Matt Mullenweg in Auckland!

IMG_6053Matt Mullenweg was in Auckland last night to give a talk to all the local WordPress fans.

I went along to get this photo. ——————————–>

Ok, so I also went to hear him talk and he was great: inspiring, funny, warm, friendly, and very down to earth.

He spoke about the history of WordPress and how it started, where it is today, and where he wants it to go. He also talked about his passion for open source software.

WordPress now powers 22% of the web. That’s 22% of all web sites run on WordPress software. That’s an extraordinary achievement.

One thing Matt Mullenweg mentioned in his talk that I want to repeat here are the four essential freedoms of good software development:

  • The freedom to run the program as you wish, for any purpose (freedom 0).
  • The freedom to study how the program works, and change it so it does your computing as you wish (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
  • The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor (freedom 2).
  • The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others (freedom 3). By doing this you can give the whole community a chance to benefit from your changes. Access to the source code is a precondition for this.

It’s really hard to disagree with any of these things. I’ve always loved the idea of free (as in freedom) software. Before I became a Mac user a few years ago I was a Linux chick for more than a decade. I felt a like a traitor when I switched over to a Mac and I blame the iPod touch for this. I bought one and it was love at first sight. I knew I wanted to learn how to create IOS apps and for that I needed a Mac. It was an agonising decision to say good-bye to Linux. Perhaps one day I’ll get another Linux box.

There are just over 250 employees working for Automattic now and we are a distributed workforce which essentially means we all work from home. It doesn’t matter when I work as long as I’m producing output. I have never liked office corral farms. I find these places depressing and soulless. I also think I am more productive when I get to choose my hours. I work best first thing in the morning so I start work at 7am everyday. I work at least 8 hours a day but I can’t do 8 hours straight. Who can? So I work for 6 hours and then do other stuff when it’s my afternoon. Then in the late afternoon – early evening, I pick up where I left off and do some more work, refreshed by the extended break.

Having a schedule is important when you work from home as is sticking to a routine. As Matt said in his talk, what matters is not whether you spend 10 hours a day at the office, dress nicely, and get on with all of your colleagues: what matters is how productive you are.