I little while ago I had a job interview that I accidentally turned up a day early for. Well, I’ve just been offered the job! I am now a very proud and excited Happiness Engineer at Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com, Cloudup, PollDaddy, Jetpack, VaultPress, Gravatar, Akismet and more.
Fortunately turning up a day early for the interview did not ruin my chances. That wasn’t the only dumb thing I did though. I never told anyone this but I also somehow managed to turn up a week early for my first day of training! I was very keen. Now I can say, I work for Automattic! I work for Automattic! I work for Automattic!
Automattic is the coolest company on the planet. I think they must have adopted the hiring equivalent of Baba Binkman’s, Don’t sleep with mean people, because everyone who works there is so nice and clever too. The company is essentially flat so we all have a great deal of autonomy. The workforce is distributed which means I can work from home, wherever home may be: Auckland now, Scotland later.
The company creed is powerful and meaningful and is everything the company stands for and everything that I aspire to:
I will never stop learning. I won’t just work on things that are assigned to me. I know there’s no such thing as a status quo. I will build our business sustainably through passionate and loyal customers. I will never pass up an opportunity to help out a colleague, and I’ll remember the days before I knew everything. I am more motivated by impact than money, and I know that Open Source is one of the most powerful ideas of our generation. I will communicate as much as possible, because it’s the oxygen of a distributed company. I am in a marathon, not a sprint, and no matter how far away the goal is, the only way to get there is by putting one foot in front of another every day. Given time, there is no problem that’s insurmountable.
My role is to bring happiness to WordPress.com bloggers. It’s such a wonderful job title: Happiness Engineer and there’s something very fulfilling about being able to solve people’s problems. It’s the best job I’ve ever had.
There were quite a few hurdles to get to this point. I had to go through two initial interviews as well as complete a homework task, then a six-week trial and then finally an interview with founder and CEO, Matt Mullenweg. The interview with Matt lasted for over four hours! The six-week trial is six weeks of performing on the job and doing exactly what full-time Happiness Engineers do. It gave me a peek at the inner-workings of Automattic and let me know whether this is something I want to do permanently and it is! The trial is also a test to see whether potential candidates are fit for purpose and somewhat inexplicably to me, I apparently am!
One thing that happened to me during trial is that the exclamation mark has possessed me. I suddenly find myself using it all the time. It’s as though it has a life of its own and it can magically lift the tone of my text. Exclamation marks and emojis, I have discovered, are the tools of Happiness Engineers.
It’s not at all lonely working from home. Far from it. Communication at Automattic is via IRC and internal blogs. Logging into the IRC each morning is like opening the door to the office. There’s an energy there and a buzz of activity.
Automattic is awesome and growing and hiring!