Three Months at Automattic

I can’t believe it has been three months since I started working at Automattic. It may be cliche, but time flies when you are having fun!

Much of what I write about below really deserves dedicated posts that go into more detail, but since I am not yet good about posting often, I figured it is better to at least mention things briefly now.

Company/Team

I’m part of the Cloudup team, which is great group of very talented individuals! My experience with other teams at Automattic has been just as positive. Automattic is full of people who care deeply about the products we are creating. It is great to be surrounded by high caliber co-workers whose talent and dedication push me to improve my own skills and knowledge on a daily basis. I have learned so much over the past few months!

There is little bureaucracy at Automattic — certainly far less than I experienced at my previous employer. This is quite refreshing. Decisions get made and things progress at a much quicker pace than I am used to.

Working Remotely

At my previous job, I would sometimes work from at home for a day every now and then. But, that was pretty sporadic. So, I wondered how working remotely every single day would be.

Bottom line… I love working from at home full-time!

It is the flexibility in my daily routine that I enjoy the most. I don’t start my work day at my desk and just stay there the whole day. Instead, I get up and spend around a half hour slowly waking up in the living room on my iPad. Then, I open up my MacBook Pro and catch up on P2s, Slack, and GitHub. You’ll notice I didn’t mention email — we don’t use email at Automattic.

My wife and daughter usually wake up around then. It is great to be able to actually talk with them more than just the quick goodbye before I rush off to the office that used to be the case.

I usually start on my development tasks while still out in the living room and then mid-morning take a small break to shower and get dressed. Contrary to the title of a certain book, I do get dressed every day. 🙂

It is great to be able to exercise, meditate, or take a quick walk about the block during a break. I also find that I’m helping out much more with chores than I used to — I can easily unload the dishwasher or do some laundry during one of my minute long breaks.

It is nice to be able to start dinner while still working — I can bring my computer out to the kitchen island so I can continue working while I watch something on the stove or in the oven.

Usually, I stick to pretty consistent work hours. But, it is nice to have the flexibility to shift those if necessary. The other week, I took some time out of my afternoon to go play in the fresh snow with my daughter. I couldn’t have done that any other time. That day, I worked more later in the evening instead.

Home Office

My home office is a much more comfortable working environment than the cubicle at my old employer: no horrible fluorescent ceiling lights, no distracting phone conversations in nearby cubicles, and a much more comfortable desk and chair.

I have a NextDesk Terra adjustable height desk. It allows me to raise the desk to standing height at the touch of a button. And when I don’t feel like standing, I press another button to lower the desk and sit in my Hag Capisco chair. This arrangement has greatly improved my ergonomics.

I love that I finally have a door for my office, so I can listen to music without having to wear headphones all the time. For Christmas I got a pair of Mackie CR4 monitors for my desk that sound incredible!

Work/Personal Balance

I used to try very hard to completely separate my work and personal lives. This was born out of both desire and necessity. But, if always caused tension and stress — I’m one person, not two! I find that my position at Automattic provides me with opportunities to integrate these two parts of my life in ways that maximize my flexibility, productivity and happiness.

Obviously, I’m only three months into things, so in some regards I’m still in the “honeymoon” phase. But, I’m confident that come six months, a year, two years, five years from now, I’ll still be enjoying working for Automattic just as much, if not more so than I am now!

Interested in becoming a part of Automattic? We’re hiring!

Hawaii, October 2013

Almost a year and a half ago, we went on a trip to Hawaii with my parents. It was both my daughter’s first visit to Hawaii, as well as my parents’. We spent a week on Maui, two days on the Island of Hawaii (the Big Island), and one week on O’ahu (at Aulani). Hawaii is such a fantastic place – I look at these photos and can’t believe they are real. But, it really does look just like that! Hopefully we will be fortunate to return there someday for another vacation.

Giving Thanks

There’s so much to be thankful for! It’s hard to know where to start sometimes. It’s easy to take things for granted.

I’m thankful my wife, daughter and I are healthy. And happy. Nearly twelve years into family life, I still can’t believe how things have turned out! I couldn’t imagine life any other way.

I’m thankful that my daughter has so many options available to her as she grows up. Many of those options still won’t be as easy as they should be, because of gender inequality, but I am hopeful that things appear to be moving in the right direction!

I’m thankful that I recently started a new phase in my life, joining Automattic. I haven’t felt such excitement in a long time. No longer do I dream of a better job; this is my dream job!

The benefits aren’t what led me to search for a new job, but I am extremely thankful for the benefits provided by Automattic. They really take care of their employees!

I’m thankful that my family has such a promising year ahead of us!

A New Home for My Wallpapers, Designs and Photos

Over the past few years I’ve tried a number of different online homes for my wallpapers, designs and photos. With this new blog, I’ve decided to consolidate everything in one place.

You can find wallpapers I’ve created in the Wallpaper section.

A sampling of designs for cards and invitations, among other things, that I’ve done over the years can be found in the Graphic Design section.

Photos? Those will come later. I promise!