Today marks my one year anniversary at Automattic! For most people that probably doesn’t seem like a very big deal but for someone like me it really is. My first “real” job was when I was 16 years old which was 20 years ago. Before that I had summer jobs, things like my paper route, and odd jobs around the neighbourhood. In that time I’ve worked for quite a few different companies. The longest time I’ve stayed in one position was fourteen months. Even though I really enjoyed that position and the people I worked with I was already looking for my next move about halfway through.
Automattic is different, at the year mark I’m not checking job banks every day or searching online for that next opportunity. In fact I really feel like I’m just getting started here. So much more to learn, so much further to grow, and so much more to contribute.
The year I’ve been here has been an exciting for Automattic as well. Building, launching, and just recently releasing, as open source, Calypso. It’s a whole new interface to work with your sites. When I started a year ago there were under 300 employees and now today we are over 400. That included the acquisition of Woo!
Automattic has given me so much. My first trip outside of North America to a team meetup in Barcelona. My home office setup is pretty amazing. My new wardrobe full of clothing with the WordPress logo on it. A trip to the Grand Meetup in Utah to spend a week with our entire company. This was an incredible experience. Freedom and flexibilty, being able to schedule my time off and days around the rest of my life has helped provide a great work / life balance. Endless learning, I’m still learning new things all the time and I’ve just barely scratched the surface of the different teams that I can rotate to and spend time learning and helping on. Confidence, it took a while to feel like I actually belonged with all the other smart, amazing co-workers and that I might be able to offer the support and help others had given me.
In this year I’ve started to give back as well. Since starting I’ve had thousands of interactions with the people who directly use our products. Helping them use and learn our products while also getting their feedback to help make things better. Watching Calypso being developed and being able to help test and troubleshoot features as they were being built was very rewarding. Probably the most rewarding though, as much as I never thought I’d get to this point, is the fact that I’ve been able to be a buddy to new employees starting out including helping with their training.
Fairly early on when I was doing a lot of live chat I built a tool that I could use to track my productivity. I found it useful so I made it available for others to use. It doesn’t get a lot of use, but there are still people who do use it. Along the code route I, with a lot of help, added a very small addition to an internal tool that was helps us communicate a bit better.
Currently I’m working on organizing a series of hang outs where developers can answer questions about key features or products so us Happiness Engineers can better support them and better understand how they work. We’ve had one so far with more to come.
There are still many things I have to improve and get better at, but I’m looking forward to it. With my co-workers and team mates there is so much I can take away from each one of them to make myself better and more productive. In this past year, and only spending very little time in person with them, I already consider many of them friends. Even though it is just here in my house I look forward to going to work and interacting with them.
Thank you to everyone that has made this past year one of the best of my life all around. To those who took a chance on hiring me, training me, mentoring me, and just being there for me in general, my hope is that you’re not disapointed in your decision and that I’ve been worthy of your efforts. If I have it my way, and if Automattic agrees, this will just the first of many anniversaries as I know there is still so much that I can learn and in return also contribute.