My Next Chapter At Automattic: VaultPress

When I first joined Automattic, I was a member of the VIP Team which is in charge of helping our enterprise clients host their large websites on our platform. After doing that for three and a half years, I got a bit burned out and was given the opportunity to switch to our Janitorial team. Janitorial is the name of the team that handles all of our internal tools and other things that slip between the cracks at Automattic.

Now it’s once again time for something else. As of tomorrow, I’ll be joining the VaultPress team who are in charge of our backup and security product for self-hosted installs. I will be helping both with development as well as any technical issues that arise from our support requests. It should be quite interesting and exciting — I’m looking forward to it!

Five (And Three Quarters) Years At Automattic

Yesterday, March 8th, was my official fifth year anniversary of being hired at Automattic. I say official because I actually started my trial the previous June and by that fall was doing fulltime regular duties. However no one at the company except perhaps HR realized that I hadn’t been hired on fulltime. I just kept submitting invoices and doing my job. Automattic was a lot more unorganized back then, both with trials and the onboarding process!

It’s been a wild ride and I have no plans whatsoever to go anywhere else. I’m here for the long term and I absolutely love it. It really is a dream job for me. Did I mention we’re hiring? :)

Here’s to the next five years!

Lastly for fun, here’s a photo from the first Grand Meetup that I attended with 40 of my coworkers:

2009 Grand Meetup in Quebec

Compare that to the latest Grand Meetup last fall when we had about 260 people there! We’re up to 306 as of this post.

2014 Grand Meetup in Park City

Four (Nearly Five) Years At Automattic

Today marks my official fourth anniversary at Automattic of being a proper full-time employee! In reality I started working for Automattic in about July of 2009 but due to an oversight, most of my coworkers thought I was already hired on as a normal employee. Meanwhile I just kept submitting my monthly contract report. Our hiring process has thankfully changed quite a bit since then!

Four years is a big milestone at Automattic as that is when you get your really cool custom WordPress MacBook. Unfortunately for me I’m one of the handful of Windows users at Automattic so it doesn’t make a ton of sense to get a MacBook just to run Windows on it. Oh well. :)

Working at Automattic really has been a dream come true for me. Besides getting to work on something I’m passionate about, WordPress, I also get to work with some of the most amazing people. I’ve made some life-long friendships here that I truly cherish. I can’t speak highly enough of the company and my co-workers. And as always, we’re hiring!

I hope my next four (nearly five) years at Automattic are at least half as good as these past ones have been.

Spoils From Nike Employee Store Visit

My stepmom was kind enough to get me a guest pass to the Nike employee store here in Portland at their world headquarters. Tons of cool stuff and all of it is about half price compared to normal retail prices. Awesome!


I picked up a pair of flexible trainer shoes for use with walking and stuff like that, a pair of normal shoes, two sweet jackets, and two shirts with a humorous message on them.

Attack Of The Cones: The Story Of How I Broke My Viper

On July 19th, I took my Viper for a HPDE track event at The Ridge race track hosted by Hooked on Driving.

For the first four sessions of the day, an instructor rode along with me while providing input on how to do a better job driving around the track. By the end of the day they were confident enough in my quick progress that they signed off for me to solo drive.

The fifth session of the day was a mixed session with both group A (beginners like me) and group B (people who had a few events under their belt, I would have been B at the next event). I considered skipping it as it was the end of the long day, but decided not to since I wanted to make sure to get the most out of all of the money that I had spent in order to be there. This turned out to be my first mistake.

The second mistake was going out solo instead of continuing to have an instructor ride along with me. I was overconfident in my skills when clearly I was still a major novice who was just making good progress.

The third mistake was lifting off of the gas in the middle of a small corner in order to begin getting ready to start braking for an upcoming sharp corner. This turned out to be the critical mistake and I paid for it.

I was recording the day with two GoPro video cameras and caught the mistake from two angles:

One of those three cones I hit jammed up under my bumper, breaking it and pushing up far enough to actually bend my air conditioning condenser and break my power steering cooler, spraying power steering fluid all over the front of my car. While it could have been worse (I was headed for that barrier before I caught the slide), it still majorly sucks.

Even worse is that while I bought insurance for the day ($300! ouch), I found out today that the deductible is 15% of the total insured value which is in this case $7500. That means that the insurance won’t cover this $3000-4000 worth of damage. Ouch.

So while I had a ton of fun at the track before the accident, this turned out to be a really shitty two weeks. :(

I’m done taking this car to the track as I just love it too much to risk further, and expensive, damage to it. I’d rather just have a bit less fun with it on the street instead. If I do get the track bug again, then I’ll look into buying a cheap track car and drive that instead.