Theme Team in Barcelona, 2016

So I’m posting these photos late. 🙂 Last November the Theme Team, my team at Automattic, spent the week in Barcelona. We worked on Components and saw a few sites: La Sagrada Familia and Parc GĂĽell.

ThemeShaper v. 2016

Yesterday, my colleagues and I on the Theme Team at Automattic redesigned our blog, ThemeShaper. I say yesterday because we really did it in about a day. The project was part of a hack day at Automattic. We hold a few each year, and they allow us to work on projects that we normally don’t have time for, need attention or experiment with something risky.

I’m really happy with how it came out. Fellow Automatticians Kathryn Presner and Laurel Fulford helped make the idea a reality. The thing that excites me the most about the new look is that it’s so flexible. We have plenty of space to iterate and add creative flourishes over time. Wow, hack days are fun!

Theme Team in Vancouver, 2016

Last week, the Theme Team, my team at Automattic, spent the week in Vancouver. We worked on a cool project, hung out and checked out some sights.

One Year at Automattic

Since I was 13, I wanted to be a writer. I became one, spending part of my career writing for newspapers, magazines, corporations and nonprofits. But then I found the Web and everything changed.

One year ago today I joined a company called Automattic, with its mission to making the Web a better place. We make WordPress.com, and contribute to WordPress, the software that helps power it and enables millions to publish with the same world-class software as big-name publishers like the New York Times, Wired and more. That’s a pretty cool gig for a former professional writer.

At Automattic, I work on the Theme Team, trying to make themes on WordPress.com the best they can be. I love themes. I best expressed that in my application to Automattic:

I want to be a Theme Wrangler because I believe that a good WordPress theme can open up a new world to those using it, and in turn, reveal something unique about the site’s owner to the world. A theme can become the centerpiece to someone’s story. That’s something I want to do for as many people as possible.

During the last year, when not focusing on creating and reviewing themes for WordPress.com, I’ve worked supporting our premium theme partners. I’ve had the most fun with that because of the sheer variety of tasks it demands. From triaging tickets to fixing bugs, reviewing code to launching themes, plus collaborating with premium themers to thinking about the big picture. It never gets old, and I’m excited about the future of premium themes on WordPress.com.

But really, the great things about being at Automattic aren’t just building software used by millions or traveling to neat places to work with your colleagues. It’s the mission and the people behind it. Every day you work beside folks who not only care about making the Web a better place, but you too. Everyone is empowered to make a difference. To write their own story in a way. Again, not a bad place to be for a writer-type like me. I can’t wait to see where the story goes next.

Ten Years of Automattic

Our work is far from finished, and I hope there are hundreds of failures we learn from over the next 20 years. One of the things that makes me happiest is that I get to wake up every morning and work on the hard problem of making the web a better and more open place, and I do it alongside close to 400 talented people at Automattic and thousands in the broader community.

In Ten Years of Automattic, Matt Mullenweg talks about the first decade of the company he founded to help make the Web a better place. I’m proud to be a small part of that journey, and can’t wait to see where we go next.

TDiv in Hawaii 2015

The Theme Division at Automattic met in Lihue, Hawaii last week for a meetup. I had a blast meeting and working with everyone in person. Here are a few shots I took while out and about.