company pictures from past Grand Meetups, but this is the first one I’m actually in. Making it even more real that I get to actually work here.
And also as a bonus here is the most intelligent, caring, and hilarious group of women I know, the Women of Automattic.
I can’t believe I’m writing this since working at Automattic is my dream job, but starting June 1st I’ll be joining Automattic as a Happiness Engineer.
Who is Automattic?
They have some of the most innovated software on the web. Their most popular service is WordPress.com. I’ve been working with WordPress for 5+years now to create websites and blogs. In my humble opinion, it’s the best way to create a website. WordPress is kinda like the foundation of a website- making it easier to edit and add features. Currently WordPress powers over 23% of the web (no other single platform comes even close to that- Joomla powers 3% of the web). Some really amazing sites are built off of it including CNN, NBC, TechCrunch, and Time.com. Automattic’s mission is make the web a better place by democratizing publishing. Meaning, if you have something to say- use our Software to say it.
Also if you’re into handy dandy charts like I am- I think the one above speaks for itself.
Why is working at Automattic my dream job?
I’m passionate about making the web a better place. I’m also passionate about helping others build an online presence. While I work really hard, I’m also really big on having a work/life balance and having a flexible schedule. Most jobs are 9-5 and are anything but flexible.
Here is how Automattic is different:
- Open vacation policy. They encourage employees to take whatever time they need for a vacation, develop interests, or just to spend time with loved ones. There is no set numbers of days per a year. In addition, every 5 years you’re encouraged to take 2-3 months off, paid.
- The team is distributed. Meaning, everyone works from their own home or office from all over the world (United States, Canada, Ireland, Japan, Iceland, Australia, and much much more) and sets their own hours. You spend 2-4 weeks traveling each year to work in person with your amazing coworkers at pretty cool locations (New Zealand, Belize, Spain, etc.). So in a nutshell I get to work from wherever and travel. Click here if you’d like to see one of the awesome places we’re working from.
- Since the team is distributed this allows them to hire only the best of the best. My coworkers are amazingly talented and hilarious. I’m still trying to figure out why they let me in, but frankly I’m just thankful to learn from them 🙂
- The most important perk for me is working on a product I genuinely care about, alongside Matt Mullenweg the CEO who is really all kinds of amazing, but is just genuinely such a kind and intelligent person. It’s taking me a bit to get over my starstruckness, since he’s doing for Open Sourced Web Publishing what Steve Jobs did for MP3 players and Phones. Did I mention in 2012 he was in Forbes 30 under 30? Such a great guy, if you’d like to read more about him- Matt blogs here about WordPress and he blogs here not about WordPress.
So what is a Happiness Engineer?
As my official job title, Happiness Engineer implies it’ll be my job to engineer happiness in others. The short but not complete answer is that I’ll be helping people with their WordPress.com blogs. The better answer is that each Happiness Engineer is empowered to create their own schedule and their own day, so each person’s job is very unique. My days will be filled with helping users on Live Chat, following up on support tickets, managing the support documentation, and helping train those on a Happiness Engineer Trial or Rotation. If you’d like to read about some of my fellow Happiness Engineer coworker’s days, click here.
Is Automattic hiring?
Yep! We’re hiring.
How did you get the job?
Automattic’s hiring process is unlike anything else. While it does involve some of the “normal” Interview type of process- none of it is done in person or even over the phone. It was all done online and via text chat. Why? Since communicating online will be a huge part of your job it’s important to see how well you communicate over chat. Once you make it through the initial interview process, you’re offered a paid trail. This trial allows you to work for 4-6 weeks to see if you’re a good fit. For me, it was the opportunity to get a real look inside the company, how they communicated and if this was a company I could truly be passionate about working for. Let me tell you, I had pretty high expectations and they blew me away. I’ll do a separate post on the hiring process, since it’s pretty detailed.
I’m really excited about this new chapter as a Happiness Engineer at Automattic! 🙂