Five Minutes with Sara Rosso
Every few weeks, we’re sitting down with an Automattician to help you get to know the people who work behind the scenes to build new features, keep Automattic running, and make WordPress.com the best it can be. This week, we’re very pleased to introduce you to Ms. Sara Rosso, the ultimate WordPress fan, and World Nutella Day instigator extraordinaire.
What kinds of awesome things do you do at Automattic?
As VIP Global Services Manager, I work with the WordPress.com VIP team to make the WordPress.com VIP platform as awesome as it can be for VIP clients and their users. A lot of the features and improvements we make also get rolled out to the rest of WordPress.com, so we’re working for every WordPress.com user, too! The VIP team spends a lot of time behind the scenes and are happy to let WordPress.com VIP clients like CNN, TIME.com, NFL, NBC, BBC, and more, take the spotlight with their WordPress.com VIP sites instead.
Describe a recent project for us:
I spend a lot of time on our product communication and resources, user and developer training, and discovering and sharing how large and interesting organizations are using WordPress throughout the world. We recently published case studies with NASA, the Wall Street Journal, and TIME.com for their Person of the Year site, all using WordPress! I think it’s great how WordPress allows so many organizations to get a website up quick and easily, and there are some really beautiful and innovative WordPress sites I enjoy discovering, too. I’m also spending more time on designing and developing training programs which is great because I like helping people understand and master WordPress, and it’s something I’ve done on my own for friends and family since I started using the software in 2006.
Give us a bit of your expert advice — what tip can you provide the WordPress.com community?
There are so many features built into WordPress.com, it’s like you’ve got hundreds of plugins at your fingertips. Snoop around on your Dashboard to discover them!
I think besides writing, the most important thing you can do is to make sure you’re sharing your content so people can discover, read, react to, and share it themselves. WordPress.com plays really nice with social media and I love the Settings > Sharing page on your blog’s Dashboard. Turn on Sharing Buttons under every post for Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and more with one click, and have your WordPress.com posts automatically push to Twitter and Facebook by turning on Publicize also on this settings page.
What do you most enjoy about your job?
I love the freedom this job has given me to construct my day, day by day. It allows me to decide when I’ll be most productive and organize other important things around my work as well. Since I don’t have to be in an office, I can get productive anywhere, which means I can decide between working from my couch or my desk, to working in San Francisco or London! Living abroad for the past 10 years means that I’m actually able to see friends and family more often than I ever have; all I need is an internet connection and my computer to work.
I have pretty awesome colleagues, too. I talked a lot about Automattic in this article, but I wanted to share this with you about why it’s great to work in a distributed company with interesting and challenging colleagues:
It’s hard to choose just one day as my favorite day working for Automattic, but I would say most of the best days I have had at Automattic have been during our in-person company meet-ups. You might think that this means we should work together more often, but on the contrary I think because we’re a distributed company we enjoy our time together in-person that much more. We spend every waking hour together (some days are quite long due to excitement and catching up) and a lot of it being excited to talk shop, too. The best part is working on a week-long project with people who are not your normal team members and presenting your project at the end of the week to the entire company (for example, my team’s project was the restaurants vertical, which recently launched on WordPress.com).
What do you love to do in your spare time?
Blogging and writing in general! I have four sites of my own (all running on WordPress, naturally), where I share my experiences in travel, food, healthy living, technology/running a business, and my photoblog. I spend a lot of time sharing tips with friends and readers on how to run their businesses and websites online; thank goodness WordPress is the answer for a lot of them. I also have written two ebooks (on Italian coffee and Nutella) and I plan to do more.
If I’m not writing, I’m reading voraciously — books and blogs alike. I consume enormous amounts of content and I’m always looking for the next blog, site, or book which will educate, entertain, or inspire me (sometimes a combination of all three!) And I’m constantly snapping photos either with my DSLR (I sell some of my photos) or with my iPhone — you can follow on my WordPress.com mobile photoblog and join me with the Weekly Photo Challenge on The Daily Post!
When you start to work with us at Automattic, Sara will be among the first friendly folks you meet — she’ll be the one gently nudging you to post your introductory video, so that you can tell us a little about yourself. What are you waiting for? Check out all the opportunities currently open at Automattic and apply to work with us.
Sara would like to say a little hello to you via video — can’t see the video? Click through to see the post on the website.